Que Pasa in Cabo?

May 13, 2019
BY: DAVID FLORES

A different liquor store opens. Santos Destilados, or Holy Distills, is a liquor store that wants to show off the millennial tradition of Mexican towns that have distilled liquor from all kinds of plants for centuries. 

There is the Pox, distilled from corn, wheat and sugar and has 18% alcohol content, original from Chiapas, in Southern Mexico. You can also find Sotol, a distilled spirit sourced from Dasylirion wheeleri, Asparagaceae (commonly known as Desert Spoon or, in Spanish, sotol), a plant that grows in northern Mexico, New Mexico, west Texas, and the Texas Hill Country.

And there’s more, too many to detail here, along with several varieties of tequila and mezcal. The best part is, you can taste them before buying! Santos Destilados is located on Matamoros street, near the Gigglin’ Marlin. 

Thousands of whales were born here. A recent report from INEGI, Mexico’s statistics institution, states that at least 35,000 whales have been born in our Southern Baja state in the past 30 years, mostly in the Ojo de Liebre and San Ignacio lagoons on the northern Pacific side. 

The report includes information on 735 whales that have died here in that same period, most of them 30-years-old or older. It is estimated that 80 percent of Pacific gray and hump whales are born in our warm waters every year.

New posh residences announced. Hilton Grand Vacations announced plans to purchase and convert 87 of the 375 hotel rooms at the Hilton Los Cabos Beach and Golf Resort to create its own property in this growing resort destination. Officially named La Pacifica Los Cabos by Hilton Club, the property will be undergoing renovations and is expected to begin sales by the end of this year.

Downtown park comes alive. The beautiful and recently remodeled Amelia Wilkes park in downtown Cabo San Lucas is coming alive every Tuesday, with live music – mostly Jazz – and art exhibits that are held from 5 to 9 p.m. 

This weekly event has been a long-time dream of business owners, who united nearly 12 years ago to embellish the historic downtown of Cabo San Lucas. 

They finally came to an agreement with the city government and the influential Los Cabos coordinating council, sort of an umbrella group formed with different business associations, like hotels, restaurants, timeshare and resort developers, among others.

One additional plan is to build public bathrooms so they are getting bids from different architectural companies. Stay tuned.

Local hoteliers create new promotion tool. Following the dissolution of the National tourist promotion council by President Lopez Obrador, the hoteliers of Los Cabos met and agreed to donate $2.5 million to create a new private promotion fund.

The fund will also be backed by the state government, so the monies will be increased.

Allegiant Air coming to Cabo. The Las Vegas-based carrier announced that it was filing for permission to fly from the United States to Mexico. 

Allegiant Air initially gained traction in the United States by flying from mid-market destinations such as Gulfport, MS and Laredo, TX to popular vacation spots like Las Vegas or Orlando, offering semi-regular service built specifically for holiday travelers. The planned routes to Mexico will be no different. "Unlike other U.S. carriers, Allegiant has always been laser-focused on leisure travel and providing access to affordable, non-stop flights for those who wouldn't otherwise be able to go on vacation," said Maury Gallagher, Allegiant's CEO in the announcement. "Offering service to Mexico will provide a whole new array of options for travelers to discover world-class destinations that may have been previously out of reach."

Allegiant has been tight-lipped about its plans, but our undercover reporters dug up two destination names: Los Cabos and Cancun. If the paperwork comes together, this will be the first international destination that the low-cost carrier serves and a strong competitor to legacy service that currently dominates the market.

Annual music fest announced. Cultural Promoter Vivarte, organizer of the Music Festival Los Cabos is proud to announce the legendary nightclub El Squid Roe joins the sponsors of the 11th edition of the International Day of Music celebration on June 22 with its stage and star animator in the Historic Center.

Vivarte invites all companies wishing to sponsor The Music Festival to contact them as soon as possible to support cultural development and promote their brand or product on television, radio, press, magazines and digital media. Contact: patrociniosfdlm@gmail.com or Cel: (624) 157 0982.

The call for musicians will be open until May 24 at https://www.fiestadelamusicaloscabos.net/musico. All musical genres are welcome, with presentations having a minimum duration of 45 minutes. Musicians and bands that live outside Los Cabos must have the necessary resources to attend.

Currently, there are more than 40 registered musical groups, including groups from San Jose del Cabo, Cabo San Lucas, La Paz, Pescadero, Mexicali, Guadalajara, and Mexico City.

Volunteers who want to be part of the team and enjoy the fest can register at https://www.fiestadelamusicaloscabos.net/voluntario.

Considered one of the most anticipated cultural events by locals and tourists, the Los Cabos Music Festival will be held on Saturday, June 22 of this year. This festival has grown to become an iconic event and tradition in Los Cabos and is about to celebrate 11 years. 

The International Day of Music (La Fête de la Musique) is an event that started in France in 1982 as an initiative of the government to celebrate music and its performers. To date, this festival has been adopted by the five continents and is currently celebrated in more than 120 countries and 700 cities, becoming "The International Day of Music." In San José del Cabo we have adopted the concept of this festival since 2009 to gather, like the rest of the world, amateur musicians and professionals every summer solstice. Look up their Facebook page to stay tuned.

UBER drivers protest. About 40 UBER vehicles took to the Cabo San Lucas streets last week, protesting for what they call harassment by inspectors from the city’s transport officials.

In two recent incidents, tourists have been forced to step out of their UBER transportation and use regular taxis. The most dramatic incident took place several weeks ago when a taxi van chased a UBER vehicle with two tourists aboard. The Uber driver had to drive away quickly from a hotel and onto the four-lane; still under chase, a Cadillac Escalade that was driving too fast rammed it from behind, leaving both tourists with minor injuries, while the Uber driver had to be transported to the hospital.

Although Mexico’s supreme court has ruled that Uber and their like Apps are legal since they are private agreements between private individuals, our state’s current legislation protects registered cabs. Late last year, knowing the interest of Uber and other apps to work here, the governor sent an initiative to Congress to facilitate the arrival of new apps but his opponents, who have a majority in Congress, have stalled it.

Meanwhile, the taxis have allowed Uber to work, but they are not allowed to enter local resorts to pick up tourists. If they do, their vehicle is impounded and a fine imposed. The governor and Congress are negotiating the new law. 

In related, short news. Uber Eats and Uber Assist have arrived in Los Cabos and La Paz and the taxis are not whining. Uber Eats delivers food on motorcycles and Uber Assist has special vehicles for the handicapped, which the taxis will never acquire. 

The President is coming! Andrés Manuel López Obrador, president of Mexico and known as AMLO for the initials of his looong name, will be here in early June, announced proudly Los Cabos Mayor Armida Castro. This will be his second visit since he took office in December – at that time, he promised us a new desalinization plant, and we expect more federal money committed this time. AMLO will be here to close the North America Mayors summit that will take place from June 5 to 8, with 64 Mexican, 52 American and one Canadian city mayors. During the summit, the environment, safety, mobility and cities of the future with 5G Internet speed will be discussed.

Cloth Shopping Bags for Families fundraiser. In August 2019 the state of Baja California Sur will ban single-use plastic shopping bags at all retail outlets across the state. The Desplastificate Todos Santos & Pescadero and Manos Magicas organizations are sponsoring a project in which Manos Magicas, a cooperative of talented local women, will make cloth shopping bags for the 1,200 elementary school children of Todos Santos and Pescadero. The orgs will help deliver the cloth shopping bags and art supplies to the schools and engage the children in decorating the bags and understanding the importance of eliminating single-use plastics in their households and community. The children will take the decorated cloth bags home for their families to use as grocery shopping bags.  

Funds raised by this campaign will go directly to Manos Magicas to buy materials and art supplies to make/decorate the bags and to pay the women for their labor. Costs per bag are as follows:

Material: USD 0.85, Labor is USD 2.5, Art supplies: USD 0.55, Total cost per bag: US$3.90. Your support for this program will provide a host of great benefits for the community including 1. Well-made, durable cloth shopping bags for hundreds of families. 2. Education of elementary school children and their families about the problems associated with single-use plastics. 3. A reduction in the amount of single-use plastics and 4. Income for the women of Manos Magicas.

SPECIAL NOTE: Sponsor a class of 50 with a donation of US195 or more and you will automatically be entered to win a trip for 2 people for 2 nights to award-winning Camp Cecil on Isla Espiritu Santo, a retail value of USD 1,500! https://www.gofundme.com and search for Adios Plastic Bags! Cloth Bags for Kids & Families.

Israelis could help Cabo. Daniel Ayala, director of Los Cabos water supply agency (Oomsapas), told us that his office is holding talks with an Israeli firm to analyze our potable water and sewage problems and possibly enter a bidding process to help us. The Israeli experts would come to Cabo and inspect our water and sewage network via satellite. The priorities are to detect and repair the multiple water leaks and bring us potable water via a desalination plant. 

New tax could be a no-show. The infamous tourist tax that our governor Carlos Mendoza has been trying to implement for over a year may not even come to life. Senator Lucia Trasviña has entered a proposition in Mexico’s congress to cancel it.

The new tax is less than $20 bucks and would only be charged to those foreign tourists that stay in our state over 24 hours, but could bring in about $32 million a year, which, the governor said, would be invested in much-needed infrastructure in popular, impoverished barrios of Los Cabos. As in schools, pavement, electricity and medical facilities. 

Business associations have opposed it, and now Senator Trasviña is basing his proposition on the fact the Mexican constitution states freedom of transit throughout the country. Another reason is that such a tax is discriminatory, as it would only be imposed on foreign tourists.