Yes, we are bragging. Our Southern Baja state welcomed nearly 2.5 million tourists last year, governor Carlos Mendoza announced recently at the national tourism forum. That number represents an economic growth of 55% over the past four years.
Tax on tourism generates up to 75% of the state’s budget and has made us the fastest jobs growing state, followed by the Mayan Riviera. Think Cancun.
But then, Paloma Palacios, executive prez of the Los Cabos hotel ass., said that since President Trump began his rampage against Mexico, at least 35 groups and conventions have cancelled their trips to Los Cabos. The cancellations represent a loss of about $6 million.
To combat any future losses, Mexico’s tourist promotion agency, as well as hotel associations throughout the country, are developing an advertising campaign to remind Gringos that we are still a tourist-friendly country and why should they let Agent Orange Man tell them where to vacay?
New signs for Cabo. That is, street signs. The city is working with other agencies to develop a number of new street and traffic signs throughout the Los Cabos municipality.
This time, thank you very much, some of them will be aimed at our clueless tourists. (Hopefully they will also deploy a nice sign in English in front of the recently opened CAPTCA building the Center for Attention and Protection of Tourists, which sits right next door to this rag’s world wide locally famous headquarters on the marina.)
The signage will extend to small towns of the municipality like La Ribera, Cabo Pulmo, Santiago, Miraflores and Los Barriles.
Humane society does well. In terms of work, that is. In terms of funding, it still needs help. The Los Cabos Humane Society performed 4,458 free and low cost spay/neuters in 2016, exceeding their yearly goal of 3,500.
The work they do would not be possible without your donations and sponsorships, so why not send a few dollars their way to help the doggies and kitties?
For more information on the spay/neuter campaigns or on how you can help, call 143-3947 or 624-129-8346, or visit their website at http://www.loscaboshumanesociety.com/
And now, it’s time for celebrities. We do this just to annoy our boss, who has never heard of any celebrities. Singers Christina Aguilera and Stevie Wonder were in San Jose for a private concert at the Wirikuta botanical garden. Aguilera is rumored to have charged $5 million for her appearance. One can only wonder what Steve Wonder was paid.
The show was for officials and top performers of SAP, a German multinational software corporation. More than 5,000 people attended the show, while we listened from far, far away.
Some celebrities seem to never leave Cabo. Movie star Jessica Alba and her hubby, Cash Warren, visited Cabo recently. Noticeably absent from their oceanfront hang were the couple’s two children, Honor, 8, and Haven, 5.
And actress Jennifer Aniston celebrated her 48th birthday at an ocean-front villa with husband Justin Theroux, her best friend forever Courteney Cox and pal Johnny McDaid. And now for a rant from the boss about just what the hell kind of names are Honor and Haven, with insinuations of what were they smoking.
Bird watching anyone? If you are a bird lover and a Cabo lover, then life just got a whole lot better. As part of the 23rd anniversary of Cabo’s famous ecological reserve, The San José Estuary and Bird Sanctuary, two new bird watching towers have been built.
The whole idea of a bird tower is to provide a non-intrusive spot for people to observe the endemic and migratory birds. It is hoped the towers will encourage locals and kids to engage in more bird watching. And, of course, to promote nature tourism in the area.
As many as 30 different species of birds can be seen in the sanctuary. The new observation towers will allow everyone to see birds like the blue ash heron, white face ibis, American cockatiel, brown pelican and common red tailed hawk.
The project was a joint effort between three conservation organizations. The actual construction was done by a local team of 35 temporary employees. Amazingly, everything was completed in only 22 days!
This is where it gets dicey explaining the difference between a bird blind and a bird tower. If you have to ask, just stay on the ground.
Party alert! Attention, Pescadero residents. From March 24 to 27 there will be a major DJ party on San Pedrito beach, right in your neighborhood.
The festival, named Apparitions Festival 2017, promises a three day non-stop festival of electronic music, a lot of eco-tourism activities, free showers, workshops, camping, yoga, surfing, food, booze, art and painting, all with an ocean-front view.
New library in Todos Santos. It’s named Biblioteca Elena Poniatowska, (biblioteca being Mexie speak for library), after the “grand dame” of Mexican literature. Elena, of French descent, began writing professionally at age 18. Still actively writing in her 80s, she has consistently focused on social and political issues, particularly as they relate to women.
Elena's most influential works have been "testimonial narratives.” In 2013, she was awarded Spain's highest literary award for lifetime achievement, the El Premio Cervantes. She is the fourth woman to ever receive this honor. Elena will be present at the grand opening and ribbon cutting of the Biblioteca Elena Poniatowska. For more information, email email@example.com,www.palapasociety.org.
We got a new baby whale! And, she’s an albino. She was spotted by officials of Profepa, Mexico’s environmental watchdog. Estimated to be around a week old when spotted, she was videotaped and went viral in a few days. Overachiever!
The Profepa guys baptized her Costalito de Sal, or “little sack of salt,” for her white skin. This is the time of the year when gray, hunchback and killer whales make their annual trip to our state, in search of warmer waters where they can get laid and give birth to their calves.
In related news. The Conanp, the national commission for natural protected areas, revealed its latest whale census, which reported that 1,521 gray whales had been spotted and recorded in the San Ignacio and the Ojo de Liebre lagoons in Magdalena Bay this year.
At about the same time last year, we had 2,019 whales counted, including 835 newborns and 1,184 adults. That count is suspect in our opinion. Who’s to say everyone leaped out of the water for counting? Or leaped out twice for counting twice?
Beach volleyball anyone? For the second consecutive year, La Paz will host the international volleyball championship for North, Central America and the Caribbean. The event will take place from April 6 to 10.
The participating countries include Mexico, the U.S., Canada, Cuba, Costa Rica, Honduras, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Trinidad & Tobago. Stay tuned, or stay alert, when beach going.