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Cruise ship home port work to resume soon in Puerto Peñasco

Cruise ship home port work to resume soon

Funding delayed after new state government took office

Mexico News Daily | Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Sonora government officials say they are clearing up problems left by the previous administration in preparation for releasing more funds for the construction of a cruise ship home port in Puerto Peñasco.

Construction of the facility, which consists of a one-kilometer jetty, terminal buildings and a pedestrian walkway at Sandy Beach, was halted by the new state government which has claimed the previous one had not met federal government reporting requirements.

It is one of many claims made by Institutional Revolutionary Party Governor Claudia Pavlovich regarding her National Action Party predecessor, Guillermo Padrés, who is under investigation in connection with missing funds. 

But a meeting last week in Puerto Peñasco, a seaside resort destination in the Sea of Cortés that is also known as Rocky Point, was given assurances that Governor Pavlovich and the federal government, which is funding the port, are onside.

Work was forecast to resume within 30-60 days.

The home port also came up last week at Tianguis Turístico in Guadalajara, where the coordinator of the state’s Tourism Development Commission said the project would be “transcendental,” bringing cruise ships that would serve the northwest region, the state of Sonora and the country as a whole.

Antonio Berúmen said cruise lines such as Carnival, Holland America, Royal Caribbean and Princess have expressed interest in the port.

The market for the port extends beyond Sonora and into Arizona, California and New Mexico.

Its construction cost was estimated a year ago at 1.4 billion pesos, or US $93 million at the time. Construction began in 2013 but several delays have slowed things down. It had been expected to begin operating during the first half of this year.

In 2011 Mazatlán had been under consideration as the site of such a home port, but the plan was scotched after an upturn in violence.

Source: Punto de Vista (sp)

- See more at: http://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/cruise-ship-home-port-work-to-resume-soon/#sthash.HoXD9e2a.dpuf 

Home Port Update - March 2016

State Administration to Rescue Home Port Project: Seeks to Address Problems Detected
     By Jose Antonio Perez    JoinUs Magazine 

Given the importance of Puerto Penasco as a tourist destination, the Government of Sonora will do what is necessary to rescue and further construction on the cruise ship Home Port, reported Ruben Dario Araiza Salazar, Deputy Income Secretary of the State Fiscal Office. Araiza Salazar stated per instruction of Governor Claudia Pavlovich Arellano, they are pursuing important steps in Mexico City with respect to the project. 

Clearly, he assured, the intent is to correct anything that may have happened in the past that led to delays in federal public investments so that work on the Home Port may resume fully, and as soon as possible. He underscored this is one of their priorities.

He detailed problems to the project arose from the 2013 period, which were not addressed by the former administration. He noted this similarly occurred with many other projects in the state as well. 

The Sonoran Deputy Income Secretary remarked state finances and income were in a state of chaos when the new administration came in. However, they have set to the task of rebuilding and correcting items that were not done appropriately in order to move forward the projects that are a priority for Sonora. 

Araiza Salazar stated he is fully aware of the current economic situation in Puerto Penasco and how it has been affected due to dependence on the US economy. With this in mind, he hopes via his role in the State Government to support any infrastructure projects Puerto Penasco may have. 

This is precisely the case with the Home Port, he emphasized, as it is a project they will continue to promote, just as many others that are fundamental for Sonora. 

Flag day - Mexico

Flag Day in Mexico

Mexico’s Flag Day (Día de la Bandera) is annually observed on February 24 to honor the country’s flag.

Mexico's national flag, with the emblem of the eagle and snake.©iStockphoto.com/mtrommer

Celebrate Flag Day

Mexican flags are seen hoisted high in front of offices, government buildings, and some homes on February 24. Thousands of people attend events held across Mexico to honor the flag.

Public Life

Flag Day is a national observance in Mexico.

About Flag Day

Mexicans first celebrated the country’s current flag on February 24, 1937. The design of this flag was used in 1821 and the current flag was officially adopted in 1968. Its colors – red, white, and green – are the national liberation army’s colors.

Did You Know?

The emblem in the middle of the flag stems from a legendary story of Aztecs who built their empire on a spot where they found an eagle eating a snake on top of a cactus. It is believed that the incident of the eagle and snake was a sign given by one of their gods and the place where it happened is today’s capital, Mexico City.

Constitution Day in Mexico

Venustiano Carranza with advisers on the Constitution, he was later assassinated on May 21, 1920

Venustiano Carranza with advisers on the Constitution, he was later assassinated on May 21, 1920 

In 2016 Constitution Day falls on Friday, February 5th, and will be celebrated on Monday, February 1 to provide a "puente" or "bridge" day to make a three day weekend. Government offices, Banks, postal services, schools and some businesses will be close Monday in Celebration. Major supermarket chains and department stores will be open as usual.

Día de la Constitución, or Mexican Constitution Day, is celebrated on February 5th. The Mexican Constitution was drafted in Santiago de Querétaro by a Constitutional Convention during the Mexican Revolution. It was approved by the Mexican Constitutional Congress on February 5, 1917, with Venustiano Carranza serving as the first president under its terms. It is usually recognized with the festivals and street celebrations.

The Mexican Revolution of 1910 was a social and cultural movement which brought the beginning of changes in Mexico. The revolution started as a rebellion against President Porfirio Díaz. As the rift between the poor and rich grew under the leadership of General Díaz, the political voice of the lower classes was also declining. Diaz was once quoted as saying of his own people, "The Mexican people would ammount to nothing without being driven by the whip." The opposition of Díaz surfaced when Francisco I. Madero, who was educated in Europe and at the University of California, began to gain recognition and political power.

Diaz had Madero imprisoned, feeling that the people of Mexico just weren't ready for democracy. During this time, several other Mexican folk heros began to emerge, including the well known Pancho Villa in the north, and the peasant Emiliano Zapata in the south.

Díaz was still unable to control the spread of the growing insurgence and resigned in May, 1911, with the signing of the Treaty of Ciudad Juárez, after which he fled to France. Madero was then elected president, but received opposition from Emiliano Zapata who didn't wish to wait for the orderly implementation of Madero's desired land reforms. In November of the same year Zapata denounced Madero as president and took the position for himself. Zapata controlled the state of Morelos, where he chased out the estate owners and divided their lands to the peasants. Later, in 1919, Zapata was assassinated by Jesus Guajardo acting under orders from General Pablo Gonzalez.

Emiliano Zapata was born in 1879 in the Mexican state of Morelos. The son of a farmer and a natural born leader, Zapata's destiny soon revealed itself. His father died when he was 17 and shortly thereafter, Emiliano assumed the responsibility of providing for his family. Zapata was of Mestizo blood and he spoke Nahuatl, the indigenous language of central Mexico. Widely respected by his community, the village elected Zapata to be their leader in 1909. He quickly recruited an insurgent army of farmers from his village to protect the farms in their immediate community. Zapata and his men fought the government troops in the south of Mexico while Pancho Villa fought in the north.

Pancho Villa was born Doroteo Arangol in Durango on June 5, 1878, the son of a field labourer. As an adolescent Villa became a fugitive after killing a man who assaulted his sister. Fleeing to the mountains, he changed his name and became a bandit.In 1910 he joined the rebellion led by Francisco Madero, which was successful. When Madero was assassinated in 1913 Villa formed an army several thousand strong which came to be known as the Division del Norte - the Division of the North. He fought on the side of Venustiano Carranza and the Constitutionalists.

Eventually, Venustiano Carranza rose to the presidency, and organized an important convention whose outcome was the Constitution of 1917, which is still in effect today. Carranza made land reform an important part of that constitution. This resulted in the ejido, or farm cooperative program that redistributed much of the country's land from the wealthy land holders to the peasants. The ejidos are still in place today and comprise nearly half of all the farmland in Mexico.

By: Slade Ogletree

Home port Update - January 2016

The hauling of pile drivings and pipes toward the Puerto Peñasco Home Port construction site illustrates ongoing work on this mega project located along Sandy Beach. This is important as though some resources have been halted for work on the breakwater (jetty) part of the project, construction on the Home Port dock is making progress.

According to information published in Mexican national press earlier in the week, Guillermo Ruiz de Teresa of the Office on Ports and Maritime Affairs stated the federal government has halted some of the 2015 resources for the project in order to clarify expenses made in 2014 on the jetty phase of the home port. Nevertheless, work continues on the second phase that entails construction of the dock. Furthermore, funds along the lines of 300 million pesos are on course to be put into the project in 2016.  This was further confirmed by Puerto Peñasco Mayor Ernesto “Kiko” Munro during his speech earlier this week on the 2016-2018 Municipal Development Plan.

jan 2016Héctor Vázquez del Mercado, President of the Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau, indicated in talks held with Tourism Secretary Enrique de la Madrid Cordero just two weeks ago in Hermosillo, Vázquez was able to present the federal official with a document detailing principal tourism projects for the area, including the Home Port in Puerto Peñasco.

The Vázquez del Mercado remarked the Secretary of Tourism made the commitment to put him in touch with other home port departure points in order to provide advice regarding operations.

He furthered that 300 million pesos are lined up for this year in order to continue work on the dock phase, and a third phase that includes a terminal.

The total projected investment in the Home Port project, goal of which is to attract cruise goers to have a departure point directly in Mexico, tops 600 million pesos. Dates for the home port to begin operations have been modified, and a new date has not yet been set given delays.

Home Port Part XIX

This impact study is aimed towards helping our readers understand more fully what  a cruise shipDSC_0074departure and arrival port will mean to our little slice of paradise by the sea. In past articles we have covered statistics based on known actual expenditures by cruise passengers and crew members, proven arrival and departure patterns of cruisers and many other details about this special tourism market, all of which have painted a rather dramatic scenario for unprecedented growth in our community. We’ve shared about the  importance of a welcoming atmosphere to cruisers who are all used to being pampered by the cruise lines from the time they purchase a ticket to the time they disembark at the end of their cruise. We know that all the city and its citizenry have to be sure to make every cruiser feel welcome, and make sure we have the service and supplies that meet the quality and availability they are accustomed to receiving.

On a few occasions we have devoted blogs to rumor control when facts do not support what is believed by some readers, either through a misunderstanding or due to a distortion of the facts. This is one of those blogs.

In our last post, Part XVIII, we related a conversation with Wendy Winzer, Project ADSC_0146dministrator for Port construction, in which she let us know that work on the new pier would taper off during the Christmas holidays due to so many workers wanting to take their vacations during this time. As predicted, it seemed their last job was to complete anchoring the light buoys that warn boats and ships where the jetty is located and where it will be when finished. They are easily seen for miles around.  Wendy also informed us that bids had been accepted and construction was underway to build the docking platforms where the ships would be tied and anchored. This construction, too, she correctly predicted would be affected by the holidays.

Just a couple of weeks ago, a small article appeared in print that stated the federal government had cancelled the contract of a construction company involved in the building of the pier. This seemed to spur the rumor that the home port project was cancelled. The fact is that there were two companies contracted to build the dock that will be attached to the pier. The federal government decided that one company would be sufficient to construct the dock and cancelled the contract of one of the companies. The dock construction is a separately awarded contract and independent of the major pier construction that was initially awarded. The construction of the cruise terminal is yet another separately awarded bid. The construction of the terminal put out for bid and has been awarded, so we can look forward to that activity beginning in the new year.

DSC_0073As the new year unfolds, look for what will seem like one major construction project, which is actually three different projects operated by three separate bid awards. We hope this clarifies any questions about the future of our highly anticipated cruise ship home port. We welcome and encourage inquiries from anyone looking for clarification on any phase of this important and ambitious endeavor. We will seek and find the facts when available to satisfy your inquiries.

This blog is powered by www.sonoranresorts.mx, Jim Ringquist, Director of Sales and Marketing.

Overpass Rocky Point

The much anticipated overpass at the Puerto Peñasco – Sonoyta – Coastal Highway intersection just north of town was inaugurated on the afternoon of November 11th. The project represents an investment of 62 million pesos in federal funds, and aims to reduce accident risks at the intersection.

At the event, which was held at the base of the overpass itself, Mayor Kiko Munro stressed the importance of the structure and its purpose in reducing the number of fatal accidents that have occurred at the intersection in the past.

Munro recognized the infrastructure project had been pursued by the prior administration, with the then legislator Manlio Fabio Beltrones, which his administration followed-up with in order to complete the work prior to the scheduled deadline.overpass-nov2015 (1)

On behalf of the tourism sector, Leonardo Peralta Téllez, Administrator at the Sonoran Sun, emphasized this project will have a positive impact on the growing flow of tourists to the area in offering better safety right at the entrance to Puerto Peñasco

The overpass spans 575 lineal meters, offering paved entrance and exit lanes measuring 865 lineal meters, with LED lighting, curbs and signage.

Update Home Port Puerto Peñasco

PART XVIII  Economic Impact of Home Port on Puerto Peñasco

       By Joe Houchin

In part XVII of our series about the Home Port and its impact on the future of Puerto Peñasco, we looked at how closely our little slice of paradise by the sea fits into the most popular preferences of cruise passengers around the globe. For example,  surveys of over 23 million cruisers last year revealed that 75% of passenger expenditures were made in four categories: 1.) watches and jewelry; 2.) shore excursions; 3.) clothing; and 4.) food and beverages, in that order.
Detailed statistics the cruise lines have been gathering from passengers for nearly a century serve as an  invaluable tool especially for a new destination in its preparation to host cruise passengers, in our case, before and after they cruise. As a home port, we get them twice, and for several days, unlike any of the other ports of call in Mexico where they will spend just hours visiting. Properly used, those statistical details can literally launch a business for anyone interested in formally serving the cruise market.

As a tourist destination already, our beachside village is accustomed to serving visitors from all parts of the U.S., Canada and abroad. We are experienced in serving driver traffic from nearby states. In the beginning, until the airlines receive landing rights and choose the airports from which they want to bring passengers to our international airport, driver traffic will be our main cruise market source. Sort of like "more of the same old, same old" except on steroids. Therein lies the value of knowing as much as we can about the specific cruise market and where we need to ramp up service, supplies and transportation once they arrive and get their autos parked for the week.
Taking care of basic marketing and publicity needs is so much more defined when we know who is coming, when they are coming and when they will be returning to our port. There exists abundant and detailed data about how to prepare for such an influx of visitors and the in depth statistics of what they will want and need, what they will participate in during the average day and a half before the depart and about the same time after they return from their cruise.  You can get a better idea of how these statistics from the cruise lines can help you launch a market specific business by reviewing past articles in our article series from Part I on.


So what's been going on with the construction of the home port during the last month? If you've traveled the Cholla Bay road enroute to Wrecked at the Reef, Mare Blu Restaurant or to historic JJ's Cantina, you've seen the concrete plant area on the right where they pour those one and ten ton cubes and stack them so neatly in gigantic rows while they wait to be loaded onto the 18 wheelers for placement in the sides of the pier to stabilize the smaller rocks that were poured to build the jetty up above the high tide level.
According to Wendy Winzer, our cooperative contact and Project Administrator for pier construction, the weather has allowed them to continue smoothly this month. They have also completed placing the twelve floating buoy lights in the water along the pier and its future pathway.  They have kept the six existing lights on the jetty for added caution.

"We are at the 720 meter mark and cannot estimate when we will reach the turning point where the jetty will begin its journey to the southwest for the final 411 meters, but the other construction company who won the bid to build the cruise ship docking platform will begin building the pilots for structure any time now-it's pretty exciting," Wendy explained.
"We've set up a schedule to blast the smaller rocks from the quarry on a monthly basis now to keep a steady supply rolling down the jetty," she added.
Wendy also reminded us that December is a month when many of the personnel take holiday vacations and as such, work on the home port will be light until the first of the year. And, Happy Holidays to you, Wendy!

Interesting facts about day of the death in Mexico

The traditional Mexican holiday of Day of the Dead orDía de los Muertos has become more prominent in recent times. Why is there a celebration for death? Aren’t we supposed to be sad? Is the Day of the Dead related to Halloween? Why don’t they combine both holidays? What is the relation of the skeleton character or skull with the Day of the Dead?

Read these 13 cool and interesting facts about the Day of the Dead to get the answers to your questions:

The date of the Day of the Dead

1.The Day of the Dead has its origins from pre-Hispanic civilizations from 2,500 to 3,000 years ago, long before the Spaniards conquered Mexico. That celebration took place in the 9th month of the Aztec calendar (about August in today’s calendar) and lasted the whole month.

2. The Day of the Dead actually takes place on two days. The Day of the Dead is on November 2nd, but the celebration starts from November 1st.

3. The Day of the Dead coincides with the Catholic celebrations of the Día de los Santos or All Saints’ Day (November 1st) and the Día de los Fieles Difuntos or All Souls’ Day (November 2nd). –Source: Catholic.net

The Day of the Dead Traditions

4. Indigenous people from Mexico believe the soul is eternal and that it can travel back and forth from this world and the next. The celebration of the Day of the Dead is based on the belief that the souls of their loved ones will come back and visit them. –Source: Discovery

5. In most regions of Mexico, November 1st is to honor children and infants, whereas deceased adults are honored on November 2nd. This is indicated by referring to November 1st mainly as Día de los Inocentes or Day of the Innocents but also as Día de los Angelitos or Day of the Little Angels and November 2nd as Día de los Muertos or Día de los Difuntos or Day of the Dead. –Source: Wikipedia

6. Day of the Dead traditions vary among regions and villages. The way that The Day of the Dead is celebrated today is a blend of the indigenous civilization traditions with the Catholic religion inherited from Spain.

7. One of the most important traditions is the set up of an altar in memory of the deceased where the four elements of nature, water, wind, fire (candles) and earth (flowers) are represented. The altar or offerings might include the favorite food of the loved one, fruit, bread or pumpkin. –Source: Discovery Fantastic Festivals of the World Mexico

8. Mexican cempasúchitl (marigold) is the traditional flower used to honor the dead. It is yellow like the sun and represents life and hope. They are used in the altars and graveyards. –Source Wikipedia

9. Prior to the Day of the Dead, families embellished the tombs of their loved ones for a vigil during the night. The vigil lasts until dawn and includes music, food and drinks at the graveyard.

10. UNESCO declared the indigenous festivity dedicated to the dead as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. -Source: Unesco.org


The Skeleton and skulls is the symbol of the dead

10. In the pre-Hispanic era, skulls were commonly kept as trophies and displayed during the rituals to symbolize death and rebirth. –Source: Wikipedia

11. Calaveras (skulls) are short poems mocking epitaphs of friends, describing interesting habits and attitudes or funny anecdotes. This custom originated in the 18th or 19th century. The caravelas literarias or literature skulls originated in the 19th century as a form of illustrations of important personalities and politicians of the time as skeletons that kept their features so they were recognizable. The illustrations included a short epitaph-style poem.

12. Candy skulls made of sugar are part of the Day of the Dead tradition. Placing the calaveritas or little skulls in the altars as an offering is a custom from urban areas. In the rural areas the return of the dead is celebrated placing traditional dishes. –Terra.com

13. The most iconic skeleton is La Catrina, originally named La Calavera Garbancera, created by Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada in the 1800’s. –Source: Xicoinc.org

This 2-part video from BBC presents some of the traditions of the indigenous celebration of the Day of the Dead.


Halloween and the Day of the Dead

October 31st is the line that divides fall from winter, plenty from paucity… life and death.

Halloween is a celebration that has it origins from the Celts, who celebrated their new year on November 1st. The last day of the year, October 31st known as the night of Samhain in the Celtic religion, signaled “the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter” This period of scarcity was often associated with human death.

According to History.com, “Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.”

Christianity spread over Celtic lands around the 9th century (just as happen in Mexico with Catholism when Spainards conquer the territory in the 16th century) resulting in a blend of both traditions. The Catholic All Saints Day celebration on November 1st was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas. In an effort to Christinize the Celtic Samhain of October 31st “it began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween.”

In conclusion, Halloween is the All Saints Day Eve, which happens prior to the All Souls Day or Day of the Dead.


Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Avocado Salsa




For the Salsa

·         1 small shallot

·         1 jalapeno pepper, quartered and seeded

·         2 garlic cloves, peeled

·         1 tomato, seeded and chopped

·         1 avocado, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks

·         3/4 teaspoon salt

·         1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, from half a lime

·         1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped

For the Shrimp

·         1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil

·         1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder

·         1/2 teaspoon salt

·         Scant 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

·         1-1/2 pounds large or extra large shrimp, peeled and de-veined

For Assembling

·         8 - 10 six-inch corn or flour tortillas

·         Approximately 2 cups chopped red cabbage, for garnish (I buy it pre-chopped in a bag)

·         2 limes, cut into wedges, for garnish

·         Approximately 1 cup sour cream, for garnish


1.    Make the Salsa: Put the shallot, jalapeno and garlic in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped (a mini food processor is best, but large will work too). Transfer mixture to medium bowl. Add chopped tomatoes, avocado, salt, lime juice and cilantro and stir to combine. Set aside. (If not using right away, place a piece of saran wrap inside the bowl and directly over salsa to prevent discoloration and refrigerate.)

2.    Make the Shrimp: Heat grill to medium. Meanwhile, mix the olive oil, chili powder, salt, cayenne pepper and shrimp in a large bowl. Stir until shrimp are evenly coated with seasoning. Grease grill with a wad of paper towels dipped in vegetable oil or non-flammable cooking spray. Place shrimp on grill and cook until just opaque, about 1-1/2 - 2 minutes per side. Cover to keep shrimp warm.

3.    Grill the tortillas until warm and slightly charred, about 20 seconds per side. (Alternatively, heat tortillas in microwave according to package instructions.)

4.    Spoon avocado salsa generously over warm tortillas, then top with 3 shrimp, red cabbage and dollops of sour cream. Serve tacos with lime wedges on the side.


Hoe Port Update - August 2015

PART XVI: Economic Impact of Home Port on Puerto Peñasco


Since our blog on the Home Port, Part XV, last month, the weather has controlled fully one third of the construction time. High winds causing sizeable waves out towards the end of the jetty have prevented the heavy equipment from  pouring the smaller rocks needed as a foundation for extending the jetty, which in turn prevented the cranes from packing the rocks with first the weight of the one ton cubes and then the ten ton cubes.


The result of such huge waves and subsequent undercurrents have pulled the unprotected rocks away from the jetty which brings the need for a heavy front loader to literally build a path along the side of the jetty and shovel the rocks back to the sides before the concrete cubes can be placed to anchor them down.  The winds have been strong enough to prevent even the large cranes from lifting cubes into the wind without threat of a disaster.




Our monthly walk with Wendy Winzer, Project Administrator this last week covered the entire length done so far,  680 meters out from the shore, and happened to be during one of those windy days. Be assured that what you see  and feel from the shore is just a breeze compared to what is going on out there. As the photos indicate, the waves were large enough to bury the huge ten ton cubes when they crashed against the jetty. When you see these huge concrete cubes being jostled about by the force of the sea, it is easy to understand how rocks and even the one ton cubes can be pulled away from the jetty during those days.


Bottom line here is that a halt in pouring rock due to this kind of weather means much more than just continuing when the winds die down. It means having to retrieve all the rock that was pulled away  from the jetty and repack it back along the sides, then support it while the giant cranes carefully place the cubes on top to hold the rocks in place until they are settled. They had to halt the onsite concrete plant operation because of not being able to place the cubes due to weather. However, they were able to resume making cubes again this week.




All was not lost during the adverse weather conditions. The crew took the time to perform heavy maintenance on the six giant cranes and position the front loaders to begin repacking rock when it is safe to do so.




When asked about the dock construction, Wendy said that the company contracted to build the cruise ship dock onto the finished pier is already in the process of constructing the large pilots that will hold the dock in place.  Once the pier has reached a length to where the dock can be attached, the dock builders will use a crane on a floating barge to install the pilots in the sea floor.


As we returned to the offices, Wendy pointed out, "we will be placing 12 new buoy lights in addition to those on the jetty and they will alert vessels to where the jetty is going to be in addition to where it is now.  You should be seeing those blinking in the distance within the next few weeks, wind permitting of course."



PART XIII: Economic Impact of Home Port on Puerto Peñasco

by Joe Houchin on April 30, 2015 in Blog

 Home Port 4-2015 1 (2)

Just when we thought cruise ships couldn’t get any more humongous, luxurious and fantasy-laden (like, where are they going to dock those veritable floating cities?), the latest builds reveal that new technology and creativity can combine to blow the mind even more than we thought possible.

Hugeness continues with the size of mega-vessels now inching past each other by meters in length, square footage of cabins, total capacity and, oh yes, amenities, activities and entertainment.

From water slides that spiral ten decks downward into giant champagne glass bowls to zip lines that traverse hundreds of meters across the ship—that’s right, hundreds of meters as the latest ship just launched in Royal Caribbean’s Oasis class of mega ships is the Harmony of the Seas, the largest cruisecruise-ship-size-comparison Graphic ship in the world at 362.15 meters in length (395 yards—1185 feet) which also boasts entertainment that includes full Broadway shows, bigger than life visual experiences through interactive moveable walls to completely robot operated bars and up to seven themed neighborhoods spanning multiple decks with fully operating carousels…and much, much more.

This graphic of the first Oasis Class ship, Oasis of the Seas (2.15 meters shorter than the Harmony), will give you a comparison of its colossal size!

Home Port 4-2015 2 (2)These are interesting, fun facts about how high technology, unleashed imagination and seemingly fathomless budgets have taken the cruise experience to heights heretofore undreamed of. But how do they relate to Puerto Peñasco infrastructure needs and plans?

Perhaps they give us a heads up on how much additional attention to detail we should put into the design of that infrastructure; to make creativity a major part of the contractor bid selection, encouraging bids from companies who can best and most creatively include the latest technology in their proposals that result in such things as unique lighting,  dreamlike landscaping, signage, building design and every other aspect of  the overall needs to prepare for a market of modern cruisers about to board a vessel full of surprising new adventures. Perhaps even more importantly, upon their return, to ease them back into reality so they are still motivated to make Puerto Peñasco their next land vacation choice.

Maybe we can’t compete with the surreal technology cruise passengers are being mesmerized with these days, but we could possibly give them a pleasant contrast by emphasizing the historic and natural beauty of our part of the “real” world in which they live.

In the meantime, under the category of first things first, let’s get caught up on what’s happening with the home port project:Home Port 4-2015 3 (2)

Down by the Pier

Here’s the latest from our project insider, Wendy Winzer, Project Administrator of Home Port construction who tells us that the pier has now reached a length of 630 meters. It is taking longer to grow in length since they’ve reached the water depth of nine meters. They are also still shaping the existing jetty with new rock which they cover with the small one ton cubes so it will all stay in place.

Home Port 4-2015 4 (2)They’ve poured around 13,000 small cubes (one ton size) and placed 6,000 of them on the jetty. There are almost 3,000 large cubes (10 tons) poured and waiting to be placed. They are expecting an even larger crane in about two weeks that will start placing the big cubes along the jetty. Rocks from the quarry are still being hauled and placed and they blasted Black Mountain again two weeks ago to loosen up more rocks. Wendy also happily informs us, ”We have been very busy trying to keep up with our schedule which is going right on track!”

Wendy reports that she has been giving several interviews to TV, radio and newspapers. “It seems the word is really getting out there in a positive way, and with a little help from everyone we will try to give our small town a positive hope for the future,” Wendy says.


This blog is powered by www.sonoranresorts.mx, Jim Ringquist, Director of Sales and Marketing.

Puerto Penasco Cost of Gasoline - Effort to lower the prices

Efforts to lower local gas prices

By Azucena Mazon on February 10, 2015 

From late on Sunday, Feb. 8th and through 3 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 9th, local gas stations in Puerto Peñasco were closed in a sign of solidarity with numerous community members who have been voicing their protest against the high gas prices.

Although Puerto Peñasco is considered to be a border region and zone in some cases, lower gas prices can currently only be found in cities directly on the border (Sonoyta, San Luis Rio Colorado, etc. [with prices at nearly half that of Puerto Peñasco]). When it comes to benefits in lower gas prices, the “border area” appears to only extend to cities within 20 kilometers of the U.S. border, per presidential decree.

Given this situation, and in coordination with Mayor Gerardo Figueroa Zazueta, a group has been formed with representatives of civil society from across Puerto Peñasco to travel to Mexico City in order to present the case of Puerto Peñasco to Congressional representatives. This includes a proposal requesting that Puerto Peñasco be taken into account as a border city so that the price of gas be lowered, or rather bring it to an intermediate price of around 10 pesos/liter (approximately $2.90/gallon).

In an agreement reached with the National Organization of Petroleum Dealers in Puerto Peñasco, representatives for civil society, the local administration, and the community have determined there will be no more closures of local gas stations, unless the proposal is not met.

In the meantime, recommendations for those traveling to Puerto Peñasco from cities along the border are to fill up in the U.S. and/or Sonoyta in order to cut down on costs. 

Road Transformation on Puerto Penasco - Coldwell Banker By the Sea

Puerto Peñasco’s Ongoing Road to Transformation

By Shandra Keesecker - Rivero on February 24, 2015 

Starting at just about City Hall, construction signs notify drivers to the beginning of roadwork 200 meters ahead. Once there, additional arrows direct two-way traffic along a stretch of Blvd. Benito Juarez recently pulled up from about the anchor to the Terranova offices. City officials remark work along this stretch will take place generally from Monday through mid-Friday in the coming weeks, which may lead to some detours along the docks, though allow for roads to be freed up for weekend traffic. In addition, the entrance to the Port along Blvd. Juarez is scheduled to be complete by March 30th, or rather right as Semana Santa gets underway.

muelle-proj (1)Current work along the stretch of Blvd. Juarez leading to the Old Port is part of a larger tourist circuit began by the current Puerto Peñasco administration approximately two years ago. The ambitious endeavor meant to modernize the port area while creating further tourist attractions also includes concluded work on Calles 13 and 12, present work on Calle 11 linking back to Ave. Luis Encinas, as well as the extension of Blvd. Benito Juarez towards the Port. Nearing the port, side streets from Blvd. Juarez that lead to the docks (Calle Lauro Contreras plus Calles 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8) are also slated for renovation along with the road along the docks up to the boat launch area. Another detail mentioned in a press release issued on Feb. 11th indicated the full project also contemplates extending the renovation of Blvd. Benito Juárez to where the railroad tracks cross this important and essential traffic lifeline, though no complete timeframe has been made known.

The entire urban “Tourism Circuit” modernization project surrounding the dock area will include use of 44,400.73 sq. meters of hydraulic concrete. This will incorporate curbs, sidewalks, handicap access ramps, and renovated sewage lines to the tune of nearly 60 million pesos.

One of the main questions that arose in recent weeks with the removal of pavement from along the Blvd. Benito Juarez stretch leading to the port was precisely that of “Why Now?” Puerto Peñasco Mayor Gerardo Figueroa explained federal funds approved in 2014 were only made available by the State on Dec. 31st, which led to a four month delay in being able to carry out several projects in town. “This,” he detailed, “is why we are working in different parts of the city. We know how bothersome this is for the community, but we will try to complete the work as soon as possible.”

muelle-proj (3)On Thursday, Feb. 12th, members from the local Chamber of Commerce met with Engineer Heberto Reyna, then serving Director of Public Projects, in order to discuss the importance of clear communication with businesses and residents as to the ongoing work. During the constructive gathering, both Reyna and the construction company doing the work made a commitment to place clear signage around where road work is going on, results of which can be seen as one heads toward the Old Port. During the meeting, Reyna also presented images of what the final project in the Port area will look like. Let’s just say, very nice!

In an interesting turn of events, on February 14th Engineer Reyna called a press conference to announce his resignation from Public Office, which he had presented to Mayor Gerardo Figueroa Zazueta just the day before. He also took advantage of the press conference to express his interest in running for Mayor in the upcoming June elections if he were to be selected by his party. With this move, Deputy Director of Public Projects Engineer José Luis Villalobos Jiménez became the current Director of Public Projects and has made similar commitments to have work completed toward the Old Port before Semana Santa. Similarly, he remarked they are working to assure at least one side of Blvd. Juarez coming into town be open for the busy Holy Week season.

Puerto Peñasco Mayor Gerardo Figueroa promises that access to the malecón will not be impeded during any part of the current work.


gate in front

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