14 April 2022 Newsletter


This information has been provided to Beach Area News for fast and complete distribution to U.S citizens in our community.

Over the past year Merida’s American Consulate  has been experiencing increased volumes for passport renewal.  The challenges have been many, with the availability of appointments limited. Many times many months in the future.

In order to address this backlog, they have instituted a direct mail in program, which is as easy as getting a passport with them.  The wait times to receive your passport are the same as the Consulates 4-6 weeks, but there is no need for an appointment.  Please review the below guide to see if this program will work for you.

  1. Click the link below; it will take you through the easy step-by-step process:
  2. The Walk in process is not available in Merida.   DO NOT attempt to make an appointment to drop off the Forms.
  3. Starting May 1, 2022:  Applications for new U.S. Passport must be completed via the online form filler and include a barcode. Handwritten applications will no longer be accepted. This change will allow them to process more applications faster.  For additional information and link to the form filler, please visit their website HERE.
    Application for U.S. Passport:  https://pptform.state.gov/
  4. Appointment Wait times in Playa del Carmen and Cancun fluctuate. If you choose this option, you can call 999-316-7168 to request an appointment.  Wait time to receive your passport is still 4-6 weeks.  We STRONGLY suggest using the Mail in option for the fastest service!

Enjoy the Spring!
Your Beach Area News Team
Bob Rentz, Speranza Avram, Karen Cloutier, Dave Bloch

Copyright © 2022 Beach Area News, All rights reserved.

1 March 2022 Newsletter

Beach Area News 1 March 2022

Welcome to this new edition of Beach Area News!

We begin with some good COVID news, that reported new cases in Yucatan are down to the lowest level since the January surge.  Yucatan is officially back in GREEN on both the Federal and State lists, and kids have gone back to school.  Perhaps we are seeing the light at the end of the cenote?


Even with the good news on Covid, the pandemic has impacted the many formal and informal organizations that work so hard to improve the lives of our local citizens. In particular, the four apoyo programs who each work in their local communities to provide scholarships to help local students stay in school, have had to cancel, postpone, change and/or scale back the winter fundraising events that generate the funds they need to carry on through the year.  This is happening even as they are coming through two years of having to work harder than ever helping their students learn online because in-person classes were cancelled.  Here is a brief summary of what each program is doing and how you can help:

 Progreso Apoyo Program
 held their annual Progreso Home Tour in 2021 as a totally virtual event with well over 200 people watching the pay-per-view locally-produced video from their homes around the world. This year the 4th Annual Progreso Home Tour will happen in-person on Saturday March 5.  In addition to visiting six lovely homes in Progreso and Chicxulub, home tour participants can purchase raffle tickets to win a number of great prizes. To promote social distancing, Home Tour participants will buy tickets that indicate different start times: 9 am, 9:30, and 10 am. Ticket sales end Friday March 4; for information or to reserve tickets Email info@progresohometour.com this week!  No tickets will be sold at the door.This year’s Home Tour Silent Auction is being held entirely online, which means anyone can participate even if not attending the tour.  The auction will be open from March 1 – March 5, closing at 1:30 pm Central Time. You can browse through the many fabulous items available for purchase and register to bid on items by clicking on this link – feel free to share with your friends: https://app.galabid.com/progresoapoyoauction/items#

El Programa de Apoyo Escolar de Chuburná Puerto A.C. had to cancel their popular My Sister’s Closet Fashion Show in 2021.  Their supporters came through with donations that carried them through the year!  This year’s event has been postponed from January to March 24.  Tickets are still available, and anyone who has a ticket but cannot attend on the new date has been asked to give or sell it to someone, or consider the purchase price as a donation to the organization. Ticket sale information will be on the Apoyo Escolar Chuburná Facebook page on March 8.  Chuburna Apoyo always appreciates donations; email dorothy@apoyochuburna.com for information.

Chelem Puerto Apoyo Escolar hosts their annual The Taste of Chelem fundraising event every March, but had to cancel in 2021 and again this year.  The 2020 attendance was more than 400 people, and even as the pandemic surge weakens it would not be appropriate to hold an event like this in the spring.  Chelem Apoyo hopes to hold a smaller event in the late fall when our beach area snowbirds return. Chelem Apoyo is looking for sponsors for students; if you cannot make that kind of multi-year commitment donations are always welcome through PayPal at https://paypal.me/chelemapoyo .

Telchac Education has had to cancel their famous Full Moon Jazz Festival again this year. The event usually funds their university students program, and they have nine students starting college this fall. Please consider donating the price of tickets (MX$400) you would have purchased, or the money you would have spent on food, drinks, the raffle and festival T-shirt!  Donation details are at https://www.telchaceducation.net/upcoming-events .

Help these organizations break the cycle of poverty by giving students the essentials to continue their education!  Your contributions will be life-changing to the students and their families. Help them and their families make the beach area a better place for all of us to live and play!

Thanks from the Beach Area News Team
Bob Rentz, Speranza Avram, Karen Cloutier, Dave Bloch

30 November 2021 Newsletter

Annual Welcome Event December 7

Save the date for the 3rd Welcome party for Snowbirds and Expats in Progreso, on December 7th!
The Coordination of International Affairs of the Governor’s Office, in collaboration with the Secretariat of Tourism and the City Hall of Progreso, welcomes you to Yucatan! This is an event created especially for you, where you will meet other Snowbirds and Expats, enjoy traditional music and dance presentations as well as delicious food. There also will be information booths about leisure and medical tourism, altruistic activities and more.  We hope you’ll be able to join us!
Sanitary protocols will be in place.

New US Consulate Staff in Merida

Dorothy Ngutter assumed duties as Consul General at the U.S. Consulate General in Merida in August 2021.  A career Foreign Service Officer, she most recently served as the Director of the International Narcotics & Law Enforcement Section at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan managing border security and justice sector programs.  Dorothy has also served as Deputy Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Turkey, Public Diplomacy Officer at the U.S. Mission to NATO in Belgium, and Consular and Political Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Mali.

In Washington, she worked as a special assistant to former Under Secretary for Political Affairs Ambassador William J. Burns, as the Peru Desk Officer in the Office of Andean Affairs, and as a Watch Officer in the State Department’s Operations Center responsible for briefing and alerting then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other senior officials on breaking foreign affairs matters.  In other domestic assignments, Dorothy was a Diplomat-in-Residence responsible for outreach and recruitment of diverse candidates from the Pacific Northwest region of the United States.  Prior to that she represented the Department of State as a National Security Affairs Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

Dorothy joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 2002, after completing the Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship. She holds a Master of Arts in Law & Diplomacy (MALD) from The Fletcher School at Tufts University, and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Communication Studies from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. She has studied Turkish, Spanish, and French.

Assuming responsibilities as the new American Citizen Services Chief is Donna Huss. She is the point of contact for US Citizens visiting or living in Yucatan who require assistance from the US Consulate. She will be working hard to keep us up to date on the rules and regulations regarding travel and the ever-changing needs of our citizens. You can contact Donna at 999-316-7168, visit their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ConsuladoEstadosUnidosMerida or Email askMeridaACS@state.gov .

Security Issues

Every year, the arrival of the snowbirds triggers a new round of breakins.  The law-breaking element knows that the foreigners bring their money and electronics with them and that they often forget about taking precautions from year to year.

This is a good time to download our Security Leaflet!  (That link will download a 280kb PDF file.)  This document prints on two sheets of standard paper, or just keep it on your PC, phone or tablet. The leaflet gives you tips on preventing crime, and information on what to do if you’re a victim.

Remember, for ALL emergencies,
CALL 911
from any US, Canadian or Mexican phone.

Progreso’s New Eco-Police

With the closing of the dumps, we certainly expect that the tourists and some locals will now look to dumping in the roadways and the entradas.  To minimize that happening, the size of the City of Progreso’s Ecology Police Force has been substantially increased.  You will see them traveling around the community on ATV’s with police lights. They have full Police authority and can write tickets for any offense.

As we transition thru this period of not having dumps, we will look to everyone to help with the enforcement.  If you see dumping, PLEASE report it.  If you are able to take pictures of the license plates of those dumping and the product they dump and advise Ecology, we can get some results. We recently had a report with all the above information and the individual responsible has been fined.   You can make a difference if you will advise Ecology.  Here is their number along with some other city government numbers that may be helpful.

  • Ecological Police:  999 277 2190
  • Municipal Police:  969 103 6286
  • Civil Protection:  969 103-7286
  • DIF:  969 103-6857
  • Health Department:  969 103-6807


The management and staff of the city water department SMAPAP have made a new commitment to restore reliable water service to everyone in the Progreso Municipality.  SMAPAP’s responsibility is to get water to your property line. Once on your property, your water service becomes your responsibility.  Here is the process if you do not have reliable water from the city to your property boundary.

Before contacting SMAPAP, remember that you cannot expect water pressure equal to your home country.  If it is flowing and slowly filling your cistern or getting water to your pressure pump, that is probably what you can expect.  Also, as we all know, when we have a large number of visitors, this will effect the flow.  It may help to pre-plan to get enough water to last a few days.  (If you have to fill your pool, do it sooner, not later.)  Be a bit patient as everyone is accessing the same water source.

  • When contacting SMAPAP, please have your Account Number.  They have GPS coordinates on most properties and it will allow them to find you. Your Account Number is on your SMAPAP bill, and probably also painted somewhere on the front wall of your house or property. (See photo above.)
  • Tell the agent the last time you had water; this will help them identify the issue.  For example, often when power fails, the restarted pumps can pump air into the lines, blocking the flow of water.
  • Do your best to provide them with accurate information. That means identifying if you are an isolated outage or if it is affecting your neighbors, a whole block of houses, etc. This is critical to helping them identify where the malfunction is.
  • Advise if you had any work done by a plumber to try to fix the issue.

If you see actual pipe breaks leaking water into the street, please report this immediately with City, Street, Cross Streets, House address (if available), and Entrada if available.


To report, access the Facebook website. Hours of operation are 9-3 PM daily. Saturday’s 8-1. Be patient on Weekends.  Make this URL a Favorite, or bookmark it in your browser:

Provide the information listed above; your Account number, dates, times, locations, any other details.

Passport card info

With the new requirement for foreigners on tourist visas to carry their passport with them at all times, we were curious about whether the US Passport Card would be a valid substitute.
We asked the Consulate and they responded.  The bottom line is that you must always carry the same document that you used to enter Mexico.  So:

  • If you entered the country using your passport (which you did if you came by air), then you must carry your passport.
  • If you entered the country by ground (e.g., drove in) AND you used your Passport Card at entry, then your Card should be sufficient.


From the Beach Area News team to all of our readers wherever you are, we wish you a happy and healthy holiday season!
Bob Rentz, Speranza Avram, Karen Cloutier, Dave Bloch

16 November 2021 Newsletter

(Did you get here from the Email Newsletter?  Scroll down for photos)

Welcome back to all our Winter visitors!

It has been 18+ months since we have seen many of you, and a lot has changed! The population and economy of the Progreso Municipality is growing at a rapid pace. Construction is everywhere and many improvements have been made. Issues such as water, trash, CFE, roads and more are being addressed by the local and state governments–but as always, patience is a virtue here in Mexico. We’ll run through all these things in a minute, but first:


State and Local government officials are hosting a welcome event for Expats & Snowbirds on December 7 from 4 pm to 7 pm at the Casa de la Cultura in Progreso (corner of Calle 25 and Calle 80). The program will feature regional dance and music as well as information about health tourism, leisure tourism and local activities. Come on down to reconnect with your old friends and make some new ones!


SO MUCH of what we want to tell you about makes more sense with pictures, on this page we have all the Email Newsletter text with many more photos and graphics.


Julian Zacarias Curi was re-elected as Mayor of Progreso for another 3-year term. He continues to drive improvements in the community. He wants to see the Municipality grow with opportunities for local Mexican citizens and expats alike.  Photos below!

You will instantly see the difference on your first visit to the Progreso Malecon! The entire length has been rebuilt and is now closed to traffic. Palapas and beach umbrella areas have all been upgraded. The new Geology Museum building is completed but not yet open; we are told a State official that the museum is due to open soon!  Also, the new cruise ship Welcome Center at the entrance to the pier is almost ready for use!

FAST Progreso: You may remember this service from 2019. We now have a full-time expat resident Sallie Again-Hirst in this position. FAST Progreso (Foreigners Assistance Services Team) is part of the Tourism Office within the municipal government established to provide information, news and help to the foreign community and visitors. You will also find FAST Progreso around on cruise ship days ensuring our visitors have a positive experience while in our port.

If you have issues pertaining to the Municipality about street lights, water, or anything you don’t know how to deal with–or you are just seeking information about the City–it’s the job of FAST Progreso to help. Sallie can take a report from you and pass it along to the proper department.  Please note that FAST cannot help with State or Federal matters such as immigration or CFE.

You can contact FAST on Facebook; just search for Fast Progreso or contact Sallie directly via WhatsApp at 999-255-6494 or email at: againhirstsallie@yahoo.com


Progreso’s Traditional Malecon is now free of motor vehicles (official and some delivery/service vehicles permitted).
The PROGRESO letters got an upgrade
The Progreso beach now has international BLUE FLAG status from the Foundation for Environmental Education.
The new Geology Museum on the Progreso Malecon will open soon!
A look inside the open space of the Geology Museum
Chicxulub Central Plaza
Chicxulub Central Plaza
Chicxulub Central Plaza
Chelem and Chuburna now have THREE Oxxo’s!
New Chelem Central Plaza
New Chelem Sports Field
NEW Trash process

The process for trash collection has changed. All dump locations including Chelem and Chicxulub have been closed. If you have paid Prolimpia, the local garbage service, trash will be picked up outside your home on a regular schedule, two days per week. You can find out from your neighbors when that schedule is. If you have not paid for garbage service, you need to go to the Prolimpia office in Plaza de Mar (the shopping center on Calle 27 between C.76 and 78 in Progreso) to establish service.

If you have yard waste, you must bag it and put it out. They will pick up 2 bags per service day. We ask everyone to PLEASE purchase a trash can with fitted lid to limit the exposure to the bags by the street dogs!

For the safety of their employees, Prolimpia requests: “Do not bag sharp items (glass, metal, among others); put them in a box and indicate their contents in a note. Don’t bag heavy items like rubble or other construction materials.”

If you have special items you need picked up, such as palm fronds or other items on the list below, send a picture of the items, with a detailed description of the location, on WhatsApp to 999-362-6077. A GPS location is always welcome! There is an additional cost for this special pickup.

SPECIAL PICKUP ITEMS: Construction materials, furniture, light bulbs, appliances, grass, Christmas trees, hoses, mattresses, toilets, rocks, tires, dirt, logs.

You can Download the Prolimpia Flyer with the pickup schedule, items list and phone numbers here! (338 kb file)


The Progreso municipality has established convenient locations to recycle your plastic, aluminum, cardboard and glass. Please save these items and take them to one of the locations. Help them keep the environment clean while contributing to the reuse of limited resources. You can drive your car to these locations to unload. Three of the four are staffed to help you unloading.

The locations are:
Chelem—Behind the Commasaria, between 20+21. M-F, 8-3, Saturday 8-12.
Progreso Cultural Center—Calle 80 x 25, across from the Market. 8-5, M-F
Chicxulub—Corner of Hwy 27 and Calle 19. M-F 10AM-5 PM.
Ecologia y Media Progreso—C 19 X 18 y 20 Colonia Nueva Yucalpeten, Open 24/7. Not monitored.

PHOTOS of the Recycling Centers


The municipality is working hard to improve conditions for everyone. That, of course, takes revenue! There is a major push to collect Federal Beach Tax, water (SMAPAP) fees, Prolimpia fees and state taxes. It is recommended you make every attempt to be up to date on all these fees to avoid penalties. (Remember that there are substantial discounts if you pay your PREDIAL–the property tax–early! INAPAM card holders also receive a discount.)


Use the link at left, or Search Facebook like this.

As of the middle of November, we have the lowest COVID-19 numbers of the year, and the federal government has designated Yucatan at “Green” status. To check the current COVID-19 status in Yucatan, visit the Yucatan state health department Facebook page. Use Google Chrome with translation turned on, and scroll until you see the Daily Coronavirus report.


Social Distancing is required with limitations by the size of the venue. Limit 8 People per table.
Masks are required to be worn in all public places at all times, except when eating or drinking.

As of mid-November 2021, visitors are not required to be tested for Covid-19 to enter Mexico. Both the US and Canada have separate requirements for reentering after visiting Mexico. Check with the official Websites of the US State Department or Government of Canada (or your country) to get their latest information.


If you are entering Mexico there are new regulations regarding the checking of your immigration status. If you are entering under the FMM tourist Visa, you must carry the bottom portion of this document and your passport with you at all times. (If you are temporary or Permanent resident, you must carry your resident card with you at all times. You do not need to carry your passport with you as long as you have your Mexican residency card.)
If you do not have these documents with you and are stopped by immigration, you can be jailed until you can produce the original documents. COPIES ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE.

Another important change is that Immigration will no longer automatically give you a 180-day visa when you arrive. You will be asked how long you are staying, and will be given that number of days. Check this article for more details:


A new Facebook group and Website, Yucatan Back Roads, was created by Beach Area News editors Speranza Avram and Dave Bloch to highlight interesting places to explore in the Yucatan. The group lets you share stories of your explorations of the small villages, cenotes and haciendas along the rural back roads of our state. Join the group on Facebook or visit the yucatanbackroads.com Website for more information!

Once again, welcome back!

Your Beach Area News team: Bob Rentz, Speranza Avram, Karen Cloutier, Dave Bloch
Copyright © 2021 Beach Area News, All rights reserved.

2 February 2021 Newsletter


Welcome to the first edition of Beach Area News for 2021!

We suspect that many of our readers who would usually be spending the winter months here on the north Yucatan coast are home “up north,” perhaps shoveling snow and dreaming about the warm sea breezes that they are missing.  There are many positive changes taking place in our communities so we thought we would use this year’s first edition of our newsletter to let you know about some of them.


In 2019, the City of Progreso created a “one-stop shop” for foreign residents and visitors to Progreso. It is called FAST Progreso – Foreigners Attention Services Team.  The goal of the program is to help expats and foreign visitors get answers to questions about city programs and services.

FAST Progreso has a new coordinator – long-time Progreso resident Sallie Again-hirst. Sallie is a retired public-service worker originally from the state of Missouri in the US. Her background includes working as a dispatcher for local law enforcement and most recently, nursing. Sallie has lived in Progreso for ten years and has been active in many local community projects. In this 2020 photo, Sallie received recognition for her community service from Progreso Mayor Julian Zacarias Curi.

Her job at FAST Progreso is to help find answers for the expat and visitor community. Her questions range from the mundane – how to pay local taxes – to the more complicated – “what to do about all the mosquitos?”  Whatever the question, she will try to find the answer. As Sallie explained to Beach Area News “I find that if I can stay ahead of whatever problems might arise, then I can post about them on the FAST Progreso Facebook page. So far, that seems to be working.”
Sallie says she loves her new job and is really understanding just how hard many city employees are working to improve the quality of life for all the residents of this port city.
You can contact FAST Progreso by visiting their Facebook page and sending Sallie a Message or through WhatsApp – 999-255-6494.

The Progreso Blue Flag Program

For much of last year, the beaches in Progreso were closed to the public. When they reopened again in November, we noticed a few things. First, they were so clean!  Second, new trash receptacles were located on the sand. And finally, a big new sign describing Progreso’s participation in the Blue Flag Program, an international recognition designed to help maintain environmental quality at beaches around the world, while also encouraging sustainable tourism. There are 66 beaches around Mexico that are participating in the Blue Flag Program, but Progreso is the only Blue Flag site in the State of Yucatan. To be added to the program and maintain certification, sites need to adhere to a long list of criteria. You can learn more about the Blue Flag Program here: https://www.blueflag.global/our-programme

And here are some photos of how great the beach in Progreso looks now!


Geology Museum in Progreso

A massive construction project is happening on the Malecon at the former site of the Parque de la Paz.  The Geology Museum is a federal project that, according to Progreso Hoy, will have “exhibition areas and various rooms, with green areas and open-air public spaces for the enjoyment of the inhabitants and visitors, and it will be a space where several of the activities that they got used to it in the malecón park.”  The museum will be a space “where the history of our port and our people will be told,” Progreso Mayor Julian Zacarias Curi told Progreso Hoy back in July.

Recycling is Here At Last!

Finally, residents in Progreso, Chelem and Chuburna can participate in recycling! In November of last year,  the City of Progreso opened up its first recycling facility at the Casa de Cultura in Progreso on the corner of Calle 25 and Calle 80. Open 9 am – 5 pm Monday – Friday, and 9 am – 2 pm on Saturday, the facility accepts glass, aluminum, cardboard and PET plastic (essentially, plastic drink bottles).

A second site, with a bit easier parking access, also opened in Yucalpeten, near the Fiscalia near the corner of Calle 29 and 37.

Residents of Chelem and Chuburna can recycle at the newly opened recycling center located at the site of the former dump.

The community of Chicxulub will receive a recycle drop-off location soon.

Soccer/Baseball Field 

For as far back as anyone can remember, the baseball and soccer field in Chelem was nothing but dust and dirt.  If you fell down fielding the ball, you ended up with plenty of scars.  If you dared to slide into a base, it could mean stitches.

That is about to end. The government is building a state of the art sports field for soccer and baseball in place of the old dirt lot, complete with professional grade Astroturf, professional lighting, viewing stands, and plenty of restrooms for all so they can enjoy the whole game. This is an outstanding development for children, parents and all to enjoy a night out with the family.

A similar, somewhat smaller facility is also being built in Chuburna.  What a great step forward for these two communities!


New travel restrictions announced by both the US and  Canada mean that (as of February 2, 2021) proof of a negative Covid-19 test is required to return to either country.  The good news is that there are many Covid-19 testing sites available throughout Progreso and Merida. It is important that anyone attempting to return to the US or Canada verify the type of test required (PCR or antigen) by both the country AND the specific airline that you will be flying. There is a list of approved Covid-19 testing sites on the Beach Area News website here (this link will download a PDF):


In addition, Merida International Airport also has a rapid Covid-19 testing site available. This site will perform the antigen test that is acceptable for entrance to the USA, deliver the results and provide a certificate in a maximum of 30-minutes; cost is about MX$700.  Note that you must present an airline ticket to use this service.

IMPORTANT: regardless of where you receive your test, be sure it includes the date and time of the test, and your name as it appears on your passport.

The State of Yucatan continues to do what it can to prevent the State from returning to a “red” condition, which is extreme lock-down. Carnaval has been cancelled this year and the Progreso Malecon beaches will be closed for two weeks beginning February 4. We have noted stepped up enforcement to prevent large parties from taking place in the beach area. There is no definitive word about a vaccine for Yucatan – only that vaccinations may be available in about three months. Meanwhile, we encourage everyone here in the beach communities to enjoy our fabulous winter weather from the comfort and safety of your own home.

Take care and stay healthy!  From your friends at Beach Area News:
Bob Rentz, Speranza Avram, Karen Cloutier, Dave Bloch

COVID-19 Testing Requirement for Air Travel to USA: 16 January 2021

Effective January 26, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will require all air passengers entering the United States (including U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents) to present a negative viral COVID-19 test, taken within three calendar days of departure, or proof of recovery from the virus within the last 90 days.  Airlines must confirm the negative test result or proof of recent recovery for all passengers prior to boarding and must deny boarding of passengers who do not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery.  Please see CDC’s FAQ and the Embassy’s COVID-19 webpage for more information about the new requirement.

If you are planning to return to the United States, you should contact your airline for specific information about testing requirements for travelers.  Because airlines may adopt and modify their own specific policies to implement CDC’s new rule, you should contact the carrier for your U.S.-bound flight and not rely on information from other carriers or information or experience from previous trips.

21 October 2020 Newsletter

Welcome to our first 2020 Snowbird Season edition of Beach Area News!

Like everything this year, this season will be different.  Many of you up north may not be coming down for the winter, while others may find escaping the confined spaces that cold weather brings makes our warm climate more attractive than ever.  If you’re still trying to make that decision, or if you are already making your plans to come down and join us, this issue of Beach Area News is for you.


As of this date, Yucatan is at the ORANGE level in Mexico’s 4-color “traffic light” system.  Orange means “non-essential” businesses (including some restaurants) are open with  very limited capacity, masks are REQUIRED in public spaces, and the ongoing need for social distancing (‘sana distancia”) and washing/sanitizing your hands continues. Cultural events are being permitted with tight controls and limited attendance. ALL large public events (such as Dia de Muertos/Hanal Pixan) are cancelled and large gatherings are prohibited.  Overall, do not expect the same culturally-vibrant scene this year.

At this moment in mid October, the private and public hospital systems are not at capacity. Certainly the nationwide closure of schools is helping to hold the numbers down, but the gradual reopening of Yucatan’s economy could bring them back up again.

Some tourism venues like Maya ruins, museums and cenotes are open with limited hours and daily limits on visitors.  Alcohol retail sales are permitted with limited hours.

ANY of these permissions or restrictions could be changed at any time by the State government if conditions permit.  International travel restrictions–implemented by Mexico or your home country–could change anytime.  Your airline might also make last-minute changes; check with them frequently as your trip approaches.

(If you are planning to drive to Mexico, note that “non-essential” cross-border travel is closed until at least November 21. A good article appears here:  https://www.mexperience.com/mexico-land-border-restrictions-closure-covid-19/ )

An excellent source for current status information on Covid-19, business hours of operation, restaurant operating hours, and other pertinent information is the MID CityBeat Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/midcitybeat.  If you follow the Yucatan Beach Friends FB group, you see the postings there.  MID CityBeat bypasses the rumor mill and goes directly to government sources to get correct, current information.


The Canadian Consulate in Quintana Roo is providing limited services. The US Consulate in Merida informed us this week “Please note we are slowly adding routine appointments in Merida.”  Checking the Consulate Website shows that all Merida appointments in November are filled; check for cancellations.  December appointments will be opened in mid-November.  The Consulate always holds some slots open for emergencies.  Note that each applicant requires their own appointment, and all visitors to the consulate age two and older must wear a mask.

The Mexican Immigration offices are also running with minimal staff and very few services are offered.  Be sure that all your travel/immigration documents are current before you leave home!  Remember that your passport must be valid for six months after your entry date or you will not be allowed into Mexico.


First of all, remember that the storm season officially runs through November 30.  Check the National Hurricane Center Website http://hurricanes.gov every few days to see what’s going on out in the Atlantic.  A hurricane like Delta (which missed our immediate area, but not by much) could do massive damage.  Hopefully, we’ll continue the luck of the past 18 years since Hurricane Isidora came through.

Some of the beaches in our area experienced considerable beach erosion from Delta, and some were covered with tons of seaweed.  There has been a lot of cleanup in some areas, but you may find some of your favorite beach spaces are not the same as last year.  Watch the FB groups for photos, or ask a friend in your beach neighborhood how your beach looksThere is a photo down at the bottom of this Newsletter that shows one area of beach in eastern Progreso on October 17–scroll down.

Chelem and Churburna remain in a cleanup mode. An important change in garbage handling since last year: all Public Dumps have been closed. Consult our website BeachAreanews.com for current information on Trash/Garbage pickup by Prolimpia.

Storm possibilities aside, Progreso has been significantly cleaned up by the Ayuntamiento de Progreso.  You’ll find many streets repaved and big improvements in Centro, especially the north end of Calle 80 from the Mercado to the Malecon.  But things are much quieter due to the restrictions on businesses.

Again, MASKS ARE REQUIRED BY LAW IN PUBLIC SPACES.  Although you’re going to see some people without them, our expat community generally tries to set a good example.

Mexico does not require two weeks of self-isolation upon arrival.  But given the infection risk involved in any international travel, you should plan to take your first 14 days to just enjoy your beach area home.  Many area restaurants run delivery services, and there are folks who will do grocery shopping for you as well.  The rule QUEDATE IN CASA! (Stay at Home!) applies double when you just got off a plane.


IMPORTANT:  Besides having COVID around, we are also approaching FLU season.  Dra. Fany Lucia Rubio Losa of Merida Health Travel advised us recently that the flu vaccine may be in short supply (and of questionable quality) in Mexico. 
If you want to get a flu vaccine this winter, do it before you leave home. 

Make sure your health insurance covers COVID.  (For that matter, make sure it covers you outside your home country!)  We are aware of three Yucatan companies who provide different healthcare-related services to foreigners:


The weather is moving out of the summer humidity and into the winter season that we all love.  Our local Progreseños are still warm and friendly, even though it’s a bit harder for them to express it.  The Gulf waters are the same emerald green as before.  Get your flu shot, pack your masks, and come on down!

Every issue of Beach Area News has an Unsubscribe link at the bottom, which will instantly take you off our list.  Please know that if you do this, Mailchimp’s robust spam control policies prevent us from adding you back using that same address.  If you change your mind later, you can easily send us a different address to use. OR write to us and we will send you a special “sign up yourself” URL.  (We do not make that public to keep US from being spammed!)

Look forward to seeing your smiling faces this winter.  Safe Travels to all.
The Beach Area News Team
Bob Rentz, Speranza Avram, Karen Cloutier, Dave Bloch


ProLimpia Brochure Translation 3 Sept 2020

Below is a ROUGH translation of the Spanish-language brochure many have received regarding trash.   A couple of  important points:

  • The landfill mentioned is NOT for residents.  It is for construction waste and is not in Chelem, Chuburna, Chicxlub, Uaymitum or any location you may recognize.
  • The brochure mentions keeping your account up to date.   Registering and paying your fees at discounted rates is about to end.  2021 Budgets are in the works.  Make sure you get the discounted rates.
  • Calling the Ecology Police when you see something that is just wrong, continues to be a priority.–BeachAreaNews team


The Progreso City Council, by changing the Prolimpia address, invites you to familiarize yourself with your garbage collection service.

Since November 1, The Prolimpia company has been the only authorized management of solid household waste in the municipality of Progreso and its commasarios leading to the following actions:

  • Implementation of routes and schedules for each area of the ports and its commasarios.
  • Maintenance and pickup at established points for—Chelem-Chuburna.
  • Maintenance and pick up at established points for-Chicxlub-Uaymitun.
  • Sanitation of the Landfill and construction of the new Landfill. [This location is not for residents, but for Construction waste and involves a fee to use]
  • Special pickup service for large waste and mass CleanupsWith these and more actions we seek to mark a change to have a worthy and clean Progreso.  Your participation as a user is indispensable for the system to be sustainable. Help us:
  • Keep your service up to date.
  • Take out your garbage according to your route and schedule Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
  • Contact us to resolve your questions and concerns
  • Deliver your waste only to our collection units
  • Report pirate collectors who generate clandestine dump sites and damage the environment.

Currently we are carrying out a data update in our system.  We are currently using GPS for each Property, this in order to have more accurate information and that will be more effective and efficient, when we visit your property, this will allow:

  • Updating your property will make you aware of different promotions
  • Identification of the owner and/or occupant of the house
  • Provide phone notices for improvement of dealing of complaints and notices regarding service
  • E-Mail, providing a paperless system to make us more media friendly
  • If we visited you and you were not home, and you want to update your information, you can contact us making reference to Folio #_______ by any of these methods:

Or visit our offices located in the park on Calle 142 between Calles 31 and 33 in Progreso (near Yucalpeten).

We are at your service!  Let’s work together for the care of the environment.

27 August 2020 Trash Update

We owe a debt of gratitude to the management and Staff of ProLimpia.  They were presented a challenge and have responded exceptionally.  Make sure you thank them as you interact with them.

  • Service will return to normal days of pickup.
  • If you see areas littered such as Entradas, etc, you can report them via WhatApp message to Felipe Borges. 999-947-1071.
  • If you see dumping or anything just not right, call or text Ecology, 999-359-0369 on WhatsApp.  If you fail to receive a response, please advise us team@beachareanews.com .

Most important is the effort now to register individuals, assign the proper fees and pay those fees so that your service can continue.   These efforts are being extended to Visitors and Tourists.

  • Those individuals whom have a Prolimpia bill and paid for the entire year at the $200 Pesos per month,  can e-mail Yaremi Zarate  a copy of their bill, Visa, and Prolimpia account number: Yaremi.zarate@ayuntamientodeprogreso.gob.mx.   She will reduce your bill for September-December to $70 a month and apply any overpayment as a credit, which can be applied to 2021 fees due.  There will be not be a rebate or credit for the first 8 months of the year.
  • Those individuals who have not registered with Prolimpia and have a Water Bill, and have Permanent Resident Visas, will need to register, receive a Prolimpia bill/invoice and bring their account up to date. (A good example of how to do that is already posted by Lisa Dart Robertson on multiple sites).
  • Those with Temporary Resident Visas will need to register, and bring their account up to date.  They can have their fees reduced from the $200 fee to $100 pesos.  You will need the same documents as stated above. Predial must be for 2020.
  • Those individuals that do not have water Service from the City, either because it was never hooked up or you officially withdrew service, need to register.  You will need a CFE bill, Copies of your Visa and proof of payment of Predial 2020. Providing GPS coordinates of their location will be helpful. You will need to go to the office.   Lisa Dart Robertson has posted details of the process on multiple sites.
  • Landlords are responsible for paying fees.  Please advise your landlords of these requirements.  As an incentive, Landlords can receive the $100 fee.  If from Merida, a valid drivers license will serve as ID when paying the $100 fee.  If your landlord resides in the Progreso Municipality, the fee can be $70.  (If a Mexican, a copy of drivers license is acceptable.  If Foreign owner, a copy of their Visa is necessary).

All of these discounts are for a limited time.  Come mid September, and the discounts will no longer be available.

This program will remain a work in progress. Updates will be provided as needed.

There are other programs being developed to minimize the littering of the community.  Recycling, etc.  Stay tuned for that info.

Thanks to all in being part of the solution and keeping our community clean.

Chelem and Chicxulub: Getting Trash Pickup

You’ve all heard about this happening; here is what to do if your home has been bypassed by ProLimipia’s trucks up to now.

  1. Go out to the street and take a photo of your house.
  2. From that spot, open the Maps app on your phone.  Wait for the spot that shows your location to settle down to exactly where you are, then
  3. Touch and Hold your finger on that spot until the the red icon shows up. Continue holding until the latitude and longitude appear at the top of the screen.
    (On some devices, when the red icon appears, you must pull up the white bar from the bottom of the screen until you see the lat/long numbers.)
  4. Write those numbers down exactly as they appear.
  5. Send that information, along with your name, street address, and any other helpful information (like your entrada) to ProLimpia via WhatsApp: 999 362 6077.
  6. ProLimpia may send someone to your house to confirm the location.  They will send trucks this weekend for a special garbage pickup.