Que Pasa In Baja?

October 31, 2016 Edition
BY: OLIVER QUINTERO

Hyundai opens their Rosarito factory. With an 85 million USD investment, Hyundai Translead just opened the doors to their trailer factory that sits on a huge 300 acre piece of land they own. The new plant will generate about 2,000 direct jobs for the people of Rosarito while manufacturing about 25,000 trailers every year.

Our state governor, Kiko Vega, was there to cut the ribbon on the plant along with executives from Hyundai and the south Korean ambassador to Mexico.  The ambassador he said that the company has plans to expand hence the huge piece of land they bought.

The ambassador said that Mexico is their most important commercial partner in Latin America and that during 2015 the commercial exchange between the two countries was about 14 billion dollars. They didn’t say how much of that amount is from exports originating from Mexico but it must be mostly imports, because we see a lot of South Korean stuff around here and very few Koreans eating tacos over there. Hater alert: I’m not saying that we only export tacos, I’ve heard form a good source that we are in the process of sending some chimichangas over there too.

Police focusing on international pedophiles. State police gave lectures to tourism operators in Baja to teach them how to detect tourists who are only down here to try and hook up with minors. Hector Orozco, head of the state human trafficking unit, explained that those tourism operators are most often in the areas where they can detect kids that are victims of sexual tourism activities.

Toll booth staff studying English. Ever tried to ask something in English in the booths on the toll road? Well now you will be able to exchange a few words with the federal employees over there thanks to the CONALEP high school system.

Enrique Quintero, head of Conalep in Ensenada, said that a 24-hour crash course for the English language was offered to the employees of the toll road in order for them to be able to actually help tourists in case they need to ask basic stuff like “where is the next gas station?” or the classic “is there a liquor store nearby?”, I think they also covered emergencies on the road. Rest room is another concept that will need to be taught. Restroom/bathroom/toilette would come in handy.

Emergency App Updated. With the change from the 066 emergency number to 911, the official Baja California emergency app was also updated with a new name 911MovilBC.

If you don’t have the app and live here in Baja or come here often, download it now, the app allows you to register to the system with your phone and email, and even a small medical profile, so when you report an emergency your information can be seen by the operators so they can assist you faster and better. Your GPS location is also sent to them, which is very good news as it can be daunting to try and explain an address here in Mexico and “across the street from the OXXO” will now cut it.

The app works in English if your phone is set up in English so you won’t have trouble understanding it, it even offers the option of reporting an emergency through chat but I guess that if you have the time to type the whole ordeal maybe it’s not really an emergency, right?

The Ensenada airport is coming. I know I know, we’ve been saying it a couple times now but our state governor just stated that the airport project is now a priority since the state already has the land to develop it. About 1,800 acres of land at a cost of about 9 million USD were bought by the state earlier this year in order to build the airport. This is an airport important to the huge agriculture industry just south of Ensenada.

The governor said that Baja has seen an increase in foreign investment by about 1.5 billion dollars from last year to this year.

On that note. Toyota just announced a 150 million dollar investment to expand their plant in Tijuana, where they produce about 105,000 Tacoma pickups every year. They have plans to increase that to 160,000.

Toyota officials said one of the main reasons to decide on investing their money here is the infrastructure investment the state has done in the last few years. They were especially interested in the Tijuana-Tecate train that helps their logistics.

Parking meters in Rosarito. Max Garcia, local alderman for Rosarito, is insisting on the installation of 126 parking meters along the Benito Juarez boulevard although business owners are having their usual heart attack they come down with every time the measure comes up. They think nobody will feed the meters to shop in their stores.

The alderman said the government does not propose to keep the money from the parking meters, the money would be invested in improving the security of the area and the meter company is willing to install 295 cameras connected to the public security office along the boulevard to help with this.

The project is being proposed by a company called Invertrans which is saying they would invest a little more than $4 million to install the parking meters and cameras. The cost for parking, per hour, is proposed at 50 Gringo cents and the ticket for an expired meter would go about 30 bucks.

The company asks in return for their investment for a 19-year contract where they get to keep 55% of the earnings of the meters and the other 45% would go to the city coffers.

If we go for this option let’s see those cameras and improved security first, if we go for the parking meters first, I bet we will never see those cameras. I’m Mexican, I know about that stuff.

Ensenada street lighting nightmare. The recent change of street lights to LED in order to save on energy costs have brought a lot of complains from citizens. A local newspaper polled citizens about the new lights and 43% answered that they have seen the lamps not working at all or constantly winking on and off. I wonder what family member of the city official in charge of public lighting pulled that off? Wait, scratch that, that would never happen in our dear Mexico.

In other street light news. The New York Times ran a story recently on how street lights affect us. Turns out the really bright street lights interrupt normal sleep patterns in humans. So, like, don’t these people have curtains in their house? And what about eyelids, don’t they have eyelids to block out light? Shut your eyes!  Doesn’t matter In Ensenada anyway, as there is a 43% chance the lights aren’t working.