Rosarito Calendar of Events

February 20, Wednesday, 1 pm; Flying Samaritans Bingo at Popotla Jr (across from El Nido Restaurant). Multiple games/cards and prizes. www.flyingsamaritans.org.

February 26, Tuesday, 8:30 am – 12 pm; 4th Annual Women’s Culture Movement of Rosarito at IMAC (behind Banamex). Featured topics include economic stability, discrimination, and family violence.

March 5, Tuesday, 4 – 6 pm; Wine and Design Mardi Gras Party at De Colores Studio (k40, near Santini’s). Tickets $6 at app.getoccasion.com. Dress for the theme (optional). Paint wine or margarita goblet. Light snacks provided. Facebook.com/ Wine and Design Mardi Gras Party.

March 9, Saturday, 5 – 8 pm; The Sweet Sixx Swingin’ Cabaret Burlesque Review at Hotel Calafia. Live band, cabaret, comedy, flappers, 1920-40 costume contest. Advance tickets online: $15; BGLC Members, $10; $20 at the event. Must be 18! www.SweetSixx.com.

March 15, Friday, 12 – 3 pm; Cruz Roja Rosarito St. Patrick’s Day Luncheon buffet at Charly’s Restaurant (k 37.5). $15 tickets available at the Cruz Roja Rosarito Thrift Store, Monday – Saturday, 10 – 3. All proceeds benefit Cruz Roja Hospital. Facebook.com/ Cruz Roja Rosarito.

March 16, Saturday, 5 – 9 pm; Flying Samaritans presents an evening of Casino Royale. Elegant Dress. Limited tickets, $40. Includes $400 in chips, appetizers. Drink specials. Prizes. Calafia’s Titanic Room (35.5km) All proceeds to benefit Flying Samaritans Rosarito. Tickets at www.flyingsamaritaansrosarito.org, or contact Dean Stalcup @ RDSTALCUP@aol.com; 858-538-5922 or 661-100-6894.

March 17, Sunday, 1 – 4 pm; Cruz Roja Primo Tapia St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at Bobby’s by the Sea. Advance purchase $20 ticket includes entrance, Irish stew, and soda bread. $25 at the event. Tickets available from Board members, Cruz Roja Primo Tapia Thrift Store or PayPal. 50/50, raffle, and Mayan Art Sale. Proceeds to benefit Cruz Roja Rosarito Hospital. www.cruzrojaprimotapia.com.

February 20, Wednesday, 5 pm; Cinema Wednesdays at CEART. “Quisiera ser Grande” (“Big”) directed by Penny Marshall, starring Tom Hanks. Free. Facebook/ CEART Playas de Rosarito; www.icbc.gob.mx; 661-100-6338.

February 21, Thursday, 10 am; Meeting of FRAO (Foreign Residents Attention Office) at Hotel Calafia, Titanic Room. Speaker TBA. Please RSVP to frao.office@gmail.com

February 24, Sunday, 11:30 am; Seniors Supporting (Apoyando)  Seniors presents Doug Rye and Winifred Morice in “Love Letters by A.R. Gurney. Location: San Antonio Del Mar, 299 Bahia. Continental breakfast to precede play, Tickets $30 via paypal.me/RCorsaro, or Reggie.Corrsaro@gmail.com. Shuttle available 11:30 – 12:00 for cars parking at the park near the south entrance, 1-626-825-1609.

February 27, Wednesday, 1 pm; Ladies Let’s Lunch! At the Viaje Oyster Bar in the La Quinta Hotel. Facebook.com/ Ladies Let’s Lunch or Facebook.com/ Sandy Eddahbi.

February 27, Wednesday, 5 pm; Wednesdays at the Cinema: “Intensamente” (Intensely), directed by Pete Docter. A girl learns to adapt to living in San Francisco and her new school. Free. Facebook/ CEART Playas de Rosarito; www.icbc.gob.mx; 661-100-6338.

March 9, Saturday, 5 – 8 pm; The Sweet Sixx Swingin’ Cabaret Burlesque Review at Hotel Calafia. Live band, cabaret, comedy, flappers, 1920-1940 costume contest. Advance tickets: $15; BGLC Members, $10; $20 at the event. Must be 18. www.sweetsixx.com.

Every Monday through Thursday, 9am – 12pm; Pickleball at Punta Azul Tennis Center. Cos: $1 court fee per person per day. Organized by Robert Canaan. BYO paddle and ball. Information: Facebook.com/ Rosarito Pickleball

Every Wednesday, 10am – 12pm; Adult painting class at IMAC Rosarito in the main park. Bilingual instructor. 200 peso registration/ 300 pesos per month. IMACRosarito@gmail.com; Facebook/imacrosarito.

Every Friday, 12 – 2 pm; Adult painting class at IMAC Rosarito in the main park. Bilingual instructor. 200 pesos registration/ 300 pesos monthly. IMAC Rosarito@gmail.com; Facebook/imacrosarito.

Every Sunday 4 pm. Cultural Sundays in the park. Local Mexican and American dancers and musicians.  At the IMAC in Abelardo L. Rodriguez park, west of Banamex. Facebook IMAC Rosarito. Free.

Every Sunday 2 – 4 pm at the IMAC Central Park (behind the Banamex on Juarez) Dancing for seniors. Salsa and merengue (among others) tunes designed to not throw out a hip. www.facebook.com/IMAC Rosarito

Second Sunday of every month, Pet sterilization by the Baja Spay and Neuter Foundation at the Centro de Diagnostico Clinico Vetrinario, ave. Queretaro #2331-3, Col Cacho, Tijuana. 200 pesos, 661-124-3619, or Robin at www.BajaSpayNeuter.org.

Last Sunday of every month, Jewish Chavurah. Gordon Kane – gordonmkane@gmail.com.

Every Monday, 10:45 am, duplicate bridge at Baja Gold Bridge Club, KM 42 at the Rosarito Beach Christian Church. bajagoldcoastbridgeclub@gmail.com.

Every Tuesday – Rotary Club meets at Rosarito Beach Hotel. 664-376-2620.

Every Tuesday 10am to 11am.  Chair Yoga – Rosarito Wellness, Healing, Living at IMAC Park, room 1 in Rosarito (behind Banamex). Improve Balance & Coordination.  Receive all the benefits of yoga in a gentle, Healing, Meditative yoga class where a chair is used for support and balance. Bring water, small towel and comfortable clothing. Instructor: Erendira Abel, Certified Holistic Health Specialist. $5 per class, paid at beginning of month. For registration and location:  (661) 614-6036 Mexico or (619) 632-2965 US. Email: wellnesshealingliving@gmail.com

Every Tuesday. 9:00 am. Board Meeting for Yo Amo Rosarito at Ortega’s Buffet. See what events are under consideration or volunteer to help plan and run upcoming events.

Every Wednesday, 7:30 – 9:00 am; Tai Chi classes with certified instructor Eugenio Encinas at Galeria Fausto Polanco Rosarito. 350 pesos per month. Alyce: 664-368-6733; Alberto: 661-125-9191.

Every Second Wednesday (except December). 10 am. Friends of the Library meeting at main library of IMAC building next to Abelardo Rodríguez Park. Promotes reading and literacy in Rosarito. www.friendsofthelibrary.com.mx. 661-612-3659.

Second and FourthWednesday, 1 pm; Cruz Roja Primo Tapia Bingo at El Pescador Restaurant. 6 games/ 2 cards for $5. Reduced price menu; Jamesphausmann@gmail.com; 1-623-217-9795.

Every Third Wednesday of the Month (except December), Flying Samaritan’s General Meeting at Villas Del Mar (k 31.5). www.flyingsamaritansrosarito.org;  Susansmithz@hotmail.com; 1-858-234-2360; 661-100-6066.

Every Third Wednesday, 10 am, Meeting of Rosarito Sister Cities at City Hall, Fojadores Room, 2nd floor. Information and RSVP: FRAO@Rosarito.gob.mx.

Every Third Wednesday (except December) 1:00 – 4:00 pm, Flying Samaritan’s Outrageous Bingo at Popotla Jr. Restaurant (across from El Nido – formerly California Fresh), Food and Drink specials; free parking behind restaurant; Six games, 4 cards for $10; Karen: kajomc@yahoo.coojm; (US) 1-818-515-0067l (MX) 664-609-3419.

Every Last Wednesday, 11:30 am, Wellness Wednesday Workshop “Intentionally Aging Gracefully” with Erendira Abel at IMAC a Abelard Rodriguez Park (behind Banamex). $6, and pre-registration is required. Info: wellnesshealingliving@gmail.com; (US) 1-619-737-2453, (MX) 661-614-6036.

Every Thursday. 8:30 am. Local Board of Realtors (APIR) meets at Oceana Grill. Good place for buyers or sellers to find a Realtor

Every Thursday, 10:30 am, Learn Spanish “Naturally” with Erendira Abel at Rosarito Beach Christian Church. $5, and pre-registration is required. Info: wellnesshealingliving@gmail.com; (US) 1-619-737-2453, (MX) 661-614-6036.

Every Second Thursday. 10 am. Cruz Roja Volunteers, Rosarito Chapter General Meeting at Popotla Restaurant. www.cruzrojarosarito.org.mx; President: Mary Moreno, miqueridomx@yahoo.com.

Every Third Thursday. 10 am. General Meeting for FRAO, Foreign Residents Assistance Office. Open to the public. Calafia Hotel.  Speaker’s presentation. FRAO@Rosarito.gob.mx.

Every Fourth Thursday of the month, 12 pm, Baja Babes, the Rosarito Chapter of the Red Hat Society for ladies over 50 monthly luncheon. Each month a different restaurant. margit@prodigy.net.mx.

Every Saturday, 10:00 am at IMAC Central park. Chess for all ages. www.facebook.com/IMAC Rosarito.

Every First Saturday. 10 am. United Society of Baja California (USBC) general meeting at Casa Blanca Restaurant, Rosarito Beach Hotel. Good info for the English speaking community of charitable, community service and social organizations. www.unitedsocietyofbaja.org. 661-614-1113.

Every First Saturday. Noon-sundown. Open Studio Art Walk, a free tour of galleries in Rosarito Beach Hotel commercial center. Meet artists at work in their studios. pacothepainter@hotmail.com

Every Third Saturday. 1pm. USBC, United Society of Baja California, monthly potluck dinner, at La Maroma sports bar, across from Burger King. Different theme every month. Usually live entertainment. Free. Membership $20 per year.

Every day but one day at a time AA Grupo Gringo meets daily #16 Mar Meditteraneo (two blocks behind Del Mar Beach Club). Saturday, 3:00; Sunday, Monday, Thursday: 10:00 am; Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 6:00 pm.  Additional meetings in Cantamar (just south of the footbridge) Tuesday and Friday, 10:00 am.  661-614-1678.

 

El Descanso Announces New Stage on Its Development

Descanso Sunset, nestled in the El Descanso community in Rosarito, offers a private community of 101 houses adapted to the lifestyle of their clients. This exclusive community will feature a spectacular and modern club house with an infinity pool and ocean views, jacuzzi, gym, restaurant, bar and a panoramic view to enjoy its magnificent surroundings. A business center will also be available,  featuring a conference room, terrace and fireplace.

All these in their exclusive location, within close proximity to a dazzling variety of fine restaurants, exclusive clubs, cultural events and exciting sport activities, but far enough away from the city bustle to give you and your loved ones peace and privacy in an intimate setting.

A short 30-minute drive will take you from Descanso sunset to San Diego, Tijuana or the Wine Valley.

For over 26 years PromoCasa has developed around 32,000 houses in Mexicali, Tijuana, Tecate, Rosarito and, more recently, in Los Cabos, since 1992. At each of these developments the developer has been able to adapt to the changes in the market, transforming constantly to offer innovation in each home built. For this project they joined in a partnership with the Santana Group, who provided the land.

Descanso Sunset is offering 2 spacious one-level home options, with 2 or 3 bedrooms, sitting on 3,200+ square feet lots. They both feature a nice roof terrace with beautiful ocean views.

Starting at just $230,000 USD, and considering the current shortage of inventory in this price range for sale in Rosarito, as recently stated by Gustavo Torres – head of the AMPI Real Estate Association in the city – this new development is not expected to last long on the market.

Drop by their offices at the development in Rancho Mision El Descanso, on K 55.4 on the Ensenada-Tijuana toll road. You can call for an appointment at (661) 614-1039. More information available on their website www.descanso.com.mx.

Que Pasa In Baja?

Baja, open for spring breakers. Our state tourism honcho, Oscar Escobedo, is promoting Baja as a destination for spring breakers this coming season. Escobedo has already appeared in the Good Morning San Diego TV show and on KGTV news promoting us.

Baja has been slowly recovering as a spring break destination in the last couple of years, after the security crisis about 11 years ago, completely wiped us off the destinations list.

“Security is a priority subject for us, that’s why, while working with authorities on both sides of the border, we can assure our visitors that trust and tranquility have prospered in our territory that, although divided by a border, operates as a sole region”, stated Escobedo.

The state official went on to comment that 84% of the foreign visitors in our state come from California, generating an increase of tourism during 2018 without any precedent, stating that over 27.5 million tourists visited us during last year, leaving an economic benefit for the region of more than 6 billion USD.

Ensenada Carnival in trouble. Last week, the Ensenada chamber of commerce gave a press conference, in which they stated that they were starting a formal legal and lobbying battle against the carnival, unless  they change the location from the boulevard.

Business owners have long complained when the carnival is on the boulevard, because they lose almost all their business during the carnival days, as streets are closed for circulation. Also, traffic gets crazy since the boulevard is one of the main streets to get in and out of Ensenada.

Jorge Menchaca, head of the local chamber of commerce, and Jorge Cortes, president of the business council, assured that the carnival affects about 200 local businesses greatly when it’s done on the boulevard.

They are proposing to change the location to Playa Hermosa, where it has been done a couple times before and affects a lot less businesses, although it has gotten a lot less people when it is done in this location.

The city of Ensenada is between a rock and a hard place regarding this, as they have already received the 1 million pesos payment from the event organizers, who have already promoted the carnival heavily in most of the media in this location. If the city decides to change the location at this point, it will surely piss off organizers, who in turn could sue the city for breach of contract.

Two new hotels open in Ensenada. City Express announced that it has started operating its two, brand new  hotels in Ensenada, adding 261 rooms to the local room inventory.

“With the opening of these two properties, we will contribute to the development of the tourism industry in Ensenada, with hotel infrastructure. At the same time, we are offering travelers another lodging option, backed up by a recognized national hotel chain,” said Monica Narro, head of public relations for the hotel chain.

The company will offer two different types of hotels: City Express Plus, located in the Viento property in El Sauzal, with 134 higher-end, ocean view rooms, and their City Express property on Boulevard Costero, offering more affordable hotel rooms.

City Express offers a total of 1,342 hotel rooms in Baja in it’s 11 locations, distributed in Mexicali, Tijuana, Rosarito and now Ensenada.

Snow birds flock to Algodones. Tourism officials from Mexicali said that more than 281 thousand snow birds visited the city of Algodones in Mexicali, nicknamed “molar city” because it has more dental offices per capita than any other city in the world, during 2018 generating an economic benefit for the area of 40 million dollars.

Snowbirds are people from Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana in the US, and British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan in Canada, that fly over to warmer climates.

In this case most of these are warming up in the sea of Cortez, and they take advantage of the lower dental service prices in Algodones, which are normally 50% to 70% less than in their home countries.

No desalination plant for Rosarito. It looks like the new desalination plant that was going to be created in Rosarito by Consolidated Water is not going to be built after all.

Luis Moreno, state congressman from the “Transformemos” party, said that the cancellation of the plant is imminent since the state government was not able to give the assurances needed for the company.

The time limit for the state government to offer these assurances, which were an increased water price from the water agency, along with some tax breaks and funds to pay for the water, was December 31st last year.

State congress did not approve the changes needed, although the state government was supporting the controversial project that was also opposed by local environmental groups and many citizens.

Consolidated Water is still hoping that the state government rescues the project, which seems far-fetched, considering the majority of the state congress is now held by parties opposing the plant.

American Football Coming to Rosarito

When many of us were preparing to gorge ourselves Super Bowl Sunday on hot wings, pizza, and beer, more than 400 slightly more athletic individuals (some in Lucha Libre masks) participated in the “Donate One Yard 5K Run Trot Walk” from the currently-being-renovated Hotel Festival Plaza to the Hotel Castillos Del Mar, and back.

Did you know that Rosarito is the only major city in Baja without a dedicated American-style football field?  We don’t even have a plot of land large enough to be used as a regulation football field, with stands and parking. Francisco Beltran, President of Student Athletics A.C., is trying to remedy that with his “Donate One Yard” fundraising campaign and events.

Francisco, head coach and founder of BajaFootball.org, was joined by Ricardo Cabralez, Alderman of the Youth Sports Commission, Jesus Gastelum, Director of IMDER, and Manuel Esteban Padrez, Manager of the Hotel Festival Plaza, in welcoming participation in the 5K, or to donate to the cause.

Many American expats in Rosarito are from the Pacific coast where the only “Friday Night Lights” we remember are those on the tops of police cruisers when we were up on Mulholland Drive or cruising on Van Nuys Boulevard. But Friday Night Lights were important to a big part of the United States. Wouldn’t it be nice to look forward to that again? (No, I’m not talking about cruising Van Nuys Boulevard).

It has been shown that participation in sports makes for better students, and at a time when sports is being driven from schools, other after-school sports are even more important. Francisco’s passion comes from playing American football since he was 14 years old, and continuing in a San Diego high school. He attended college in Monterrey and obtained a degree in Sports and Training.

The cost of a square yard of field is $62 (US) which includes the turf, a base of gravel and sand, and labor. The total amount needed is about $600,000, so there is a long way to go, and major sponsors, such as local businesses are being sought to help out.

There are three divisions of players (8-10, 11-12, and 13-14 years of age). Individual player sponsorships are also available at $43 per month, which coves one player’s complete fees, uniform, and equipment. You can even choose the player by going online to the bajafootball.org website. Player sponsors will be kept updated on a player’s performance, not only on the football field, but also in school as well.  And one-time donations of any amount are appreciated, and will be used where needed most.

To be honest, some of the money being collected now is funding the preparation of a US 501(c)(3) certification. Francisco knows that Americans are much more likely to write bigger checks if there is the possibility of a tax deduction involved (or is that just me?).

The Rosarito Tigers football team started one year ago. It’s been found that a major challenge is not only a monetary one, but one of culture. The community, and Mexicans in general, don’t understand American football and its importance. Why try to improve on soccer, right? Little by little American influence is creeping into Mexico, making American-style football more acceptable, but it’s slow-moving. In the future other nearby cities will come compete with Rosarito teams. Local games are scheduled to begin in mid-March.

For more information on upcoming events and fundraisers, contact Francisco Beltran at www.Bajafootball.org.

From Cleaning Crime Scenes in the US to Roasting Coffee in TJ

One of the wonderful things about Baja is the people that live here and the stories they have to tell. I am especially fascinated by the young expats who have decided to leave their home countries and immerse themselves in their local communities, just like regular locals.

Benjamin Davis is originally from Seattle, but we could say that he is a “Tijuanense,” because by now as he has been around here for 15 years. He is happily married to Cynthia, a Tijuana native, with whom he has two children, Rhys and Samantha, both born in Mexico.

 

His story starts in Seattle, where he ran a janitorial business that serviced, among other clients, funeral homes. At that point he only did regular cleaning until he was approached by one of the owners of a funerary asking if he could provide cleaning services where someone had died; he was hesitant at first, but after seeing what those kinds of services charged, he went all in.

For 3 years he was cleaning it all with his bio-recovery service (a better name for cleaning after the dead), crime scenes, suicides and natural deaths. Although I immediately thought crime scenes were the hardest part of the job, he tells me the hardest were actually natural deaths, where the dead person was not found until a couple days after dying, leaving an especially hard to clean trail of bodily fluids behind.

In two days of hard work, he was making more money than his dad made in 2 months. “At those times, you could almost charge whatever you wanted for the service, as there were not a lot of providers for the service,” says Ben.

Business was booming, but he says he didn’t feel complete inside, he wanted something else from life. He had been sponsoring a child to go to school in Tijuana through a local Christian non-profit, so one day he decided to give them a call and ask if they needed any more help. They happily accepted.

That’s when he loaded his pickup truck and drove 1,300 miles to get to Tijuana. He started helping kids anyway he could until he founded Didaque ministries in 2009, focused on running the same private elementary school he was supporting from back in Seattle.

Four months ago, Ben decided to embark on a new venture, one that reflected two of his passions: Mexico and good coffee. That’s how he decided to open Ben Tostador de Café (Coffee Roasters), where he focuses on selling in-house roasted coffee beans from the Pluma region of Oaxaca and Veracruz, although he also offers espresso beverages and brewed coffee in his cozy Playas de Tijuana location.

He gets all his green coffee in small shipments directly from the growing regions.

Coffee prices are more than reasonable at 50 pesos for half a pound (actually 250 grams) of Veracruz coffee or 65 pesos for the Pluma, Oaxaca variety.

Drop by his store at Ave. Baja California Sur #688 in the Costa Hermosa section of Playas de Tijuana. He is open Monday to Friday from 6:00 am to 12:00 pm, and then from 2:00 to 8:00 pm, Saturdays from 3:00 to 9:00 pm. He has a Google Maps link in his website, www.cafeben.com.

If you want to help Ben support Tijuana kids in need, visit Didaque’s website at www.didaque.org, They are a fully registered 501(c)3 non-profit corporation in the US, making your donations tax-deductible.

Ensenada Backs Out Of Plastic Ban

Just 21 days after a ban on plastic shopping bags and containers in the city of Ensenada went into effect, the city council decided to suspend it.

Emilio Martinez, the Ensenada councilman that promoted the ban on plastics, informed that the suspension of the brand-new law will be for an undefined amount of time.

He stated that the city is working on promoting an intense campaign that would inform the general public about the use of plastic and the effect it has on the world, particularly in Mexico.

Martinez said that the reform of the law never had a coercive or fine-collecting objective but that it was preventive in order to strengthen the environment.

He added that along with the campaign, authorities will work closely with the private sector in order to substitute plastics for other non-contaminating materials.

Rosarito beach passed a similar law last December with steep fines for stores that give non-biodegradable plastic bags to their customers, but they are not enforcing said fines until April this year in order to give time to local businesses and people to find better options for carrying their goods.

Drew Juvinall Dead at 82 Years Old

There’s a lot of joy and laughter in heaven these days. Drew Juvinall just arrived!

We’ll all miss this one-of-a-kind, witty, candid, amusingly irreverent, real estate ‘guru’ – and remarkable man – forever.  Heaven’s gain is our loss!

Drew came into this world at San Francisco Children’s Hospital and spent the first two-thirds of his 82 years in the Bay Area.

He was bigger than life, incredibly energetic – and delighted in living.  And he did it his way!  He was passionate about real estate, fast cars, the 49ers and barbecuing.

He adored his daughter Leigh, and always said how fortunate he was to have found his soulmate, Lana, his partner in real estate, as well as in life.

He formed the commercial real estate company of Juvinall-Neiman, with offices in Santa Rosa and Marin, with 40 agents, which he sold to Grubb & Ellis before moving to Visalia in 1989.  He and Lana worked for the Fresno office of Grubb & Ellis until the parent company set up an unprecedented satellite office for him in Visalia.

Drew and Lana Jordan then formed Jordan & Juvinall Commercial Real Estate in Visalia. Then, after building their oceanfront “vacation” home in Baja, they moved there permanently, and established Rosarito Beach Realty, which became as successful as Drew’s many other endeavors.  Never one to be content with the status quo, in February, 2018, he opened a second office in the La Fonda-La Mision area, which Lana will continue, as Drew wanted.

In 1992, he gathered together a group of prominent Visalia business and civic leaders to found the Tulare-Kings Counties Business and Industry Forecast.  It was attended each year by more than 500 business persons. He qualified for the prestigious Society of Industrial and Office Realtors, was a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and Tulare County Economic Development Corporation.

In Baja, he was instrumental in founding the Rosarito Chapter of AMPI (Mexican National Assn. of Realtors).  He was one of the first proponents for real estate licensing in the State of Baja California, and both he and Lana became licensed Baja brokers.  He always retained his California Real Estate Brokers License and continued as a member of NARS.

He delighted children in orphanages and in the hills above Rosarito in his Santa Claus suit, where he passed out presents with a hearty “Ho!Ho!Ho!”.

Above all, he was infamous for his “priest robes”, always saying “bless you my children” and relishing everyone’s reactions.  With that twinkle in his eye, he was equally believable as a benevolent priest and as jolly old St. Nick.

He leaves behind his wife, Lana Jordan Juvinall, daughter Leigh Konopka (son-in-law Jeff), as well as grandchildren, other close relatives, and many close friends.

A celebration of life to be announced.  Memories are welcome and may be shared at bajadrew@gmail.com.

Eyes in the Sky Assist First Responders

The first time I met with Gerardo Cervantes, local Operations Manager for the Bay Area commercial drone software developer Cape, he had just successfully completed a contract with the city of Ensenada for a test project of drone-assisted first responder enhancement in cooperation with the local police department.

Mayor Marco Antonio Novelo had approved the test project, and reported to the public in June 2018 that the result of that effort was a 10% reduction in crime and more than 500 arrests, notably by  apprehending perpetrators in the act of attempting home burglaries or other felonious activities.

Cape-enabled drones also proved invaluable in respect to the allocation of resources to assist first responders in many crisis situations, such as traffic accidents and critical medical emergencies.

Although Cape is based in the San Francisco Bay Area, they maintain a headquarters here in Ensenada, with an office in the Ensenada Business Center (on 4th Street in Zona Centro). They have a research and development team here, with Hector Elias (an Ensenada native) as the primary “test pilot” for Cape’s ongoing efforts to streamline and improve their state-of-the-art software.

Hector showed me some of the features of Cape’s technology that makes his company’s products superior to any other software on the market:

Drones equipped with the Cape Aerial Telepresence platform can be operated remotely from anywhere in the world.From his post near Playa Hermosa, he monitors a drone that is being teleoperated by an engineer in Redwood City, California.

Cape always utilizes the most sophisticated hardware available, including DJI M200 and M210 models, whose surveillance capabilities are second to none.

Currently, Cape is finalizing the details of a contract with the police department of Mexico City.

This arrangement was secured by Cape’s marketing specialist, Edgar Avalos, who I had the pleasure of meeting (along with Gerardo) on January 2nd.

Edgar told me that the cops there already have an operational drone program, but they are looking to improve their cybersecurity with the assistance of Cape’s software innovations. They’ll have Cape personnel present to train them and to assist them in any capacity necessary for rapid implementation of the new software to their existing (and additional) drones.

Both Edgar and Gerardo recall with pride the many situations in which they have interacted with local authorities to ensure safety and to improve response time in any critical event.

Cape provided surveillance for Peno Nieto when he came to Ensenada, as well as for AMLO when he was here campaigning.

They have been present at almost every activity where large crowds are present, such as music festivals and carnivals.

Notably, they provided aerial monitoring and drone security for the Baja 500 and Baja 1000 road races, from the starting lines to accident scenes along the routes.

In regards to the Mexico City implementation, Edgar said that the police department of that metropolis has such a massive number of personnel that Cape’s trainers will be training their trainers, and will have technicians present to assist in any manner necessary.

The benefit of having an R&D program here in Ensenada is primarily the absence of the air traffic regulations that are necessarily strict in the U.S. However (to my surprise), Edgar told me there is more air traffic here than most people realize, such as military and private helicopters, and the military air force base inside the city limits.

As a result, Cape maintains a 120-meter maximum to ensure the safety of other aircrafts, as well as of its own products.

Cape technology is versatile and impactful, and has repeatedly proven the ability to adapt expeditiously to the requirements of any given situation or event to which its assistance is requested.

As Gerardo says, “There is no competition.”

Cape is a dynamic organization, highly competitive, a close-knit team that is fiercely proud of its achievements, and is incessantly striving to improve upon its already remarkable software designs.

It is also transparent. As such, it offers to anyone who wishes to experience the thrill of flying a drone a program to satisfy that desire. It’s available weekdays from 8 am to 4 pm, and can be accessed through fly.cape.com.

Try it, you’ll like it! A trained technician will guide you through the 3-minute flight.

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