Monday, October 31, 2005

"Unconscious Mutterings #143 On 10/31/05"

  1. Unbreakable:: will,
  2. Have mercy:: on dolphins.
  3. Do it better:: than Thou.
  4. Settle scores:: the soft way.
  5. Comments:: always welcome.
  6. Craziest thing:: is: It works.
  7. Apple:: of my planeta with the
  8. Halloween:: stomache.
  9. Manageable:: but tart o' the tongue.
  10. Trick:: or Reap.

Cut your own subliminal path at La LunaNina where all roads are passable. "On this island all roads lead to the same place -- the sea." ~ Rafael Burgos Rios, unofficial poet laureate of Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo, MEXICO. Send aid c/o General Delivery.

"Unconscious Mutterings #142 On 10/31/05"

  1. Infiltration:: of the heart,
  2. Nice person:: of the monster
  3. Debt:: I own you, she sd.
  4. Settle down:: client.
  5. Thomas::  the Bank Engine,
  6. Unforgivable:: legal tender.
  7. Medicine:: Wheel kicked;
  8. A year from now:: I'll be her,
  9. Neighbors:: of the Globular sort,
  10. Dripping:: GoodWill all Dei-
  11. < /ol >:: O-le Ole!

Free your own associations at La LunaNina - always there, always open.

Good Poem By Rochelle Nameroff at Ron Silliman's Blog & Comment by Lorna Dee Cervantes On Po' Biz, Ole Times & SOQ

* Read Rochelle Nameroff's excellent poem, "Lecture" & Ron's account here. ~ LDC

Thank you for this.

This is the Silliman I knew & remember; reading the same poets (DUGAN!!) & going to the same teach-ins (me, a teenybopper Chican-India truant just off the free San Jose State - UCB Library Shuttle). I didn't realize Rochelle had organized the early teach-ins (I read Tattoo) [Tattoo Highway]. Too bad I gave away a small fortune that's now sitting, probably unopened, in many many boxes at San Jose Art Museum (then, the library) - or worse, tossed, in 1978. That's where her book ended up, and yours, and litmags, mimeos, etc., my small press collection donated to the, then, SJ Poetry Center. (I oughta ask Alan S. if he can track it down). Treasures, there.

Your particular path, as public person and as poet, always made perfect sense. To this little wisp, at least.

Congratulations on the SPT award for Under Albany, and recognition. Having selected & championed your NEA app (quite blindly, I may add) I could have told anybody, as I stated in 2002 (2003? duh), you're one of the best poets writing in America today. Kudos to SPT for their entire list of awardees, that would be close to my list for the year. But who's aware of every poet? The best don't come out of hiding. And, who ever listens to a Xicana poet?

As for the whiting (sorry for mixing threads - I've been stuck to the screen for Mexico hurricane relief work, just now taking a break), who knows. I imagine if it's your money you can say whatever you want about who it goes to, or doesn't go to, unlike the NEA, eg. I was asked to nominate this past year. I nominated, as I am want to do, the BEST of the best based upon literary excellence, of whom I thought best filled the description of an early to mid-career poet who hasn't received the recognition s/he deserves for whatever reason. My nominee happened to be from an independent press, and not any of the ones you listed among past awardees -- and was not selected for this year's award. I believe that I was one of five, and that our nominations then went to The Committee (The Board? El Mero Mero, we would say), so they pick, and someone agrees or vetos. Me, I'll never tell my vote, but I'll say it was a guy.

Po' Biz: To me it's all a w(hole)e lotto love. You buy the time to write a line, you buy a ticket to the riff-raffle -- or, like me, you don't. It's like Don Juan Matus stopping to tie his shoe-lace among multiple choices of action: tripping on the lace & falling down the cliff, the spring mountain lion just waiting to pounce from the tree limb above, or the rolling boulder coming down fast on the path; point is, "make sure it's a damned good knot!" Or, line, that is. Ron, you always tie a damned good knot.

I'm more a historian than a literary critic, which is to say more semioticion than mortician or worse, Professor Taxidermist, PhD. SOQ vs. . . ., ad mortem: All the names and the classes and the sub-phyla just give me a big headache. And any war, cultural or otherwise, just makes my stomach sour. As my late father, the Visionary Artist from the Mission who recently passed used to always say about it: "Hep cat, hipster, beatnik, beat, hip, hippy, yippie, chippy, counter-cultural, ..., the names keep changing but I stay the same: I'm an artist and I'm an Indian."

Peace, Brother. Thank you so much for keeping a beautiful mind alive. I needed a good poem today.

Lorna Dee Cervantes, Hurricane Season 2005

P.S. Do you remember Merritt Clifton?

'Mexico's Tourist Mecca, For Now Gone With the Wind' (Isla Mujeres, Don't You Believe It!) From, 10/31

Good info, synopsis & analysis here from Carlos Luken at - click on name to go there for a good source of Mexican information from excellent Mexican journalists like Luken. ~ LDC

Column 103105 Luken

Monday, October 31, 2005

Mexico’s Tourist Mecca, For Now Gone With the Wind

By Carlos Luken

Like a twosome among thousands of couples scheduled to vacation on the Mexican Caribbean, in the tourist paradise of Cancun, hurricanes Stan and Wilma blew in one after the other on 120 mile per hour winds that ravaged Mexico’s most successful resort region.

Both storms, with exceptional force even for a hurricane area, all but decimated Mexico’s Caribbean coast – in the same manner Katrina had done along the Gulf Coast in the U.S., and in New Orleans. But too, Wilma stubbornly lingered over the region, flooding and destroying businesses, homes and infrastructure.

The Vicente Fox administration moved swiftly to assess damages following the storm, and relief efforts were initiated immediately. Evacuation centers were set up, security measures taken, and airports were returned to nominal operation in less than a week.

The President also ordered an airlift that flew in food, medicine and other supplies wherever possible, along with relief personnel, to demolished areas still teeming with tourists and area residents, some sick and elderly, who had not escaped before Wilma struck. Estimates of stranded tourists ranged from 20,000 to 35,000 people.

Post Wilma assessments are staggering. With an estimated population of 794,198 people, only three private hospitals in Cancun are in operation. The public hospital infrastructure is completely distressed, power lines are down, and public lighting was destroyed. Yet Cancun is already showing signs of recovery with relief centers receiving food, water and aid material; and power is being restored to hospitals, shelters, water plants, gas stations, and certain stores. Moreover, some drinking water and sanitation systems are coming back on line as electricity is restored.

And while looting was widespread for a time, military and police forces have restored order. Two supermarkets are again open, under heavy guard. Strict security measures are in place throughout the region, with a 7:00 p.m. curfew in Cancun.

The Cancun airport runways are serviceable, and dependable navigation equipment should already have been installed so that commercial airlines can resume full flight schedules.  Some limitations will continue however until uninterrupted electricity can be restored.

Still, transportation is a problem as nearly 100 percent of the Cancun area roads were destroyed, along with 60 percent of city streets. Some cellular communications are restored, and normal telephones have been activated for limited use.

Representatives of the Cancun hotel association estimate damage at US$1.5 billion, considering that 80 percent of all 26,000 rooms were ruined, although most did not suffer structural damages. Mexico’s Tourism Secretary, Rodolfo Elizondo, expects visitor industry revenue losses to reach US$800 million for this season.

On the islands of Cozumel and Isla Mujeres, all ten hospitals were damaged. State officials reported that all 100 hotels were affected, some now operating restaurant and administrative needs thanks to small generators.

Limited airport service to and from Cozumel has resumed, with one flight daily, here again electricity being a problem. Cozumel’s main pier facilities were demolished, further hindering arrival of relief materials, although small ferry docks have been repaired to help evacuation efforts. Public transportation is non-existent, as all roads are destroyed or submerged. There is no electric power as all lines are down, with poles and towers toppled by the winds. There is no running water. And while repair crews have been flown in, all of these needs take time to repair.

Helicopters and ferries are delivering food and water, and supermarkets with operational storehouses are restocking, moving merchandise via military escorted convoys in order to avoid pillage.

But tourism was not the only casualty in this disaster.

The fishing industry was totally decimated; a major part of all agricultural products were destroyed; and most arable land was underwater. These three industries account for almost 70 percent of the region’s jobs.

As well, the catastrophic effects will spill over to the neighboring poverty belt states of Chiapas, Tabasco and Oaxaca that were recently devastated by Hurricane Stan, exacerbating economic problems and unemployment. Conditions that may incite a larger flow of illegal migration to the U.S., and contaminate the already rarified political atmosphere between the two countries.

In the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, high oil prices could have provided an alleviating breath by increasing income from crude oil sales. But now Mexico is realizing the folly of not having invested in a refinery infrastructure, instead of limiting its oil industry to the exportation of crude while importing refined fuels and natural gas.

These growing needs could force Pemex, Mexico’s state-owned oil monopoly, to end subsidies to Mexican consumers, irrespective of the political costs. And such a step would have to ignore the already hurtful losses from export industry relocation to China, and its growing competitiveness.

Carlos Luken, a columnist, is a Mexico-based businessman and consultant.  He can be reached via e-mail at

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Isla Mujeres & Cancun Travel -- New Info Oct. 30

This just in from (click link):
Cancun Continues Rapid Post-Wilma Recovery

October 2005 -- As one of the world's top romantic destinations, Cancun is quickly mobilizing and working to recover after Hurricane Wilma. “We have received unprecedented federal and local response and plan to continue making remarkable headway in the coming days and weeks,” stated Artemio Santos Santos, executive director of the Cancun Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (CVB). We want the world to know that Cancun is open for business and that when visitors come back they will see an even better, stronger Cancun.”

We've received the following update of the city’s progress to date; some of the group announcements are especially important if you had planned a wedding in Cancun with a sizeable party:

Hotels: The majority of Cancun’s 140 hotels and resorts are recovering from varying degrees of wind and water damage.

Le Meridien Cancun Resort and Spa:  According to a corporate report, the property sustained no serious structural damage and expects to start welcoming guests on November 15. At that time, most guest rooms, the main restaurant, ballroom and meeting room will be available; there will be limited room- and pool-service. For further information and reservations contact 1-800-543-4300 or visit

Hilton Cancun Golf & Spa resort: The open areas were the most affected. The hotel is still assessing damage and is not accepting future reservations at this time. For groups currently booked at the Hilton Cancun inquiring about the hotel, please call 1-866-973-8030.

Sol Meliá Hotels & Resorts: The five hotels in the affected areas, Gran Meliá Cancún, Meliá Turquesa, Paradisus Riviera Cancún, Meliá Cozumel and Sol Cabañas del Caribe, all suffered damage, the extent of which is currently being assessed. Sol Meliá will work with guests who have reservations in Cancun or Cozumel. Groups scheduled to travel to Cancun in the next few months should contact their sales person who will assist in finding alternate sites such as the Mexican Pacific or the Caribbean Hotels. Contact Sol Meliá’s Group Desk group desk (MSM) by calling 1-888-33-MELIA or via email: 

Restaurants and Attractions:

·        Dolphin Discovery continues normal operations in Isla Mujeres and the Riviera Maya.
·        Eco-park Xel-Ha will open Monday, October 31.
·        Eco-park Xcaret will partially open on Tuesday, November 15
·        20 tourist restaurants opened today.

Cancun area golf facilities

The following golf courses have announced these reopening dates:

Playacar: October 29, 2005

Mayan Palace:  October 29, 2005

Hilton Cancún Golf and Spa Resort: Nov. 7, 2005

Moon Palace: Nov. 20, 2005

Mayakobá: December 2005

Cancun Golf Club at Pok ta Pok: December 15, 2005


Cancun Beach Recovery Project:  On Tuesday the October 25, the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico (UNAM) launched the initial research and analysis phase of Cancun’s Beach Recovery Project. Among the work undertaken by the team of UNAM geologists, engineers and oceanographers involved in the project are bathymetric and morphological studies, an assessment of sand bank conditions and determining the location of beach sand carried away by the storm.

Although some hotels lost precious beach, there were also those hotels (located between the Riu Cancun and downtown -- facing “Bahia Mujeres”) that not only did not lose beach, but actually gained beach. Among these hotels are: Presidente Inter-Continental, Oasis Viva, Ambiance Villas, Villas Tacul, Barcelo las Perlas, Blue Bay, Riu Caribe.

Airport Operations and Local Facilities:

As previously reported, the Cancun International Airport resumed operations on Tuesday, October 25. It will continue to operate on recovery/evacuation status with preferential operations for inbound supplies and passenger departures until October 30. On Monday, October, 31, Cancun’s International Airport will resume normal operations and will receive scheduled flights from Mexicana, US Air 3000 (Apple Vacations charter) and Aviacsa, as well as charter flights from GoGo Tours among others. 

Government Support:

On Thursday, October 27, Mexican President Vicente Fox announced the following support:

US$20 million to go towards beach recovery efforts

US$10 million to go to towards restoration of the hotel zone’s infrastructure

NAFINSA (Mexico’s government loan corporation) is assisting small businesses (shops, restaurants, others) with loans totaling US$340 million.

In an effort to streamline hotel recovery, the Inter-American Development Bank has announced US$500 million in reconstruction and recovery loans.

Remember, travel news changes quickly. Check with hotels and travel companies before making any plans to get the latest rates, times, and schedules. maintains these news pages as a service to readers but readers assume all responsibility for obtaining updated information, rates, and times directly from hotels and travel businesses.

Sunday, October 30, 2005 Romantic Travel Magazine

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Isla Mujeres Hurricane Wilma Recovery - Today's Email From A Concerned Traveler

This tragedy will show the world the true face of Mexico. ~ LDC
On Oct 29, 2005, at 4:44 PM, C wrote:

Dear Lorna,
i read that you have a lot on Islas mujeres, i have lived there for two months and adore Islas,
can you give me some news of the island.
Would be very grateful.
Yours C

Hi C
I, too, am very worried, especially about my friends who were among the poorest on the island. However, things look much better than worse. The clean-up on the island has been nothing short of phenomenal. Isla is a very special place. i lived there for a year and a half; I've been in love with it for 12 years, coming shortly after Hurricane Gilbert. This one was much worse, but no injuries or death, and, thanks to all, things are moving as quickly as possible. Phone service is back up, and electricity to some parts beginning with Playa Norte and then the center of town. You might try calling.

Keep checking my blog at for more info as it comes in, and follow the links to the various boards -- I like & bob's board, which I think is the speakeasy link. I'm in touch with Molly & Rebecca, I believe they are there now distributing some 7,000 worth of medicines & goods for Isla. I bought several hundred dollars worth of stuff to send down, just researching the best way to get things from Denver as the airport has been shut again to inside traffic until Dec. 1 (!!) I have a small plot of land, and have a small Mexican business (just a start-up, no business yet) so I might be able to go, myself, after the 15th. I'll be working through Rebecca & Molly on direct relief, I'm also supporting the building effort via Kelly & others -- but I was considering founding a non-profit dedicated to direct hurricane relief aid in the region, and whose mission is to preserve the history and culture of Isla Mujeres.

More soon -- Day of the Dead is a busy time this year.

Meanwhile, don't worry, the hands of the clock have been drawn back on Isla, the island has returned to its 1990 beauty, and there is much more playa. We should all return in the high season.


Lorna Dee Cervantes

Friday, October 28, 2005

"Blue" - Lorna Dee Cervantes: 44 Isla Relief Foto Hay(na)ku Poems for Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo


The rafters!
Blue soaked gown. . .

~ Lorna Dee Cervantes

October 27, 2005 - After Wilma
Copyright 2005 by Lorna Dee Cervantes. Photo copyright 2005 by QuiltingToad at All Rights Reserved for Isla. For more Isla Relief Foto Hay(na)ku Poems click here.

"Isla Mujeres Dock 4" - Lorna Dee Cervantes


Blue, fishermen
Rest. Wharf, drunk!

~ Lorna Dee Cervantes

October 27, 2005 - After Wilma
Copyright 2005 by Lorna Dee Cervantes. Photo copyright 2005 by QuiltingToad at All Rights Reserved for Isla. For more Isla Relief Foto Hay(na)ku Poems click here.

"Isla Mujeres Dock" - Lorna Dee Cervantes


Wait — tranquilísimo!
¡Colores del pastel!

~ Lorna Dee Cervantes

October 27, 2005 - After Wilma
Copyright 2005 by Lorna Dee Cervantes. Photo copyright 2005 by QuiltingToad at All Rights Reserved for Isla. For more Isla Relief Foto Hay(na)ku Poems click here.

Message From Vic (local) Posted by Islalover Regarding Current NEED$$$ & Conditions on the Isla Mujeres

Joined: 24 Sep 2005
Posts: 12

Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 9:20 am    Post subject: Information from Vic on another message board

This was posted last night 10/27/05


If anyone in Isla finds my password please let me know!!!

Just a note to let you know everyone is OK. We are roughing it for a few more days but OK.

News from Isla are pretty much as you know already. Mexican army and Navy are distributing food and water to Isla since late Tue. night.
CFE (power company) is already there working on replacing the downed poles and lines. Little by little yet very fast things are getting better for our friends and family in Isla.

I had the chance to make a call to Cabanas Ma del Mar a few minutes ago
so their phone lines are up for that part of the island. Do not know the extension of the live lines because they were surprised the phone rang therefore they don't know if others have phone either but I'm sure it will start making lots of calls!!!! je je good for those guys.

Car Ferry as you know is already transporting people,supplies and fuel to the island.

DO NOT believe all that FOX NEWS &CNN are broadcasting. Most of it are based on assumptions and lack of on site knowledge. Very poor view of reality.

If you are coming to the island over the weekend and are bringing relief supplies think of feminine towels and tampons, baby food, gel alcohol, eye drops, for the babies bring some warm clothes because the temperature at night is dropping and it gets cold for those under 2 years old. I know building material is hard to bring so instead if you don't mind my asking, bring funds and use them at the local stores in Cancun to provide for those that lost their roofs and windows.

Food is being provided through the government (ARMY & NAVY) and by the Mexican people that have already collected HUNDREDS...really hundreds of tons of food and beverage. Then we also have the supplies sent by so many countries, yours.
Nobody will die of starvation or thirst.

Remember that many of our friends in Isla live of the ocean and those unfortunate that either lost or have suffered damage to their boats will need help to fix them or replace them.

To all that have reached out and touched us with your thoughts, prayers and material help, THANK YOU!

To honor your friendship and support we offer you our hard work to get back our land-YOUR ISLAND-back in record time.
That it'll take time...Not a Problem
That it will never be as it was before...nope, it'll be better

Lastly to that Wilma...

You got us wet, you knocked us down you stayed in our home longer than you had to and then took off with all we had....You bitch, you whore, you suck you don't ever come back again!!!!!


'Message From Donna (Ziggy y familia)' -- 'Don´t stop coming to the needs all of you...WE need you!!'

This posted yesterday morning at Bob's board at - click this line to visit board - please register & support the board.
Posted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 8:44 am    Post subject: Email from Donna and Ziggy on the island

this was sent to me by Gary and Ami in Austin:
We got this email this morning from Donna. Thank God the LONGHORNS is still there!

Love from Texas, Ami and Gary

Dear friends...

This is just a quick email to all of you that wrote to us for the moment to give you an update...Ziggy, the kids and I are all fine after the hurricane. The island, unfortunately is not so fine. The hurricane hit last Thursday night, and stayed on top of us for two days. It wasn´t until Saturday morning that we could even go out of our homes. We live in La Gloria, in a second story house, and all we had really was water that blew in under the doors and windows. The small homes and casas de cartons were completely destroyed. Electricity for the entire island was wiped out. The winds blew over even the concrete posts from the centro to the south end. The water is gone...since it is pumped in by generators electrically, it´s out as well. Food and drinking water are getting very scarce as well. The island officials are saying that it will probably be a month before electric and water service are restored. In the Centro, the downtown area, resturants, etc. ar e ok, but on the front street (in front of the ferrys) there is only one lane open for travel because there is new beach on the road in front...about 10 feet high of new beach! They are bringing in earth movers to dig out and find the road again. Sergio´s at Playa Sol is completely gone.....nothing left. Nauti Beach looked ok...alot of wind damage. Chi-Chi and Charlies...gone. Couldn´t even get over to Buho´s...I have heard the hotel is ok, but all palapas gone. The resturants are all closed downtown...ours, Chiles Loco´s was not damaged...Bamboo, Fayne´s Rolandi´s, Angelo´s, The Crepe Rest., Freddies, all ok. Everything is closed because there is no power or water. The ferry´s did ok...they all hid in the Lagoon...they started running on Monday I think. The Salina´s...both flooded...Salina Grande is still flooded. All the homes surrounding and close to both were flooded and destroyed.

The Navy has been helping with repairs...and delivering water to the neighborhoods. They are getting it from exhisting supplies that don´t have to be pumped...when that runs out, who knows. The Red Cross had some damage...but is ok, the hospital in the Centro, ok. There is a mandatory curfew in town and colonias of 6PM daily. Your choices are either stay home or go to jail. Things are probably going to start getting crazier since there is no water, food is getting low and people don´t have money.

As far as my family, the kids and I are going to my mom´s in Georgia on Saturday. We are planning to return on December 10th as long as there is electric and water again...later if necessary. Ziggy is still doing his bike trip to Monterrey on November 10th...he should be back to the island by December 11th. There is really no reason to jobs, etc....and he had prepared for this the entire year, so he is still going to do the trip....please pray for him!!

I will be at my mom´s in Georgia on Saturday if anyone would like to call....the number is
XXXXXXXXXX. Ziggy, Rebecca and I are in Merida since last night because we have to get her American Birth Certificate from the Consulate here before we can travel Saturday. We will return to the island today hopefully.

For some of my friends who live here...Chuck and David...your home looks fine, probably some water inside under the doors, etc...but it looks good. Ami and Gary...your apartment looks ok...the gate blew off, and probably some water under the doors, but the Longhorns are still there!! Jim and Carmita Morgan did major damage to their home...he is just still very sick. Vivian...your house looks good from the street. Sabina had alot of windows damaged at her new home on the south side and I think for the moment is staying at her apartments in the Centro.

Sorry this isn´t more personal, but I will have more internet time when I get home to Georgia Saturday to answer all the email individually. Thank you for all of your prayers and thoughts. Don´t stop coming to the needs all of you...WE need you!!

Please take care, and stay in touch....Donna

Isla Mujeres News: 'Wilma May Be Costliest Disaster' Assoc. Press, Oct. 27, 11:24 pm

Wilma May Be Mexico's Costliest Disaster

The Associated Press
Thursday, October 27, 2005; 11:24 PM

ISLA MUJERES, Mexico -- Mexico's Caribbean coastline took a beating from Hurricane Wilma, but the resort area's islands _ famous for their diving and snorkeling _ bore the brunt of the storm, with extensive damage to reefs and white-sand beaches.

Mexican insurance companies said Thursday that Wilma was likely to be the country's most costly disaster ever, with payments topping the $1.2 billion the industry dished out for 1988's Hurricane Gilbert.

Tourists stranded by hurricane Wilma's destruction camp out at the Merida airport, Mexico airport on Wednesday Oct. 26, 2005. Thousands of desperate tourists stranded for six days by Hurricane Wilma besieged airports and tour offices on Wednesday as officials faced evacuating 22,000 visitors with only 6,000 airline seats out of Cancun a day.(AP Photo/Hector Osnaya) (Hector Osnaya - AP)

A U.S. cruise ship was sent Thursday to the island of Cozumel to deliver aid and pick up any remaining stranded Americans, but most tourists appeared to have left the islands.

Even in Cancun, lines at makeshift airline ticket counters had nearly vanished, and there were only a few visitors enjoying the sun before heading home.

Mexican President Vicente Fox arrived in Cancun to discuss his plan to have 80 percent of the resort up and running by Dec. 15.

Fox bid farewell to departing tourists with the words "see you again soon," and then turned his attention to the local population, asking hotel owners not to lay off Cancun residents who rely on tourism for their livelihood.

"I'm asking you for zero unemployment," Fox said in a meeting with hotel operators. "I'm asking you not fire anyone, to keep them in their regular positions or use them in rebuilding."

The U.S. Embassy announced an extra $300,000 in aid for Wilma's victims.

"The recent natural disasters that have devastated parts of the United States and Mexico strengthened the cooperation and determination of our countries and governments to work together," said U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Tony Garza.

Yet, despite the signs of progress, many residents were left behind. On Isla Mujeres, people complained of limited access to drinking water and homes destroyed by high winds, waves and flooding.

Mexico's Environmental Department said Wilma ripped into coral reefs and damaged more than 1 million acres of trees on the Yucatan peninsula, creating fuel for possible forest fires in the upcoming dry season.

On Isla Mujeres, the surf dragged sand from the public beach across much of the island, blocking streets and filling homes and businesses with the snowy white grains.

Sailors shoveled the sand into 6-foot piles Thursday in an attempt to rescue one of the region's greatest assets _ brochures brag that the Mexican Caribbean's sugar-white beaches don't get hot in the sun.

In a sign that the tourism industry may be slow to recover, hotels were boarded up and there were no signs of reconstruction _ unlike in Cancun, where bulldozers are already clearing debris.

Tourists stranded by hurricane Wilma's destruction camp out at the Merida airport, Mexico airport on Wednesday Oct. 26, 2005. Thousands of desperate tourists stranded for six days by Hurricane Wilma besieged airports and tour offices on Wednesday as officials faced evacuating 22,000 visitors with only 6,000 airline seats out of Cancun a day.(AP Photo/Hector Osnaya) (Hector Osnaya - AP)

Hundreds waited in line with plastic jugs, hoping to get drinking water brought in by ferries. Helicopters flew in more aid, taking off from Cancun's bullring.

Fishermen on Isla Mujeres, north of Cozumel, said the storm scared away the fish. No sea life could be seen in the water near one shallow reef just offshore.

"The people here fish," said Jose Sanchez, a 61-year-old fisherman. "But now there aren't fish, so we don't do anything."

The storm put Marielle Hendriksen, a Netherlands native who has lived on the island for nearly five years, out of work. Her dive shop has closed until it can repair a dock that was blown away by Wilma's wind and waves.

But she said she was happy to see officials recovering the beaches' sand.

"It will take a lot of work and a lot of time, but some of the beaches can be recovered," she said.

Hendriksen was one of the few on the island who said they had received handouts of rice, beans and sugar. Many others complained they weren't getting bottled water or food, and a group of about 30 people were planning a protest.

The island's senior center was filled to the ceiling with bottled water and some food, but residents said local officials weren't distributing it.

Vivian Aurora, 41, said she hadn't received anything for days and only has a bit of rice, beans and dried fish for her three children.

Flor Maria Chavez, 52, got up before dawn to wait for the ferry to bring water.

"There isn't any water until the ferry brings the jugs," she said. "We don't have anything to drink."

Houston Chronicle, Oct. 25, 'Pummeled Resorts In Yucatan Receive Aid

Oct. 25, 2005, 11:40PM

Pummeled resorts in Yucatán receive aid

Coastal damage serious; tourism likely to suffer
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle Foreign Service

CANCÚN, MEXICO - Military helicopters and cargo planes flew some of the first relief supplies into this battered resort city Tuesday in Hurricane Wilma's wake as officials began to get a better idea of the damage to Cozumel and Isla Mujeres, two islands popular among Texans.

From the vantage of a military helicopter flight to Cozumel, the beaches and resorts along the Caribbean coastline looked bruised but more than salvageable.

Drinking water was scarce, electricity remained out, and miles of large utility towers that held the lines carrying power to the beaches had tumbled into the western forest. But the expansive hotel complexes north of Playa del Carmen appeared from the air to have survived relatively unscathed. Tourists swam in the once again azure sea in front of some hotels, and waved to the helicopter overhead.

Still, it was clear Wilma did serious harm to the Caribbean coast, which accounts for more than a third of the country's $11 billion in annual tourism income. And the fallout was already being felt in Houston.

Kenneth Knezick, owner of Houston-based Island Dreams Travel, said that between now and mid-December, his company will be forced to cancel $150,000 worth of holidays to Cozumel, the No. 1 spot for American scuba divers in the world.

"It's going to cost us a lot of money and spoil a lot of people's holidays," he said.

But Knezick said he is confident that Mexico will rebuild and Cozumel and Cancún will again flourish.

"The Mexican government understands the importance of tourism to their country," he said.

President Vicente Fox and his finance minister, Francisco Gil Diaz, underscored that point Tuesday.

"We will take decisive action to reactivate the economy in the zone," said Diaz, promising "instant credit" for hotels wanting to rebuild.

But the priorities this week are to evacuate foreign tourists and restore electricity and water supplies, said Rodolfo Elizondo, Mexico's secretary of tourism.

Not yet counting costs
"We're just attending to the veins and tendons of things," said Elizondo, who was in Cancún on Tuesday to supervise recovery efforts. "We still haven't begun to look at the cost of the damage."

Although the Cancún airport's charter terminal was gutted by the storm, the main terminal was largely intact.

More than five flights an hour were taking off from Cancún Tuesday, before operations were ended just before nightfall, said Carlos Trueva, the airport operations director.

Most were charter company and Mexicana Airlines flights; such airlines as Continental and American hadn't yet begun sending in planes, but Trueva said he expected to hear from them soon.

That means many tourists are finally heading home.

"Thank God we're finally getting out of Dodge," said Trudy Rosser of Steubenville, Ohio, who was in line to board a USA3000 charter flight to Pittsburgh.

Also Tuesday, dozens of relief flights arrived in Cozumel and nearby Isla Mujeres, bringing more than 70 tons of beans, rice and other supplies to haggard residents. The operation was centered in the city of Merida, some 200 miles to the west.

"We'll fly until it's dark," said Manuel Gamez, one of the helicopter pilots.

Red Cross says 4 dead
Red Cross officials in Cozumel reported four dead, and more than three score lightly injured in the storm. Some 40 percent of the island's buildings were damaged to some degree, the officials said, and 10 percent were "destroyed."

"The hotels along the seafront are destroyed," said Miguel Tejera, a Red Cross official overseeing the unloading of the relief supplies at the airport. But he added that most of the damage entailed blown-out windows, flooded rooms and ruined bedding.

As in Cancún, most of the hotel buildings appeared intact, at least from the air.

No one was reported killed in the storm on Isla Mujeres, a much smaller island a few miles off Cancún. But the center of the island's town remained flooded Tuesday.

Chronicle reporter Dudley Althaus reported from Cancún, Cozumel and Isla Mujeres. Ioan Grillo, a special correspondent, reported from Mexico City.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Thursday's Guardian Unlimited (UK), Oct. 27, 2005

 click here to go to The Guardian

Mexico counts Wilma cost in lost dollars and beaches

Jo Tuckman in Mexico City
Thursday October 27, 2005
Copyright 2005 The Guardian

Tens of thousands of bedraggled tourists, including 8,600 Britons, stranded in the Yucatan peninsula for nearly a week after Hurricane Wilma, are finally boarding planes to go home. But reconstruction of the battered Caribbean holiday region will take much longer, say local officials.

Many streets remain flooded and power lines are down. Emergency supplies are only just getting to some of the more isolated areas, and houses in the poorer districts have been rated as beyond repair.

Article continues

With its 140mph winds and surge flooding over two days, Hurricane Wilma damaged even the sturdiest hotel complexes in Cancun, although many buildings escaped with just blown out windows and soggy interiors.

Damage to the tourism infrastructure in the less-developed parts of the coast, known as the Maya Riviera, as well as on the islands of Cozumel and Isla Mujeres, has yet to be assessed. But signs that Wilma may also have washed away entire beaches are perhaps the storm's most worrying legacy for a population almost entirely dependent on tourism. Last year the riveria and Cancun received 8 million tourists.

Eloan Galindo, Cancun's environmental spokesman, told Bloomberg news agency that 90% of the city's famous white-sand beaches had gone; there was "only sun and rocks". But other officials said it was impossible to assess the beaches until the tides returned to normal.

Although few people are yet willing to hazard a guess at the repair costs of the hurricane, figures are circulating on the losses incurred while the tourism industry is shut down. John McCarthy, director of the National Fund for Tourism, told reporters the sector would lose $15m (£8m) a day. The Cancun hoteliers alone estimate their daily lost revenue at $7m. The area has not faced such a crisis since Hurricane Gilbert in 1988, but Wilma, locals say, is much worse.

The president, Vicente Fox, who visited at the weekend, said he hoped that 80% of the infrastructure would be up and running for Christmas and New Year when hotels are usually full. Most estimates, however, put that point at three or four months further on.

Cancun, built in the 1970s, together with the Maya Riviera, represent Mexico's premier holiday destination bringing in about a third of the national tourism revenue. Last year the 20.6 million foreigners who visited Mexico spent close to $11bn. The government is already lobbying the Interamerican Development Bank for a $500m loan on the hoteliers' behalf.

While the Mexican authorities were praised for their storm preparations that helped keep the death toll to single figures, their handling of the aftermath has not gone so well. The police took days to re-impose law and order in Cancun.

Latest News from - 'Tourists Stream Out of Cancun'

Tourists stream out of Cancun
26/10/2005 18:18  - (SA)  

Tourists wait on a highway near the airport as they try to leave Cancun, Mexico. (Jose Luis Magana, AP)

Cancun - Thousands of stranded tourists were flowing out of Cancun on Wednesday, but thousands more were still trying to escape the Caribbean resorts pounded for two days by Hurricane Wilma.

Presidential spokesperson Ruben Aguilar said on Wednesday that power had been restored to about a quarter of Cancun and the neighbouring Mayan Riviera. He said it would take a month to restore power everywhere in the area; Wilma knocked down an estimated 10 000 power poles.

Aguilar said that 18 000 of the tourists trapped by the hurricane had already left the city and 22 000 remained on Wednesday morning. Airport operators said 6 000 more should be able to leave on the 34 flights planned for the day at Cancun's badly damaged airport.

While desperate tourists crammed the airport, thousands of others were bused to planes in Merida, a 280km trip that normally takes four hours but which has been lengthened by heavy traffic and partially flooded roads.

Damaged tourism industry

"Enough's enough," said Paul Bracey, 45, of Wales, said at a hotel serving as a shelter in downtown Cancun as he waited for a bus to Merida late on Tuesday night. "We're still stranded, and have been told six days of lies. Soon we can have something real to eat, have a shower."

The company that operates the Cancun airport, Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste, said on Wednesday that Wilma had knocked out the airport's navigational aids, so flights must operate visually - ruling out flights at night or in poor weather until equipment is replaced. One of two terminals was closed indefinitely for repairs.

Wilma crossed directly over the airport after hitting the coastline Friday. It wiped out the heart of Mexico's $11bn foreign tourism industry and even washed away much of Cancun's famed white beachfront.

Eric and Michelle Joseph, honeymooners form San Jose, California, said that a river of human waste had run through hallways at the hotel where 1 200 tourists were sheltered during the storm.

Clyde Wiseman, a petrochemical supervisor from Godfrey, Illinois said he didn't know when he'd be leaving.

"I'm happy to be among the living," he said. "But to the travel agents, the airlines, I want to say, I don't want to be among the forgotten."

Ferries were carrying supplies and people between the mainland and the hurricane-raked resort islands of Cozumel and Isla Mujeres, Fox's office said on Tuesday. The United States Embassy said 900 Americans were believed to be on Cozumel.

Officials on Tuesday lowered the known death toll from six to four. The storm also killed at least five in Florida, 12 in Haiti and one in Jamaica.

Clean-up had already begun at many hotels and some hoped to be working within a few weeks.

"The aftermath of this storm is unimaginable," said David Krouham, the company's chief executive officer.

UN-OCHA - The Caribbean: Hurricane Wilma Situation Report No. 7, 10/26/05

Source: United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

Date: 26 Oct 2005

The Caribbean: Hurricane Wilma OCHA Situation Report No. 7

Ref: OCHA/GVA – 2005/0188

OCHA Situation Report No. 7
Hurricane Wilma – The Caribbean
26 October 2005


The following report is based on information provided by the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in Cuba and Mexico, the Regional Disaster Response Advisor Office in Panama as well as the national emergency management agencies in both countries.


7. Cancun’s airport remains closed and it is unclear when it would reopen. The road to the nearest airport in Merida is impassable. It is not clear how many tourists are stranded.

8. On 25 October, the Mexican Red Cross started the distributions of food and water supplies, kitchen kits, hygiene kits, plastic sheeting and mosquito nets to Cancun, Puerto Maderos, Isla Mujeres, Playa del Carmen and Cozumel.

International Response

9. No request for international assistance has been made by either Mexico or Cuba.

10. OCHA is in close contact with the United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Offices in Cuba and Mexico, and will revert with further information as it becomes available.

11. For further information, please refer to the Website of the National Hurricane Service in Miami at, and

12. This situation report, together with further information on other ongoing emergencies is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at

Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officers:

Mr. Ricardo Mena
E-mail:, direct Tel. +41- 22- 917-1455

Mr. Dusan Zupka
E-mail:, direct Tel. +41-22-917 1645

Press contact:

(GVA) Ms. Elizabeth Byrs, direct Tel. +41-22-917 2653
(N.Y.) Ms. Stephanie Bunker, direct Tel. +1-917-367 51 26

With the exception of public UN sources, reproduction or redistribution of the above text, in whole, part or in any form, requires the prior consent of the original source.

Chris Lane Quoted in Today's Capital Times Online Regarding Isla Mujeres

  • read the rest here

    Rob Zaleski: Hurricanes test ex-residents' resolve

    By Rob Zaleski
    October 26, 2005

    About Rob

    Rob Zaleski is a 32-year veteran of the news business. His columns appear every Monday and Wednesday in the Communities section.
    Ruben wasn't the only ex-Wisconsinite who was shaken.

    Chris Lane, a Lodi native who had moved to enchanting Isla Mujeres off the coast of Cancun, Mexico, in 2003 and who was profiled in this space last March, rode out Wilma in a shelter at the island's highest point. But he told his parents, Rick and Vicky Lane of Lodi, in a phone call Monday that "anything that wasn't cemented down is gone" and that helicopters were flying in food and water to those who'd stayed behind.

    (The La Gloria English School on Isla Mujeres, which is owned and operated by Tom and Maggie Washa of Middleton, suffered water damage but otherwise "survived just fine," Maggie Washa said Tuesday.)

    Meanwhile, my sister Marilyn - who moved to Naples with her late husband Sam in 1981, bought a condo across the street from the beach for $110,000 and has always insisted she's among the luckiest people on the planet - has spent the last four nights at a motel in Ocala in the middle of the state.

    And she says the moment she gets back - assuming her condo's still standing - she's going to sell the property and start all over again in Maryland or Virginia.

    But she's apparently an exception.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ snip ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to check my shutters."


    Published: 9:59 AM 10/26/05

    Home Delivery of The Capital Times from 2.25/week - Act Now!

    Technical questions and comments may be directed to The Capital Times. Please state your concern in the subject line. To write a letter to the editor, e-mail our editorial page .

    Copyright 2005 The Capital Times
    Freelance writers retain the copyright for their work that appears on this site.
  • Message Posted by Molly to

    Isla Mujeres Chatter Board
    | Post a Response To This Entry |

    Main Page > news on donations
    news on donations

    Molly Fisher

    10/25/2005 5:13:51 PM


    Hi.. This is Molly writing. Becky just got here to Mexico. There are many people in Merida getting ready to head back to the island. They can fill up on medical supplies ect.. to bring back. Send money!!!! We are using it to buy immediate need items such as meds.... I am in touch with Greta who ran the Red Cross for 10 years as to what meds etc... HELP these people!

    Big donations are needed for generators. They are about $500-$600. We will be sure to get pics for you of where and whom they go to. Also- if you have a special family in mind we will get it to them directly.

    To donate do to pay pal and donate to

    Due to the fact that we can not communicate with Isla... it is hard to designate this person. After many years of doing community service work there I have people in mind that can do the job. As soon as we can get in touch with them or arrive there ourselves, we can declare this person. It will obviously be a full time trust worthy resident of the community. We are also working on long term repair projects and how to get that all coordinated for people that want to come down and help. When I am able to arrive I plan on being there for a least a month and am more than happy to work in this effort. This way we can have a list of certain projects going on and the supplies/volunteers needed.

    I am reposting the donation info below for those who want to help. The strings are getting too long, I was afraid the message would get lost.
    We are collecting funds for the islanders to provide food, medicine, flashlights and temporary shelter. Molly will be leaving for the island as soon as we are able to enter. But as soon as we get the OK, we're going down to help.
    As you all have seen from the news clips, the damage is immense to say the least. They are going to need so much help. So we are asking you to donate. Any amount is fine. Anything you can give. Even if its $20, that will buy 8 “dispensas” rations. That covers a family of 4 for a week. Rice, beans, cornflour, the basics. We need supplies too, clothes, medical supplies etc. We are working on transportation logistics, so for now if you can give money, please do. Molly and I were planning the next week to open our Art and Philanthropy gallery in Punta Mita, but this is to big to ignore. So we're putting it on hold and going to help. We have the time and drive to do this, as we both lived there for over four years. Most of you cant leave to help. But you can help by donating, so please do.

    This is a message from Molly:
    Rebecca and I are working on coordinating relief efforts for the islanders. Unfortunately, with little communication, this is a hard task. So I have contacted disater relief people- experts- on how to prepare myself and what supplies will be needed. The main things are obvious, food, water, clothing, antibiotics and TARPS! Tarps and more tarps for shelter, protection and shade. Currently we don't know how Mexico is going to work with customs and allowing supplies in. In my experience heading spay and neuter clinics, customs can be really tough to work with. So the most immediate way you can help is through monetary donation. With donations we can purchase the materials needed in Mexico for the relief work. I am working on the collection of supplies and transportation for them. We have contacted a transportation company here inthe US who has worked with past crisis situations resulting from hurricanes. It looks like they can help get supplies brought to the island. But we don't know when. As soon as I know when I can get there safely I will be going along with my husband. My husband lived there for 10 years before we moved. There are many many friends and family from his hometown, as well as our old neighbors and community members. As we know more we will post.

    Late last night I realized a lot of you don't know who Molly and I are, and sometimes people are skeptical of donating to strangers. So Im making a little resume, so those interested can read through. If your not interested...I don't blame you!!

    Molly Fisher Mendez moved to Isla Mujeres in 1999. She was the co-owner of Cosmic Cosas Bookstore on Avenida Matamoros. She lived on the island for over four years, co-founding Amigo de los Animales, heading bi-annual spay and neuter programs, creating and implementing programs for the Red Cross Kids Club. In 2003,she married her husband, Eduardo, and moved to Puerto Vallarta area to teach. Currently she has co-founded Casa Comunidad, a community center for children and families in the Punta Mita Region.

    I, Rebecca Peragine moved to Isla in 2000 with my brother Chris (myisla webmaster). Together we opened Aluxes Coffee House. Chris, Molly and I worked together on tons of fundraising projects, participated in pachanga events, headed island clean-up projects, etc. I married my husband Gianluca, former owner of Al Forno pizzeria (now Paco's Pizza)had a son, Giovanni and moved back to the US.
    Through the years on isla, one way we raised funds was by having art expositions out of my coffee house. We found artists, displayed their work and gave proceeds to needed causes. Since then, we decided to take that concept and turn it into a business. So Art and Philanthropy was born. Currently, our gallery in Punta Mita, Mexico was supposed to be opening in the next few weeks. I was planning on flying down Tuesday to do the finishing work. But since Art and Philanthropy was born in Isla Mujeres, and the concept of the business is essentially to help people in need, we couldn't ignore the problem. So we are postponing our gallery opening to go help.

    If you chose not to donate with us, you can also contact the IM Red Cross. Contact information was posted yesterday, but I couldn't find it in the mountain of messages.

    Thanks everyone. Chris is going to be amazed to see how everyone pulled together to help. And very touched to see that his site made it happen!


    Tuesday, October 25, 2005


    I just saw the live report from Televisa of the destruction on Isla Mujeres, Cozumel, and cancun. I am overwhelmed, to put it mildly. Watching the live helicopter fly-by of Cancun and Isla -- I just can't say. I sounded like an wounded animal watching video of Calle Guerrero in front of the Clinic devastated, like a new beach, and some one digging out a collapsed home, all the shops near the corner where the old Tequila Sol was looking all grey with muck, empty and shattered. Mind-boggling. Hearing the announcer describe "islands within an island" -- and seeing it! It looked like where the big Palapa & beach behind Avalon was is now underwater, making Avalon one of the islands (which it is anyway), I didn't see the dock leading up to it) and water up to Nautibeach. Salina area still inundated. Mar Caribe road in tact, perhaps my land as well. Punta Sur (South Point) looked weird, helicopter video entered from there, it looked scraped bare like in the old photos of it, I wasn't sure what I was seeing at first. I didn't see the Temple or the new structures or the statues, I did see the big tower, which let me know what I was looking at -- it looked like a big junk of the tip fell off, maybe where the arch was, it was hard to tell as the chopper was moving fast at that point. I did notice traffic on the road and some houses along the cliff remain, the old house with the arches, maybe Casa del Sol, Maybe Casa de Bomberos -- it was hard to tell, I couldn't see the palapa -- also, the camera cut away during that part. It looks like some destruction north of the water plant on the ocean side of the road, the new construction -- but I don't know how much of that was Emily damage. Playa Norte devastated. For now. The people are working together and digging out, but i can't tell you how sick with worry i am right, and I'm still numb! In shock. The announcer said 50% of Isla was still underwater, colonias I saw, Metrologico, and around the salinas, under 3 feet still.

    Please, help if you can. I know there are so many places and people suffering right now, but people do what they think they gotta do. Right now, I'm very concerned about some very dear friends who happen to be very poor and may still be on the island. As soon as I post this & I'll be sending $200 more and asking at the university, my department, for donations, 100% of which will be going directly to aid, and they will be helping me help my Mexican friends, and Isla's poet, Rafael Burgos Rios.
    This just posted by Molly Fisher of kevin's Isla mujeres Message Board at Cancun travel Online -- which is where the photos of Cancun come from. Good Up-to-Date information from where he is helping to coordinate reports and aid in Cancun.

  • ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 10:01 pm

    Isla Relief

    Our idea is to start a program (well, we already kinda have) to address long-term needs as well as immediate need. We would love to work together with any and all of you out there doing the same. At the time here is our plan.

    Address immediate Needs:
    We are asking people still in Merida to purchase the following to get to Isla.

    Immediate Needs as we know… (Things we are spending your money on now.)
    • Antibiotics
    • Anti-diarrhea medicine
    • Any general medical supplies
    • Food
    • Water
    • Fluids
    • Diapers
    • Wipes
    • Clothes
    • Shoes
    • Tarps
    • First Aid material
    • Duct tape
    • Rope
    • Candles
    • Batteries
    • Flash lights
    • Matches
    • Lighters
    • Cleaning supplies- all types
    • Disinfectants
    • Gloves
    • Soap, shampoo, etc…
    • Towels, toilet paper etc…
    • Dog and Cat food
    • Animal supplies
    • Garbage bags
    • Generators (if we get specific donations)

    Molly is coordinating supplies in Vallarta to be brought. To date she has approximately $3000 of supplies to take with her. She will go as soon as it is safe for her to travel with supplies to Isla.

    Coordinate and inform volunteers going to Isla:

    Volunteer List

    Depending on when you come… you may need the following…
    • A TON of power bars or something similar as you will be working long behind days and not eat.
    • Get your shots if you do not have them. Hep A and hep B, tetanus. (ask your Doctor)
    • BOOTS, Comfy boots.
    • Some type of rubber boots also for walking in water.
    • Diarrhea meds for you. Lots of Pepto-Bismol.
    • Tarps
    • POWDER Gatorade (easy to mix up there and great for dehydration)
    • First aid kit for YOU. Meds for YOU.
    • Masks and that Vicks vapor rub to put in it for the smell.

    Long Term Plan:

    For the long haul we will be looking for people on Isla to fill the following roles. Some roles may be filled by the same person.

    General Coordinator(s) 1-2
    Molly is happy to do this/and or help with this for the time she is there. Best bet is if she is working with 1 or 2 residents so that when she leaves they have it under control.

    1. Human Health- medical needs, supplies…
    • 1 person to assess needs
    • 1 person to coordinate volunteers

    2. Building- materials, supplies, workers
    • 1 person to assess needs
    • 1 person to coordinate volunteers

    3. Personal Needs- clothing, shoes, etc…
    • 1 person to assess needs
    • 1 person to coordinate volunteers

    4. Help to existing Associations (i.e. La Gloria English School etc…)
    • 1 person to assess needs
    • 1 person to coordinate volunteers

    5. Animal Needs
    • 1 person to assess needs
    • 1 person to coordinate volunteers
    I think that we have the above under control between Delfino, Alison and me. WE DO NEED VOLUNTEERS!

    We know there skeptics out there. We are keeping all receipts and tight books. We have a donations spreadsheet and expense spreadsheet. This will be available to the public upon request. If you choose your name to be anonymous, let us know and we will not post it.

    100% of these donations go directly to the island. It is 100% volunteer run and there are 0 administration costs. We plan on keeping it this way.

    About the animals…. I know that many of you know me as an animal person. I am also very involved with people as a teacher, volunteer for the Red Cross and Director of Casa Comunidad (new program here in Punta Mita). People come first.

    However, the animal situation directly affects the humans’ health. Starving animals mean dead and sick animals. Dead and sick animals (especially in these conditions) means a higher chance of disease spreading. Animals drinking bad water means disease for them and lots of diarrhea. Diarrhea in these conditions means lots of spread of disease to humans. Dead animals being left lying around? Again, a problem for humans.

    On top of all of this is the fact the Islenos actually love and care for their animals (most of them anyway). Can you imagine watching your pet sick and dying and you can’t do a thing about it?

    That being said- we assure you that humans come first, but animals do count too.

    FYI: I have talked with the HSUS Disaster Relief team. They not only have given me tons of advice and training but will also be coming in if needed. This advice and training is for both humans and animals.

    TO DONATE: paypal –

    Any questions, comments etc… contact or

    My Correspondence to Art And Philanthropy & Paypal Proof

    Subject: Re: Donation update
    Date: October 25, 2005 3:40:54 PM MDT

    Rebecca & Molly,

    Can you use more paypal donations at this time? I can send much more & put out a call on my blog (there's already one) and the university for immediate cash donations.

    Some aid thoughts: DIAPERS, formula & antiseptic baby wipes. Wipes & plastic bags of all kinds. Any & all medicines & aids to diabetics, mosquito nets, tents, portable screen houses, etc., all kinds of batteries, flashlights., etc. Camping equipment and food of all kinds (this is, when all the buildings are gone, the middle of the jungle). Rainsuits. Tortillas & masa. Flu & cold medicine. Baby pain & fever relief. Just off the top of my head. I'll try and make some phone calls to individuals on the island & the Red Cross in case lines go up.

    I am desperately seeking information on the whereabouts, well-being and phone contact of RAFAEL BURGOS RIOS, wife Ana Rodriguez & family whose parents live on Guerrero #6 near the zocalo. The musician, javier, would know how to reach him. His sisters & brothers lived in the complex on Guerrero as well. I would like to help Javier and his father, as well. I would like to send money to the Burgos Rios family. As well, Angelica who sold her crafts on the beach, the caretakers at Casa Mimosa on Sac Bajo, The Rios brothers, cousins & amigos of Los Tres Amigos or "Amigos" who lived in the Colonia near the gran salina, Gustavo de Alba who ran a craft shop, La Iguana, across from the police station and who lived in the house on the cliff just outside of el centro, and Claudia, a nurse with many years of experience with the Red Cross & who was one of the co-founders of the Isla Mujeres Women's Cooperative, "The Bead Ladies."

    My home phone number is XXXXXXXXX. They may call collect. Or anyone else with direct information.

    Also, I own a small lot next to Vicki Dakini, in case you need someone to come down and help who owns property on the island. I'll be looking into donating it for a sister-organization to your efforts, the ChayaMaya Foundation dedicated to relief work and the cultural preservation of the island.

    THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING!!! And, thanks so much for the update.

    Lorna Dee Cervantes

    On Oct 25, 2005, at 2:29 PM, Rebecca Lane wrote:

    Hi to everyone who donated!

    First, I want to say thanks to everyone for your generosity. Im very impressed with your need to help.
    I just want to give you a quick heads up on our work. Jeff & Alison are in Merida. We gave them the list of immediate needs for the people on the island. They are currently on a shopping spree and will be returning as soon as it is safe to travel with supplies. Meanwhile, Molly and I are here in Puerto Vallarta making contacts, trying to figure out when we can get there, and what else is needed.

    We are still waiting for the supply list from the Red Cross. If anyone can get your hands on this, please send them to me. We have a lot of people still in Merida who can buy supplies and bring them home.

    So, thanks to all, your donations made this possible.

    Rebecca Peragine
    Owner, Art and Philanthropy

    Subject: Receipt for your Payment
    Date: October 24, 2005 3:09:35 AM MDT
    To: lornadeecervantes@

    Dear Lorna Cervantes,

    Your payment for $100.00 USD to has been sent.
    Payment Details

    Amount: $100.00 USD

    Transaction ID: 54T995538J3556358

    Subject: Donation for Isla

    This is to confirm that I, Lorna Dee Cervantes, just sent $100 donation to rebecca@artandphilanthropy for direct aid to Isla care of Molly Fisher.

    Keep up the great work. Don't hesitate to ask me for anything. I put up a notice on my blog at about your efforts and calling for donations. Good luck. I'll try to send more soon. I would like to locate Rafael Burgos Rios & family at 6 Calle Guerrero next to family store across from Clinic near zocalo.

    Again, thank you for your work. I would be willing to help organize a fundraiser.

    Lorna Dee

    P.S. My rescued Isla dog, Brucie, is the best; we love him very much. He's a white & brown Beagle/Spring Spaniel looking dog who was rescued off a roof last spring.

    View the details of this transaction online at:
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    PayPal Email ID PP118

    SEND CASH DONATION NOW - Direct Relief for Isla Mujeres

    Go to secure site and send whatever you can afford NOW to for direct relief to Isla Mujeres, Mexico. They have a private company plane they are trying to get permission to land in Isla Mujeres with food, medicine, water, tarps, diapers and other relief. Please help if you can. i know these women and if anyone can do it, they can. It's not much, but it's something. Every hour counts as people wait for news and relief.

    Here's Rebecca's latest email from Puerto Vallarta:

    Subject: Re: Donation update
    Date: October 25, 2005 7:13:38 PM MDT

    We can use as many donations that can we can get!!!! Your list was great....expecially the infant products. I have been very concerned about that. We are making a list of people who need to be contacted. Im going add your list to it, and as soon as we can get there, we will begin to look. Its just very frustrating at the moment, as we don't know one day from the next when we can arrive. But, we are lucky that we have people over there now bringing supplies from the donations.

    Rebecca Peragine
    Owner, Art and Philanthropy

    Fotos of Isla Mujeres & Cancun Airport Today, Oct. 25, 2005

    here at Isla Mujeres Speakeasy posted by Katherine, Isla Mujeres travel agent extraordinaire.

    'Cancun Tourist Year To Close at Half-Mast' - Latina Prensa just now

    Cancun Tourist Year To Close at Half-Mast

    Mexico, Oct 25 (Prensa Latina) Cancun, Mexico´s most famous Caribbean beach resort, will close its tourist year with only 50 percent of hotels in operation, a high ranking tourism official estimated.

    By the Christmas holidays, just half of hotel capacity (about 15,000 rooms) will be ready to receive clients, National Tourism Promotion Foundation (Fonatur) director John McCarty said.

    In remarks to a local radio station, the Fonatur chief denied that Cancun was totally destroyed by powerful five- category Hurricane Wilma.

    In 30 days, most hotels will be operating, McCarty insisted, with some facilities in the Maya Riviera and in Playa del Carmen already operating.

    According to El Universal daily online edition, the hotels in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Isla Mujeres and Cozumel were affected by the hurricane.

    Meanwhile, Cancun International Airport resumed operations Tuesday with the evacuation of 38,000 tourists who had been stranded there and in the Maya Riviera.

    Daily air operations at the Cancun terminal were suspended Friday, with estimated daily losses of 15 million dollars for the sector.

    Ruben Aguilar, spokesperson for the Presidency, said no curfew will be decreed in Cancun, despite rampant pillage in hurricane-torn areas.

    He also insisted that the federal Government has enough resources to deal with the emergency and is in a position to channel about 2.5 billion dollars for the purpose.

    According to preliminary government estimates in Quintana Roo, more than 846,000 people were affected, and a dozen people died directly or indirectly due to the hurricane.


    Copyright © 2005 - All Rights Reserved.

    Prensa Latina

    Calle 23 esq. N Vedado, La Habana - Cuba

    (53-7) Tlf. 55-3496  Fax: 33-3068

    'Mexico's Power Company Restores Electricity to 25% of Cancun'

    Mexico's Power Company Restores Electricity to 25% of Cancun ~ from in the UK.

    Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Mexico's state-owned power company has restored electricity to a quarter of Cancun and expects to have lighting for half the city by Oct. 29, said Alfredo Elias Ayub, director of the Federal Electricity Commission.

    The power company, known as CFE, may take a month to return power to the entire Cancun and Conzumel area after Hurricane Wilma pounded the region for more than two days, cutting all electricity lines, Elias said in a radio interview on Radio Formula.

    CFE restored about 28 percent of electricity to Playa de Carmen and has set a goal of having power back on for half of Cancun and Playa del Carmen by Saturday.

    The company has yet to restore lights to resort islands of Cozumel or Isla Mujeres, Elias said.

    Jetsam & Flotsam: Blog News from Tulum This Afternoon From Tales of The Blue

    Out of the blue from Tales of the Blue in Tulum today:

    Tuesday, October 25, 2005


    Okay, so you now know we are okay. the news is good for us but we should give you a report of the surrounding areas. Lets start north first and work our way down. We now have more information so we can give you a better update...

    Cancun, this city did not fair well. Rumor has it that the ocean met the lagoon in the hotel zone so the this area turned into ocean....if the water dried as fast as Playa Del Carmen, this situation is probably not true anymore, but we an not get up there to check it out as the highway is closed to traffic. They may be opening it up today so we will get some more news. The airport is closed and should re-open on wednesday. The unfortunate thing is no flights are coming in. This is not good for us or those who wish to return to Mexico. Selma is on route back from New York but it seems she may have to enter the country a different way.

    Puerto Morelos, 40 minutes south of Cancun, really has not done well. Most of the dramatic pictures come from here....We have lots of freinds here and we do worry, but again there is no way to contact them. We pray for them...once we have news we will let you know. Matt from Protec said that there are restaurants open there. I want to see for myself. I hope they are and I hoep all of our friends are fine.

    Isla Mujeres. Oops, so much for starting north and working our way south. Isla is located off the tip of Cancun, and though we have not seen pictures the Island could be underwater, meaning lots of water went a shore and it will take time for it to drain. Once we have the update, we will pas it along.

    Now as I sit here writing, I am listening to a woman at the internet cafe talk about her experience on Cozumel. Now, the tourists are being taken by helicopter from the Island to Tulum, yes our little town of Tulum. So what i just heard was, water up the people waists, no food, no water. But the military is removing people quickly and getting everyone safely onto dry land. This is not good news, but the great news is people are being taken care of and Mexico is moving fast....

    Next, Playa Del Carmen. They are rocking. Electricity is bad in most places, water is running and people are happy. I think the prediction of a week for recovery is a good one. But that is not to say that others will need less time to get up and fully functioning. Java Joe´s was open and serving coffee. Got to love Ronnie and Joel. They dont miss a beat! Java was sourcing food, bread and suplies yesterday and they are open!!!

    Puerto Adventuras got some damage again, same with Akumal and Tank ha Bay. The cenotes are up and running and people are diving in them today. Snorkelling will take a bit as the water levels are still too high, but diving yee ha!!!

    Tulum is the hub....the town is packed and people are coming here for supplies, information and just to get out and about. I swear it is the little town that is a haven for most.

    So that is the update today. More tomorrow!

    posted by Tales Of The Blue at 2:53 PM

    Latest Report From Relief Aid - OCHA - The Caribbean, Report #6

    Source: United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

    Date: 25 Oct 2005

    The Caribbean: Hurricane Wilma OCHA Situation Report No. 6

    Ref: OCHA/GVA – 2005/0185

    OCHA Situation Report No. 6
    Hurricane Wilma – The Caribbean
    25 October 2005

    This message is not an official hurricane warning or alert for any country

    1. Wilma was at Category 3 strength when it made landfall at Cape Romano, some 32 kilometres (20 miles) west of Everglades City, Florida on the morning of 24 October (1030 GMT).

    2. At the same time, Tropical Storm Alpha became the 22nd storm of the season breaking the all-time record for the most active season in the Atlantic basin.


    The following report is based on information provided by the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in Cuba and Mexico, the national emergency management agencies in both countries.


    3. In Yucatan and Quintana Roo states, more than 71,000 people, many of them foreign tourists, remained in emergency shelters for a third day, unable to leave because of the wide spread floods and damages.

    4. Cancun was the area most affected by the storm, with some 300,000 people left homeless and another 700,000 whose dwellings suffered severe damage. The storm destroyed buildings, washed out roads, downed power lines and knocked out telephone service in the state. Access inside of Cancun is at the moment restricted to 60% of the total surface. At least three people died in Cozumel Island, which was battered for two days by the storm. The other four deaths were registered in the Yucatan Peninsula, bringing up the death toll to seven persons.

    5. Wilma caused extensive damage to hotels in the tourist areas of Cancun, Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, Isla Mujeres and Cozumel. In Cancun troops and federal police on 23 October worked to control looting at stores and shopping centers ripped open by Hurricane Wilma as hunger and frustration surfaced among the affected population.

    6. The President asked the Congress to raise from USD 366 million to USD 1.1 billion the sum to be disbursed from the National Fund for Natural Disasters (FONDEN) to assist the estimated 1 million people affected by the hurricane in the Yucatan peninsula.

    7. All Mexican Red Cross available transport units will be deployed in relief effort in the Yucatan area. This will possibly cause a side effect on the still on-going relief operation in Chiapas, after the impact of hurricane Stan.


    8. Cuba has been facing two weather systems simultaneously, with Wilma dumping torrents of rain and pushing waves over retaining walls along the northwest coast, and tropical depression Alpha drenching provinces to the east. The island recorded its wettest October in 41 years.

    9. On 24 October flooding started in the entire coast of Ciudad Habana (Playa, Plaza y Centro Habana) due to sea penetrations. In the municipality of Playa alone some 3,000 houses were affected by the floods.

    10. Some 7 municipalities in the south coast, reported sea penetrations ranging from 800 meters to 1,700 meters inland with waves of up to 2 meters high.

    11. The number of evacuated people increased slightly to 638,879. Until now, most part of the western provinces are without electricity and roads suffered serious damages, principally in the province of Pinar del Rio.


    12. Hurricane Wilma's arrival was announced by at least four tornadoes on 23 October, including one near Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral. Although Wilma spared the more populated areas of the state of Florida four people are reported dead. In Key West, 35% of the city was flooded. About 2 million Floridians were without power.

    13. Some 2,400 National Guard troops were mobilized, while trucks packed with emergency aid and more than 30 rescue helicopters were ready for relief operations.

    International Response

    14. No request for international assistance has been made by either Mexico or Cuba.

    15. OCHA is in close contact with the United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Offices in Cuba and Mexico, and will revert with further information as it becomes available.

    16. For further information, please refer to the Website of the National Hurricane Service in Miami at, and

    17. This situation report, together with further information on other ongoing emergencies is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at

    Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
    Fax: +41-22-917 00 23

    In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

    Desk Officers:

    Mr. Ricardo Mena
    E-mail:, direct Tel. +41- 22- 917-1455

    Mr. Dusan Zupka
    E-mail:, direct Tel. +41-22-917 1645

    Press contact:

    (GVA) Ms. Elizabeth Byrs, direct Tel. +41-22-917 2653
    (N.Y.) Ms. Stephanie Bunker, direct Tel. +1-917-367 51 26

    With the exception of public UN sources, reproduction or redistribution of the above text, in whole, part or in any form, requires the prior consent of the original source.

    Super-Long Message I Just Left On Teresa's Blog Reguarding Current Conditions In Cancun, Isla Mujeres & La Ruta Maya

    Lorna Dee Cervantes said at 12:54 p.m., Oct. 25th, 2005 at poet and artist, Teresa Ballard's... (I had posted earlier requesting information as to her brother and new bride's whereabouts. He's okay!

    YEA!!! I TOLD YOU SO!! Tell your family that you have heard it from a very good source that they will be safe and in very good hands. Everyone most hold patient. The airport in Cancun is still closed due to flooding, some structural damage, and, in particular, contaminated fuel from the flooding. It's also under military command. Relief carriers have landed, and I imagine, it's every dog for himself in the case of foreign airlines such as United (particularly bad news for those travelers who travel as I do, without trip insurance -- although never without it during hurricane season, although I generally don't travel there after the first week of August & I have lived there, through 3 hurricane seasons.) I've been reading about the same horror stories about the gouging from the big foreign all-Inclusive chains & airlines. The military may evacuate all remaining tourists as soon as the airport is opened which from official accounts this morning say, may be tomorrow afternoon. The first 300 hearty travelers have been transported by large tour bus (luxurious accomodations) through the flooded jungle to Merida where they are being flown out now. It is nearly impassable in all of two ways in or out of the urban area on the coast, Cancun in particular, and no official communication with the islands, although individual have been able to get through on cell phones and report, what i have suspected and expected all along, that the people are pulling together and as a report from the Mayan Riviera came in this morning: "The people at this hotel (Playa Maya?) were out of control nice." Then the article went on to quote the couple as saying that even though the staff (maids, counter people, security) who had no idea if their families were living or dead, stayed on to help "a bunch of spoiled tourists who were about to go home in air-conditioned airplanes", then he went on to say that those same "spoiled tourists" collected some $4,300 dollars among them to give to the staff who, I am certain, are not that, but their new "amigos" for LIFE; and another article quoted a young couple staying in a hotel just south of Cancun and off the strip (hotel zone built on a very instable spit of land between the lagoon and the sea and prone to flooding in a normal season) with local hosts (indigenous Yucatec Maya): "Without these people we would be dead right now." I'll be posting links to today's articles soon.

    I've been up all night monitoring the media and message boards. I own a small plot of land underwater on the island, and have many dear friends among the poorest on the island, the ones most affected, as all means of communication have been broken. But, help is on the way. The people in all directions suffered 3 DAYS! of battering from this monster. (Sorry, any Wilma's) I still have no feeling. Although, the part about "If it weren't for these people we'd be dead right now" makes me well up with tears every time I type it. I know how true that is all throughout the region.

    Too bad we can't say the same about the airlines. Sabes qué? You know what? I have a friend chartering a donated flight right now directly to Isla Mujeres with aid from Puerto Vallarta. Just an idea in the air, but, I imagine they will be flying people out of there. If your brother & wife can get to a ferry dock in Cancun to Isla Mujeres, I'll ask about the possibility they can be flown out from there as the auto ferry & evacuation ferries were operating today, after 3 days under red alert on the seas -- I imagine it's a small company-owned commuter with a company pilot. Or, have them sit tight (the more they are under the care of local hosts the better) and wait to be evacuated. Some 300 people making the trek to the airport in Merida were turned away 30 miles into it for flooding and large debris on the roads. They were returned to their hotels or shelters.

    Too bad the US airlines have to gouge ordinary people at a time like this of unprecedented disaster in a sister continental country, insurance or no, and take advantage of the average traveller to PARADISE just trying to get home, and out of the locals' way for the time being (isn't that also a beast?), in order to shower, eat and avoid catching any diseases in a place now suffering 100% destruction to vital infrastructure, including the hotel industry, except for small local or privately owned establishments who managed through it with minor damage to buildings -- considering how much we all, in the US, paid to bail-out the airline industry time and time immortal. (grrrr!)

    But, as I always, when travelling into the "Mayan Riviera" or anywhere else in the Yucatan peninsula say -- "Go local. Buy local. Greet the locals!"

    THERE ARE NO OTHER OFFICIAL REPORTS OF INJURY, THREAT, DEATHS, RIOTS, ROBBERIES or any other danger to the tourists waiting to be evacuated so far other than what has already been reported. I don't mean to shout at you but I want to reassure your father and family, and any others who might come across this message, as I have many years experience in the area with the local population. 12- 225 "looters" (the American Way is to presume innocence until proven guilty and no one will be shooting people in the Yucatan right now, not if the local indigenous population has an influence) who were photographed carrying new refrigerators, stoves and washing machines through the flooded streets, for example, were arrested-- for all we know, until someone speaks to them and reports what they say, these were gifts to grandma last Christmas and her house is now flooding -- and people were photographed carrying various items and plastic bags full of goods from the devastated national "Super" in the torrential rain. There are reported food & water shortages everywhere, but a seemingly endless supply of tuna & crackers, and other food, medicines & supplies are being distributed to everyone today, the first break in the storm.

    Your brother is not returning from a "Honeymoon From Hell" he is returning from a "Honeymoon in Paradise That Was Hit Like Hell." I'm so, so sorry this has happened. Some days all we can do, to keep from crying, is just to make some kind of good lesson out of it all. Don't feel guilty. You did good to send him there. Hey, it could have been Florida right now. I swear, if I were to go through a major catastrophe such as this anywhere in the world under any conditions at all, rich or poor, I'd choose to be there, anywhere there, among the locals, and, in particular, on Isla Mujeres, Mexico. But then, I'm an indigenous person from hurricane and earthquake country, and at heart, I'm a stone chicken, which is why I'm out here, on solid granite, shielded from the winds, as much as one can be from ocassional 90-mile an hour gusts, and well above the flood plain surrounded by the source of fresh water in the country. And, oh yeah, I'd choose to suffer rich.

    Your little brother will come back with endless stories to tell, a fine way to begin a new life with a new life-partner, and a changed man; I'd almost guarantee it.

    Let me know if your father needs a translator or someone to try and speak with someone directly. You can email me for my home number. No phones yet except for indidual's cell phones with batteries and EMAIL, so worth a shot that way, too.

    Sorry, I couldn't check on him sooner on your blog, I've been glued to mine and the surf. Also, as I said, I knew he would be in the best hands possible under the worst of circumstances. Just stay by the phones and try not to tie them up in case he has an opportunity to get through to you.

    Any reports or rumors of crime is limited to the poorer neighbors, in which that particular part of downton Cancun is one, and all of 30 foreign tourists ("foreign refugees" seeking supplies like cell phone batteries & something other than water and tuna downtown) were ordered to return to their hotels or shelters by armed federal police who were shooting into the air above the crowd of looters in order to quell the disturbance: rock throwing at shooting police. As far as I know, that is the only disturbance in a population of some 30,000 stranded tourists and over 100,000 natives. (I'll be posting today's official statistics, in Spanish as soon as I'm done with this diatribe. ;-) Sorry, I just decided I'd write my blog post, too, while I'm at it, and paste it, so that I can go back to posting and translating the latest news accounts -- and I get carried away. You know, the worry. And, I just want to be helpful.

    And also, to reassure anyone else frantically trying to hear something about incomunicado relatives or other loved ones in the region -- yesterday I had 1,000 extra visitors to my site, most searching for news of destruction on the islands or Cancun. (If you happen to be one of them, please, after you've exhausted the paucity of information coming out about the region other than downtown Cancun, you can rest assured and do as I do while you wait, READ; there is wonderful poetry and prose poems posted by Teresa on this site. That is, after reading all the good information on the many tourist boards in the area -- and some new urban myths!)

    Best to you! And, to your little brother & bride.

    ~ Your poet-friend, Lorna

    12:54 PM  

    Update Oct. 25, 4:35 pm Isla Time - ISLA MUJERES - SEND CASH NOW! 'Summary of Known People, (Sightings) & Damage', 10/24/05, 8 pm by 'IslaDano'

    on, the good folk at Isla Mujeres Speakeasy. Check all the links in the posts below, especially the long one with all the mish mash of posts & links related to Isla Mujeres: They are all part of a web woven with love out of what the good people of the Yucatan respect the most -- hechos y actos -- deeds and acts for the past decade of the internet and travel to the region to experience, first-hand, the true face of Mexico and her loving peoples.


    Please send cash immediately any way you can to very poor families via very trusted individuals and organizations; and, later, when the infrastructure is back up, directly to individuals you know who are there via Western Union. Last night/ early this morning (I have been up all night monitoring news & just got up to see my son to school) I sent $50 to The English School on Isla Mujeres c/o Maggie Wabash (sorry if I have the name wrong, I'm typing by memory in order to post this info as soon as possible) on behalf of my husband & I as he is an employee of one of the big corps & cos on the long list of employers who will match contributions -- so, that's $100 right there, and, as their little school house did not suffer much damage (La Gloria, one of the poorest neighborhoods among very poor people on the south side of the island, is, ironicly, one of the safest on the island to be during a hurricane, as well as for the hospitality and good sense of the native population) I know it will, somehow, be put to good use; point is, I have firts-hand knowledge that it is one foreign interest on the island I would, personally, like to see preserved. I also sent $100 to Rebecca and Molly at Art & Philanthropy at as they are, at this very moment, convening in Puerto Juarez where a company has donated the use of a chartered flight to Isla Mujeres -- and they want to stuff the plane! They are bringing lots of tents & TARPS, food, water, medicine (keep in mind that a high percentage of the native population, the ones most affected by this tragedy, are severely diabetic) (DIAPERS!) & anything else as soon as they know, as communication to anyone on the island is severed in most parts. (Water has receded but official reports are that the island was cut off by the sea in 3 sections at one point during the storm.) Please scroll down to my post asking for donations sent to Rebecca via Paypal. (I know, I know, but it's become the best way to support individual writers, artists, publishers (POETS!) and relief organizations. For, while some fox is barking orders and everyone is trying to figure out who's in charge, individuals are pulling together -- as they always have in that place, for milenias, with hands & heart and everything they've got, which for most, is not much. Paypal is quick and easy and, relatively secure, as secure as you are -- or as poor as you are if you are like me, when I suggest to love ones & friends that I'd love to see how anyone can get credit anywhere on my account, they just bust out laughing.)

    SEND MONEY NOW ANYWAY YOU CAN. If you send Western Union moneygram they might wave fees & if you can get through by phone, you can pass them the code where they can retrieve the cash, in pesos, immediately, as soon as outlets are up, from anywhere they are, from any bank (larger structures suffered the most damge, in some cases, while some small ma & pop businesses are still functioning with generators and satellite phones -- but that's a guess on my part. Anyway, it's a way to reassure myself. I will be sending more money to Molly & Rebecca as soon as I can later today. (My bank, Chase, put a 7-day hold, which is a 2-week hold what with weekends, on my $1,200 check from the National Museum of Women and the Arts I depositted on the 16th, a Sunday, before catching a flight to UT, a $1,000 check they cashed for me just fine on the 19th. The check from the Museum was more than likely drawn on Chase as all gov checks are, speaking from my experience on numerous NEA panels, Library of Congress & other gov work. Well, folks, your tax dollars at work, investigating suspicious activity like the overdraft-fee-overdrawn personal account of a successful Chicana poet coming out of sick-leave from a State University. I was drafting a letter of outrage to the bank branch manager after having been escorted physically off the premises for asking for a written letter stating why the hold on my honestly earned check from a reputable (USA) business depositing into an active account I've had for over a year was not released ("or am I left to deduce that there is some other reason it was suggested to my face that the check might have been 'fraudulently obtained' such as gender, race, or, perhaps, socioeconomic class?" the point in which I was escorting from the bank bythe Accounts Manager who then stood at the door blocking my re-entry, all for requesting council with the bank Branch Manager who was on the premises in order to present my documentation reagrding the check which included going home and returning with the original check stub, instead of apologizing to me immediately; but the letter, and the insult, and the money when there's more to come soon is just oh so petty in light of this unprecedented catastrphe in this place, this 4 1/2 mile long fish of an island in the "Mar Caribe" which as anyone who knows me well knows, has become my adopted home of some dozen years. I fully intend to grow old and die on the island. I own a small plot of land there which is, most assuredly flooded. But, sorry, dear reader, you're hanging in my private livingroom and the hostess is ranting -- for good reason. I would have sent $400 on day one had that stupid check been creditted on the 17th as was excpected in the good old days before chase bought my local bank last month; and this is all one long black notebook where I keep all my stuff, like venting outrage before writing a logical and well-articulated note to THE MANAGER, and rest assured, Dear Reader, I will be wearing my spelling shoes! Dear Reader, WELCOME HOME! Stay a spell. If you have first-hand knowledge or are searching for loved ones anywhere in the region, please leave a message and I will disseminate & connect as quickly as I can.) And, I will be making more suggestions for direct aid & relief as soon as I know. Knowing Molly, she's like my indigenous grandma: "Where's there's a will there's a way." And, knowing Molly, she will do it with LOVE, that's a force stronger than any hurricane.

    "I HATE HURRICANES!!" ~ LDC circa always already

    Thank you, Dan! And, everyone else on the boards -- you know who you are; the people remaining on the islands, who are all now, to the one, Isleños know that help is on the way -- que todos son AMIGOS! Let's be amigos, too. Thanks to all!


    Lorna Dee
    Joined: 13 Mar 2005
    Posts: 64
    Location: N.Amer.Continent>Midwest

    Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 8:01 pm    Post subject: SUMMARY of KNOWN PEOPLE, SITINGS & DAMAGE

    This update is a list of positive reports I've seen on a couple message boards.
    I don't have any magical way of requesting specific news for people/places on Isla so please don't ask here.
    I'm just summarizing the other "factual" reports of other people.
    I will add to/edit this list as time permits and as I see new reports. LAST UPDATE (Isla Time): 10/25/05 9:40 AM

    I will add to/edit this list as time permits and as I see new reports.
    LAST UPDATE (Isla Time): 10/25/05 4:35 PM

    News Report (10/25) AM states that no lives were lost on Isla Mujeres. (Post PepeLima)
    Alison and Jeff of Sunset Grill are fine...went to Merida. (Guest Post)
    Ariel, Bonnie and kids are fine - (Chris Lane)
    Ashley (Villa Las Brisas) - evacuated to Merida - OK
    Barbara (Casa Del el Sol) - evacuated to Merida
    Barbara Callahan - OK - Phone - Gathering supplies in Merida.
    Bessie Hamaker - OK - Phone
    Bob & Lynn Gray - OK - Phone
    Bob and Wayne evacuated - Post
    Chris Lane - OK - Post from sister
    Curtis (Villa Las Brisas) - OK - Phone
    Elvis and family - OK - Phoned from Cancun
    Emilio (Avalon lifeguard) and family OK
    Daniela Molliver (LaGloria English School) - OK - Phone to Maggie
    Delfino - Fine - (Chris Lane)
    Ino from Rocamar - Fine - Phone from Ino to Patsi
    Javier (the musician), family OK, but house gone - TxtMsg from Javier
    Jenny Marx (teaching at LaGloria English School) - OK - Phone
    Jim and Carmita fine - as relayed by someone down there.
    Joachim Sonnenberg - OK - Email
    Jorge De la O (manages properties) - Said he'd weathered the storm in La Gloria - Phone
    Joy of Cielito Lindo - OK - Email from friend
    Katy, the Nautibeach condo owners' pool manager - OK - Post from Karl
    Limas are all fine.
    Lupita Cupal and family (NaBalam) - OK - email from Lupita
    Martin Ruiz Camino (NaBalam) - OK - Guest Post
    Maryse Fleurant and John Olcese - OK (Sister 's post)
    Mendillo (kin ,wife, lilly and andrea) - OK - Phone
    Nacho (Posada Del Mar manager) - OK - Email
    Norris Blevins - OK - Phone
    Paco from Aqui Estoy and friends - OK - Post from brother
    Paulina (Dolphin mananger) - OK
    Phyllis Robinson, Les & Joyce, and Inge - OK - Weathered the storm at Inge's - Guest Post
    Robby Lavia, Mark and the crew from Mundaca Realestate are doing Fine - Phone call and multi posts
    Rudi (who lives at Alison and Jeff's) is OK
    Sabi Herrera is ok
    Sabina - okay and is assisting with relief on the island
    Sergio - OK - Guest post
    Steve and Janeen ok house still standing - phone call
    Susan Morgan - OK - Phone
    Vic from CancunValet - OK - Phone calls
    Vicki at Lost Oasis - Okay - Phone
    Villa Las Brisas staff - "Well and safe @ VLB" - Phone
    Zina - She is okay. - As reported through her brother

    Airport - Isla Mujeres airport sustained some damage 10/24 (Bessie Hamaker on Isla)
    Airport - See Airport section under Cancun, below.
    Ferries - Car and People ferries appear to be running (Bessie Hamaker and Chris Lane) Punta Sam ferry expected up 10/26. TV
    Food and Water - Being 'coptered and ferried in, and being distributed via trucks. (Chris Lane)
    Law and Order - There is a temporary marshall law with 7:00 PM curfew to help keep things stable. People are pulling together in the recovery.
    Water/Sewer - Service interupted and dependant on Cancun side being re-established. Water being brought in. (10/24) - Radio Monitor
    Electric - Dependant on Cancun infrastructure. Major power lines into Cancun downed by wind (10/24) - Radio Monitor
    Many powerline poles down on Isla (10/24) (Bessie Hamaker on Isla)
    Salinas - Flooded but receding. Water no longer preventing inter-island travel. (10/25).
    Rueda Medina - Fine
    Hidalgo - 3-foot flooding
    Playa Norte - Still there but again, rearranged (Guest Post 10/25 AM)

    Damage Reports
    Avalon - Severe damage
    Casa Mimosa - Minimal damage, water seepage. (owner post)
    Casa Vista Alegre - Structurally OK (owner post)
    Dolfins - Dolfins were moved to inner isla swimming pools but no further update. (10/23)
    Garafon Park - "A mess" 10/24 (Bessie Hamaker on Isla)
    Media Luna - OK
    Nautibeach - Building intact. All trees except ones on beach down. Beach bar and structures gone. #22 only unit w/broken windows.
    Nabalm - Severe damage. Expect Dec 15 reopening.
    Posada del Mar - Lots of work to be done - (Manager Nacho)
    Rocamar - OK. Expect to be ready to accept guests by the end of November. Expect no phone till mid-Nov. (Ino phoned Patsi)
    Seahawk Divers - Little damage to the dive shop and boats. (Chris Lane)
    Secretos - OK
    Sergios - Gone
    Sunset Grill - Gone
    Villa Las Brisas - Minor Damage (Curtis)
    Marina and Boats - Counted 11 boats sunk 10/24 (Bessie Hamaker on Isla)
    Bernie & Nancy - Skylite blown out and a front round window with minimal water damage. (Gwen Brown on Isla)
    Bob and Kellys - House is still standing
    Jeff & Allison - Major damage to their house. (Gwen Brown on Isla)
    Richard & Karen - Major damage to their house. (Gwen Brown on Isla)
    Steve & Lindell - Some trees uprooted, but house seems okay. (Gwen Brown on Isla)
    Sue McNutt - Major damage. (Gwen Brown on Isla)

    Food and Water - There is at least one food distribution center currently active in Cancun for locals who lost their homes.
    Law and Order - When the jail gets rebuilt they will probably start making arrests again.
    Law and Order - "In a nutshell, the looting in Cancun has been terrible." (Vanessa from Avicar 10/25)
    Law and Order - Cancun also has Martial Law and a curfew but I don't have details.
    Phones - Service restored (10/25)
    Transport - 4 roads between Vallodolid and Cancun obstructed. (10/24)
    Airport - Cancun airport structurally OK but still out of action (waterlogged navigation equipment) (10/25 AM).
    Airport - Funjet Vacations has cancelled all flights into and out of Cancun/Cozumel airports through October 31, 2005 (Canuck)

    Playa Del Carmen
    PDC has electricity and street are clear. (Martine and Aura in Cancun)
    Playa-Maya Luxury Beachfront Hotel - minor damage
    Treetops Hotel - minor damage
    Riu Playacar - minimal damage

    Tulum has electricity
    Cabanas Copal - minor damages
    Azulik - minor damages

    Last edited by isladano on Tue Oct 25, 2005 10:31 pm; edited 4 times in total
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