Editorial by Marco Zepeda and Lannette Phipps, but mostly Mario!

Before telling everyone what is happening at our port, let me wish all of you a very HAPPY NEW YEAR! Thank you to everyone that read the Rocky Point Times and all of our Facebook friends and followers – we wish that all of your wishes come true, you meet all of your goals and you have good health, love and, of course, lots of dinero. Happy New Year everyone!!

And, like every year, right after the festivities, we become tired…or it could be the cervezas, or maybe too many tamales and the cold weather. I have not been this cold in Rocky Point in a few years and this doesn’t happen very often. Last month the cold started right about the beginning of the month, right after it rained. Even close to Lukeville and Sonoyta, roads were covered with ice and, yes, we did post a photo on our Facebook Page. Temperatures were around 30°. Weather forecasts say that the cold weather will continue, so try to dress warm, keep your kids warm and your pets too as they are also part of the family. If you are looking for a heater or water heater, we do have some advertisers in the paper and you can buy locally.

As many of you already know, we have a new President in Mexico and even though I do not want to get into politics, I do want to mention that at his inauguration our new President said that gas prices will go down along the border and I am hearing that it will be the same price as in the U.S. Many of you don’t know this, but right now gas in Mexico is more expensive than in the states. We do not know if Peñasco will be included in the “border zone” as we are not right on the border, but we are crossing our fingers. So far, the border towns considered are Sonoyta, San Luis, Nogales, Agua Prieta – these cities are right on the border so hopefully you will see a decrease in their gas prices.

And moving on from this topic, I would like to mention something from 2018…we are still the #1 Tourist Destination in the State of Sonora and our beaches are Clean and Certified. We know we do have a trash problem within the city and we hope that the city will address this issue ASAP. Another thing I would like to mention is that shrimping season started off on the right foot. The price right now is a bit lower than last year, so this is the time to take advantage and buy all the shrimp you want and then you can freeze and save them for months to come.

Peñasco survives on tourism and fishing so we are very happy we have both and both are doing well. And speaking of tourism, the Encantame Towers project has begun: This new project will give jobs to many people here in town and we are hearing more projects are coming! The Mirador area is coming back to life with the reopening of Manny’s Beach Club and, of course, the businesses that have remained open like the Pink Cadillac, American Legion, Baja Cantina and RV parks and the area is more alive than it’s been in a long time. And recently the restaurant, Gringo Jack’s just opened and we will be visiting them soon. We know that sales and real estate went up in 2018 so that is also something that makes us very happy. And more people means that the city needs more work done – road repairs, lights, cleaning and more. We hope that the city keeps working hard to take care of all this issues. If you notice an issue or something that needs attention you can always contact us and we will pass it along.

Speaking of road repairs and issues, we would like to mention to the city that the road from Peñasco to Caborca at km 32-33 is extremely dangerous due to gigantic pot holes. We did share photos and posts on our Facebook Page and so did others and we are mentioning here again in hopes that it will be repaired soon. We know the road belongs to the federal government, but maybe the city can help fix it as we would hate to see any more accidents happening in this area. So, if you are planning on traveling south, just be extra careful on the road just after you pass the Mayan Palace.

Another road I would like to mention is the El Golfo Hwy (Coastal Hwy. 003). The city did send machines out to clean the sand off of the highway, but when it gets windy, the sand gets back on the highway. Anyone driving from California, or the West part of the states, please be careful and try not to drive at night. Lannette says that Hwy. 8, heading north toward the U.S. border, is collecting more potholes, some of them pretty deep, miles leading up to Nayarit so beware of those. They have let us know that they will repave the highway this year so that means we need to watch out for the gravel trucks and chips on our windshields. They used to be very good about tarping their loads, but as of late there have been a lot of paint jobs and windshield ruined so watch out!

Another reminder for you newbies (and OG’s) that the speed limit through most of Sonoyta is 40KM, not MPH so you have to go super slow, which is super annoying, but the police do ticket quite frequently – Mexicans and Americans alike. If you are stopped never offer to pay the officer on the spot and ALWAYS ask to be taken to the police station to pay your minimal fine. We all know that it is a major time suckage and a huge inconvenience, but if you pay a “bribe” on the spot, you are just making the problem worse – and at the very least, keeping it going on. If everyone starts demanding to go to the police station you can bet that there will be a radical decrease in the number of vehicles pulled over who are NOT speeding. And if you are not speeding then DEMAND to be taken to the police station (you will follow the police officer to the station) and even if you were speeding, the fine paid at the police station will be far less than whatever you are offering the officer.

I would like to thank everyone who brought donations this last year for the different institutions, clubs, groups and individuals. We really do appreciate all of your help. We would like to give a big shout out to Marie Louise who is always bringing down donations for the less fortunate. Thanks to Jack & Carol Terrio for donating much needed wheelchairs for the Red Cross and thanks to everyone else that has contributed in helping our wonderful community. It may seem that Peñasco and its residents are thriving if you only hang around in the touristy areas and never drive around the barrios. There are actually people living in tiny shacks made up of whatever they can find with no electricity and no support. There are families and single mothers and they are always in need of such simple items like socks and shoes and blankets and whatever else you can spare. The Santa Claus Club is a great organization to join that donates a ton of stuff to people in need. Dues are still like $20 a year and they do an incredible amount of work. If you just want to drop stuff off you are always welcome to come to our office and we will make sure your donations get to those in need – as we have done for years and years.

Some other things I would like to add that are happening this January are Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers concert on the18th, and don’t forget to visit the Mermaid’s Market on the 5th and also on the 19th. Local artisans and vendors will be there, and you can buy gifts for Dia de Reyes. Also, don’t forget whale watching season is coming! It’s a super unique experience and if you have not done it yet we highly recommend you add this to your bucket list.

2019 will bring great things and we will keep working hard to bring you the best information about Rocky Point, the State of Sonora, and all of Mexico. Happy New Year to everyone!!