Monday, May 12, 2014

Latest news via Dobie

This is rather long, but Daniel asked me to post it here. dobie  (La Manzanilla message board)

The Good News – Lino, a member of the ejido and owner of the historic Hotel Frances in Guadalajara has won his case for 5 of his lots on the hill to Playa Mora (the snorkeling beach). He was able to fence 3 hectares (7.5 acres). This is a major advance, as the other 4 who won hadn’t been allowed (by the “private” state police) to fence their lots, although they have a judicial order to do so. These lots are outside the 42 hectares of Rodenas’ original claim. As of now, access to Playa Mora is still by walking around the rocks at low tide. 

Francisco, the lawyer who’s working to help the restaurant owners recoup some of their losses, is filing a queja (a type of lawsuit) which will cover all of the lots that are outside the 42 hectares, (maybe as many as 100 lots) that Rodenas has taken possession of illegally. Some of you might remember that a couple of years ago another lawyer, Everardo Rojas won a similar queja, but after going through revision, the decision was reversed. Apparently it was denied because it included all of the land that Rodenas took, including the lots within the 42 hectares. That’s a separate case and is still in process. 

There was a meeting at Chito’s restaurant last week where people decided to invite Julian, the president (head) of the municipality of La Huerta, to come to El Rebalsito and talk to people about what’s happening with the beach. People are asking for the right to be vendedores ambulantes (walking beach vendors) in the federal zone. Also included in the email invitation was a request that Francisco (the lawyer) be given access to all the files relating to the concession so he can keep us up to date as to what’s happening. 

The Not So Good News – The issue of the concession still has not been resolved, and now the decision has been suspended. There was no reason given. So nobody has the concession, neither Rodenas nor La Huerta. 

Rebalsito Update – 

There were a couple of busy days on the beach and in town during Semana Santa, but that was it. Some of the tour buses that come out to the beach only stay for a short time due to the lack of bathrooms. The municipality has tried to bring in portable toilets, but wasn’t allowed. Crazy. 

Thanks to Santa Claus, we have another laptop to give to the top middle school graduate this July. This will be the 5th one. 

Many of the jobs in Mexico now require la prepa (high school) whereas before, la secundaria (middle school) was sufficient. Unfortunately la prepa isn’t free – costs about 600 pesos ($50 US) a semester. Certain books have to be bought, or shared. There’s no public transporation to the nearest prepa here in Miguel Hidalgo, and it’s too far to walk, so the students have to chip in for gas and get someone to take them, or try to hitchhike. 

I’d love to figure out a way to help some of these kids who are really motivated and doing well in school (prepa requires and entrance exam) to be able to continue their education, especially if they come from families that can’t afford to pay for them. When the restaurants on the beach were open, the kids could work vacations and make some money. But now there aren’t many jobs to be had. 

If anyone has any ideas or suggestions as to how to raise some money for this, please let me know. Everyone has been very generous in responding to different needs of the community, but I hate to keep asking for money, even if it’s not for me! Also, if anyone would like to work on this project with me, let me know. Education is so important, not just the book learning part of it, but getting out, being around different people, getting exposed to new ideas, seeing a bigger picture ; it gives someone more options. 

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