March 2021 Newsletter
March is here and that means the beginning of the end of the cooler weather and the start of the busy season. Yes, covid is still an issue, but this city has been very proactive and all condos, hotels, businesses, and even the general population have been very cooperative in following safety protocols and implementing procedures to help avoid the spread. We should start seeing perfect temperatures soon. Of course, in a few months, we'll be crying about the heat and humidity. But, even with the cool winters and the humid Summers, this is is still my favorite place on earth and the one that I call home.

Another thing that March brings us every year is Spring Break and the fun-seeking young people that flock to town in order to enjoy some time here in paradise. This year is a bit different than most as the three AZ Universities, ASU, U of A, and NAU have cancelled Spring Break this year due to covid. But, in driving along Sandy Beach this weekend, it appears that there are are a lot of young people who didn't get the memo. Quads, UTV's and fun seekers were pretty abundnt on the roads and beaches in the area. I didn't make it to the Malecon, Calle 13, or Mirador over the weekend, but I presume that they were busy as Spring Break doesn't affect Sandy Beach nearly as much as it does those parts of town.
Whale Season is still in full force, although the time is probably limited now due to the weather and the ocean warming up soon. It has been another good season for sightings and, as I understand it, just about every tour from the different captains going out have proved successful in finding the majestic creatures. There have been multiple sightings from the shoreline as well. If you've got a decent pair of binoculars and an oceanfront condo, chances are that you'll see dolphins, lots of different sea birds, and just maybe, some whales breaching the surface. Or, if you want a better chance at a sighting and a more up-close view, take one of the tours. They go out often. If you need help finding one, just let me know. 

Semana Santa begins right at the end of this month so keep in mind that this town gets very busy during that long weekend. Chances are you won't find a place to rent if things go as they have in the past years, although, covid might make a difference this year. I kind of expect it to be very busy though.

There is lots to do this month, and THE BORDER IS OPEN without restrictions to US Citizens. Contrary to social media and news reports, yes, you can come and go as usual. The only difference is that it closes at 8:00 pm now (temporarily) instead of midnight. And, remember to drive VERY slow though Sonoyta (I suggest 20 mph) if you don't want to pay a fine.

Of course, the Tiki Beach Bar, La Cantina Sports Bar, and Cielito Lindo Restaurant at the Sonoran Sky will all be open and ready to greet you with multiple events and specials this month as well. Also, this month celebrates the 3-year anniversary for Cielito Lindo and they will food specials to celebrate. Check them out on Facebook for info as it comes available.

It always seems like I'm forgetting something in this part of the newsletter, but I'm out of time again this month, so I'll call it good until April 1st.

Enjoy this beautiful month, come to Rocky Point if you can, and if you need anything don't hesitate to ask. Let me put my experience and expertise to work for you, and remember, as always, I've been here full-time for over 13 years and I am more than happy to help you with whatever you need, whether Sonoran Resorts related or not.
Just give me a call or send me an email any time and I will do my very best to help you. If I can't help you myself, I'm sure that I can point you in the right direction and help find you someone who can. 
Besides the links below, you can our listings at the following:
AMPI Puerto Penasco MLS
Point 2 Agent Multinational MLS
Pick up a handout at any of our Sonoran Resorts
Barrett Jackson Show - Scottsdale and Las Vegas
Various Real Estate and Trade shows in AZ, NV, and CA

Our listings are also shared with the following:  
IMPORTANT: Some email providers cut this newsletter off before the end. If that happens on yours, please scroll to the bottom of this email and click "View Entire Message" to see the entire newsletter. 

Jim Ringquist

Broker/Sales Director
Sonoran Resorts Spa - Sea - Sun - Sky

Tourist Assistance Unit Advisory Committee (Tourist Assistance Police)

I hope that you enjoy my newsletter and continue to recommend it to your friends. Please feel free to give me thoughts, suggestions, or ideas for future newsletters. Puerto Peñasco is my home and I love to share the news and goings-on with you.

I do get email requests each month asking me to add someone to my list. While I certainly don't mind doing so, all you really need to do is click Sign-Up for Newsletter below, add the email address, and it will happen automatically. Not to worry - I will not spam you or share your email address, and you will only receive one email-newsletter each month on the 1st.

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Puerto Peñasco Condos and Hotels are Ready for Spring Break
Condos, Hotels, and Tourist Operators are prepared to receive tourists while following all health protocols.

The Puerto Peñasco condo and hotel sector is ready to receive visitors as we move into the busy tourist season, and that have prepared with the implementation of all recommended health protocols in order to make Spring Break 2021 and the following high season both safe and successful, stated Lizeth Ibarra.

The Director of the Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau pointed out that since the town reopened after being closed through covid restriction last Summer, condos and hotel rooms have been available, however all have been required to follow strict health and safety protocols specifically enacted to help fight the spread of the disease. With the high season and Spring Break just around the corner, reservations have been coming in, however it is not yet known how the number of visitors will compare to last year at this time, which was at the beginning of the awareness of the virus.

“We do not expect that it will be like last year, but even so everyone is super positive following all the safety and health protocols, sanitizing, cleaning, taking temperatures of the people who arrive; complying with all the protocols - the truth is that they are very much on the lookout for and waiting to receive all these people, ”she pointed out.

"As far as reservations are already made, it is going very well, and this week, we will be reviewing how it is going so far. It will not be like last year but we do expect a good number of visitors," she added.

Based on the most recent update of the Anticipa Sonora Map that was released last Saturday, February 13, Puerto Peñasco went from “High Risk” to “Medium Risk”, and maintains a downward trend in positive cases for COVID- 19.

The majority of Spring Breakers who arrive each year are from the Universities in Arizona, however this year, ASU, UA and NAU all have canceled spring break due to the pandemic, so it is unknown at this point what the turnout will be.
Coronavirus Stoplight Map Changes Color as New Case Numbers Show Decline
Mexico will have just two maximum risk red light states as of Monday, according to the updated coronavirus stoplight map presented by the federal government on Friday, a reduction of 11 compared to the map currently in force.

Health Ministry official Ricardo Cortés said that only Guanajuato and Guerrero will remain red next week, while the other 11 maximum risk states will switch to high risk orange.

Orange is the predominant color on the updated map, with 21 of Mexico’s 32 states painted that color.
The orange light states for the next two weeks will be Mexico City, México state, Nuevo León, Jalisco, Querétaro, Hidalgo, Morelos, San Luis Potosí, Puebla, Nayarit and Colima – all of which will switch to that color from red – as well Baja California Sur, Coahuila, Zacatecas, Veracruz, Michoacán, Aguascalientes, Oaxaca, Yucatán, Quintana Roo and Tlaxcala, which are already orange.

There are eight medium risk yellow light states on the updated map and one at low risk green – Chiapas, which will return to that color on Monday four weeks after it regressed to yellow.

The yellow light states for the next two weeks will be Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Durango, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas and Tabasco – all of which will switch to that color from orange – as well as Campeche, which is already yellow.

Each stoplight color, determined by the Health Ministry using 10 different indicators including case numbers and hospital occupancy levels, is accompanied by recommended restrictions to slow the spread of the virus but it is ultimately up to state governments to decide on their own restrictions.

The publication of the updated stoplight map, on which no state regressed to a higher risk level for the first time this year, comes as new case numbers are trending downwards.

There are currently 67,688 active cases in the country, according to Health Ministry estimates, whereas the figure was above 110,000 in late January. The average number of daily cases reported in the first 12 days of February – 9,558 – was 32% lower than the daily average in January.

Cortés highlighted that the national positivity rate – the percentage of Covid-19 tests that come back positive – had recently declined 4% to 34%. The national hospital occupancy rate for general care beds is 45% and only two states – Mexico City and México state – have a rate of 70% or higher whereas several states were recently above that level.

But while there is evidence that Mexico is coming through the worst days of the pandemic – January was the worst month to date for both new case numbers and Covid-19 fatalities – the daily death rate remains very high.

The Health Ministry reported a daily average of 1,168 fatalities in the first 12 days of February, an increase of almost 11% compared to January.

Mexico’s accumulated case tally rose to almost 1.98 million on Friday with 10,388 new cases reported while the Covid-19 death toll increased to 172,557 with 1,323 additional fatalities registered.

As the spike in case numbers in January was largely attributed to family and friends coming together over the Christmas–New Year holiday period, authorities are understandably urging people to not gather in large numbers for Valentine’s Day celebrations this Sunday.

Mexico’s vaccination efforts have virtually stalled as there is a very limited number of doses currently in the country, but about 1.5 million AstraZeneca and Pfizer shots are expected to arrive over the next two days, allowing the inoculation of seniors to begin.

To date, Mexico has administered just over 726,000 Pfizer vaccine doses, mainly to the country’s frontline healthcare workers.
Food and Drink at the Sonoran Sky Resort:
Sonoran Resorts to Co-Sponsor Barrett Jackson Car Show and Auction Again this Year.
After rescheduling the normal January show due to Covid-19, Barrett-Jackson, The World’s Greatest Collector Car Show and Auction will hold the major automotive event at WestWorld of Scottsdale from March 20-27. Sonoran Resorts will co-sponsor and display again this year at the event. This will be the 8th consecutive year for the company at the show.

“We sincerely appreciate the efforts made by the City of Scottsdale to help us return to an auction that will look and feel much like our annual January event,” said Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. Working together, we found a solution that works for everyone.”

Both Barrett-Jackson and Goodguys intend spring events to be familiar to those from past years, while continuing their efforts to protect the health and safety of customers, sponsors and fans. A redesigned event site layout provides sufficient room for physical distancing, and safety precautions recommended by local and state health authorities will also be implemented. The Barrett-Jackson event will include several preview days at the beginning of the week to allow collector car enthusiasts ample time to enjoy viewing the vehicles safely and in a comfortable, physically distanced environment.

“After plenty of discussions, we are pleased that we could come to a mutually beneficial agreement with everyone involved,” said Goodguys COO Andrew Ebel. “The City of Scottsdale, Barrett-Jackson and local automotive enthusiasts all win with this new schedule. We look forward to putting on a fun and safe event over the new dates.”

With the good of the entire Scottsdale community and collector car enthusiasts in mind, three entities worked closely together to ensure both the Barrett-Jackson Auction and the Goodguys Spring Nationals could be held safely this spring in a safe and healthy manner. The two automotive events attract local car enthusiasts and those from across the country, and will help provide a much-needed boost to the Scottsdale economy.

“Immediately prior to Barrett-Jackson’s special fall auction, the city completed facility upgrades at WestWorld to add air-sanitizing technology and other systems that make it a safer environment,” said Mayor W.J. “Jim” Lane. “Since that successful event, additional systems have been installed ‒ the venue is better equipped than ever for public events. We also have trusted community partners like Barrett-Jackson and Goodguys working alongside the city in a collaborative fashion to provide the healthiest possible environment for guests. Working through the many challenges together, including adjusting their event schedules, I am very pleased that Barrett-Jackson and Goodguys will continue bringing their unique events to Scottsdale even with many adjustments that continue to be necessary in respect to public health guidelines.”

Barrett-Jackson is committed to the health and safety of all its guests, sponsors, vendors, partners and media during its in-person events. The company is closely following local, state and federal health and safety protocols. To help maintain physical distancing guidelines recommended for live events, the auction arena during Barrett-Jackson’s 2021 Scottsdale Auction will be limited to bidders, consignors and their guests. Tickets to the event can be purchased by the general public online in advance only. Media credentials will be also be limited to comply with physical distancing requirements. Enhanced live online and phone bidding options will be available for registered bidders. For safety protocols and information about the 2021 Scottsdale Auction, click here.


Short Shorts of All Sorts!

 Sometimes so much is going on in our little slice of paradise by the sea that we can't address the many short subjects with proper attention. To handle the hodgepodge of dangling subject matter, we invented the Potpourri Page. Here are a few "short shorts" to keep you up to date.

Short documentary about Barb's is now on Amazon!

Much has been shared lately about Barb's Dog Shelter, and everyone agrees that she does a fantastic job.

But, how many people have actually met Barb, or know anything about her? Have you ever wanted to know more about the shelter, or how it got started?

Global Humanity is a show on Amazon Prime about cultures and people all over the world. We were lucky to be featured on a recent episode!

Show link below, or go to Amazon Prime and search for Global Humanity, episode 9.

City to Enforce Fines for Bad Behavior on the Beach
With the advent of the tourist season, the City administration has declared that they will begin enforcing rules on the beach which are intended to keep them clean and free of glass or debris. Above are the infractions and associated fines.
Circus Mexicus Returns June 10-14
We are so excited to get back to Mexico in June that we're going to let Circus Mexicus go a little longer this year.

RCPM is happy to announce that an extra day has been added to CM!! The Circus will now run June 10-14. Look for information on lineups and ticket sales in early March.

The main stage will be in the giant lot behind Banditos (same place as the 2017 show) allowing for a huge amount of space to spread out. Until then, grab your accommodations now.
La Esperanza Community Center Food Distribution is an Ongoing Challenge
Food Distribution is an ongoing effort which Mark and Barb Olszewski have added to their list of charitable contributions to this city’s residents. Thanks to an anonymous donor, La Esperanza Para Nueva Vida A.C. community center has received another round of food to be distributed, including 500 pounds of rice and over $1000 of fruits and vegetables, along with many other staples. Mark says that the goal is to feed at least 200 families. This particular private donor helps the center regularly and has committed to $2000 per month to help with whatever is needed to keep the center operating.

La Esperanza Community Center is located in Barrio San Rafael and mostly serves families living in the area. If you or someone that you know need a helping hand, feel free to reach out to the kind folks at the center, or even to Mark and Barb ( It is necessary to sign up in advance to be part of the food distribution. You can also call to volunteer your time or any food or items that can help as well.
Municipal Health Counsel Approves Rules for Spring Break and Semana Santa 2021
With the aim of safeguarding the life and integrity of residents and visitors, and as part of the strategy of continuing to improve the economy according to the “Peñasco se Activa” plan, members of the Municipal Health Council and Security approved new preventive measures and protocols for the vacation period of Spring Break and Easter 2021, in order to reinforce the work being carried out to mitigate the contagion by COVID-19 at the start of the tourist season.

This proposal approved by the Council will be active from February 26 to March 14, in the Spring Break holiday period, as well as from March 29 to April 4 during the Easter holiday period. After this period the protocols will return as previously defined.

Here is press release released by the city summarizing the rules:

Municipal Health & Safety Board approves strategies to prevent spread of COVID-19 over Spring Break and Semana Santa

With the goal of safeguarding the health and integrity of residents and visitors alike, members of the Municipal Health & Safety Board have approved new preventive measures for the upcoming periods of Spring Break and Semana Santa 2021.

In addition to health protocols already in effect across town, including use of masks in public and social distancing, these approved measures will be in place from February 26 – March 14th, and again from March 29th – April 4th.  
Spring Break & Semana Santa 2021 Health Protocols in Rocky Point

General health prevention measures already in place (mandatory use of masks in public, reduced capacities in establishments, social distancing) remain in effect.

Hours for Activities / Curfews during Spring Break period (Feb. 26th – March 14th) and Semana Santa (March 29th – April 4th)
  • Monday – Thursday – Curfew from midnight – 6 a.m.
  • Friday – Sunday – Curfew from 1 a.m. – 6 a.m.
Hotels, motels, condos, rentals, resorts:
  • Hotels and motels – maximum capacity 60%
  • Condos, villas, and similar lodging facilities – maximum capacity 80%
  • Rental homes (not in resort complex) – maximum capacity 100%
Restaurants / Bars
  • General safety and prevention measures in effect
  • Curfew hours in effect (indicated above). Hours for sale / consumption of alcoholic beverages is subject to the Sonora Alcohol Office
  • In closed spaces – maximum capacity 50%
  • In open air spaces – maximum capacity 60%
  • May contract live music, preferably local
Beaches – Playa Hermosa, Playa Bonita, Mirador, Mi Playa, and La Cholla ADHERE TO MEASURES ESTABLISHED BY ZOFEMAT (Federal Maritime Land Zone office) 
  • Beach Hours 6 am – 7 pm
  • All access spots to be open
  • Sanitizing tunnel to be installed at main access point to Playa Hermosa
  • Rental tents to be spaced out – max 10 people per tent
  • No installation of beach bars / stages / contracting music groups
  • Masks to be worn when accessing beach and/or interacting with vendors
Sports fishing and boats for tourism
  • Recreational fishing – maximum capacity 80%, including crew
  • Tourism boats – maximum capacity 60%, including crew
  • Restricted access to tourism boats for children under 12 or adults over 65
Malecon area
  • Hours 7 a.m. – 11 p.m.
  • Contracting music groups (bandas) or programming music from vehicles is prohibited
  • Alcohol sales and set up of beer tents to sell along public area is prohibited
  • All businesses and restaurants in the “Malecon” area must adhere to these rules
In town – Calle 13, Mirador, and throughout the city
  • General safety and prevention measures in effect
  • Curfew hours in effect (indicated above). Hours for sale / consumption of alcoholic beverages is subject to the Sonora Alcohol Office
  • Alcohol sales and set up of beer tents to sell along public area is prohibited
  • All businesses and restaurants in the “Malecon” area must adhere to these rules
Event / meeting halls:
  • General safety and prevention measures in effect
  • Curfew hours in effect (indicated above). Hours for sale / consumption of alcoholic beverages is subject to the Sonora Alcohol Office
  • Closed spaces – maximum capacity 40%
  • Open air spaces – maximum capacity 50%
Businesses / Churches
  • Health protocols remain in effect as established in Letter of Commitment ratified with Office on Economic Development
In Recognition of Good Performance as Mayor, Kiko Munro to be Appointed to Congress
In recognition of the good performance in it his two terms as Mayor of the Municipality of Puerto Peñasco, the Permanent Commission of the State Committee of the National Action Party unanimously elected Mayor Kiko Munro as its representative in the second position of the list for candidates for the council in the Sonora State Congress, Julieta López López reported.

The President of PAN Puerto Peñasco stated that Munro is being recognized in Sonora for his work in Peñasco. As a lifelong PAN member, one important consideration that PAN has when reviewing its history and reports, leaders of National Action Party decided to give the vote of confidence for the Rocky Point Mayor to be their representative in the next legislature.

Some of the achievements leading them to reach this decision were that, Kiko Munro was one of the first re-elected mayors of Puerto Peñasco and Sonora who led the economic reactivation in Peñasco, effectively, guiding the municipality to grow in 5 years at rates of around 8%, a figure that could well be compared with Los Cabos, Baja California, and the Riviera Maya, while the country and the state have been in a recession. He has also restructured the municipality's debt twice, lowering the interest rate from 17% to 9% effective rate.

Some of his achievements:

- In 5 years of government management in Puerto Peñasco, progress has been made from 60% sewer lines coverage to more than 80%, in electricity coverage from 70% to 100%, and in potable water networks from 70% to 99%.

-Renewed and replaced all the public lighting with LED technology based on a public-private alliance model, the first alliance in this area in Mexico.

-Puerto Peñasco continues to grow thanks to the security policies, but also to the promotion and facilitation of business involvement. In public safety, Puerto Peñasco has managed to position itself as one of the safest municipalities in Sonora. He worked for prevention, creating the Youth Patrol and DARE programs.

-He managed to pave more than 30 streets, more than 15 hectares and rehabilitated and improved parks. Puerto Penasco has managed to obtain the national and international certification of clean beaches for two of its beaches. He promoted the state campaign for economic reactivation and brought the first cruise ship to Puerto Peñasco.

-The Mayor has also managed to enable services in the industrial corridor to promote economic diversification in strengthening fishing activity, thus seeking to establish food processors for the town.

-He has generated endless support through social development systems, in addition to the community centers that have been working every day for 5 years to date. In Art and Culture he has managed to present 6 Cervantinos, 6 Carnivals, 6 FAOT shows in a row.

-During the pandemic, Munro managed to maintain the lowest contagion statistics with the best statistics of most cities in the state. His strategy and work was recognized by the Federal Secretary of Health himself.

-The construction of a desalination plant is in process that will solve the historical problem of water.

The Penasco Mayor has joined forces with various entities and is in the process of remedying the public landfill problem by building a new cell in addition to offering a free and efficient garbage collection service.
Tourist Assistance Unit Receives 4x4 Ambulance Donation
The Tourist Assistance Unit has been operating for several years and has fulfilled its objective in having highly qualified men and women in service to the community and having in knowledge in local history, first aid, personal defense, as well as having bilingual officers. Each member of the unit is well equipped and receives constant training and updates needed to serve their assistance role in the city.

Recently, Mayor Kiko Munro delivered an ambulance, complete with first response equipment to the Tourist Assistance Unit. The vehicle and equipment was donated by a collection of tourism providers who have joined in the teamwork between the government and private society.

In the photo is Carlos Bravo Martínez, Director of the TAU, and next to him, Perla Alcántara García, Attorney General, Councilor Anahy Pacheco Rendón, President of the Municipal Public Safety Commission along with members of the unit. The Mayor of Puerto Peñasco stressed that 5 years after the creation of the Tourist Assistance Unit, the objective has been met and the resulting team is just what this city needed.

The Mayor thanked the Sonoran Sky Resort, Sonoran Resorts, Gaviotas, Concha Mar, and JJ’s Cantina for believing in this Municipal Government project in helping to maintain a high standard of care for the local and visitor population of this tourist location.

“The confidence that has been achieved of visitors for the TAU represents another step towards Progress, economic reactivation, and the fulfilling the objective of making Puerto Peñasco the best tourist destination on the Sea of ​​Cortez and in all of Northwestern Mexico”.

The Director of the Tourist Assistance Unit thanked Mayor Kiko Munro for all the support provided, ensuring that this visitor service unit is constantly trained, being certified as first responders, first aid, personal defense , rescue techniques, plus more. And recently, with training in the use and handling of emergency vehicles.

The Puerto Peñasco Tourist Assistance Unit is made up of 17 officers that patrol different tourist areas and beaches. In addition to being an emergency service and first responder unit, it has facilities in the Convention Center and the Malecón. They are equipped with four 4x4 ATVs, a Wave Runner for ocean rescue work, a UTV Razor type unit, hydraulic tower for surveillance, amphibious chair, as well as uniforms and tactical and radio communication equipment. And now, a 4x4 ambulance.
Visit the Schuk Toak Visitor Center and Museum
Visit the Schuk Toak Visitors Center and immerse yourself in the rich history of the Pinacate Biosphere and Grand Desert of Altar Reserve.

In addition, you will discover why this area has been deemed a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site.

The Schuk Toak Visitors Center, meaning “Sacred Mountain” in the Tohono O’odham dialect, is the only public building in Mexico that is fully self-sufficient, with 1,300 meters of construction and over 30,000 meters of desert botanical garden. Schuk Toak is located and built upon the most extensive and most recent lava flow in the area (from approximately 12,000 years ago). From here you can also embark on a hike to the sand dunes of the Grand Desert of Altar and admire the beauty of the desert´s active dunes, which are the largest in North America.

The Pinacate Biosphere Reserve and Grand Desert of Altar is a unique destination in Mexico, and the world, and the Visitors Center is the gateway to its secrets. It is a true marvel both of nature and human ingenuity, and an example of how one may live in harmony and be eco-friendly without giving up comfort.

The Schuk Toak Visitors Center of the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve is located west of the turn-off at Km 72 along the Peñasco – Sonoyta highway and is open daily.
More Than 100 Million Doses of Vaccine Expected by End of May; 1.9 Million Have Been Given
The federal government expects to receive more than 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines by the end of May, a senior health official said Wednesday.

Mexico has received about 2.5 million doses of four vaccines to date and administered 1.9 million as of Wednesday night, according to Health Ministry data.

Health Promotion chief Ricardo Cortés presented a graph at a recent coronavirus press briefing that showed that 106.1 million vaccine doses are expected to arrive between February and May.
A total of 3.3 million doses in February, 23.6 million are slated to arrive in March, 33.2 million in April and 46 million in May.

Mexico has already received shipments of Pfizer/BioNTech, Sputnik V and Sinovac vaccines as well as AstraZeneca/Oxford University shots manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.

By the end of May, the government expects to have received 10.9 million doses from Pfizer, 24 million Sputnik shots, 10 million Sinovac doses and just over 2 million AstraZeneca shots from India.

It also expects to receive 41.4 million AstraZeneca doses to be manufactured in Argentina and 12.9 million doses of the single-shot CanSino Biologics vaccine. Those deliveries are slated to begin in March.

In addition, Mexico is to receive 4.8 million doses by the end of May via the intergovernmental Covax intiative, which aims to ensure rapid and equitable access to vaccines for all countries.

Cortés noted that there could be changes but expressed confidence that the companies will deliver the doses according to the agreed schedule. He also presented data that showed that more than 1.1 million vaccine doses have been administered to health workers, almost 740,000 to seniors and about 17,000 to teachers.

Mexico is administering vaccines according to a five-stage national vaccination plan and is aiming to inoculate about 75% of the total adult population by the end of the year.

Mexico has been hit harder than most countries by the pandemic, ranking third for Covid-19 deaths with 181,815 including 1,006 reported on Wednesday. It ranks 13th for total cases, according to Johns Hopkins University, with 2.06 million as of Wednesday, a figure considered a vast undercount due to the low testing rate here.

“We can’t continue thinking that people will stay at home. People have to work, people have to fight to get ahead with their families,” he said.
Apaches were Always Mexican, Not Native to the United States, New Study Claims
It has been widely understood that the origins of ethnicity of the Apache Indian tribe were American, however a new study claims that this group has always been from the Northern Mexican states.

The Indé people, misnamed "Apache", wandered territories of Mexico and the United States however, the results of a meticulous investigation, published in the book "Apaches: ghosts of the Sierra Madre" by Manuel Rojas, shows the Apaches to be of Mexican nationality, and reverses the belief that they are from the United States.

During a presentation of the data in the Manuel M. Ponce Room of the Palacio de Bellas Artes, the writer stressed that it is a revealing non-fiction book, not a novel. It includes 186 maps, documents and photographs, many unpublished, which are not found, even in the specialized archives of the United States.

Supported by the presentation of more than 20 slides, he explained the idiosyncrasies, customs and ways of the Apaches. He also estimated that "if we had the Apaches among our people, Mexico may even have won several of the battles against the United States during the Spanish American war. However, the Mexicans of that time despised them and the Americans used them to help appropriate a great portion of land by making them believe that they would be the owners of that land”.

The States of Chihuahua and Sonora were the cradle of the Apaches, who as nomads also settled in the territories of Arizona and Texas.

The book by Manuel Rojas paints the picture of a courageous people who faced invaders of their lands and destroyers of their customs.
Private Schools Plan to Reopen March First
The Association expects about 65% of students will return to in-person classes

Arguing that it is meeting students’ constitutional right to education, a large private school association has called upon private schools to reopen in-person classes starting March 1, despite edicts by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education (SEP) for schools to remain closed.

“We have the right to provide education according to the third article of the constitution, and no one will restrict those rights,” said Alfredo Villar, president of the National Association of Private Schools.

Opening is optional for each school, Villar said. The association expects about 65% of students to return to in-person classes. According to SEP figures from last year, 5.3 million K-12 students in Mexico were enrolled in private schools.

The association says it is making the call to reopen because many private schools are at the point of collapse due to the distance learning scheme instituted by SEP. Many schools are completely closed and may never reopen, it said on its website.

Soon after the SEP announced last August that distance learning would continue for the 2020-2021 school year, the association estimated that about 18,600 private schools in Mexico would likely end up closing permanently as a result. The association accuses the Mexican government of “indolence” in finding a solution for schools to return to in-person classes, a situation which has created chaos in the country’s private schools, it said.

“Currently, many of these schools find themselves completely closed or at the point of bankruptcy, which will leave millions of users of the national education system defenseless,” the association said.

When the SEP announced in August that classes for public students would be broadcast on television, many parents with children in private schools began deregistering them, Villar told the news outlet Infobae. “Many parents didn’t think it was necessary to pay tuition,” he said.

According to the SEP, over 465,000 teachers at 46,675 private schools are currently being paid a fraction of their salaries because many parents have not paid full tuition since the pandemic began.

Many private schools in Mexico charge tuition by the month, and some parents at these schools are paying only the minimum to maintain access the schools’ online teaching platforms.

Carla Maseli is one such parent. She told the newspaper El País that she continues to pay for her 10-year-old son’s access to online classes at a private school, but she sometimes doesn’t see the point, she said. “At the end of the day, I see that my son hasn’t understood anything since he’s distracted a lot because the space that he uses to play at home now is his place to study,” she said. “A 45-minute class ends up being less than 10 due to connection problems, and they end up watching a video on YouTube.”

A cascade of private schools permanently closing would negatively affect Mexico’s public school system, the association asserts. It said that public schools would suddenly see their student populations greatly increase due to an influx of former private school students.
2020: the Worst Year in the History of Tourism… But Not for Mexico
The World Tourism Organization described 2020 as “the worst year in the history of tourism” in the world, with one billion fewer international arrivals and a decrease of 74% compared to 2019.

But in Mexico, even in the absence of data for the end of the year, the latest estimates from its Ministry of Tourism (Sectur) and the National Tourism Business Council put this drop in the country at “only” 44% or 45%.

According to the Sectur, in fact, this lower impact would mean that Mexico would rise from seventh to third place in the list of countries that receive more international tourists. The Mexican Secretary of Tourism, Miguel Torruco, made it clear that this improvement is something “temporary”, until the effects of Covid-19 in tourism adjust to the new normal in the future.

But about what has been the main cause that Mexico has been able to save the tourist disaster better than other competitors, there seems to be no doubt. “It is obvious that one of the main factors why Mexico advanced in this ranking is because the authorities kept open-air spaces, apart from the fact that it obviously has tourist attractions that make us among the most visited in the world,” says Gustavo Armenta, communication director of the Sectur.

“If you add to that the fact that other competing countries such as those of the Caribbean did close incoming flights and put in more restrictions, clearly they are factors that caused that tourism to be channeled to Mexico,” he adds. “Of course, the few COVID-related travel restrictions influenced international tourism to Mexico,” agrees Stephen McGillivray, head of marketing for Travel Leaders Group, one of the largest travel agency companies in the US and Canada.

Zach Rabinor, president of the luxury tourism company Journey Mexico, points out that although its activity fell by 51% compared to 2019, the situation in the country could have been worse. “Visits to Mexico benefited from restrictions in other latitudes. Here, the business never completely stopped and throughout the year 2020 there was air service available from the main cities of North America,” he tells BBC Mundo.

In contrast to the situation in Mexico, the agencies cite popular destinations in Europe such as Italy, Spain or the United Kingdom as some of those that saw the greatest drop among their clients due to travel restrictions and the closure of their borders.
Steps of Love Explains How to Benefit from AZ Charitable Tax Credit Program
CALLING ALL AZ RESIDENTS! There is still time to make a gift to support kids living in poverty on both sides of the border and get your money back when you pay your taxes!

Since 2016 Steps of Love has been committed to providing youth in Rocky Point with a path out of poverty through education. Before COVID 19 education was the best chance that the almost 600 students they support had to escape poverty. It still is.

Unfortunately, the pandemic has left students throughout the community facing unprecedented barriers to education. Some of the students supported by Steps of Love live in homes without consistent electricity--let alone access to the internet, computers and other resources necessary for remote learning..

Thanks to a partnership with the North Phoenix Kiwanis Club, 70% of the AZ charitable tax credit donations they receive will benefit Steps of Love's efforts to provide kids in Rocky Point, Mexico with a path out of poverty through education. The remaining 30% will go to Kiwanis to support low-income students in North Phoenix—a win-win for kids on both sides of the border!
Tax Credit Graphic RP cropped.jpg
Here’s how it works in two easy steps:

1) If you have not yet filed your State tax return you have until April 15th to use the link below to make a charitable tax credit donation of up to $400 (single) or $800 (married).

2) When you file your taxes use form 321 and either reduce what you owe to the state or increase your refund by the exact amount you donated using QCO code 20589. (When making your donation, please write “Steps of Love” in the notes and select “none” for referring member.)

More good news--if you have already made tax credit donations for Foster Care or Public or Private Schools, this is a separate charitable tax credit and can be made in addition to the others.

Thanks so much for participating and making a life changing impact to these kids!

For more information contact
120-Year-Old’s Key to Longevity: Eat Lots of Enchiladas
Doña María Antonia doesn’t remember all the events that she has lived through in her 120 years on Earth, but she does remember vividly the day she married her husband, the day they built the first school in her small Veracruz town, and constantly hearing shootouts between fighters during the Mexican Revolution.

Born on June 13, 1900, the grandmother of 44 and great-grandmother to 130 became a celebrity when the Ministry of Well-Being recently shared photos showing her living through another memorable life moment: receiving her Covid-19 vaccination.

“I am well. I feel good,” she said from her home in Platón Sánchez. “The only thing that bothered me a bit is when they gave me the vaccine, but … now that I’ve received the vaccine, I’m content. But then I’m always in good spirts,” she said in a Náhuatl dialect that her relatives had to translate for the Milenio newspaper reporter who interviewed her.

Sitting on an easy chair, she told a reporter about growing up in a farming family and making crafts. She also talked about the hardships in her life: her parents died early during an epidemic. She also remembers vividly when she lost her 3-month-old child not long after she had lost her husband.
Asked about her memories of the Revolution, which she lived through as a young child, Maria Antonia said she mainly remembers everyone being terrified of encountering any of the soldiers they heard engaged in warfare off in the distance.

“We heard the shootouts, and we always were worried that at any moment they would come across us,” she said. “Most everyone was afraid, and we all hurried to finish our work so that we could eat early and leave for the hills. Our parents gave my siblings and me tortillas, but they were tortillas made from tree seeds, not corn.”

However, despite some of the tough times she’s gone through, she maintains a sunny disposition, she said. On her 120th birthday, she danced with her grandchildren.

Asked about her secrets to longevity, one of her grandchildren told Milenio that Maria Antonia eats very healthily, “no junk food or soda.”

The supercentenarian herself, however, had clarifications to add: “I like to eat everything,” she said. “And I eat a lot of enchiladas. I like them.”
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The Clouded Past of the Margarita
The margarita is often hailed as the quintessential "Mexican" cocktail, but just like cerveza, the origins of the drink are not definitively Mexican. Simply put, no one knows who dreamed up this delicious cocktail - but the stories behind the invention of the margarita are pretty colorful, even though only some of them actually take place in Mexico.

Carlos "Danny" Herrera, owner of Tijuana restaurant Rancho La Gloria, claims he invented the drink in 1938. What inspired him? A picky dancer, it seems. Restaurant goer Marjorie King declared she was allergic to all spirits except tequila, but didn't like to drink the spirit straight. So Herrera worked around the prototypical tequila shot (which is taken with salt and lime) and threw together the margarita. While all bartenders can relate to the situation of an annoying customer, it was Herrera who claims to have whipped up the instant classic - or so says his obituary. By the way, he lived until 90, once again proving that tequila is probably really good for you.

But Herrera isn't even close to the only person to try and take credit for one of America's most popular drinks. Another famed contender for the title of OG margarita maker has claims to the throne based on her name along, because that name is... Margarita. Dallas socialite Margarita Sames insisted that she concocted the drink for a group of her friends while vacationing in Acapulco in 1948. Her buddy Tommy Hilton (yes, of those Hiltons), put the cocktail on the bar menu at the Hilton hotel chain. However, by 1945, tequila brand Jose Cuervo had already been running an ad campaign pushing the drink, stating: "Margarita: It's more than a girl's name." So it wouldn't seem likely Margarita can take credit for the creation of the drink, though having the same name does help build a believable case.

But there are lots of women whom the drink can be named after. Many tales of the margarita claim to be named after women with the namesake, not just our friend Margarita Sames. For example, in 1941, bartender Don Carlos Orozco was tending bar in Ensenada, Mexico. While, he was futzing around making cocktails, Margarita Henkel, daughter of a German ambassador, walked into his bar. He allowed her to taste his experiment and coined the drink in her honor.

Meanwhile, Danny Negrete is also named as inventor of the drink. Apparently, the cocktail was a wedding gift for his sister-in-law, yep another Margarita, bestowed upon her at the Garci Crespo Hotel. Interestingly enough, Negrete worked at Agua Cliente Race Track, where starlet Margarita Cansino (you might know her as Rita Hayworth) would often perform.

However the margarita may not be named after a beautiful woman at all, but instead may just be a variation of another cocktail that was popular during Prohibition: the Daisy. In fact, margarita means "daisy" in Spanish. The only difference between the Daisy and the margarita is that the former was made with brandy and the latter with tequila. However, it's remarkable to see what a simple swap of spirits does for a cocktail. How many people today have heard of the Daisy? The tequila-filled margarita, however, is famous in epic proportions.

And while it is tequila that gives the margarita its Mexican flair, doubt has been expressed over whether it would be likely for such a cocktail to emerge out of Mexico in the 30's or 40's. Imbibe Magazine writes, "[it's] difficult to believe that a Mexican invented this drink although it is completely possible that it was invented on Mexican soil. This is because Mexico has never had a cocktail culture, and to this day margaritas are never consumed by the locals."

Moreover, frozen margaritas seem a world away from true Mexican culture - and they are. Like Margarita Sames, the inventor of the world's first frozen margarita machine was from Dallas. His name was Mariano Martinez, a restaurateur who, in 1971, created the fuel for spring break parties everywhere. In 2005, the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History decided to have all employee happy hours in house and acquired the machine.

But whether you take your margarita frozen and berry flavored or stirred with top shelf tequila, the drink is a bar staple. The three ingredient cocktail - tequila, Cointreau/triple sec, and lime - can astoundingly enough be made in just about any bar. Steve Schneider, a head bartender at famed West Village bar Employees Only, says, "For me, the margarita evolved much like my career." You can make it with cheap tequila at a dive bar, or get fancy with smokey mezcals and agave nectar. No matter how contested the history of the margarita is, the outcome is the same: a perfect drink.

Classic Margarita Recipe
Since we're on the subject of tequila and margaritas, and in taking a break from food this month I will feature the "perfect" classic margarita recipe. Margaritas in Mexico can vary as much as the food, so it's really a matter of taste, but this recipe sticks pretty close to what people expect in a classic, traditional Mexican margarita.

Yield:Makes 2 drinks
Active time: 5 minutes
Total time:5 minutes
The perfect margarita is all about fresh, crisp flavors barely tempered by triple sec and sugar. This is the one ranks right at the top.

Why this recipe works:

A good quality tequila needs no sugar to balance the acidity of lime juice beyond triple sec.
Cointreau makes for a balanced, smooth margarita without taking away from the tequila.
Note: This recipe works best with a high quality tequila. If you're using a budget brand that's a little harsh, swap the proportions for the Cointreau and lime juice and add 1/4 ounce simple syrup to each drink.

Special equipment: cocktail shaker and strainer
Lime wedge, plus 2 lime wheels for garnish
1 tablespoon coarse salt, for glass rims
4 ounces high quality blanco tequila (see note above)
2 ounces Cointreau
1 1/2 ounces fresh juice from 2 limes
Run lime wedge around the outer rims of two rocks glasses and dip rims in salt. Set aside.

In cocktail shaker, combine tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice. Fill with ice and shake until thoroughly chilled, about 15 seconds (the bottom of a metal shaker should frost over).

Fill glasses with fresh ice and strain margarita into both glasses. Garnish with lime wheels and serve.
Do You Know How Rocky Point Came to Be?
Did you know that Puerto Peñasco, Sonora was discovered by Robert William Hale Hardy, a retired lieutenant of the British Navy in 1826?

 Little is known of the adventurer, interested in finding pearls and precious metals, he was an avid traveler and also a writer. It is thought that he was born around 1794 and we know that he died in 1871. His books are considered an important of the works of Western culture. Amazon and other electronic bookstores sell the digitized version of his work "Travels in the Interior of Mexico" where the author narrates his adventures in Mexico from 1821 to 1828.

Sailing through the Sea of Cortez, Hale Hardy recounts that he observed a hill in the distance, which he called “Rocky Point” (Punta de Piedra) or roughly, Puerto Peñasco. The point that he saw was today’s Cerro de la Ballena (Whale Hill), and he identified the area on his maritime maps at the time, however to this day, it is an icon on the landscape of Puerto Peñasco.

From the visit of the adventurer-writer until the 1920s the area was mostly forgotten. After the Mexican revolution, Grupo Sonora, Adolfo de la Huerta, Álvaro Obregón, and Plutarco Elías Calles came to the presidency. They tried to increase connectivity from areas of their native mainland Mexico with neighboring peninsula, Baja California, and with the United States, but on the coastlines of the current municipality of Puerto Peñasco, the challenges were enormous because this is in the Altar Desert and is one of the driest and hottest areas in the world.

After many efforts and after several workers died from thirst, on May 5, 1940, almost at the end of President Lázaro Cárdenas's administration, regular railway service began on the section between Mexicali and Puerto Peñasco with a mixed train powered by a diesel-electric locomotive and a passenger car with a capacity of 45 people, called La Paloma (The Dove). Soon, the nicknames of the railway became "the Donkey”, ”the louse, "the bullet”, or the “fast train” sarcastically, of course.

Construction continued in and around Puerto Penasco slowly over the years with little growth and most people deciding that the conditions were too harsh to stay long. Finally, the official inauguration of the Sonora-Baja California Railroad took place on April 7, 1948, when onboard the train called “Olivo”, President Alemán officially inaugurated the route which went from Benjamín Hill to Mexicali, capital of the then Northern Baja California territory. At the time, it only moved cargo and not passengers.

Step back for a bit to the twenties. The beginnings of the construction of the railway attracted settlers to the then Punta de Piedra or Punta Peñasco. In 1927 a fishing village was founded, dedicated mainly to shrimp, which is still so important that the first official festival of the year is the Annual Rocky Point Festival of Shrimp and Trade, and would take place every year in the main square of the small town called Plaza del Camarón (Shrimp Plaza).

Beginning in the 1920s, the prized totoaba, or white croaker, has been fished, almost to extinction. The totoaba is a type of fish that is only found in the Sea of Cortez, and a large reason for the overfishing of the species is that Chinese gourmet cuisine considers its swim bladder to have medicinal and aphrodisiac properties. The rest of the fish is not consumed. The swim bladder has been called "cocaine from the sea" because just one kilogram of the bladders can bring up to twenty thousand dollars. The fish is in real danger of extinction due to continued overexploitation. Another problem caused by the illegal fishing of totoaba is the killing of another highly endangered sea animal, the vaquita porpoise. The vaquita is not eaten, but it is caught on long lines while poachers fish for the totoaba. The totoaba was discovered by Chinese workers who came from the US to build the extension of the South Pacific to connect Mexico with California.

Tourism began in 1928 when, thanks to the American prohibition law: John Stone and Sofus Johanssen arrived from Ajo, Arizona, to open a hotel-casino where they sold alcohol to Americans. They themselves transported most of their clients in their "Scenic Airlines", a plane service from Phoenix and Tucson. To provide their clients with comfort, in addition to their hotel made of rocks from the rock, they drilled a 21m deep well. Tourists enjoyed the opportunity to drink, play, and fish at the Marine Club, now called Hotel Posada La Roca, and still in business. Among the stories of the place, the one about being Al Capone's Mexican hideout stands out the most.

Soon Puerto Peñasco became a place of attraction for the inhabitants of Caborca. In 1933, when the American prohibition law ended, John Stone left the Marine Club, because it had gone out of business, and because he had also earned the enmity of the people by monopolizing the drinking water wells. It is said that before leaving, he burned the facilities to collect the insurance but no one today knows if he actually intentionally set the fire. There are historical records of the fire doing much damage to the business. Only the stone part of the structure remained standing and it was bought by Benjamín Bustamante and his wife Tecla, who rehabilited the place to turn it into the Hotel Peñasco. In 1935 the construction of the railway was resumed, increasing the number of guests in the hotel. In 1936 President Lázaro Cárdenas arrived aboard the ship Valladolid and stayed at the Hotel. Interestingly, the ship had a high draft so it could not approach land to the dock. Therefore, the president came to short by swimming.

That is how Puerto Peñasco became what it is today - one of the fastest-growing tourist sites in Mexico.
Sonoran Sales Group - The OFFICIAL sales team for Sonoran Resorts!

We are Rocky Point's one and only exclusive and dedicated team who have always, and will always, sell Sonoran Resorts and ONLY Sonoran Resorts!

If you are looking for a team of real professionals who specialize in Puerto Penasco's best family of "True Beachfront" resorts, you've found us, and we are here to serve you.

Whether Buying or Selling, no one can serve you better when it comes to the Sonoran Resorts. We have been here since the beginning, and we will be here for you when you need us.

Our In-House closing team will make things happen quickly and professionally and we will save you money. Our attorneys are on salary and no additional attorney fees are charged to our clients. Loyalty to the Sonoran Resorts Sales Team is both appreciated and rewarded!

We don't just sell the Sonoran Resorts, we ARE the Sonoran Resorts. We work directly with the Developers, the HOAs, and the Rental companies.

We really can help you in ways that no one else can.

Let me know if you would like links to any of the earlier ones. (Almost 10 years worth)
Just for the fun of it...

Jim Ringquist