21 June 2010


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Happy Summer Solstice! from Akumal!

The Earth's axial tilt is now most inclined towards the sun and is at its maximum of 23° 26'. Enjoy your 13 hours 25 minutes and 17 seconds of sunshine and daylight today!

17 June 2010

Why the US Media is attacking Mexico

Reported from http://www.mexicopremiere.com/?p=1682

Real Estate opportunities in Mexico! How to prosper and avoid the coming storm and prolonged economic stagnation in the USA.

First: A reality check on Mexico

Mexico is in a unique position to reap many of the benefits of the decline of the US economy. In order to not violate NAFTA and other agreements the U.S.A. cannot use direct protectionism, so it is content to allow the media to play this protectionist role. The U.S. media – over the last year – has portrayed Mexico as being on the brink of economic collapse and civil war. The Mexican people are either beheaded, kidnapped, poor, corrupt, or narco-traffickers. The American news media was particularly aggressive in the weeks leading up to spring break. The main reason for this is money. During that two-week period, over 120,000 young American citizens poured into Mexico and left behind hundreds of millions of dollars.

Let’s look at the reality of the massive drug and corruption problem, kidnappings, murders and money. The U.S. Secretary of State Clinton was clear in her honest assessment of the problem. “Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade. Our inability to prevent the weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border to arm these criminals causes the deaths of police officers, soldiers and civilians,” Clinton said. The other large illegal business that is smuggled into the U.S.A. that no one likes to talk about is Human Traffic for prostitution. This “business” is globally now competing with drugs in terms of profits.

It is critical to understand, however that the horrific violence in Mexico is over 95% confined to the three transshipping cities for these two businesses, Tijuana, Nogales, and Juarez. The Mexican government is so serious about fighting this, that they have committed over 30,000 soldiers to these borders towns. There was a thoughtful article written by a professor at the University of Juarez. He was reminded of the Prohibition years in the U.S.A. and compared Juarez to Chicago when Al Capone was conducting his reign of terror capped off with The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre. During these years, just like Juarez today, 99% of the citizens went about their daily lives and attended classes, went to the movies, restaurants, and parks.

Is there corruption in Mexico? YES !!! Is there an equal amount of corruption related to this business in the U.S.A.? YES !!!. When you have a pair of illegal businesses that generate over $300,000,000,000 in sales you will find massive corruption. Make no mistake about the Mexican Drug Cartel; these “businessmen” are 100 times more sophisticated than the bumbling bootleggers during Prohibition. They form profitable alliances all over the U.S.A. They do cost benefit analysis of their business much better than the US automobile industry. They have found over the years that the cost of bribing U.S. and Mexican Border Guards and the transportation costs of moving marijuana from Sinaloa to California have cut significantly into profits. That is why over the past 5-7 years they have been growing marijuana in State and Federal Parks and BLM land all across America. From a business standpoint, this is a tremendous cost savings on several levels. Let’s look at California as an example as one of the largest consumers. When you have $14.2 billion of Marijuana grown and consumed in one state, there is savings on transportation, less loss of product due to confiscation and an overall reduction cost of bribery with law enforcement and parks service people. Another great savings is the benefit to their employees. The penalties in Mexico for growing range from 5-15 years. The penalties in California, on average are 18 months, and out in 8 months. The same economic principles are now being applied to the methamphetamine factories.

FOX News continues to scare people with its focus on kidnapping. There are kidnappings in Mexico. The concentration of kidnappings has been in Mexico City, among the very rich and the three aforementioned border Cities. With the exception of Mexico City, the number one city for kidnappings among NAFTA countries is Phoenix, Arizona with over 359 in 2008. The Phoenix Police estimate that twice that number of kidnappings goes unreported, because like Mexico 99% of these crimes were directly related to drug and human traffic. Phoenix, unfortunately, is geographically profitable transshipping location. Mexicans, just like 99% of U.S. Citizens during prohibition, go about their daily lives all over the country. They get up, go to school or work and live their lives untouched by the border town violence.

These same protectionist news sources have misled the public as to the real danger from the swine flu in Mexico and temporary devastated the tourism business. As of May 27 2009 there have been 87 deaths in Mexico from the swine flu. During those same five months there have been 36 murdered school children in Chicago. By their logic, if 87 deaths from the swine flu in Mexico warrants canceling flights and cruise ships to Mexico, then close all roads and highways in the USA because of record 43,359 automobile related deaths in the USA in 2008.

What is just getting underway is what many are calling the “Largest southern migration to Mexico of people and real estate assets since the Civil War” A significant percentage of the Baby Boomers have been doing the research and are making the life changing decision to move out of the U.S.A. The number one retirement destination in the world is Mexico. There are already over 2,000,000 US and Canadian property owners in Mexico. The most conservative number of American and Canadian Baby Boomers who are on their way to owning property in Mexico for full or part time living in the next 15 years is over 6,000,000. Do the math on 6,000,000 people buying a $300,000 house or condo and you will understand why the U.S. Government is trying to tax this massive shift of money to Mexico through H.R. 3056. The U.S. government calls this “The Tax Collection Responsibility Act of 2007”. Those who will have to pay it are calling this the EXIT TAX.

Mexico: A better economic choice than China

Another large exodus from the U.S.A is high paying skilled jobs. The job shift in automobile sector, both car and parts manufacturing, is already known by most investors. In the last few months as John Deere and Caterpillar have been laying off thousands of workers in the U.S.A., and hiring equal numbers in Mexico. The most recent industry that is making the shift is the aerospace manufacturers. In the city of Zacatecas there is currently a $210 million aerospace facility being built. With the 11 U.S. companies moving there, it is estimated to provide over 200,000 new high paying jobs in the coming years. One of the main factors for the shift in job south to Mexico instead of China is realistic analysis of total production, labor and delivery costs. While the labor costs in China are 40% less on average, the overall transportation costs and inherent risks of a long distance supply chain, and quality control issues, gives Mexico a distinct financial advantage.

Mexico’s real economic future

Mexico has avoided completely the subprime problem that has devastated the U.S. banking industry. The Mexican banks are healthy and profitable. Mexico has a growing and very healthy middle and upper middle class. The very recent introduction of residential financing has Mexico in a unique position of having over 90% of current homeowners owning their house outright. U.S. banks are competing for the Mexican, Canadian and American cross border loan business. It is and will continue to be a very safe and very profitable business. These same banks that were loaning in a reckless manner have learned their lesson and are loaning here the old fashioned way. They require a minimum of a 680 credit score, 30% down payment, and verifiable income that can support the loan. In most areas of Mexico where Baby Boomers are moving to, with the exception of Puerto Penasco (which did not have a national and international base of buyers), there is no real estate bubble. The higher end markets ($2-20 million) in many of these destinations are going through a modest correction. The Baby Boomers market here is between $200,000 and $600,000. With the continuing demand inside the Bay of Banderas, that price point, in the coming years, will disappear. This is the reason the Mexican government is spending billions of dollars on more infrastructure north along the coast all the way up to Mazatlan.

The other major area where America has become overpriced is in the field of health care. This massive shift of revenues is estimated to add 5-7% to Mexico’s GDP. The name for this “business” is Medical Tourism. The two biggest competitors for Mexico were Thailand and India. Thailand and India’s biggest drawback is geography. Also recent events, Thailand’s inability to keep a government in place and the recent terrorist attack in Mumbai, have helped Mexico capture close to half of this growth industry. In Mexico today there are over 56 world class hospitals being built to keep up with this business.

Mexico is currently sitting on a cash surplus and an almost balanced budget. Most Americans have never heard of Carlos Slim until he loaned the New York Times $250 million. After that it became clear to many investors around the world what Mexicans already knew: that Mexico had been able to avoid the worst of the U.S. economic devastation. Mexico’s resilience is to be admired. When the U.S. Federal Reserve granted a $30 billion loan to each of the following countries Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, and Brazil, Mexico reinvested the money in Treasury bonds in an account in New York City.

According to oil traders, Mexico’s Pemex wisely as the price of oil shot to $147 a barrel put in place an investment strategy that hinged on oil trading in the range of $38-$60 a barrel. Since the beginning of 2009 Mexico has been collecting revenues on hedged positions that give them $90-$110 per barrel today. Mexico’s recent and under reported oil discovery in the Palaeo Channels of Chicontepec has placed it third in the world for oil reserves, right behind Canada and Saudi Arabia.

The following is a quote from Rosalind Wilson, President of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce on March 19, 2009. “The strength of the Mexican economic system makes the country a favorite destination for Canadian investment”.


The answer is simple and old fashioned: SUPPLY AND DEMAND.

The area of Puerto Vallarta/Riviera Nayarit inside the Bay of Banderas is an investor’s dream. This area has the comprehensive infrastructure in place, world class hospitals and dental care, natural investment protection from the Sierra Madre Mountains, endless future water supply, low to nonexistent crime, international airport, and limited supply inside the Bay, first class private bilingual schools and higher than average appreciation potential. Like many areas in Mexico there is large demand for full and part time retirement living and a lot of construction underway to meet this demand. Pre construction of course is where the best bargains are available.

I would offer a word of caution for investors in Mexico. Do not be seduced by the endless natural beauty that is everywhere, both inland in colonial towns and along thousands of miles of beach. Apply conservative medium and long term investment strategies without emotion. The demand for full and part time living by American and Canadian Baby Boomers is evident throughout the country. The top two choice locations are ocean front, and ocean view. The third overall choice, which is less expensive, is inland in one of the many beautiful colonial towns or small cities.

Mexico, with the world’s 13th largest GDP, is no longer a “Third World Country”, but rather a fast growing, economically secure state, as the most recent five-year history of its financial markets when compared to the U.S.A.’s financial markets suggests.

DOW JONES AVERAGES MAY 2004 10,200 MAY 2009 8,200 20% LOSS IN 5 YEARS

MEXICAN BOLSA MAY 2004 10,000 MAY 2009 23,000 130% GAIN IN 5 YEARS

This insightful article was written by Charles Simpson. Reprinted here with his permission. He can be reached at mexinvestnow@gmail.com

Frontier starts new seasonal flights to Mexico

Frontier Airlines announces seasonal nonstop flights to Mexico from Denver and Kansas City.

Service between Kansas City International Airport and Los Cabos International Airport will operate Dec. 18 through April 16, 2011.

Service between Denver International Airport and Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo International Airport will operate Jan. 15 through March 26, 2011.

The new routes will be available for purchase on Sunday, June 20, 1010.

16 June 2010

Riviera Maya Tourism Initiative Announces a Culinary Event for 2010

Press Release: Taste of Playa 2010
November 21 in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

June 15, 2010 - Playa del Carmen, Mexico – Playa del Carmen’s second annual Taste of Playa festival has been announced for November 21, 2010. Taste of Playa 2010 will be held on the shores of the Mexican Caribbean, and offers residents and visitors alike an extraordinary opportunity to sample a wide variety of cuisines created by many of the Riviera Maya’s international chefs. Based on the overwhelming success of last year’s event, Taste of Playa 2010 is expected to attract twice as many attendees.

Taste of Playa was originally conceived in early 2009 by a group of Playa del Carmen business owners who wanted to highlight the community of the Riviera Maya, a basic component that built the region over the past 10 years. The Mayan Riviera was developed in a spirit of multi-cultural cooperation, with people from all over the world coming to this region because of it beautiful beaches, dense jungle and unique history. Taste of Playa is an event that celebrates the international community that has evolved in this area and has put it on the map as a major vacation destination. With over 700 restaurants in Playa del Carmen, and 1000 in the region, it was a natural transition to highlight food as the common denominator to celebrate the area.

“We are pleased to see so many local businesses cooperating to make this event a success,” said event Chairperson Nicola Inwood. “This sense of community is what drew me to the area, makes me proud to call the Riviera Maya my home.” The day-long culinary event was so well received that Taste of Playa 2010 is being expanded to accommodate twice as many restaurants, bars and specialty food retailers. Distinctive restaurants and their chefs from all along the Riviera Maya will return to showcase new menu items and highlight old favorites. Many others are looking forward to participating for the first time.

Most of last year’s corporate sponsors have already pledged their support for Taste of Playa 2010, with LocoGringo.com and Buy Playa Real Estate Advisors, Deli Playa, Puerto Aventuras Info, and North American Standards Property Management among the first to renew their commitment as an acknowledgment that the culinary expertise in the region has assisted in the development of their businesses successes.

Taste of Playa is a community-oriented culinary event that celebrates the creativity and diverse cultural influences of chefs throughout the Riviera Maya. Taste of Playa 2010 will take place on November 21, 2010, in Playa del Carmen’s Parque Fundadores. The event is open to the public with tickets and all-inclusive VIP passes available for sale on the official event website www.tasteofplaya.com starting July 1, 2010. Proceeds will go to a food education program initiated by the Rotary Club in Playa del Carmen that will directly benefit the children and families of the Riviera Maya.

14 June 2010

Cafe Te Latte - GRAND OPENING!

There is a new Cafe opening in Akumal on Tuesday, June 15th.

Focusing on homemade Italian gelato ice-cream, pastries (cakes, muffins and cookies) along with internet service and the best coffee in town!

Come see for yourself! Cafe Te Latte is located next to the Dive Center and Lol-Ha Restaurant.

Akumal Guest Photo's - Send Us Yours!

** email your photos to us here **

Thank you John & Michelle for sharing your 7th annual Akumal vacation photos with us!

09 June 2010

2010 World's Best Diving & Resorts: Riviera Maya

Home to the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef in the Northern Hemisphere, and straddling 125 miles of Caribbean shoreline, the Riviera Maya is a Mecca for divers of all interests and skill levels.

The Riviera Maya cannot be beat for its number and variety of diving locations. The region offers not only shallow and deep-sea dives near coral reefs, but also dives to explore decommissioned navy boats the Mexican government has sunk off the coast of the Riviera Maya near Xcaret Ecopark and off the island of Cozumel, a 35-minute ferry ride from Playa del Carmen. These sunken vessels and the rich marine habitats that have developed around them offer a more ecologically friendly alternative to reefs.

But divers around the world are perhaps most attracted to the Riviera Maya's hundreds of miles of crystal-clear underground ponds (cenotes) and the rivers that feed them. Cenotes are geological formations unique to Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and created naturally some 6,500 years ago. Some are found in caves full of stalactites and stalagmites, mineral formations covering the walls and floors. Because cenotes have no currents and average about 80 degrees Fahrenheit in temperature and 35 feet in depth, diving in them is pleasant and easy. Cave diving requires special certification, but cenote diving does not, since the routes follow tunnels bathed in natural sunlight. The best cenote and cave diving locations can be found all along the Riviera Maya coast only a few minutes' drive from the hotels. The Riviera Maya also offers a family-friendly diving activity called SNUBA, which combines scuba diving with snorkeling and requires minimal instruction.

For the article in its entirety visit SportDiver.com

08 June 2010

Consumer Reports - Best UVA and UVB Protection

With the official start of summer upon us, it's time to stock up on sunscreen. To help navigate the vast selection crowding store shelves and to ensure you're getting the best protection against, sunburn and skin cancer, Consumer Reports Health has released its list of top-rated sunscreens.

At an outside lab, they analyzed how well 12 different sprays, lotions and creams blocked both UVA and UVB rays, and tested whether their claimed sun protection factor (SPF) -- the measure of UVB protection -- held up on volunteers who soaked in water while wearing the sunscreen.

Four of those tied for best overall score:

These four -- all sprays -- provided "very good" UVA protection, "excellent" UVB protection, and met their SPF claim even after 80 minutes in the water. Plus, the Up & Up sunscreen was rated a CR Best Buy -- a tag awarded to products that both perform well and come at a reasonable price.

Beyond those four, however, a remarkable number still managed to receive good marks from testing. "This year we have nine that we're recommending and that's a lot," says Gayle Williams, deputy editor for Consumer Reports Health. "Even the one that is last on the list rated good in terms of UVA and UVB protection. So even if you don't buy the one at the top of our list, you're still getting a good product."

Consumer Reports Health also advises the following:

  • Buy sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 (plenty for most people) that claims to be water resistant (to help keep skin protected while swimming or sweating)
  • For full-body protection, adults should apply 2 to 3 tablespoons of lotion 15 to 30 minutes before going out in the sun. Reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating.
  • Applying them can be tricky if it's windy so take precautions to make sure you're fully covered.
  • Wear tightly woven clothing and a hat, limit your sun time, and seek shade during the hottest hours of the day.
  • If you buy a sunscreen that has no expiration date, write down the purchase date on the bottle with a permanent marker.
  • Discard your sunscreen at its expiration date or if you've had it for more than two years as it may have lost its potency.
  • Don't make your purchase decisions based on brand alone. Different formulas or SPFs within the same brand may not have equivalent performance

To see the full list of sunscreen ratings, check out the July issue of Consumer Reports Health or go online to consumerreportshealth.org.

Dine Out for the Gulf Coast

From June 10-12, 2010, participating restaurants throughout the United States will set aside a portion of profits to help those directly affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and to support the long-term restoration of the treasured coast.

Participating restaurants will customize their own Dine Out for the Gulf Coast benefit program. Some restaurants will contribute a percentage of total sales for the day and others will donate the sales from specific menu items, while others will offer specialty cocktails with a dollar-value from sales donated to the fund.

Dine at a participating restaurant to help! for a list of participating restaurants visit OpenTable.Com

02 June 2010

World Oceans Day, June 8th - Seas the Day!!

June 8 is World Oceans Day—a day meant to celebrate the oceans of the world and to recognize our connection to them. Originally proposed by the Canadian government at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, the day was unofficially celebrated every year since. In 2008, World Oceans Day was officially recognized by the U.N.

With the help of the Ocean Project and the World Ocean Network, events happen all over the world to commemorate the day, in schools, businesses, organizations, aquariums, and other places. Events include beach parties, sand castle competitions, parades, book signing, cleanups and pledge drives.

Also, In honor of 50 years of Dr. Seuss's One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish entertaining children around the world, Random House Children's Books, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, The Ocean Project, and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) are partnering to celebrate World Oceans Day. Seventy-five AZA accredited zoos and aquariums across the country, and more than 600 Ocean Project partners worldwide will host fun-filled family events inspired by One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, with the goal of teaching children about our ocean's great diversity of life and the important things we can all do to protect our shared world ocean.

You don't need to live near the beach to celebrate! Visit The Nature Conservancy online and explore the top 5 most interesting (and sometimes surprising) ways your life is connected to oceans!

Lol-Ha Summer News

Lol-Ha Restaurant and Snack Bar will be closed for dinner on Saturdays only.

They will be serving breakfast as follows:

Saturday Breakfast Buffet 7:30 -11AM ( no A la Carte). Includes:Scrambled eggs, beans, bacon, hot cakes with maple syrup, sweet breads, fresh fruit, fresh orange juice, granola and yogurt. Also served with coffee or tea - $110 pesos

Jazz on Fridays will move inside to the Dining Room.

Wednesday: Flamenco

Thursday : Arpason

Sunday: Seafood Pasta Bar

Thursday and Fridays: Prime Rib Night

For Romantic Dinners on the Beach, we only need 2 days notice!

Thank you for the update Lol-Ha!

01 June 2010

Yoga in Akumal - June Schedule!

A note from Marti Johnston…..

Hola Todos!

Happy to say we are still holding 10 classes a week in the studio, plus Leticia's 2 classes in the Pueblo in Spanish! You can find our schedule for June posted on our website here: akumalyoga.com.

Beginning next week, on Wednesdays, acupuncturist Isabel de la Fuente will be holding sessions in the yoga studio. She is an amazing healer. There are a number of us in Akumal who are seeing her, which is why she is coming down from Puerto Aventuras. I believe she is also offering massage. Her cell is 984-877-0164. Please contact her directly if you are interested in setting something up.

Loving the practice in our beautiful, light-filled sacred space. Come play yoga with us!



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