Que Pasa in Cabo?

February 20, 2018 Edition

This place is littered with foreigners Timeshare sales rooms say they hire foreigners because 95% of their customers come from the United States and, the theory goes, these visitors trust their own kind more. Ha! They’re the worst thieves.

According to immigration officials there are about 60,000 foreigners living in Southern Baja. 40% of those have permanent residency, but many more are just working under the radar. 90% of local foreigners are American and 10% Canadian.

One reporter for a local Mexican newspaper believes that 15% to 20% of managers of the 120 hotels in Los Cabos are from the United States, and most of those have jumped through the hoops to work here legally.

The official word is they are hired because they know what the guests want, since the guests are foreign. But, there is also the reality that they usually have a better education.

Immigration says they get about 30 visa applications for work, or to acquire temporary or permanent residence, every day.

Are you ready for some football? In May, the Baja Bowl Fest will come to Los Cabos for the first time. The Baja Bowl Fest is an annual event meant to develop American football in Mexico. The Intercalifornias Youth Athletic Association and the Liga Juvenil de Futbol Americano have joined forces to host the event. For information, visit www.bajabowlfest.com.

Why are Americans promoting their brand of football? To outfit a youth for the game costs about $200. The cost of soccer is one ball.

Habla ingles? According to Juan Carbajal, the Cabo fire chief, the local emergency call center is forwarding foreigners who call for help to private ambulances, rather than the fire department or Red Cross.

The reason for this, the theory goes, is because private ambulance services have paramedics who speak English, while the local fire department and Red Cross usually don’t.

But, Carbajal wants to point out, the Cabo fire department has been responding to emergencies, tourist-related or not, for the past 30 years and has done a good job. His team might not speak English, but they understand enough of the basics to attend emergencies. (Blood speaks no language?)

Now for the real story: There is a bounty on foreigners in medical emergencies. Local Gringo oriented hospitals will pay a reward it they’re called, and the local Red Cross guys understandably want that money.

In related news…CAT/TAC, the Cabo tourist center that’s on the marina next to this rag’s worldwide local corporate headquarters, is also working on the ambulance issue. Director Oscar Manriquez has been working to set up meetings between the health department and private ambulance services in an attempt to regulate their services. Regulations are needed because there have been multiple incidences where several ambulances have arrived at an emergency site and literally fought over the foreign victim. As in fist fights.

And we have seen a Gringo, who suffered a minor injury and did not want to be hauled off, tied up and hauled away in an ambulance. Again, there is a price on any foreigners’ head. They have credit cards.

Hey, history buffs! The Todos Santos Historic Homes Tours in happening on Sunday, March 4. The tour begins at 10:00 am at the Cultural Center and ends at 3:00 pm. Proceeds benefit the Palapa Society of Todos Santos.

Featured on the tour are 17 homes, five hotels/inns, two city government buildings, the Mission church and a sugar cane processing plant. Program books are available in English and Spanish and bilingual guides will be at each site. You drive yourself around using the map you get upon payment.

A new addition to the tour this year is the find the saints challenge; see if you can spot the statues of saints that are perched in niches of exterior of buildings around town. Find and mark all of them on a map and you’ll be entered into a drawing for by local artist Erick Ochoa. That’s kinda like find Santiago the cat in this rag, but we don’t pay rewards. We have standards. Ok, so we’re cheap.

Also new this year, several restaurants will offer discounts on breakfast and lunch to wristband holders. Tickets will be on sale at the Cultural Center on the day of event for $20 USD or 300 pesos. For more information, visit www.palapasociety.org.

How can we say no to this? Well, unless the only way you like your cheese is in grilled cheese sandwiches, like our boss. The 6th annual Wine and Cheese Festival will take place this year from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 10 pm at the Sheraton Grande Los Cabos, Hacienda Del Mar.

This festival is a favorite among locals, as it features many different wines and a wide variety of cheeses. The cost per person is about $53 with tax and tips included. For information and tickets, call 624-145-8000 or email hacienda.delmar@sheraton.com.

Film fest coming up The annual Todos Santos Film Festival will take place March 7 to 11, featuring some of the best films from Mexico, Spain and Latin America. You better be bilingual or ready to read some subtitles, but reading them is worth it. The event benefits the local Todos Santos film school. For information, visit www.todossantoscine.org.

Costco sells gas? Yes, in the real world, and that service is coming to Cabo soon. The store has already filed a request for a permit with the city. Costco fuel will come with an additive approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Bonus: Costco members will get special promotions. This was almost inevitable. Pemex no longer holds a monopoly on gas stations.

New cops trained 30 new cops are being trained at the state’s police academy in La Paz. They are being trained by Navy officials, so at least they will know how to swim. Actually, probably not.

The training lasts about five months, and the trainees have already passed the confidence exams, which include polygraph tests. Confidence here means honesty

Congrats The U.S. News & World Report has named the best hotels in Mexico, according to tourist industry people and TripAdvisor. Among the top five, four are in Los Cabos: The Resort at Pedregal, Esperanza, Palmilla and Ventanas.

U.S. ambassador drops by Roberta Jacobson, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, was in Cabo to attend the annual meeting of the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC).

Jacobson held private meetings with governor Carlos Mendoza, members of the local hotel ass, and representatives of the local Economy Development Council. Among the issues discussed were the latest State Department travel alerts, added security for cruise passengers, and overall safety for tourists.

Following the meetings, Jacobson toured the new library in Todos Santos. During her visit, she was surrounded by military, navy and federal cops. Todos Santos residents thought all that security was coming to capture a major drug lord or something, since the town looked like it was being seized by armed forces. What does all that security tell the State Department? Of course if she were shot up, that would have told the State Department even more…

Mar Adentro sold The architecturally stunning Mar Adentro property in San Jose has been taken over by Viceroy Hotel Group. This if a hopeful development as the architect/builder was trying to run it and not doing justice to the amazing hotel and four restaurants. Viceroy is the brand’s first collaboration here with Rodina Group, an investment firm specializing in hospitality, real estate, transportation and infrastructure across Mexico.

The hotel, whose main attraction is its incredibly unique design by a forward thinking Mexican architect, will undergo some new updates and renovations including a beach bar, beach pool, and a better gym.

The hotel has four restaurants open to the public, you, Bunky. Go. We know it’s a dog on the outside, all white concrete walls that make it look like a fort, but once you’re inside it’s stunning.

There are versatile meeting spaces,194 hotel rooms, suites, and villas, and 50 fully owned residences. It’s along hotel row in San Jose.