Que Pasa in Cabo?

June 26, 2017
BY: DAVID FLORES

What are they doing with our fourlane? An official with Mexico’s communications and transport ministry confirmed the ministry signed an agreement allowing local developers to reroute part of the fourlane that runs from Cabo to San Jose, whether you like it or not.

The stretch of road from KM 17 to KM 24 – that would be from the El Tule bridge to Cerro Colorado, where the H+ Hospital is located – will be nudged further inland.

The developers will pay for the new road, which they estimate at about $30 million USD, as well as several roads leading from the fourlane to the hotels and beaches. In return, they will receive part of the existing “old” road for their own use as frontage road for the hotels.

The hotels want it because they say it will create a buffer between their properties and the zoom zoom, noisy loud freeway. The opposition, and there is considerable, feels it’s a beach grab by the hotels, at the expense of the locals.

Construction has already started. Expect them to tip toe through this, as they did last time developers picked up and moved the highway. Yes, there was a last time. Look closely near Chileno Beach and you will see the old highway growing over with weeds.

That’s not the only road moving The old road to the East Cape that runs from El Encanto de la Laguna to Zacatitos is on the move. It’s been fenced in some areas and a new road up the hill, farther away from the ocean, is being paved.

And it turns out, the city knew nothing about it until recently! According to Susana Zatarain, who oversees the city’s assets, the road move was approved way back in 2006 by Mexico’s communications and transport ministry and the state road board. Why the city was not informed then is a mystery.

Residents are worried that all of that land between the old and new road will become private which will mean a loss of beach access to the public. They’re getting organized to protest and block the road move. Stay tuned.

Population boom coming soon The Los Cabos restaurant ass. announced recently that the openings of several new resorts in Los Cabos this year and next will create a need for 20,000 new, trained employees.

Hundreds, maybe thousands of employees will have to be imported from other states, which also creates a need for homes, water and public services. Not to mention that all of those employees, and their families, will also be using the highways, groceries stores and schools.

Things are going to get a whole lot more crowded. 20,000 trained resort employees? Why should these be any different?

Pack up the kids Three Los Cabos resorts – Grand Solmar, Palmilla and Hacienda del Mar– were ranked among the top family-friendly resorts in Mexico by Family Vacation Critic, an offshoot of TripAdvisor.

To make the list, hotels had to meet a strict list of family-specific criteria, like baby equipment accessibility and free Wi-Fi. The properties were also personally vetted and visited by a member of Family Vacation Critic’s team of hotel experts, and had to be recommended by 75 percent or more of families who have rated the property a four- or five-star review. Of course you can also use this list to research hotels to avoid.

Library closes for summer You didn’t even know there was a library, did you? Well there is, up in Todos Santos. The Palapa Society Children's Library will close for the summer on Tuesday, June 27, to get ready for their big move to the new Palapa Learning Center campus.

The new venue will have lots more room, fun activities for kids ages 3 to 17 and will, as always continue to be free for the children of Todos Santos. If you have any books or DVDs belonging to Palapa Children's Library, please return them NOW! The library will reopen in October.

Another day, another award This time, it’s the WAVE award for being the “destination with the highest guest satisfaction.”

The WAVE awards are given out by the TravelAge West magazine. The award was presented to Los Cabos tourist authorities at the Ritz Carlton in Marina Del Rey, California.

Grand Velas also received an award in the category of “Best New Hotel,” competing with El Ganzo, JW Marriott Los Cabos, ME Cabo and The Towers at Pacifica, inside the Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach development.

Speaking of Pueblo Bonito... A large laundry under construction by the Pueblo Bonito resort is being protested by the residents of the Arco Iris barrio in Cabo.

The locals say the industrial laundry doesn’t belong in a residential neighborhood, and that the proximity of large water heaters, fueled by propane, could blow them all to Kingdom Come. (We don’t know why we capitalize that, we don’t even know where that is). Protesters were met by armed, private Pueblo Bonito security thugs.

Later that day, the city’s office of urban development’s head honcho said the construction was approved years back by the city council, who considered it safe and sane, and not a threat to anyone, so there.

Lifeguards get more training The Cabo fire department trained 160 beach lifeguards during a water rescue seminar, with help from instructors of the San Diego fire department.

The trainees included firefighters and employees of Zofemat, the federal agency that oversees Mexican beaches. The group also included local citizens who wanted to be trained just for the heck of it.

The lifeguards, who get training twice a year, are stationed at Lovers Beach, Médano, the old cannery beach, Chileno, Santa María, Palmilla and other beaches on the tourist corridor. Really? Funny, we’ve never seen them, just some empty lifeguard stands here and there.

Hugs for everyone Juan Tellez, a local therapist known for his laughter therapy series, is launching a new campaign to welcome our beloved tourists and, in return, make them love us more. The plan is to have groups of organized volunteers at the airport, giving out hugs to all arriving passengers, both foreign and national. The groups would also be present when cruise ship passengers are disembarking.

Oh yeah, we can see that going over real well. Welcome to Mexico, here’s a sweaty hug from a stranger!

The volunteers, mostly students, are already receiving pledges of support and sponsorship for transportation and fuel from local hotels. The idea is to eventually expand the groups to include all hotel and restaurant employees, who will be asked to hug arriving customers and guests. Mariachies maybe. Free popsicles maybe. But hugs from strangers?

Let there be light Los Cabos Mayor Arturo de la Rosa announced that 5,000 families of the Azteca Tierra and Libertad barrios in Cabo will finally have electricity at the end of July this year.

We say finally because the neighborhoods have NEVER had water in the roughly 10 years they’ve been around. Although, the people living there are mostly squatters, so it’s not a complete shock that they’re just now starting to get utilities.

The power company (CFE) has invested nearly $700,000 USD to make this possible.

In addition, 5,000 streetlights will be installed in those two barrios and six other neighborhoods that lost their light poles to hurricane Odile three years ago.

Leo to the rescue! It sounds like there's hope for the poor vaquitas after all. Vaquitas are an endangered type of porpoise that lives up in the top of the Gulf of California, the body of water that separates Baja from the mainland. There are only about 30 or 40 of them left.

The vaquita population has declined drastically in the last few years, mainly due to them getting caught in fishing nets. And the fishermen won't stop using nets even now that they are paid to stay home. They are demonstrating and picketing and going out trolling for their fish anyway.

But now, Leonardo DiCaprio has stepped in to save the day. Or so he thinks. He, along with Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto and Carlos Slim, the richest man in Mexico, signed an agreement to try and permanently ban gillnets in the upper Gulf. Leo and Slim also pledged to help raise money for local development and to find non-gillnet fishing options to try to offset the money the fisherman would lose from the bans.

Well, they better hurry. At the rate they're dying off, the species is not long for this world. ,