Mexico City’s Museums in Trouble

mexcity80
By John Mitchell

Part of the fallout from the recent swine flu outbreak in Mexico and the subsequent decline in tourism is that some of Mexico City’s world-class museums are in big financial trouble.

According to an article in The News, an English-language newspaper published in Mexico City, Germany is donating US$70,000 to the cash-strapped Museo Frida Kahlo, whose visitation rates are down 90 percent. Also known as the Casa Azul or “Blue House,” this former home of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo and her husband Diego Rivera in the colonial suburb of Coyacán exhibits paintings and sculptures by the famous couple along with many of Frida’s personal possessions.

Other Mexico City museums have reportedly had to ask the Mexican Government for funding to help them stay afloat during the current economic crisis. They include the Museo Diego Rivera Anahuacalli, which was created by Diego Rivera to display his extensive collection of pre-Hispanic artifacts; the Museo Franz Mayor, a well known history museum in the Centro Histórico; and the Museo Dolores Olmedo Patiño, which has one of the largest and most important collections of works by Diego Rivera.

New Border Crossing Rules

David Simmonds

Eight years after 9/11/2001, the final phase of the government’s efforts to control who crosses the border (the regular border crossings, not the well-traveled desert part) will take effect June 1. That ought to solve the “immigration problem” that both presidential candidates ignored like a banker ignores decency rules, in the last election. “Show me your papers” has resurfaced in the U.S. of A. Anyone got a band-aid handy?

So if you are arriving into the U.S. from Mexico, Canada, Bermuda or the Caribbean, you’ll need to have a passport or the new passport card, which costs less money than a regular passport. There are some exceptions, such as if you are a cruise ship passenger that sails round-trip from a U.S. port, a birth certificate or government-issued ID will suffice. Or if you are 16 or under then proof of citizenship will allow you to enter, presuming you’re not strapped with dynamite. For more info try this site www.getyouhome.com.

It’s good to know we’re a safer country these days, but I’d like to know when we will be protected from the banksters. Especially the ones that transferred $1.5 trillion into their personal off-shore accounts the past few years.

Real Time Mortgage Information for Mexico Home Buyers

Technology now exists at www.MexicoMortgageFinder.com which enables potential home buyers in Mexico to instantly see all available mortgage products and rate information. The site enables consumers to search for loans, compare lenders, find the right product and interest rate, and begin the application process with a few clicks of the mouse.

Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico –  May 28, 2009. 
Mexico Mortgage Marketplace, S. de R. L. de C. V., a Puerto Vallarta based company has developed technology which streamlines how mortgages are found and funded in Mexico. “The purpose of our products are to bring together banks and mortgage brokers with home buyers in Mexico and the real estate professionals which represent them,” says Mark Horner, the Company’s Vice President of Communications.

Through its www.MexicoMortgageFinder.com, US and Canadian citizens, and Mexican Nationals who are looking for mortgage products in Mexico may, through a few clicks of the mouse, immediately search a database of all available mortgages offered in the Marketplace… and find both product and rate information in real-time.  Once the perfect loan (purchase, cash out, construction) is found, immediate contact with the lender is made to begin the approval process. Or, if the consumer is still “house hunting”, they may save the loan details to his/her profile (on one or multiple properties) to retrieve at a later date as the home buying process nears closing.  Under development for nearly two years, the web site offers those looking for mortgages in Mexico the ability to determine the best mortgage product, including detailed rate and monthly payment information. The banks and brokers who offer the mortgage products are also rated enabling consumers to see who truly has the experience in funding mortgages in Mexico.

Membership in the Mexico Mortgage Marketplace is fast, free and easy.  And it provides access to the entire database of Mexico Mortgage Marketplace which has over 450 mortgage options. For more information on the Mexico Mortgage Marketplace, to search for the perfect loan for your dream home purchase, or to enroll for free…visit www.MexicoMortgageFinder.com
About México Mortgage Marketplace, S. de R. L. de C. V.

Mexico Mortgage Marketplace, S. de R. L. de C. V. is a privately held Limited Liability Corporation located on Mexico’s Pacific coast city of Puerto

MBH Welcomes World Travelers Back To Mexico

Select Properties Offer Premier Packages For Summer Getaways

“Mexico has had a difficult year,” says Sylvie Laitre, Director of Mexico Boutique Hotels, “but there’s no doubt in our minds the sophisticated traveler will know exactly how to separate the panic-stricken headlines from reality. The truth is–barring some troubled border cities–travel to Mexico continues to be safe, and any precautions that need to be taken are exactly the same as those you would take to any foreign country.” That includes health hazards: as of May 15, 2009, the U.S. Department of State called off its travel alert relating to the 2009-H1N1 influenza outbreak. “We should also note that, by virtue of their extraordinarily high standards in every respect, our member hotels are and always have been secure havens for their guests,” continues Laitre.

Because Mexico Boutique Hotels caters to those in the know, savvier travelers will be able to take advantage of some great package specials offered by a select group of member hotels offering everything from barefoot elegance by the beach to a marvelous glimpse of elegant colonial living. Multi-course dinners with a view, signature spa treatments and guided tours to gorgeously restored archaeological sites are just part of the many wonders awaiting guests of some of Mexico’s most unique properties.

Hacienda Sepúlveda (Lagos de Moreno – Closest gateways: Leon or Guadalajara)

Once one of the most prosperous haciendas in the Lagos de Moreno area, Hacienda Sepúlveda has evolved into one of the area’s finest accommodations. Experience Mexico through its traditional regional cuisine or a horseback ride around the vast property. Don’t forget to follow it up with a visit to the spa–try the temazcal, a three-hour ancient Toltec steam ritual performed by a local shaman.

Hacienda Life Experience
4 days | 3 nights
Package rates for two: $1,380 USD

Four days and three nights in a Master Suite
Breakfast served daily in varying areas throughout the propertyA carriage ride and picnic for two
Lunch with “El Patrón” at the Hacienda La Labor (arriving on horseback)
A traditional Hacienda lunch at Sepulveda
A selection of regional snacks served by a bonfire late in the evening
Dinner for two at “La Rinconada” restaurant located in Lagos de Moreno´s historic city center
One candlelit dinner for two on the Hacienda grounds
One signature Spa treatment per guest
One tour of Lagos de Moreno
Tax and services not included
Valid through July 31, 2009

Click here for more information on the hotel, rates, services and image gallery.

La Quinta Luna (Cholula – Closest gateways: Puebla or Mexico City)

Enjoy a stay in a beautiful 17th-century mansion that originally belonged to pre-Hispanic indigenous nobility. Today, the thick adobe walls and high-beamed ceilings serve as a backdrop for modern furnishings and colorful artwork.

Culture + Cuisine
5 days | 4 nights
Package rates for two starts at $679 USD for a Standard Room

4 nights’ accommodation with upgrade (subject to availability on arrival)
Daily a la carte breakfast
Welcome cocktail
Guided tour to the ethnobotanical garden of Cholula
A 3-course dinner for two with a bottle of wine
A Mexican cooking class for two
Two guided tours to choose from: Puebla, Tlaxcala or Cholula
Rates subject to changes without prior notice
17% taxes included
Valid through August 31, 2009

Click here for more information on the hotel, rates, services and image gallery.

Hotel des Artistes (Punta Mita – Closest gateway: Puerto Vallarta)

Less than an hour north of Puerto Vallarta, this sleek all-suite beachfront luxury apartment-hotel delivers a lavish vacation lifestyle. The restaurant offers diners the opportunity to sample the artistry of Chef Thierry Blouet, recognized for his touch of genius in the kitchen.

Romance in Punta Mita
8 days | 7 nights
Package rate for two: $2,800 USD

Beach Club Suite accommodation with magnificent ocean views
Round-trip airport transfers Suite montage with rose petals upon arrival
A bottle of Moet & Chandon champagne in your Suite upon arrival
“In Lobby” continental breakfast
A romantic 3 course dinner (Bistro Menu) at the beach in the 5-star Café des Artistes del Mar restaurant including a bottle of Moet & Chandon Champagne (Dinner valid Tuesday to Sunday)
2:30 hrs. private boat tour to Lover’s Beach on Marietas Island (departure from hotel beach)
Three 50-minute massages per person per stay to choose from: Therapeutic, Relaxing or Deep tissue
Extra night: $295 USD
Tax and service not included
Valid through November 14, 2009

Click here for more information on the hotel, rates, services and image gallery.

Casasandra (Isla Holbox – Closest gateway: Cancun)

Owned by Sandra Pérez, Cuban singer-songwriter and guitar player Pablo Milanes’ muse and co-author, CasaSandra is a reflection of her passion for the arts. By infusing the hotel with her unique sensibilities and an artistic touch, she has created a getaway that is both refreshing and exquisite.

Return of the Whale Shark
5 days | 4 nights
Package rate for two: $2,509 USD, includes taxes

Five days and four nights in deluxe ocean view accommodations
Daily continental breakfast
Roundtrip airport transfers
A bottle of wine in your room
A six-hour whale shark tour
Your choice of lunch or dinner daily at the best gourmet restaurant of the island (special menu, beverages not included)
Valid from June 1 through September 30, 2009

Click here for more information on the hotel, rates, services and image gallery.

The Tides Zihuatanejo (Zihuatanejo)

Included on Travel + Leisure 500 List and named “Most Outstanding Hotel” by Condé Nast Johansens, The Tides Zihuatanejo hotel blends the casual romance of beachfront lifestyle with the coveted seclusion of a lush garden retreat.

Seaside Seclusion
5 days | 4 nights
Package rates for two begin at $2,200 USD

Four nights’ accommodations
Full American Breakfast for two each morning
Dinner for two each evening (Sundays include a “Sense of the Night” gourmet tasting)
One tequila tasting for two
Private margarita-making lesson with a take-home recipe and keepsake glasses
One 60-minute “Couples Massage”
Round trip airport transfers
Valid from June 1 through October 31, 2009
23% tax and service charge not included

Click here for more information on the hotel, rates, services and image gallery.

To experience these or any of Mexico Boutique Hotels’ stylish properties, call 1-800-728-9098 (US and Canada) or visit www.mexicoboutiquehotels.com.

About Mexico Boutique Hotels:
Established in 1999, MBH is a collection of 46 upscale, independent member properties (located in over 26 destinations throughout Mexico) handpicked for their intimacy, high level of service and outstanding attributes. Some are housed in exquisitely restored buildings, others are paeans to Mexican cuisine, still others showcase the sleekly modern–but they each encourage guests to savor the many fascinating traditions of this vast country, and all offer guests a unique travel experience. Typically less than 30 rooms in size, they are often destinations unto themselves. Based in Puerto Vallarta, MBH is staffed by a knowledgeable team of multicultural–and multilingual–travel and hospitality professionals who both live and work in Mexico.

More than one thousand petitioners call on Tiger Woods to abandon his golf project in one of Baja California’s most Fragile Environmental and Cultural Landmarks

For Immediate Release: May 25, 2009.

Local citizens and residents claim that the project violates local ordinances and

negatively impacts the natural and cultural heritage of the area.

At the southern tip of Ensenada Bay lies Punta Banda. Considered one of the last remaining areas of endangered maritime coastal scrub habitat and place of numerous prehistoric and historic archeological sites, Punta Banda is a landmark for the local community. This spectacular landscape together with its natural and cultural heritage may disappear by the development of a Golf Course and resort designed and promoted by famous golfer Tiger Woods.

Last April, more than 200 local citizens and several local and international groups sent written communications to Mr. Woods regarding the negative impacts of his project. However, Tiger Woods remained silent to this request to abandon the project.

Also, several community members demanded that Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) conserve this place intact. “We fear that if this project moves forward, we will lose part of our history and part of our land. Punta Banda would be wounded to death” said Carlos Lazcano explorer, speleologist, renowned international journalist and member of the local community. INAH has yet to determine the actions that will be carried out to protect and conserve the archeological remains.

Yesterday, a second communication was sent to representatives of Tiger Woods, this time more than 1200 signatures from the local community, civil society and interested parties from around the globe, some even admirers of the celebrityrequesting that he act differently and join worldwide efforts to combat climate change and environmental degradation.

¨The project Punta Brava is not in accordance with the natural and cultural attributes of the area known as “La Lobera”. The project falls outside Mexico’s sustainable and legal standards”, said Gabriel Camacho, a local resident and long time visitor of Punta Banda.

For this reason, a coalition of local non-profit organizations and individuals are already preparing the lawsuits that will be filed in case the project is approved. Paula Pijoan from the Ensenada Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation said: “We will make sure that the environment and culture are respected but most importantly that the rights of the local community remain unaffected”.

During the public consultation process related to the project, local scientists, community members and activists pointed out numerous glaring flaws and inconsistencies in the environmental impact report presented by the promoters. This lead the government’s Environmental Secretariat (SEMARNAT) to request additional information from the developer. A project of similar dimensions in the developers’ own country could easily take years and millions of dollars to be approved. In this case it is not yet clear what plans the federal bureaucracy at INAH or SEMARNAT have for the area. Although the Mexican Constitution guarantees the rights of Mexican citizens to a healthy environment as well as their cultural heritage, local residents have been alarmed to find that the area has already been fenced off, denying all access. Additionally, local residents have pointed out that municipal land use ordinances for the area do not allow the construction of this type of development in this fragile zone, and yet the permitting process continues.

Local community leaders, scientists, residents and activists fear the loss of cultural and natural heritage at Punta Banda. The resort as planned would destroy acres of archeological sites as well as fragile coastal and marine ecosystems home to a wide variety of endangered and endemic flora and fauna.

CONTACTS:

Carlos Lazcano

+52 (646) 175 9038

Gabriel Camacho Jiménez

+52 (646) 161 4158

Moisés Santos Mena

(646) 148 9907

Fernando Ochoa Pineda

(646) 171 5348

Claudia Leyva Aguilera

(646) 136 9161

Mike Wilken

USA (619) 578 3149

Aida Navarro

USA (619) 261 2060

FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2009 Qualifier CONCACAF Puerto Vallarta

The CONCACAF zone qualifier for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup and 2009 CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship that was scheduled to be played in Puerto Vallarta (Mexico) from Wednesday 29 April to Sunday 3 May, and was postponed due to the growing concerns over the outbreak of swine flu in Mexico, has been rescheduled to take place from June 17-21.

Mexicans are getting back into the swing of normal life as the government announced that the worst is over and has eased curbs on commercial and public activity. For this reason CONCACAF and BSWW jointly took the decision to start setting new dates for the North and Central American Qualifying competition.

On April 22 the six participating nations were drawn into two pools, where they will round-robin and see the two top teams advance to the semi-finals. The two finalists will be the CONCACAF representatives at the world’s most prestigious beach soccer showdown, the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup that will take place in spectacular Dubai from November 16-22.

Hosts and defending champion Mexico were drawn into Group A with last year’s surprise act El Salvador, and Canada who’s making its comeback on the International Beach Soccer scene. El Tri will start their qualifying campaign by facing off with the Canadians on day 1 of the Puerto Vallarta showdown and will confront with El Salvador for a semi-final spot on Friday the 19th.

The USA was given the perfect shot to bounce back from last year’s deception as they were drawn into Group B with Costa Rica and newcomers Bahamas to kick-off the CONCACAF Qualifier as red-hot favourites to reach the semis.

EEUU empiezan teoricamente como favoritos en el grupo B, ya que han sido encuadrados juntamente con Costa Rica y los debutantes de Bahamas. Por lo tanto se presenta la oprtunidad para sacarse la espina del fracaso del año anterior.

MATCH SCHEDULE

Group A                                        Group B

A1 – Mexico                                                 B1 – USA

A2 – El Salvador                                          B2 – Costa Rica

A3 – Canada                                                B3 – Bahamas

GROUP STAGE

Date Match Time (local) Teams

Wed 17.06.09         1            17h00                       USA vs. Bahamas

2            18h15                       Mexico vs.                  Canada

Thu 18.06.09          3            17h00                       Costa Rica  vs. Bahamas

4            18h15                       El Salvador                 vs. Canada

Fri 19.06.09           5            17h00                       USA vs. Costa Rica

6            18h15                       Mexico vs.                  El Salvador

SEMI-FINALS*

Sat 20.06.09           5th & 6th Place        15h00       3rd of Group A vs. 3rd of Group B

7 (Semi-final 1)     16h15       1st of Group B vs. 2nd of Group A

8 (Semi-final 2)     17h30       1st of Group A vs. 2nd of Group B

*the order of Semi-finals kick-off times may be altered by the Organizing Committee

PLAY-OFF FOR THIRD / FOURTH PLACE & FINAL

Sun 21.06.09          9 (Play-off 3rd/4th)              16h15            Loser M7 vs. Loser M8

10 (Final)                            17h30            Winner M7 vs. Winner M8