Editorial December 2014

Dec 2, 2014 by Editorial

Cover1214The weather finally cooled off at the beginning of November, although some humidity and warmer temps did make an appearance. It is now mid-November and I’m in sweats and Uggs, though I admit I am a bit of a wuss. No complaints here tho, but I am wondering what kind of winter we will be having – really cold or really mild? The weather has been very whacky this year and if I see snow in Peñasco I am definitely moving! (Snow on the Pinacates doesn’t count because I’ve seen that before.) I am hoping that we all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Weekend weather, family and food wise.
December puts charitable donations into full swing and there are so many great organizations that help feed, clothe and provide for the residents of Peñasco. If you are having trouble deciding on where you would like to donate this year, please feel free to contact Sandy or Alicia at the office and they will let you know who needs what. 2Fish Ministry is asking for your help to make a big special Christmas dinner for the homeless who come to them for food. They are asking for donations of turkey and/or hominy to make meals of menudo and pozoli.
And that brings me to crossing the border into Mexico, once again. Thank goodness it is getting easier to find everything we want here in Peñasco because trying to figure out what you can and can’t bring does take some effort. The easiest way to get this information is to go to our website at www.rptimes.com and look on the right-hand side of the page, toward the bottom, for the logos of the U.S. Customs and Mexico’s SENASICA. Clicking on the U.S. logo will take you to everything you ever wanted to know about bringing stuff into the United States. Click on the SENASICA logo and you get into Mexico’s site of same. The page is in Spanish but go to the top upper right-hand side of the page and click ENGLISH. This will take you to pages, Word docs and PDF’s full of information about food, plants, animals (and pets), herbs, etc. Apparently there is a big issue with ham and cheese at the moment since every link seems to lead you back there. From what I can understand, navigating the site myself, if you want to bring cheese, ham, meat, poultry, milk, plants, veggies, fruits, etc. into Mexico they must be authorized by SAGARPA-SENASICA. The plant that manufactures the item must be on the approved list. The site reads, “Plant Authorized (List of authorized Plants)”, which means manufacturing plant not plant as in a household plant or a head of spinach. (Maybe I’m the only one who thought that was screwy.) So, as far as ham goes, it must be left in its original packaging, labeled in Spanish or English and stamped by the sanitary authority of the country of origin. Some items say, “Spanish, English or another understandable language (Italian, Portuguese, French, etc.) and with the health authority’s seal. I thought that was funny. So no Russian or Greek cheese. Cheese has a lot of restrictions such as, along with the above, fresh cheese is forbidden…forbidden! Mature cheese must have all the above and “they must come from countries that meet a combination of animal health requirements in the MCRZI. For countries affected by the foot-and-mouth disease, the cheeses will be acceptable only if they come from authorized producers, which are found in the SICPA at http://sistemas1.senasica.gob.mx/PlantaAcreditada”. Artisan cheeses are not permitted…not forbidden…just not permitted. When you go to find out if your item came from an authorized plant you are taken to a Spanish page with Excel spreadsheets and Word docs so you might need to break out your dictionary. It seems like a lot of work to bring in a block of cheese for the weekend when you can get cheese at Sam’s Club or any number of local markets. I might make the exception for fresh cheese curds. So, there are resources to find out what food items you can bring into Mexico if you want to make the effort. The links are always in the same place on our website. There are also numbers to call, from Mexico and the U.S., if you have a question, complaint or suggestion, which is nice. I’ll save you some trouble: 011-52-555-905-1000, ext. 51015, 54077 or 51026 or email them at contacto@senasica.gob.mx. And more numbers and email if you really want to complain.
I know a lot of you take your chances crossing the border with items you are not supposed to, so just don’t be too upset when they are taken away from you. I personally have been pulled over twice in the past month even after getting the green light. Once was so the gal could see what was in the back of my open truck bed – plastic boxes – and then she wanted to know what I was going to do with them when I got to Peñasco. Huh? Really? I should pretend I don’t understand or speak Spanish! The other time I was stopped was for my dog. The Agro gal wanted to see her papers. I gave them to her and then we proceeded to argue about her rabies shot and how long it was good for. In Mexico you are required to vaccinate your dog every year against rabies. In the states I believe the shots are good for 3+ years. I did get my girl vaccinated down here, and the shot is good for 3 years, but since it was in Mexico and I live in Mexico, the Agro gal (who was also a veterinarian ,though I have my doubts) insisted I needed to do it every year. So, make sure your rabies certificate has an expiration date on it whether you got your pet vaccinated locally or in the U.S. or Canada. The website I mentioned above has information about pets, but it is a bit confusing and differs from what we were told so let us ferret it out and give you the correct information in the next issue. Most of you will never deal with any of these issues, but better to be knowledgeable and know all of the information and possibilities.
We have had a couple questions from readers and Facebook peeps, one of which concerned the closing off of Sandy Beach from Esmeralda to the Reef. As of this writing we still do not know and cannot get an answer that makes sense to us. We have heard lots of “reasons”, none of which are plausible. The city stated today that it is closed off because it is private property. Period. So, until we hear more, that is the official statement. Another question was about the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve as to whether it was all in Spanish or bi-lingual. The Tourist Center, which is located at the half-way entrance, is staffed by bi-lingual people and the information is in both languages. And if you search the internet there is a plethora of information that you can print and take with you.
I am supposed to remind you about whales! whales! and more whales! Remember all the great photos and videos from last year? Well, the time is here and I believe some may have already been spotted even though it was still very warm. You will want to get out on the water and take some great shots and videos of your own.
In January the Sonoran Resorts will be representing Puerto Peñasco at the Barrett Jackson Auto Show/Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. That’s pretty cool. If you’re going to the show or auction stop by and say hello and tell your friends who want information about Rocky Point to stop by as well.
Sandy was very excited about a couple food places coming and changing… and the possibility of poutine coming to Rocky Point, but she will have to tell you all about it because there was just too much excitement for me to translate.
Hoping you all have a wonderful Christmas and a very safe and Happy New Year. If you want to do something different this year consider coming down for the Christmas Holiday and hanging out and helping with some local charities…guaranteed to be one of your best Christmases ever. And we have some great New Year’s parties as well.

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