23 January 2019 Newsletter

State and Local Government Meets With Expats

On January 15, several representatives of the government of Yucatan came to Progreso for an informative meeting on the services their departments are offering to improve everyone’s lives here at the beach. The gathering was held at the La Cola del Cocodrilo Restaurant in Progreso.

The meeting was sponsored by the Coordination of International Affairs of the Office of the Governor of Yucatan. Presenting at the meeting were (translated titles may not be exactly accurate translations, but are descriptive):
• C. Ariadne Morales Acevedo, Director of International Affairs, State of Yucatan
• Lic. Olivia Bakker Gómez, Liaison for the Foreigners Attention Window at the State of Yucatan
• Comandante Jorge Albert Camargo, Operations Director for the Integration Center for Public Safety, Secretary of Public Security (SSP), State of Yucatan
• Comandante Luis Várguez Chacón, Operations Director for the Coastal Zone, SSP, State of Yucatan
• Comandante Emilio Caamal Gutiérrez, Director, Progeso Municipal Police
• Lic. Luis Chan Correa, Fiscalia Specialist of Justice for Adolescents
• Lic. Juan José Góngora Puerto, Fiscalia Officer for the Crime Prevention in the City of Progreso
• Lic. Manuel Rosado Heredia, Director of Tourism and Commerce, City of Progreso

The representatives brought a Powerpoint presentation; the following information has been pulled from the slides:

To design programs, projects and actions aimed at promoting technical cooperation, resource management, technology transfer, exchange of experiences and, in general, the institutional development of the State of Yucatan, through decentralized international cooperation mechanisms.

• To be the link between the Governor’s Office and foreign institutions, such as governments and NGO´s
• To provide thecnical support to the Secretariats on issues related to their internationalization
• To provide assistance with the logistics and techinical support for the Governor’s international trips
• To be the link between the Governor’s Office and the foreign community living in Yucatan

A new service of the International Affairs Office.
• To provide information, assistance and support to foreign citizens
• Our role is to give advice to foreigners in order to link them with the corresponding authority in specific issues


–Link to our Office from the Official website of the Government of Yucatan: www.yucatan.gob.mx UNDER CONSTRUCTION
–Assistance by email: UNDER CONSTRUCTION

PURPOSE: To promote the Foreigner’s Attention Window
LOCATIONS: At strategic places in Progreso and Mérida, and at 5 State Police stations in the coast area

Address: Edificio Admnisitrativo Siglo XXI, 4th floor
Calle 20-A No. 284-B x 3-B, Colonia Xcumpich, Mérida.
Office hours: Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.
Phone number: (999) 920 39 47 Ext. 47257
Email: olivia.bakker@yucatan.gob.mx


Following the presentation, the representatives took written questions from the audience members. These questions covered several issues of safety and security. Nearly all of these issues are covered on various pages of BeachAreaNews.com, as well as in the downloadable leaflet “Your Safety and Security.”

A few new issues were raised and are summarized below:

Who can do alcohol breath testing on the federal highways?
Only State and Federal police, NOT Municipal police.

Call 911 if you see a suspicious person on your street, especially someone you see repeatedly walking up and down, possibly looking for times that homewoners leave the house each day.
If you employ local people, such as repairmen or contractors, in your home, ask for their ID and take a photo or copy of their ID cards.
• Note that the police patrol the beach both on and offshore. They are always wearing reflective jackets or vests, and always use flashlights. If you see someone out there without these two things, call 911.
• There is information on BeachAreaNews.com about how to call 911 and reach a bilingual operator. Regardless, you can save valuable minutes if you know a few words of Spanish: the type of emergency you have (medical, fire or police) and your address (including the Colonia).
What if I don’t know my Colonia?
Most expats within the City of Progreso live in Centro (Calle 72 to 96) or Ismael Garcia (Calle 36 to 72). If you live in the villages, that name is enough. but also include “ciudad de Progreso” in your address. (There is a Colonia Chuburna in Merida; you don’t want any confusion.) Other clues are your CFE bill and the street signs around you. Ask your neighbors or your landlord, or a police officer.

PEPPER SPRAY is legal ONLY IN YOUR HOME. It is NOT legal to carry pepper spray with you!
If you have a car accident, call 911 and then call your insurance company. DO NOT move your car.

Do we ever tip the police?
NO. No police officer is ever allowed to accept money. If you are ever asked for money, note the officer’s name, badge number and car/truck number. Take photos if you can. You can call 911 from the scene and report this. It is important to get the name and badge number of the officer to make this work. Read what to do in case of a traffic stop on Beach Area News.

How do I report serious littering or garbage dumping?
Progreso has some tough new garbage/littering laws and enforcement. Although the city has hired new Ecology Officers especially for this, ANY police officer can enforce the garbage/litter laws, and it is OK to call 911 for this. If you can take a photo of someone throwing trash (like out of the window of their house) they can arrest.

What do I do if I witness any other ecological issue (for instance, damage to turtle habitat)?
Call 911 and ask for the police.

The Yucatan Department of Sustainable Development and the City of Progreso will present a morning of birdwatching and an Eco Rally on Friday, February 1. Details in the graphic below.


Enjoy the winter warmth!
Your Beach Area News Team:
Bob Rentz, Speranza Avram, Karen Cloutier, Dave Bloch and David Nevers


7 January 2019 Newsletter

Important Happenings in January!Happy New Year!  The team at Beach Area News wishes you and your family a healthy and productive 2019! This edition of Beach Area News covers the following topics:

  • An invitation to a meeting to learn more about state and local government services available to expats and snowbirds here in the Yucatan coast
  • A message from the United States Consulate regarding services available from their office in Merida during the current partial US government shutdown
  • Information on how you can get involved in an expat/snowbird float during this year’s Carnaval parades in Progreso
  •  One more reminder to stand up and be counted in our Expat Census Survey!

January 15 Presentation by our Local and State Governments

Join us on Tuesday, January 15 at 3 pm to hear presentations from the Yucatan State Office of Foreign Affairs, Yucatan State and Municipal security forces and the City of Progreso about what services they have available for foreign residents and visitors. The meeting will be held in Progreso at the restaurant La Cola del Cocodrilo, Calle 40 x Calle 23 and 25. Please let us know you will be coming by clicking on this evite link: http://evite.me/JKNzPbMUnt

At the meeting, you will hear from the Director of the Yucatan State Office of Foreign Affairs Ariadne Morales Acevedo about the Foreign Service Window, a “one-stop shop” available to help foreign residents interact with the Yucatan State Government. In addition, the Yucatan Chief of Security Comandante Carmago, as well as the Municipal Police Chief Comandante Caamal will be at the meeting. They will provide information on services provided by the state and local police and updates on how to report a crime. Finally, City of Progreso Tourism and Commerce Director Manuel Rosado, our liaison with the Mayor’s office, will provide information on the services provided by his department.

Please note: There will not be time at this meeting to address individual problems or concerns regarding government services. Please write down any specific items you would like the city or state to address–such as garbage pick-up problems, road repair issues or specific security concerns in your neighborhood–and bring them to the meeting along with your contact information. This written information will be provided to the appropriate individual who will follow-up directly with you regarding your individual issue or concern. Thank you for your understanding!

US Consulate Offering Only Essential Services During Partial US Government Shutdown

Unfortunately, the town hall meeting with the US Consulate office that was also scheduled to be held on January 15 has been postponed until further notice. The Consulate staff has informed us that at this time, the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Mexico continue to provide routine and emergency consular services during the lapse in appropriations resulting in a partial federal government shutdown. If you are scheduled for passport, visa, or other consular services please keep your appointment. Please see their Website for contact information:

Progreso Carnaval Parades

The City of Progreso is offering to help expats and snowbirds organize a float for this year’s Carnaval parades! A number of individuals have already volunteered to help design, build, and decorate a float, and others have volunteered to be on the floats during the parade.

This year’s Carnaval theme is Las Vegas: Show, Magic and Fantasy. The parades will take place on March 1, 2, 3, and 5. If you are interested in being part of a group effort to help build and/or decorate the float, or to be part of the parade itself, please send an email to team@beachareanews.com including your phone number and we will add you to the volunteer list. You will receive information about an organizational meeting to be held later in January to kick-off the float building process.

Carnaval events in Progreso will be starting on February 21 – here is a link to the complete calendar of Carnaval events: http://beachareanews.com/?p=207

Have you been counted in our Census Survey?

We’re still trying to get the best number we can of how many foreign expats and visitors are here at the beach! Even if you are only here for a short time, please take a minute to fill our our very brief online survey! Your responses are absolutely anonymous; we do not ask for your name, Email address or anything else. Please have every adult in your household take the survey separately; it really does take only a minute to complete.

Just click this link, check those little boxes and you’re done:

Thanks! Enjoy the great weather and all of the many events happening during this glorious winter season!

Your Beach Area News Team:
Bob Rentz, Speranza Avram, Karen Cloutier, Dave Bloch and David Nevers