Que Pasa in Cabo?

June 10, 2019 Edition
BY: DAVID FLORES

Schools will be converted into shelters.

That is if a hurricane hits our cities and towns. A total of 90 elementary schools will be converted into shelters for people living in high-risk areas of Los Cabos, said the civil protection honcho. The civil protection commission is the equivalent to the U.S. FEMA, only waaay more efficient.

A recent census of people living on the edge of arroyos, those dry riverbeds that convert into real rivers during a storm, revealed there are at least 30,000 arroyo residents, with homes built of plywood and tin roofs. Most of them are squatters who have come to work in Los Cabos but cannot afford a home.

Every year, the state and city governments beg the feds for help in removing them, but there’s no place for them to go unless someone builds small, affordable homes for them. As many readers know, affordable is a word unusually used in Los Cabos, Mexico’s most expensive resort area.

 

East Cape resort taking reservations.

What, don’t they all take reservations? Well, this one is special, as it is not finished, and not open yet. However, the Four Seasons resort Los Cabos in La Ribera on the East Cape, is now taking reservations for stays starting November 1 this year.

The resort is located within the 405-hectare (1,000 acres) Costa Palmas development that stretches along nearly 2 miles of swimmable white sand beach on the Sea of Cortez.

“We are truly breaking new ground here, being part of this community that, while only 45-minutes from Los Cabos International Airport, presents an undiscovered paradise like no other on the Baja Peninsula,” said Vince Parrotta, Four Seasons President, Hotel Operations – Americas West. For more information, visit fourseasons.com/loscabos.

 

Los Cabos leads the country.

While Mexico currently occupies the No. 13 spot among 45 nations participating in the Blue Flag certification program, that lists the cleanest, friendlier beaches in the world. The iconic Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognized voluntary eco-labels awarded to beaches, marinas, and sustainable boating tourism operators.

It operated under the auspices of the Foundation for Environmental Education and is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark. In order to qualify for the Blue Flag, a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety, and accessibility criteria must be met and maintained.

Our Southern Baja state is at the top of Mexico’s list with 20 Blue Flag certified beaches and one marina, while the Quintana Roo state (think Cancun and the Mayan Riviera follows us in 2nd place).

Our local winning beaches are: Marina Cortez and Coromuel beach, in La Paz; in Los Cabos: Acapulquito, Chileno, El Corsario (commonly known as the old tuna packing site), Hacienda, Las Viudas, La Ribera, Médano Breathless, Médano Casa Dorada, Médano Club Cascadas de Baja, Médano ME Cabo, Médano Pueblo Bonito Cabos, Médano Pueblo Bonito Rose, Médano Riu Palace Los Cabos, Médano Rui Santa Fe, Médano Villa del Palmar, Médano Villa El Arco, Médano Villa La Estancia, Palmilla and  Santa María.

 

New flights to Cabo.

Southwest Airlines is adding new fall flights to and from three Texas cities beginning November 3, including one from Chicago's Midway Airport to Los Cabos. Southwest operates 4,000 daily flights.

 

The little people win again.

San Jose residents, and those who drive through the Fonatur roundabout in San Jose can clearly see the new construction of a pedestrian bridge going up. This was the result of numerous demands by Los Cabos residents as that area is a constant car wreck zone and a huge danger to pedestrians who want to cross the fourlane at that point.

The arrival of the Chedraui Selecto store, across the fourlane from the La Comer supermarket in San Jose, created a more complicated crossing for everyone. The need for a pedestrian bridge was obvious, although most people do not use them because it’s too many steps and it’s more exciting to “dance” between speeding vehicles. Sort of like bullfighting, we Mexicans say.

But this bridge will be different in many ways. For once, the city government listened to the local associations of engineers and architects, and the bridge will come with an elevator at each end and ramps for handicapped people. The metal structure comes pre-fab and should be ready to use by the end of July, Mexican time. We will then have to thank the Chedraui Selecto store for it, as they are paying the entire cost of it. Gracias, Chedraui!

 

In related news.

Local lawmaker Lorenia Montaño has begun the process to obtain funding for the construction of one more pedestrian bridge in Cabo. Montaño met with the state’s secretary of urban planning, Genaro Ruiz and brought a blueprint of the bridge, which would be built in front of the Costco store in Cabo.

 

More development in San Jose.

Investors from mainland Mexico met with our city’s lawmaker Tabita Rodriguez, who heads the urban planning commission. Yes, Virginia, we do have such a planning agency, believe it or not. Well, back to the news: these investors are planning to build a university, sports stadium (soccer, for sure, it’s the National sport), a music and arts school, museum, a hospital and dozens of homes and condos in 200 hectares (nearly 500 acres). Where? Glad you asked. In San Jose del Cabo

 

Taxis, UBER fight for the whole enchilada.

The lucrative business of transporting tourists is at the heart of the Uber-taxi dispute, but a new law in our Southern Baja state would regulate ride-sharing services. Taxis want none of it and are upsetting tourists.

The state Congress, bending under pressure from the powerful taxi unions has stalled the approval of a new transportation law. That could change soon, as a District Judge has ordered lawmakers to “resolve on the governor’s initiative to analyze and approve” the new transportation law of the state.

At press time, the state congress lawmakers were given a deadline of three days to make a decision, even with changes, and rule on the new law. Meanwhile, both taxi owners and drivers, as well as Uber chauffeurs, have been protesting, each defending their way of life.

Uber already operates without formal authorization in Baja California Sur but taxi drivers fear that if it is given the go-ahead to do so legally, it will further diminish their share of the tourism transportation market, which is worth tens of millions of dollars annually.

Governor Carlos Mendoza Davis yesterday urged lawmakers to pass the new law, which was presented to Congress more than seven months ago, saying that “We have no more time to lose, because in the absence of this law, confrontations that affect all of us have been provoked. Our state lives from tourism. I call on the Congress of Baja California Sur ... to approve the law as soon as possible.”

Other transportation industry stakeholders argue that approval of the new law would help to put an end to corruption in the taxi industry. “A large number of [taxi] concessions are in the hands of politicians. The consolation prize for every previous state administration that finished up ... was transportation concessions,” said Celestino Atienzo, representative of a tourism transportation association in Los Cabos.

Jesús Robles, director of the state transportation department, agreed with that assessment and explained that concessions can be leased for as much as US $100,000.

If Uber is given the green light, more protests are likely to follow, warned Ramón Ceseña, municipal director of transportation in Los Cabos, a taxi driver and allegedly an instigator of operations against Uber drivers.

“Deregulating transportation would be dangerous due to the social problems that could arise. There could be protests,” he said. Consumers might be tempted to protest as well. The fare from the airport to Cabo San Lucas is about $50 bucks in a taxi. The Uber fare is less than half that price.