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 .
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,
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
WATER, WATER, WATER
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.
HOW TO REPORT:
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