Que Pasa in Baja?

Tourist snaggers regulated. We can’t say we haven’t heard that before, this time Ensenada is the one that is trying to eradicate the annoying practice on the tourist streets of the city.

Jorge Menchaca, head of the local chamber of commerce, said that they pressured authorities to do something about the growing problem.

Lot’s of tourists feel uncomfortable, to say the least, in the presence of these individuals that try to get them in a certain store, restaurant or bar by following them while reciting their sales pitch and in some cases even grabbing them to try and stop them.

Authorities, in turn, said that they wouldn’t tolerate the practice anymore stating that snaggers will be taken to jail and businesses that use them fined.

Menchaca also stated that the local government had restarted their tourist police program that had been successful in the past, these police officers are bilingual and ride around the tourist areas in their bikes making them more approachable by people.

On the right track. Mirna Rincon, Rosarito’s mayor, announced last week that it’s essential for her government to keep the city’s beaches clean. She stated this in the ceremony where the official committee for clean beaches was formed.

The committee was formed in part to be able to have Rosarito’s beaches Blue Flag certified, a certification that is given only to the beaches that comply with the highest levels of water quality and general cleanliness.

Federal Zone representatives announced that they picked up about 12 tons of trash from the Memorial Day weekend but that they were actually expecting more.

Let’s keep up people. Ensenada also launched their own committee to keep beaches clean, which is especially needed there since just a couple months ago one of the local beaches landed in the list of most contaminated beaches in Mexico, in the first place.

If you’ve been reading our Facebook posts, you probably know by now that beaches in Ensenada are plagued with a microorganism called dinoflagellates which make the water look reddish.

Experts say dinoflagellates are either toxic or bioluminescent and this time we got the latter ones, making the waves in the water glow at nights.

Leave our land alone. That’s what Hugo Torres said regarding the ongoing conflict between Ensenada and Rosarito about the city limits.

It’s an exaggerated and opportunistic claim by Ensenada that has no merit at all” said Don Hugo.

The chunk of land that Ensenada is fighting for represents about the third part of Rosarito, while all of Rosarito’s (the whole 197 square miles of land) would be just about 1% of the land that Ensenada currently has.

We’re with Don Hugo on this one, Ensenada already is the largest municipality in all of Mexico by land extension so let’s just leave this teenie weenie piece to Rosarito, it means a lot more to them. Anyway, most of the people I’ve talked about that live in the area in dispute said they would rather be part of Rosarito than Ensenada since it’s closer to them.

More name madness. In Mexico we all have two last names; first we have our father’s last name followed by our mother’s. Until recently it wasn’t legal to register a child with the mother’s last name first if the father recognized the kid. That changed about two months ago when new regulations were passed for the local registration offices in Baja that allowed for the parents to choose which one goes first as long as they can agree.

Here’s the catch: The order they decide on their first born child can’t be changed for the following kids.

A million new totoabas. About 2.3 million USD are being invested by the state and federal government in a program focused on producing about a million baby totoabas in order to restore their natural balance in the California Gulf.

Governor Kiko Vega stated that the program aims to make the Totoaba a sustainable species that could be also attractive for sport fishing.

Although fishing for Totoaba is illegal at the moment, the exorbitant prices paid for their swimming bladders in Asian markets (where it’s used as a form of natural Viagra) makes them very lucrative for fishing outlaws. A pound of these guys bladders can fetch up to $4,000 USD.

The Totoaba has become infamous as one of the main reasons the vaquita is almost extinct, as fishermen use gill nets to fish for them, catching vaquitas in the nets as well in the process.

Cashing in on the Baja 500. The state tourism office reported that during this year’s edition of the Baja 500 off-road race a 100% occupancy was recorded on Ensenada hotels.

About 4 million USD are said to have been brought in by tourists and visitors to Ensenada during that weekend by about 100,000 spectators that came to see or participate in the race.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Baja 1000 race, which is expected to bring even more tourists than the 500.

Popotla gets a revamp. About 2 million USD were invested by the state government in the Popotla fishing village in Rosarito. The money was used to pave the entrance to the village and now it has just been announced that a merge lane to the free road is being started.

The city of Rosarito is also installing street lighting in the area to give area visitors a better sense of security.

Time’s up on off-road museum. The city of Ensenada has only this month to decide if they want the Off-road museum or not, said officials for the state tourism office.

The Ensenada business council was the public entity chosen to deliver the decision, which is going to be based in a study of the acceptance of the project by the city residents.

Oscar Escobedo, head of the state tourism office, has said before that if Ensenada doesn’t want the museum, they can take it to any other city in Baja. The resistance for the project comes from the proposed land where it would be placed, which is right next to CEARTE. Opposers say that land would be better suited for an expansion of the arts center.

Although an expansion of the local art center would be nice, it would help us a lot more to have a working museum of something we are actually famous for internationally. Especially if we want more of those people aboard the cruise ships to get off the boat.

Baja manufacturing keeps growing. Baja just made it to the second place in the country in workers in the manufacturing industry, this year the industry created 20,330 new jobs indicating a 7% grow from last year.

Manufacturing jobs have been heavily criticized in the past because they allow statistics to show the state with a very low unemployment rate, but most of the times these are very low paid jobs.

Regarding this matter, Carlo Bonfante, head of the State Economic Development Office, said that there was also an important 5.9% growth in the average of salary paid compared to last year.

Huge development announced. Ensenada Mayor Marco Antonio Novelo announced that the Marinazul Golf & Resort project located south of San Felipe is ready to be developed and that he has given the order to his people to facilitate the process so the developers can begin ASAP.

The project has been announced since 2010, many times now, but it has been delayed because of several different reasons.

The Spanish developers are investing 83 million USD in the first stage, which will include all basic infrastructure and 2,000 residential units.

The complete project includes a total of 5,598 residential units and 3,995 hotel rooms, a horse track, 27-hole golf course, commercial area and restaurants. The development is said to be a destination itself.

Author: Oliver Quintero

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