Que Pasa in Baja?

 Que Pasa in Baja?

Bring Down the Costa Azul Wall! After three months since the construction of a retaining wall began on the Costa Azul arroyo and then denounced as illegal by concerned citizens and ecological organizations, the authorities have come to a decision to bring it down. To that effect, Carlos Godinez, the under-secretary of the Los Cabos Civil Protection agency presented the builders with an ultimatum to have it demolished by May 10 or face a hefty fine. If they don’t comply, then the city government will. But that’s another lengthy legal process. Construction on arroyos is forbidden by the federal zone laws as nobody can build closer than 20 meters from bodies of water, whether they are ocean, rivers, arroyos, lagoons or estuaries. Stay tuned. 

Los Cabos Gets More Awards. Golf Digest has awarded its Editors’ Choice Award to four of Los Cabos’ golf courses in the Best Golf Resorts in Mexico and Central America category. The winners this year are Grand Solmar at Rancho San Lucas, One & Only Palmilla, Cabo del Sol and Quivira. 

A newcomer to the Golf Digest’s awards is the Greg Norman Signature course at Grand Solmar and Rancho San Lucas, a centerpiece of an 834-acre resort and residential community set in rolling desert foothills that tumble down to the Pacific Ocean.

Mexico Extends Border Closures. Authorities in Mexico have extended the country’s border closures to all non-essential travel through till at least May 21. The border closure with the U.S. has been in place since March 2020 under a mutual agreement between the two countries; non-essential land travel from Mexico to the U.S. remains banned, while non-essential travel from the U.S. to Mexico is banned in all states that are at the orange or red levels in the country’s color-coded system to track COVID-19 activity. All non-essential travel in Mexico’s southern border with Belize and Guatemala remains banned also through at least May 21. Cargo transport across the land borders is exempt and so is traveling by air.

Private Jets Arrivals Keep on Growing. Both the Cabo San Lucas and the San Jose International airport are reporting an increase in arrivals of private aircraft. As much as 30 percent compared to 2019, said Fiturca, the Los Cabos Tourism Fund. Most of these aircraft are flying in from Los Angeles and some of them are not exclusive flights, as they are now selling seat by seat to counter the losses caused by the pandemic. So far, the San Jose airport is welcoming 70 private jets a month, while Cabo San Lucas receives an average of 25 per month. 

Help for the San Jose Estuary Announced. The San Jose Estuary, located next to the old and now-closed Hotel El Presidente intercontinental, has suffered major blows in the past. Some because of natural phenomena and others caused by human hands and heavy equipment. It is San Jose’s most important body of water and home to dozens of endemic species and shelter to migrating birds every year. Yet overflowing from the nearby sewage treatment plant affects it constantly and the federal government is yet to fix that problem. Now the city has announced an investment of $65,000 for maintenance, vigilance, clean-up efforts and signals all around to create awareness among the visitors and locals. 

New Sports Complex to Open in Cabo. This July 19, the ATP-250 Tennis tournament will take place in Los Cabos. The venue has moved from the DelMar complex in El Tezal to the upcoming Cabo Sports Complex located across the street from the Solaz resort on the fourlane. This new complex will serve as a location for other events since the stadium can hold up to 5,000 guests. The main court has a capacity of 1,500 spectators with the facility offering open spaces and 4 courts for games and entertainment. The modern architecture and the endemic natural surroundings will make this complex simply spectacular. Unfortunately, the event will have no spectators this year, due to COVID-19. But that could change later in the year, we hope.

The Wish to Move to Mexico is Growing. As reported by the online magazine Expats in Mexico, the interest to move to Mexico is growing among Canadian citizens. The magazine conducted a survey and found that 54 percent of the respondents said they were very likely to move to Mexico, up 5 percent over their 2019 survey. The favorite places to retire, they stated, are Puerto Vallarta, Lake Chapala, Los Cabos and Merida and Playa del Carmen in the southern Quintana Roo state. Here’s a pic of the Puerto Vallarta 4 km. Malecon.

Leatherback Sea Turtle Population in Decline. Although in Los Cabos several leatherbacks returned after a few years of not seeing one, and that over 100 baby leatherbacks were born here and released, they are still in trouble. Big time. Scientists along the West Coast, including those from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) say there has been an 80 percent decrease off the coast of California in the past 30 years. Another recent study reported a 5.6 percent decrease yearly. Leatherbacks are massive sea turtles dating back to the time of the dinosaurs. The animals can grow up to 1.5 meters in length and weigh as much as 680 kilograms, being the largest living reptile just after crocodiles. Only one sea turtle in 100 survives to predators and many of their deaths are due to being getting trapped in fishing nets.

Cruise Ships Under Fire in La Paz. Concerned citizens and ecologist groups have denounced the pollution that several cruise ships anchored in the La Paz bay are creating. There was a report by a local diver that there was a big, black pool of possible fuel near the cruise ships. Then another report was filed with photos of the cruise ships releasing big clouds of smoke. Holland American Line has two ships in the bay, the Nieuw Amsterdam and the Noordam, while Princess cruises have four of them, the Emerald Princess, Ruby Princess, Grand Princess and Royal Princess. API, the company that manages La Paz marinas responded that “the ships are not polluting our bay, they have excellent protocols to prevent that.”

La Paz Marinas Getting Busier by the Day. The arrival of snowbirds aboard their yachts and sailboats to La Paz marinas is increasing rapidly and the expectation is that they will be 90 percent full during the summer. There are 700 slips in the 5 marinas and there are plans to build two more with 200 and 85 slips each.