For those of you who have never ventured out of town, hundreds and hundreds of families live in a clap-board box, constructed of leftover pieces of wood, tarpaper, cloth windows, no electricity or water, and dirt (now mud) floors. Most of their belongings, as few as there are, are sopping wet. It is truly amazing to me how resilient these people are because no matter their hardships, they are always able to smile.

Several months ago I had a problem that I wrote about – my leaky roof – and how I thought I might have termites and it turned out to be Carpenter Ants eating the O.S.B. Well, when we removed the drywall and insulation, we saw how hungry those ants were and how much they destroyed in a very short time. The wood looked like something out of a horror movie. (Insert OSB/Ant damage Photo)

I’ve written several times about how dangerous the circle round-about (glorieta) is – where you go south to Caborca and north to the new coastal highway and Laguna Shores. On Tuesday the 13th, there was another serious accident there. Please remember to drive carefully approaching this area. (Insert Accident Photo)

To say that the year 2011 was a wash-out would not be a play on words. To many people living and working in Rocky Point and, like many businesses worldwide, 2011 was a struggle just to keep the doors open. Here in Rocky Point, the hardest hit area might be the Old Port where the road construction seems to be going on forever. Hopefully the construction will be finished before summer vacations begin.

I don’t know what the statistics are for the number of tourists that visited Rocky Point last year, but I believe that there was a steady increase compared to the past few years. I’ve said many times that as long as there is water in the Sea of Cortez, Rocky Point will survive – combined with the friendliness of the people and the weather. There are not too many places that can be compared to Puerto Peñasco.

Speaking of “wash-out” and “weather”, I’ve lived in Rocky Point for 21 years and I’m hard pressed to recall that we have ever had as much rain as we have had for the last few weeks of November and early December. Of course we have had some serious rain storms, but for rainy day after rainy day after rainy day – it seems this year wins the “rain prize”.

We have received several emails and comments about water damage to many homes in Cholla Bay, Las Conchas and throughout the city. Twice we had hail out at the Ranchito (Club Lomas Campestres). Driving around town has been an adventure in itself. Often times you come up to a flooded area and as you ease your way through, your front wheels would drop down into a huge hole, maybe as much as 10” deep or more. Most times it was safer to drive on the shoulder when you could! When the roads dry out, the city is going to be very busy repaving and filling up monster holes. I can’t think of one road that does not need some type of repair – Calle 13 has gotten terrible, as have parts of Benito Juarez – just to name a few spots. Compared to many, we were lucky at the Ranchito: The main house had no leaks, but our bedroom, which used to be a patio, was full of water. We basically had to rebuild the whole roof, removing all of the drywall and insulation and installing new 2” x 8” joyces and O.S.B. And then recoat it. Fortunately we have homeowners insurance with Yolanda Silva. If you do not have coverage, I suggest you go speak with her about getting coverage on your property – especially if this rain keeps up!

Knowing how I was inconvenienced for about two weeks during the construction, I can’t begin to imagine how the families, who live outside of town in the barrios, endured that kind of weather. And remember, we didn’t just get rain, but freezing (to us) temperatures accompanied the rain. We will all be very happy when the sun comes out to stay. We always take donations at our offices, blankets, clothing, coats…just about anything.

I am very much looking forward to 2012 and the continuing rise of visitors coming to Rocky Point. We have some great events coming up this year that should draw very good crowds, such as the Spring Peñasco Palooza (their first one last year was a great success). You can read about the concert in this issue of the Rocky Point Times. Plus we also have Thunder on the Beach races again in January and more events are planned for the rest of the year as well.

I would like to send a big “Thank You” to all of our contributing writers, our advertisers, and most of all, the readers of the Rocky Point Times who support the businesses that have made this paper successful for 18 years. We hope to be here another 18!

On a final note: Warm clothes, sheets, blankets, etc. are very much in need this year – perhaps more so than any other year. Even if you have just a few of these items, or extra toys or supplies, take a drive out through the barrios, pick out a place and give it away. The thank you’s and smiles you will receive are more than worth it. If, for some reason you are not able to drop off your donations, you can always drop them off at JJ’s Cantina (for the Santa Claus Club, which works all year round distributing clothing, bicycles, toys and other items), or we always welcome them at our offices.

We hope that each and every one of you enjoy a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year 2012!!