Immerse and Renew with a Pampering Spa and Yoga Retreat at Loreto Bay

Loreto Bay Resort Introduces Three-night Spa and Yoga Relaxation Package

LORETO, Mexico – Stepping out from the protective shade of a thickly thatched palapa, you greet the day with a sun salutation of warm rays of sunshine peaking over majestic mountains and dancing upon glistening waves. Conveniently positioned between the Sierra de la Giganta mountains and the Sea of Cortez, Loreto Bay Resort, an 8,000-acre community neighboring the quiet fishing town of Loreto in Baja Sur, Mexico, offers its newest escape: a three-night spa and yoga package that introduces guests to the quieter side of Baja.

At just $880 per person, the spa and yoga relaxation package calms both mind and spirit with three nights of luxurious guest room accommodations at the Inn at Loreto Bay; a full meal plan of healthy offerings, including three daily low-carbohydrate meals and all-natural beverages; multiple yoga sessions with a certified yoga instructor; one facial and reflexology treatment; a full one-hour massage; a choice of one manicure or pedicure with foot or hand therapy; one back and neck massage; and other relaxation services.

The package is based on double occupancy and is valid for travel now through December 20, 2008. Guests may book by visiting www.discoverloretobay.com or by calling 1-877-522-9466. Airfare, taxes and gratuities are not included

# # #

About Loreto Bay Resort:
Loreto Bay is an 8,000-acre seaside community neighboring the historic town of Loreto in Baja California Sur, Mexico. The Loreto Bay community includes the 155-room Inn at Loreto Bay hotel with on-site fitness center and spa services, three restaurants, swim-up pool bar, 24-hour concierge services and golf, and plans for 6,000 authentic Baja-style homes, mixed-use buildings among pedestrian-friendly street and nearly 1,500 acres dedicated for a nature preserve. Visitors to Loreto Bay enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, golf and plenty of sunshine.

For more information on Loreto Bay homes, ranging from 1,090 to 3,109 square feet and priced from $375,000, and other Loreto Bay vacation opportunities call 1.866.956.7386 or go to: www.loretobay.com.

Jack Nicklaus and Quivira to Launch New Luxury Community in Los Cabos

Oceanfront Community, Courses, and Golf Club to Debut in Los Cabos

LOS CABOS, /PRNewswire/ — Quivira Los Cabos, Mexico’s premier luxury development, is pleased to announce an agreement to undertake a joint comprehensive business relationship with Jack Nicklaus designed to bring the only Nicklaus-branded oceanfront community to Los Cabos, Mexico — one that will include two Signature Golf Courses and a Jack Nicklaus Golf Club.

“We are pleased to welcome Jack Nicklaus and his companies to the Quivira family,” said Quivira’s developer Ernesto Coppel. “This first-of-its-kind development and marketing collaboration will enhance Quivira’s position as one of the most sought-after luxury communities in Mexico and North America, offering a unique lifestyle and unprecedented golf experience in Cabo.”

Nicklaus also looks forward to the relationship. “I am eager to partner with Ernesto Coppel, who is known for bringing a high level of quality to world-class resort destinations,” Nicklaus said. “Quivira is a piece of property that is unique on to itself — it is just a very special place.”

The approximately 200 homes in the Nicklaus project will sit oceanfront within Quivira, right at the tip of the Baja Peninsula. Residents will enjoy an extraordinary blend of elegance and comfort in a gorgeous natural setting with breathtaking views, complemented by five-star service.

The two Jack Nicklaus Signature Courses within Quivira will offer championship play featuring more oceanfront holes than any other development on the Baja Peninsula. The courses, one private and one resort, are scheduled to break ground in early 2009 — with the first set to open for play in early 2010.

Nicklaus is known for designing golf courses and communities that harmonize with each location’s surroundings. He strives to work with raw land that he can utilize and enhance without taking away its character and uniqueness.

“With its outstanding natural terrain and fantastic location in Los Cabos, Quivira has all the elements to create a powerful blend of memorable golf experiences within a luxury community,” said Nicklaus. “I think the golf courses will be spectacular. The piece of ground is great, the ocean and the sand dunes good.”

Quivira will also be home to a Jack Nicklaus Golf Club — one of only 25 worldwide. The Jack Nicklaus Golf Club was created as an exclusive branding program to identify and recognize a limited number of elite Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses located in ideal markets around the world. The program also includes an inter-club access and reciprocity program available to no more than 35 Associate Members designated by each participating club.

Never before has a select group of clubs been branded with the Jack Nicklaus name, and as part of this unique license, Associate Members of the new club at Quivira will have complementary access to club amenities and tee times at the other Jack Nicklaus Golf Clubs, as well as access to a Nicklaus Home established on each property for use by Jack Nicklaus, his family and other JNGC Members worldwide.

About Quivira Los Cabos

Quivira Los Cabos unites the world’s finest brands in Los Cabos, Mexico including The Ritz-Carlton, with both oceanfront residences and a resort. The new venture with Jack Nicklaus brings an oceanfront community, two Signature Golf Courses, and a Jack Nicklaus Golf Club. The acclaimed Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Holistic Retreat and Spa completes the community’s hallmarks. Private and secluded, the luxury residential resort community is set on 1,850- acres of rolling foothills with three miles of pristine beaches, yet only a mile away from downtown Cabo. For information, call 1-866-578-4847 or visit http://www.quiviraloscabos.com/.

About Nicklaus Design

For 35 years, the mission of the Nicklaus Companies has been to enhance the golf experience, and to bring to the national and international consumer golf-related businesses and services that mirror the high standards established in the career and life of Jack Nicklaus. These services include golf-course design, the development of golf and real estate communities, and the marketing and licensing of golf products and services. Nicklaus Design, recognized as the world leader in golf course design, has been involved with 334 courses open for play in 32 countries and 39 states. Of those, Jack Nicklaus has designed, co-designed or re-designed 267 courses around the globe, 60 of which have been ranked in various national or international Top-100 lists. Nicklaus Design currently has more than 50 courses under construction, and projects under development in 45 different countries.

  

Mexico Mortgage Update

The following piece was sent to Mexico Premiere by ConfiCasa Mortgage International. We have decided to print it as accurate and reliable information and opinion.

Why the Mexico Mortgage Market Remains Healthy,
Despite the U.S. Turmoil

David Schwartz, ConfiCasa’s Puerto Vallarta Division Director, Tina M. Rebello, ConfiCasa’s Los Cabos Division Director, and Matthew A. Miller, ConfiCasa’s President and CEO contributed to this article.

Times are tough now‐a‐days – stock markets are in frenzy, housing markets are unpredictable, the
U.S. dollar is weakened, and an overall lack of consumer confidence continues to arise even with the
latest U.S. government and worldwide intervention in motion.
The first question asked by most is how we got in this mess. This can be somewhat answered by
looking at the chain of events leading up to now.

With the credit markets freezing up and the stock market in turmoil, the U.S. government has
continued to intervene, with the latest $700 billion Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. A
recently announced component of this Act includes a plan for the Treasury to take about $250
billion in equity stakes in potentially thousands of U.S. banks. The hope for the Act, also known as
the “bailout”, is to unfreeze the credit markets and to reverse the panic that’s erupted nationwide –
and now worldwide. The path of events that put us in this situation seems like a continuous cycle. And, despite the fact that these events have been covered by every U.S. news outlet on a 24/7 basis, most are still left with many questions as well as significant uncertainty on the future.

One important question that does not make the daily news in the U.S., but is of course a big
concern for all of us, is whether the now popular vehicle of cross‐border Mexico mortgage
financing will be affected by the U.S. turmoil. The quick answer to that question is ‘not significantly’. Perhaps, like most, you would like to further understand how the U.S. got into this mess while lenders of cross‐border Mexico mortgages (mortgages to American and Canadians purchasing second and retirement homes in Mexico) are relatively unscathed. This question is one that is tackled in this article.

To best answer this question, it is important to understand the differences between the crossborder
Mexico mortgage market and that of the U.S. mortgage market. Cross‐border Mexico
mortgages were first offered in early 2005 and thus the market is still in its infancy. In fact, many
make the comparison of the Mexico market to that of the U.S. mortgage market when it first began
several decades ago (in more healthy times). The main problem in the U.S. was the introduction of Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs) which are collectively known as a “secondary market”. A secondary market is one where the banks that issue the loans do not end up holding all of the loans but sell them to other investors through CDOs. CDOs are complicated securities which are based on large pools of mortgages (both prime and subprime). With the help of companies like AIG and other insurance companies who sold complicated derivatives to (supposedly) protect investors from the failures of CDOs, as well as
investors and rating agencies possessing a lack of understanding the risk factors associated with
these securities, CDOs were rated as the highest form of paper (at AA and AAA ratings). As a result,
they were considered as safe as U.S. securities. In hindsight, this was outrageous due to the fact that
these securities had significant risks which, unfortunately, we are finding out today.

To dive one more level down (stay with us here), the issue with CDOs was the type of lending
behavior they fueled. Because mortgages were pooled together through CDOs and considered as
very safe investments, investment firms were able to underwrite considerably more volume and
higher risk (or subprime) mortgages. This included lowering many loan guideline requirements such
as the amount of the down payment, credit score minimums, and supporting documentation
minimums. Further, new and innovative loan programs such as interest only mortgages, teaser
rates, and shorter terms (1 year) were created (as investors showed an appetite of all types of
mortgage paper through CDOs). This allowed many buyers to obtain mortgages when in fact it was
unlikely that they could meet the loan payments when such teaser rates and terms expired (of
course this wasn’t known to all until the blow up). Further, several cases of fraud emerged as
borrowers did not need to fully document their income, and thus falsified their income on their loan
applications.

So what does this have to do with Mexico you may be asking? While U.S. mortgages are usually held by the bank that issues them for only a certain period of time and then sold on the secondary market (through CDOs), there is as of yet an established secondary market for cross‐border Mexico mortgages. This is mainly due to the fact that the U.S. mortgage market dwarfs the Mexico mortgage market when comparing volume. An estimated 2,000 Mexico mortgages have funded to date as compared to a $150 billion dollar a year business in the U.S. Therefore, Mexico has a longway to go until a secondary market is created. And, most assume that when a secondary market is established, Mexico mortgage lenders will not repeat the mistakes made in the U.S.

Due to the lack of a cross‐border Mexico secondary market, loan program guidelines are not as
competitive in terms of rates and programs (translation ‐‐‐ only strong credit borrowers may obtain
one). On the more positive side, it is safe to say that Mexico mortgages are here for the long term
due to the fact that the borrowers are so strong. To specify further, a lack of a secondary market has
forced Mexico mortgage lenders to stick to an “old school” type of loan programs and thus creating
significantly safer or less risky mortgages when compared to the U.S. This includes:
‐ Credit score minimums of 650 (as compared to high 500s/low 600s in the U.S.)

‐ Average credit scores of approximately 700 (as compared to the low 600s in the U.S.)

‐ Down payment minimums of 20% (as compared to 0% to 5% in the U.S.)

‐ Average down payments are approximately 30% (as compared to about 10% in the U.S.)
‐ Standard and easy to understand loan programs such as fixed rate mortgages as well as
3, 5 and 7 year adjustable mortgages (as compared to newly created teaser rate
mortgages which reset at very high rates and are hard to understand by the typical
borrower, 1 year adjustable mortgages and interest only mortgages, all of which were
created and available in the U.S. over that last several years )

‐ Documentation type which mainly includes full documentation, with only some
alternative and stated/no documentation loans (as compared to alternative or stated/no
documentation loans becoming more of norm in the U.S.)

With only strong borrowers applying for and obtaining cross‐border Mexico mortgages, due to the
more rigid loan guidelines (as noted above), the risk of default is considerably less and should fuel a
healthy market mortgage going forward. With that said, a few cross‐border Mexico mortgage lenders have been affected, however, that is only due to their strong ties to the U.S. credit markets.
Last year, GMAC closed its doors as the mortgage market in the U.S. began to cave. GMAC was of
course very much invested in the U.S. mortgage market leasing to its pullout in Mexico. IMI
International who was tied to Countrywide also failed as Countrywide ran into its problems. Most
recently, Lehman Brothers will no longer roll out its widely expected entrance into the Mexico
market due to the firm’s bankruptcy filing.

While there have been some casualties, ConfiCasa’s business has not been affected due to the fact
that the Mexico mortgage lenders that ConfiCasa uses are standing exceptionally strong. These
banks are less vulnerable as the result of having only small fragments of their investments held on Wall Street (if any) as well as the fact that these lenders hold their mortgages and thus require only
A paper borrowers with substantial down payments (minimum 20%).

ConfiCasa’s exclusive lender specifically stands out. While mostly Mexico focused and only slightly
U.S. driven, they have proven time and time again that they are one of the strongest banks in the
market. This is demonstrated by being rated in the highest category by the FDIC.
As loan commitments continue to come through our door, we at ConfiCasa personally feel fortunate
to be in this market today . . . a healthy and quickly emerging cross‐border Mexico mortgage
market. You should too!

WWW.CONFICASAMORTGAGEINTERNATIONAL.COM

Tiger Woods To Design Northern Baja Golf Course

David Simmonds

Tiger Woods, the best golfer ever, is getting into the golf course design business. Maybe this bad knee of his is worse than reported and he sees his playing days coming to a close. Many of golf’s greats have become designers, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Greg Norman being three of the biggest that come to mind. I remember about 15 years ago when Nicklaus had plans to build a new course just outside the small town of Tepoztlan, south of Mexico City. Tepoztlan is a very spiritual place with a long pre-Hispanic history and the birthplace of revoltionary hero Emiliano Zapata. Many local people still speak Nuhuatl and they didn’t like the idea of old Jack coming in and messing with their sacred land, even though the earth moving equipment was in place and ready to roll. Wisely, Jack pulled out and the course was never built, and had it been I doubt that it would still be there today. You don’t mess with the ancestors of Zapata.

So now Tiger wants to build a course and a multi-million dollar home development in Punta Banda, down on the peninsula south of Ensenada where the famous blow-hole is. I damn near drowned there one time during a winter storm when a rogue wave swept me off the rocks and sucked me out to see in dead winter when the water temp was about 58 degrees. It took me 1 1/2 hours of swimming against the current before a guy in a Zodiac miraculously came and pulled me out, surely saving my life. I couldn’t swim straight in because the huge waves and the rocks would have killed me for sure. So I know something about the area. And I tell you it is stunning just the way it is. A big green golf course is not what it needs and these plans need to be reconsidered.

I have adapted to the idea that from the border to Ensenada will all be built on one day, but south of there needs to be preserved. And now with the world economic crisis in the mix I’m not sure the timing is right anyway. This could easily be one the those relics that get half built when the money disappears for one reason or another, but the environmental damage would be done. I don’t imagine that Tiger’s own money is financing the project, but whoever it is must be savvy enough to know that Northern Baja has some security problems these days and with a few trillion dollars lost in the stock market crash, the demand may no longer be there for this millionaire’s-club retreat.

My advice to Tiger: go buy a Caribbean island closer to your Florida home and build whatever you want there. Leave Punta Banda as it is. Please.

Calderon Signs Wild Parrot Capture And Export Bill

MEXICO CITY, Mexico – President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa has signed into law a bill to ban the capture and export of Mexican wild parrots. The bill, introduced one year ago by the Environment Commission of the Deputy Chamber, was passed in the Mexican Senate on 22 April, 2008 with near unanimous support (66 votes in favor, 0 votes against, and 1 abstention).

The bill was originally drafted after a presentation of the 2007 report “The Illegal Parrot Trade in Mexico: A Comprehensive Assessment by Defenders of Wildlife and Teyeliz, A.C. The report revealed for the first time the volume of the illegal trade of parrots within Mexico. An estimated 65,000 -78,500 wild parrots and macaws are captured illegally each year, with more than 75 percent of the birds dying before ever reaching a purchaser. Approximately 50,000 to 60,000 parrots die this way each year in Mexico alone.

“Current levels of trade in parrots are entirely unsustainable. This bill is a vital step to prevent the loss of parrot species,” said Roger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife. “The bill will also help to safeguard the future of ecotourism in Mexico. The United States alone has 85 million birdwatchers, many of whom are willing to travel to see unique birds like these native parrots.”

Mexico is home to 22 species of parrots and macaws, of which six are found nowhere else in the world. Approximately 90 percent of all parrots and macaws found in Mexico are in some category of risk. The latest Mexican classification (yet to be published) lists 11 species as endangered, five as threatened, four as requiring special protection, and two as unclassified.

“In 2007, only six species of parrots in Mexico were listed as endangered. This new classification almost doubles that number,” said Juan Carlos Cantú Guzmán, director of Mexican programs for Defenders of Wildlife. “It is readily apparent that unless we immediately halt the capture and trade in all parrots and macaws, we could lose these species entirely. This bill signifies a milestone though which we can finally address conservation and recovery of these unique birds.”

Although this bill marks an immense victory for parrot conservation, much work is yet to be done.

“Defenders of Wildlife and Teyeliz will inform people of the new capture ban and will seek their support to stop buying wild parrots. If wild parrots are to survive, people must stop buying them for pets, ” noted María Elena Sanchez Saldana of Teyeliz, A.C.

Defenders of Wildlife and Teyeliz, A.C. are already working on a bi-national education campaign with the U.S. and Mexico, and will continue to address the need to find adequate funding to solve the biological, economic and social challenges of the illegal parrot trade.Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org.

Discovery en Español Presents ‘Silencio en Juarez’

A Stunning Visual Expose that Sheds Light on the Vile Murders and Disappearances of Thousands of Innocent Women in Ciudad Juárez

MIAMI — “Silencio en Juárez” a spellbinding original production by Discovery en Español, premiering on Sunday, October 26 at 10:00 PM E/P, will take viewers deep into Ciudad Juárez bringing them face to face with victims’ families, survivors, and the women, who day to day continue to fear for their lives.

This one hour special takes an objective, thorough, yet sometimes chilling look at the epidemic of femecides that have plagued this bordertown metropolis for over a decade. The narrative of this town’s harrowing tale comes to life as never before, as riveting visuals, revealing and often times moving testimonials come together to offer viewers a better understanding of the ongoing terror.

Since 1993, over 400 women have been tortured and raped and over 1,000 more have gone missing in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. The thousands of victims who have fallen prey share several important characteristics, all are young and of meager means, students and/or factory workers. Of those who were found dead, most were likely brutally tortured and raped before they were strangled or stabbed to death. “Silencio en Juárez” not only gives a voice to these victims, it also seeks to examine the different theories and hypotheses behind these unresolved femecides.

Some attribute the terror to a wave of violence associated with the drug trafficking cartel, others look to domestic violence and blame the machismo inherent in the local culture, yet others think it is simply the work of one or more madman or serial killers on the loose.

What is made certain by this documentary is that the victims of this tragedy are much more than the women who are dead or have gone missing. They include the mothers and daughters clamoring for justice, the young women living in fear knowing they could be next, and the voices of the brave survivors who barely escaped to tell their tale.

Some of the featured testimonials included in this eye-opening documentary:

— “I arrive home at about one in the morning. The trek home terrifies me. I have nothing to defend myself with, I can only run and scream for help….there is no police, no one to protect us, we are forgotten here.” Irma Liabeth Vasquez, Local Factory Worker

— “There was my daughter. Her skin hanging from her bones, here face bare, only a skeleton. They showed me her clothes, and I had to identify her simply by her clothes, her shoes, her hair…my only respite now is at night, when I sleep, because during the day I am always thinking of my daughter.” Ramona Morales Huerta, Victim’s Mother

— “(pointing) That’s where the three of them hit me and raped me. Finally when they were done with all that they wanted to do to me … they asked me what I wanted before I died…I said I wanted to go to the bathroom…and that is from where I managed to escape.” Roxana Ruiz Mendez, Survivor

— “Why were they such despots…to take my mother away from me? Why did they take that right away from me? It doesn’t matter whether she is dead or alive…I just want to know where she is!” Laura Alejandra Guardion, Victim’s Daughter

Beyond that of those touched by the unthinkable violence, the documentary also encompasses important testimonials and interviews with key experts and officials including: Oscar Maynez Grijalda, Forensic Psychologist and expert on the case, who points the finger at law enforcement; Diana Washington Valdes a journalist for El Paso Times, who has written expose after expose on the issue; Veronica Rosario Leyva, a member of Red Solidaria Mexico; Liliana Velazquez Ramirez, a spokeswoman for Amnesty International in Mexico, who posits that not enough has been done to resolve these crimes; as well as the declarations by Patricia Gonzalez Rodriguez, Attorney General from Chihuahua, who sustains that since 2004 many of the cases have been resolved.

“Silencio en Juárez” is an original production carried out for Discovery en Español by Eyeworks/Cuatro Cabezas, under the supervision of Sol Colom, Executive Producer, and Michela Giorelli, Director of Production and Development, for Discovery en Español.

About Discovery en Español

The premiere Spanish-language network dedicated to offering the finest in quality programming in the areas of science & technology, world culture & history, nature & wildlife and real-life dramas. With original shows made specifically for U.S. Hispanics and the best programming from Latin America, Discovery en Español is entertainment that stimulates, informs and empowers, giving viewers a fascinating look at the incredible, varied and always surprising real world.