Celebrating Baja’s Marine Delights and New Wines


In the scenic coastal city of Ensenada, the anticipation is palpable as the Provino Committee of Baja California, under the fresh leadership of Engineer Wenceslao Martínez Payán, has unveiled the eagerly awaited details of the 24th Festival of the Shell and New Wine. Set against the backdrop of the enchanting Hotel Coral & Marina, the announcement, made on March 14th, promises a vibrant tribute to local ingredients perfectly paired with the region’s latest vintages.

This annual celebration, born from a simple gathering on San Miguel beach among friends—six winemakers, four shellfish producers, and two chefs—has flourished over 24 years into a grand platform showcasing the splendor of Baja California. It unites the viticultural, aquacultural, and gastronomic sectors, creating a sense of community centered around the region’s oysters and newly released wines.

The festival, taking place from April 12th to 14th, has lined up an array of activities designed to delight and educate attendees. Highlights include the 15th Shellfish Cultivation Workshops and, for the first time, a Startups Contest from April 8th to 12th. This competition invites innovative business ideas within the oyster and wine sectors, particularly focusing on enotourism, food, and economics, with the best projects presented on April 12th.

The festival also features the fourth installment of “Marine Tables,” an exquisite enogastronomic experience where guests are treated to a four-course pairing menu by the sea, showcasing a variety of shellfish accompanied by the region’s finest wines. A team of three pastry chefs will prepare 330 desserts for this unique dining adventure, highlighting the collaboration and creativity that define the festival.

The main event on April 14th, the XXIV Festival, will be held at the Hotel Coral & Marina’s Terrace del Mar, featuring over 84 wineries and 60 restaurants from across Baja California and beyond. Attendees can expect a splendid array of seafood dishes and over 160 wine labels, emphasizing whites, rosés, and sparkling wines, along with some young reds that complement marine flavors.

In addition to tasting opportunities, the festival emphasizes educational experiences, including a pavilion dedicated to aquaculture and fishing, where around 20 companies will showcase their products and engage with the public about the importance of sustainable seafood consumption. As Provino’s President, Wenceslao Martínez, aptly put it, this joint effort not only highlights the region’s bounty but also cements its status as a leading enogastronomic destination. Attendees are invited to become ambassadors of local ingredients, embracing the richness of Ensenada’s maritime and viticultural heritage.

Tickets for the Festival of the Shell and New Wine are $1,200 pesos, the marine tables  experience is $3,500 pesos, for more details and information, visit Provino’s official website provinobc.mx

Hurricane Hilary Nears Cabo as Category 4

UPDATE: Due to Hurricane Hilary Provino has announced that the Paellas Contest that was going to be held this Sunday has been rescheduled for Sunday, August 27, 2023. The Ensenada half marathon race has also been rescheduled for the following weekend.

Hurricane Hilary intensified on Thursday, reaching Category 4 strength off the Pacific coast of Mexico and is expected to bring heavy downpours to the southwestern United States over the weekend.

As of early Friday morning, the storm boasted sustained winds around 220 kilometers per hour (136 miles per hour). According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami, it was anticipated that the hurricane would continue gaining strength until later in the morning. Meteorologists, however, expect Hilary to start weakening by Saturday.

Tropical storm conditions might begin to affect the Baja California peninsula by late Friday. Hilary’s projected path could either lead it to make landfall in central parts of the peninsula by Sunday, or it might stay offshore as it moves toward Southern California.

The center of Hilary was located about 685 kilometers (425 miles) south of Los Cabos, at the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula. It was moving in a west-northwest direction at around 22 kilometers per hour (13.6 miles per hour), but is expected to gradually turn northward on Saturday.

The Hurricane Center has issued a hurricane warning and a tropical storm alert for parts of Baja California Sur, meaning tropical storm conditions are expected within 36 hours and hurricane conditions within 48 hours. There’s also a tropical storm alert for other areas of Baja California.

Meteorologists speculate that as Hilary approaches or grazes the Baja California peninsula, it could briefly survive as a tropical storm or depression and cross into the United States. Notably, no tropical storm has made landfall in Southern California since September 25, 1939, according to the U.S. National Weather Service.

“The rains from Hilary in the southwestern U.S. are predicted to peak this weekend and into Monday,” the NHC pointed out. “Flash and urban flooding are a possibility, with potential significant impacts.”

The area that could be affected by the heavy rains stretches from Bakersfield, California, through Yuma, Arizona, and into parts of southern Nevada. The forecast for excessive rainfall in Southern California spans from Sunday to Tuesday, the Los Angeles meteorological office reported.

While the chances of Hilary making landfall as a tropical storm in California are slim, there’s potential for heavy rainfall and flooding, noted Daniel Swain, a climatologist at UCLA, on Wednesday.

The Mexican government has indicated that the weakened storm could hit between the cities of Playas de Rosarito and Ensenada in the state of Baja California by Sunday night.

Meanwhile, the city of Yuma was preparing on Thursday by setting up a self-service station for residents to fill sandbags. The station will be stocked with sand and bags as long as supplies last, with residents allowed to take up to five bags per vehicle.

Governor of Baja Warns Citizens to Stay Indoors During Hurricane Hilary

The Governor of Baja California, Marina del Pilar Ávila Olmeda, has urged the state’s residents to be attentive to the developments of Hurricane “Hilary,” while emphasizing that there’s no need for undue alarm.

Currently, Hurricane Hilary is classified under the Yellow code. However, the Governor pointed out that once the hurricane reaches Baja California, it may be upgraded to the more serious Red code. As such, she stressed the importance of taking this warning with the gravity it deserves.

The first signs of rain, albeit mild, are expected to begin by Saturday and are forecasted to intensify come Sunday. The Governor noted, “It is essential to alert the public without causing panic. It’s understandable for citizens to be anxious about such situations. I urge everyone to stay updated through official media channels where continuous information will be provided.”

USA Issues Alert for Spring Breakers Traveling to Mexico

The United States has issued a travel alert for citizens traveling to Mexico during Spring Break, urging them to take precautions against potential risks such as violence, drugs, and unregulated alcohol, particularly in the beaches of Cancun, Tulum, and Playa del Carmen in Quintana Roo.

The government warns that while thousands of US citizens travel to Mexico during this period safely each year, they should consider these recommendations when planning their trip.

The government advises that violence can occur anywhere in Mexico, even in tourist destinations, so travelers should remain vigilant of their surroundings, avoid areas where illegal activities occur, and quickly distance themselves from potentially dangerous situations.

“US citizens should exercise increased caution in the downtown areas of popular spring break vacation destinations, including Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum, especially after dark,” the advisory states.

It emphasizes that the possession and use of drugs, including medical marijuana, is illegal in Mexico and can result in a lengthy prison sentence.

“US citizens have become seriously ill or died in Mexico after using synthetic drugs or adulterated prescription pills,” the alert warns.

The government advises that all firearms and even small amounts of ammunition are illegal in Mexico. Violations related to firearms and other weapons can result in an extended period in jail.

The advisory notes that unregulated alcohol can be contaminated, and US citizens have reported losing consciousness or being injured after consuming potentially contaminated alcohol.

In addition, it points out that counterfeit drugs are common and can be ineffective, have the wrong concentration, or contain dangerous ingredients, so they should only be purchased at regulated establishments.

There have been cases where US citizens have been victims of rape and sexual assault, the alert notes, and that perpetrators may target intoxicated or isolated individuals or use drugs that alter the victim’s physical or mental state.

Water Supply in Ensenada Insufficient for This Summer

The urban area of Ensenada will suffer serious water supply problems during the summer season, which requires immediate action to expand sources of supply, but also for the population to make more efficient use of the water resource. Wenceslao Martínez Santos, coordinator of the Water Interdisciplinary Group (GIA), indicated that while in other cities of the state the so-called “Green Bonus” was announced, in Ensenada no specific program with that resource is known. “In the last meeting we had with officials from the Secretariat for Water Management, Sanitation and Protection (Seproa), there was no specific data on any program already authorized to apply the Green Bonus in this municipality,” he said.

Martínez Santos indicated that the supply sources are insufficient to cover the demand of the Ensenada population, and with a distribution system that has constant leaks, between 30 to 40 percent of the distributed water is lost. He added that, so far, there is no knowledge of a substantial increase in supply sources, and regarding what is announced as the solution, which is the expansion of the water desalination plant, the works would take a year and a half to two years.

It is essential, emphasized Martínez Santos, that the amplification of that plant begins as soon as possible because as the supply sources decrease, the number of inhabitants increases, and consequently, the demand for water also increases.

SOURCE: El Vigia

New Cold Front to Enter Baja California, Warns Civil Protection

According to reports, a new cold front is expected to enter Baja California, which could bring significant drops in temperature across the region. The state’s civil protection agency has warned residents to prepare for potential cold weather hazards, including heavy rain, snowfall and icy roads on the highest part of the state.

The cold front is expected to arrive Tuesday night, and its effects are likely to be felt for several days. Temperatures are expected to drop by up to 10 degrees Celsius, which could result in dangerous conditions for those who are not adequately prepared.

Residents are being advised to take precautions, such as ensuring that their homes are properly insulated and that they have enough warm clothing and blankets. Motorists are also being urged to exercise caution when driving, particularly on highways and mountainous areas where black ice could form.

This is not the first time that Baja California has experienced cold weather in recent months. In January, a cold front brought snow and freezing temperatures to the region, causing several road closures and power outages. The civil protection agency responded by setting up shelters for those in need and distributing blankets and other supplies to affected communities.

As climate change continues to impact weather patterns around the world, extreme weather events such as cold snaps are becoming more common. It is essential that governments and communities take steps to prepare for these events, including investing in infrastructure to withstand extreme weather and educating citizens on how to stay safe during these periods.

In Baja California, the civil protection agency plays a critical role in responding to cold weather events and ensuring that residents are aware of the risks and how to stay safe. By staying vigilant and taking the necessary precautions, residents can help minimize the impact of the cold front and protect themselves and their communities from harm.

Water Watch 2022! Part 2

I stood on a hilltop with Cornelio Zapata, a 30 year resident of La Misión. We look down on the estuary and the la Misión River. He shakes his head and says with deep concern, “I have never seen the river so low. It use to run all the way out to the ocean and there were clear pure swimming places. Now it is green with algae.” His small comfortable home was once the only dwelling on the hill. He has had at one time a vast nearly 360 degree view of the ocean and all the way to the eastern mountains. Now it is surrounded by huge multilevel homes all needing water. He is experiencing for the first time a new water restriction.  Senor Zapata added that his good friend, who grew the sweetest white corn, can’t grow it this year; his pump can no longer reach the aquifer which is now too low. While La Misión has always had a natural supply of water from the mountain region and aquifers, it is being threatened. The major cities of Tijuana to Ensenada are impacted by the Colorado River allotment cutbacks which were reported in Part 1 of Water Watch 2022.  

Local Reports and Solutions for 2022 Historically people act when motivated to do so. The question is will we be forced into this new reality? Will it be a wakeup to learn we have outgrown Baja’s natural resources, as well as the Colorado River allotment of 1944? Senior Zapata is not the only one in La Misión with water issues. Several new mega houses were built next to his home and neither was given access to water by La Misión Water Company. These homes will rely on the water trucks to chug up the hill. It is reported that the truck owners have their own private wells where they fill up their trucks. Many of the easy sources dried up this year. 

John Stadelmann, The President of the Board of Directors for ten years of La Misión Water Company addresses this in his newly released video.  He is proud to announce that water delivery to the homes in La Misión has been “spectacular,” compared to CSPT delivery records in Tijuana and Ensenada. CSPT has frequent break downs and repairs, and “they just don’t have enough water to go around.” Mr. Stadelmann goes on to say that it is important to know the Water Board operates on a license with CONAGUA, the federal water board for all of Mexico. These licenses have 10 year duration, but La Misión’s expired in 2018. Given the fact that high powered lawyers have worked hard to resolve this, the license is still not renewed four years later. “There is a rumor, Stadelmann shared, “between water experts and lawyers that CONAGUA has an intent to close the small private wells to make it possible to give the big municipal suppliers like CSPT of Tijuana and Ensenada, more water volume to distribute.” The La Misión Water Company will fight to keep their water rights.

Mr. Stadelmann continued, “The second more immediate and larger threat comes from within our very community.” CONAGUA, dictates just how much water can be pump from the aquifer each year. Consider the fact that we are able to pump 10 million gallons per year! All the rules on usage per household are driven by this limit.” He said that in 2018 the community rarely used more than two-thirds of the total, and were safely within the limit. But in 2021 it shot up to 82%; at this rate the usage will exceed the license by 2024. Stadelmann warns, “If the abuses continue CONAGUA can shut down our well. It would be an utter catastrophe.” He points a finger directly at the issue of the increase in homes being built and the thoughtless chronic over users. The water is not for swimming pools, fountains, or landscapes. “These chronic over users could be the cause of our license to be repealed…The message is simple, the solutions are not. We all must use a whole lot less if we expect to continue to live here. It requires education, reeducation, some technology and lots of discipline. We are in it together.” These words apply to every coastal community in this state.

Local Reports and long time resident of Bajamar, Ruth Rockwell, says that they have had to close 9 holes of the golf course. Residents in Ensenada are out of city water for a week or more.  Punta Del Mar uses their gray water for landscaping. San Antonio Del Mar is attempting to put together a plan to become self-sufficient, and not rely on the government’s delivery system. John Stadelmann stresses that the water trucks will have to travel to the high plateau and fill from the catch basin which is meant to recharge the underground sources. The increase in rates can’t be far behind. It is skillful to question any new developers as to how they will address their own water and wastewater issues. It isn’t how beautiful the future home may appear, but will there be water to flush the toilet. 

Real Solutions should have begun two decades ago. Now it is a rush to catch up, if and when the issue seems real enough in people’s minds. Humanity along the Colorado River has literally drunk the once mighty Colorado dry. Drilling deeper and desal plants are future timelines with major issues. Be careful falling into false hope; be part of the solution and not part of the problem.  If there is a first most important step it would be to appreciate and develop gratitude for the water every time we use it. Realize how many times a day we need it. Appreciation can create the first abatement to our overuse. The next step, get serious about the water declines. We can act now from the comfort of our homes. Create appreciation by taking a few minutes to watch the two videos below. Educate yourself and look for personal solutions. Support the front line workers and begin to understand that we are all interdependent and share this extraordinary water network. 

Martina is a Freelance writer, see her ad for ordering her travel book, Dust In My Sandals

Contact Information:

Margarita Diaz Directora Proyecto Fronterizo

664-630-0590, Cell 664-188-62-36

margarita@pfea.org   www.pfea.org

John Stadelmann link for La Misión

Videos of our Water’s 86 mile journey to our homes


Water Watch 2022

Water Watch for 2022 is a portent of times to come. I first began writing about where the water for Baja California came from in 2007. There were warnings even then. It was said that the 21st century would be about water as the 20th century has been about oil. More recently you will find on the Gringo Gazette website a two part Water Watch, August for 2021: Part 1, “Our Water Supply is Not Unlimited,” informed the readers that 86% of our water comes from the Colorado River and the amazing feat of engineering that went into bringing the water down from the Colorado River. Part 2 of Water Watch warned of the cuts to our allotment from the Colorado River that would be coming in 2022. The cuts are here now. There is no report of any new progress to avert more shortages, and it would seem most people are still unaware of the critical facts.

In April of this year, San Antonio Del Mar held a community workshop on their issue of water and sewage treatment. While their main focus was the toxicity of the ocean waters that still take the run off wastewater from Tijuana, Margarita Diaz, the Directora Proyecto Fronterizo, was there to give a comprehensive overview of what is happening with the water for Baja. Her report was dismal.  The facts laid out in the first Water Watch articles last year have worsened today. These facts are based on the continuation of a 22-year drought, extreme heat in the west, agriculture usage, and over development. 

Margarita is a thirty year Water Protector veteran, cofounder of the nonprofit; Proyecto Fronterizo de Educación Ambiental A.C, PFEA, for awareness has had a rough go of it. She is a one woman visionary attempting to move a stagnate consciousness of the people. She has been met with a lack of interest; however, more recently, she is facing unfriendly and harsh resistance. She presented her facts with impassioned clarity to the small community turn out. Her opening statement that day was having heard from her colleagues in Utah. This is a state which is part of the Upper River Basin and it is a beneficiary of water from the once mighty river. It was a disconcerting laugh as she explained, “They are really stressed. And that made me think if they are stress up there, how stressed should I be?”  She held the microphone and pointed to the charts, “The cut are here now!” 

She reported that there is no longer any underground water for the Tecate Brewery which uses a huge amount of water in producing beer, and continued, “At this time due to the water cuts, Mexicali farmers are selling their water to Tijuana as the city’s population continues to grow. Margarita’s frustration level is pretty high when most recently she faced the men of CEPT and was told, “Don’t worry we have the Colorado and they have to give us the water.” And yet another insightful comment, “Don’t worry we have the ocean.” This fiery Mexicana rose up to her 5’ 4”stature and asked them point blank, “So, you are planning on drinking the ocean?” They had no response.

As Margarita pointed out, Lake Mead is a barometer for Baja’s water cuts. If the level should drop below a certain point, no water can be issued because there would not be enough water to turn the massive turbines that produce electricity at Hoover Dam; one of the largest hydropower plants in the United States. The 1944 treaty gave Baja an allotment of water, but was amended in 2017 dealing with the decline in US reservoirs. 2022 is the first year of the cuts and will automatically be reduced further for Arizona, Nevada, California and Baja. Whether or not you follow the Climate Change as a factor of life, you don’t have to be a scientist to know that if you leave a bowl of water out in the hot sun it will evaporate.  The Colorado River is like a big bowl of water that runs through the desert. The intensification of summer heat in the west creates a more rapid increase of evaporation. Rain and snow pack reductions each year are not filing the reservoirs and have not for a very long time. One spokes person said that it would take 4 years of rains and heavy winter snow packs to bring water levels back to sustainable. One of the reports Margarita shared came from the Utah Rivers Council who put it in laypersons terms. “The Colorado River is like a household income source and the reservoirs are like a huge savings account. For the last 20 years, the household’s income has declined and the residents of the house have been living off their savings. Yet some house residents don’t realize they have been slowly draining their savings account.” After Margarita finished telling us like it is, she apologized and wished she could give us some fast fix. Carol Clary, water activist and resident of San Antonio reported, “The reaction in the community to the workshop was total shock about the coming scarcity.” At this moment in time no one really knows what is going to turn this around locally, but waiting for Mexico to build a number of saltwater desal plants or being  “hopeful” that it rains is looking foolish in the face of the reality of the present situation.

A recent report in the New York Times announces a “formal declaration” of the water crisis…as hundreds of thousands more people have moved to the regions. After years of signs, finally a declaration! With groundwater rapidly depleting, California has no contingency plan for a persistent drought and it would seem Baja California doesn’t either.

Since there has been an unprecedented mistrust of the news media of late, some people use the words “conspiracy” or “fake news” for anything that makes them nervous or they disagree with. Facts are facts and how people process the facts is the real issue. In our case here in Baja, one only needs to look with their own eyes as levels in the reservoirs dropping or talk to the local farmers whose water pumps are not deep enough this year to reach the vanishing aquifers. Famiglietti went on to report that “parts of California have already depleted their primary reserves of groundwater and are now drilling deeper – tapping into prehistoric reserves that cannot be readily replaced. As these prehistoric aquifers are mined, they suffer irreversible structural damage.” Vance Kennedy, a retired research hydrologist for the Central Valley clearly states in a Mother Jones interview, “What I see going on is a future disaster…you are removing water that’s been there a long, long time. We are mining water that cannot be readily replaced.” 

 Man has never had much of a consideration for the Earth from which they extract their resources. Humanity learns the hard way about their planet that sustains them. In addressing Baja’s water allotment from the Colorado River, California is setting the precedence for cutting water to agriculture. Living in Baja we need to keep watch on what is happening north of us, because whatever happens up there will come down the pipeline to us, euphemistically speaking. It is unlikely we will hear anything about what is happening in Baja unless we do our research.  We don’t have easy access to local information from authorities as to what they are doing or not doing.  Margareta clearly spelled out that the local offices “are not talking to one another and the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.” All along the coast south of Rosarito there are 11 new condo developments underway and Primo Tapia has two massive housing projects; one is clearing a whole mountain above Primo Tapia and another is actually attempting to build on sand dunes south of town. If we are questioning, we have to wonder where the water is coming from to provide these developers’ needs for water to build the cement and concrete blocks constructions. More importantly where is the sustainable water flow to the households once built? Nevertheless, development continues “as if” there will be water for thousands of new homes in the foreseeable future. Baja California is a passive player in how water will be allocated from the Colorado’s complicated system of delivery. At this time, if it gets rough, it appears that we are holding out our cups expecting to have our kind neighbors to the north share. Historically the United States does not have a good track record keeping its treaty agreements with its own Native Americans.  Should our spigots run dry, it is questionable that our 1944 Treaty with them is much of a safeguard. 

Take the Tour! Our Water’s Impressive 87-mile journey to our homes  


For Updated Water information and Group Presentation

Margarita Diaz Directora Proyecto Fronterizo


Editors Note: Martina is a freelance writer, journalist and author of Dust in My Sandals, Tales from a Baja Traveler. See our ad and order today!

Terra Peninsular: The Way of the Guardian


A hawk flies from the Earth to the Moon! Yes, Really! In its ten to fifteen year lifespan the 

Red-tail Hawk will fly 238,855 miles, the distance from here to the Moon. How do we know that? As the saying goes it takes a village to create a better future. We tend to have an idea of what comprises a village or community, seeing it limited to family and neighbors. Today I’m meeting Mirna Borr to understand why it is actually important to know about the hawk and be amazed by the very idea of these airborne creatures as part of our village too. This interview with the Community Outreach Officer from Terra Peninsular will broaden our ideas about how we are interconnected to everything we encounter as we travel the wonder of Baja California.

Terra Peninsular is a non-profit organization in Ensenada committed to conserving the natural beauty of Baja California since 2001. It has been faithfully led by Executive Director, Cesar Guerrero. The volunteers are vision-holders who work tirelessly to educate communities in the importance of protecting and managing the natural resources. The non-profit group focuses their passion on sustainability and compatibility with the ecological system that has been in perfect balance since the peninsula fractured off from mainland Mexico and rose from the sea millions of years ago. With the growing human population it is important to understand why we need to care.

Mirna Borr, Community Outreach Officer at Terra Peninsular

I wave to Mirna across the shaded patio. She is a beautiful woman with thick dark hair and eyes that hold a vision of hope. We order our espresso and cappuccino, catching up since we last saw one another. I wanted to hear of her latest travels to San Quintin where much of the conservation focus is at this time. I asked her to explain why it is important for us to know how far the Red-tail Hawk flies in a lifetime. “It’s a long story,” she said. “When I started working with Terra Peninsular in my first year I was sent to Alaska to learn how to organize for our Annual Bird Festival here. It was there I learned about how that community was very connected and cared about the richness of their land. I saw that in San Quintin people don’t have an idea about the greatness of the land. It was in Alaska that I heard the story about the Red-tail Hawk. It was very shocking to me to realize that the birds I was seeing here in Alaska migrated to San Quintin, and I had actually followed them in my travels. I learned so much how to engage people and how to work with the community to connect them with the land and the birds. When I returned, I began to plan the 4th edition of our bird festival in San Quintin.” Mirna was clearly excited about her work, “I saw that the local people here had no interest in birds. They didn’t understand how important it is to learn about the habitat and how to protect it. The plants are part of this interconnection and without them the birds and many other rare species would not survive. It is so important to understand this.” Mirna rushes on to explain how their outreach program is working. “We have designed hiking trails so we do not trample the plants. We point out this red flower and say that it is special to the hummingbird that flies all the way from San Quintin to Alaska!” She grins and says, “They are amazed and exclaim, really?! She goes on to say that there are different kinds of hiking trails to explore the volcano area as well as the wetlands. It is deeply gratifying for all the members of Terra to see the changes in the community getting more involved.”

Mirna shares a perfect example of the power of understanding nature and its far reaching effects, “A mother shared her story with me. She noticed that her boys chased the birds, throwing rocks at them to watch them fly, and at times successfully hitting them. The family came to one of the Bird Festivals and was told how to watch and identify the birds.  Eight your old Santiago won the prize for his Bird Watching Marathon success. The prize was a pair of binoculars and a bird guide. Today he leads other children out for bird watching.” She goes on to say, “The women of the community can now recognize the birds by name and are excited to report seeing the especially rare ones.” Mirna points out, “People now understand that the special plants in the wetlands promote a healthy environment in which the birds flourish, sustain other animals, insect life while promoting clean air that is in perfect balance, if not interfered with.” Mirna expresses wonder, “We have created a whole new thing! We have a boom of recreational visitors to the area for hiking, kayaking, and surfing. The people have found this wonderful protected area. This is changing the attitude in the town, because it is bringing more visitors who go to the restaurants and more eating places are opening. The town is now participating in guiding people to treat the environment with care and being responsible.” Amused she continues, “It’s great and the guides are asking about how they can get their certification, because their clients want to know about the ecology and the names of the birds. Now we are starting workshops to educate the local guides.” 

I was curious about how Mirna found her way into this unique work. She has lived in Ensenada her whole life and was attracted to an education in research and mass communication in documentaries. This was well before anyone was interested in environmental sustainability. “I was so fortunate to have Professor Anna Sanchez, an amazing woman, and together we planned projects for public knowledge.” After graduation, Mirna’s first project was with the fisherman of LA Bay. I mentioned it must not have been an easy task to try and change the old fishing habits. Each job after graduation was a step towards her vision that led to the opportunities with Terra. I said, “So you are planning a trip back to Alaska? Do you feel like one of the migrating birds?” She exclaimed, “Yes, yes! I feel I am in the first step of my life’s journey and it is important that I acknowledge this, because just two years ago, I felt I had to go back to school and learn all the science to fully understand. But then I realized people don’t need to know all that. They don’t need the scientific name of the plants; they just need to know that the red color of a flower is important to the hummingbird and that hawks can fly to the moon.”

Near the end of our visit Mirna wanted to speak about Terra Peninsular, “Claudia is my boss and partner in crime, she is an amazing person and we are a great team. We gather all these ideas and have created art shows displaying the painting of the bird life. It makes me feel very connected.” Pride is heard in her voice, “The people of Terra Peninsular have the same passion that I have, and it is amazing for me to experience the trust we have for one another. This is not like a normal organization. It has a powerful force working with a lot of love, inspiration and hope which promises to keep the beauty of the reserve for future generations. It is very human.” As I watched her walk away, I knew that she was one of the Mexican young people who are the future of their country.

For more information you can go on line to Terra’s Mediterranews Magazine published every two months about their ongoing work. In part it will help the traveler begin to investigate this rich resource as a destination. There are two areas that are now federally certified for visitation. Punta Mazo and Monte Ceniza Reserves are at this time destinations for kayaking, surfing, hiking to the volcanoes in the 130,000 acres of reserve. Monte Ceniza has cabins for rent. Not to be missed is a virtual tour on YouTube. Wetlands Notas de campo (Field notes) Espisode #1 and #2, and Youtube.com/c/TerraPeninsular/videos. The photography is spectacular of this unique paradise. For reservations, turismo@terrapeninsular.org 

Around the world the wetlands are being reduced as they face threats of pollution, artificial filling for buildings and industrial waste. All this is loss of habitat which brings instability for all creatures including us, because we are all interconnected. Being informed is the turning point, like Santiago who no longer throws rocks at the birds, but now leads children to appreciate them, we can become a Guardian and Terra Peninsular can show the way.

Editor’s Note:

This was first printed in the Baja Bound.com March, 2022 bulletin where readers will find Martina’s column, The Baja StoryTeller and many other Baja writers sharing their experiences. See Martina’s book, Dust in My Sandals, Tales from a Baja Traveler, and an easy way to order her found in her ad in this edtion.

Save the Bees!

It’s spring in Baja California and the bees are loving the wild flowers and are happy in our gardens. We seldom pay attention to them, unless we get buzzed or one swoops in to join us for lunch. Rarely do we consider how important they are to our way of life. They go about their work in honey production, but as they do this they are also a major contributor to our healthy food systems. Without them the planet’s ecosystems would be dramatically altered.

We humans tend to care about things when we understand them. To appreciate bees more, a few fun facts are helpful. Did you know that the reason bees are so noisy is because they beat their wings 11,400 times in one minute! Honey bees love to dance and their moves are the way they communicate. Next time we put honey in our cereal we can thank the whole hive of bees for flying over 55,000 miles to make a 16 ounce jar for us. And to cover that kind of mileage they fly at 20 miles an hour. To keep us all in honey the queen has to lay 2,000 eggs per day.

Science is telling us that there is a noticeable and steady decline in the bee population. Both scientists and beekeepers believe there are a combination of factors which are mostly created by man; the loss of habitat and increased usage of pesticides are but a couple listed. Most recently, there have been studies about the effects of cell phone signals. The question that is being kicked around is that the phone signals whizzing around in space disorientates the flight of bees, causing confusion and low honey production. Research on behalf of the bees is not well funded, but there is enough evidence for the fact that it is harmful to humans. It is one simple step to suggest that the invisible signal disrupts the bees’ sensitivities. One study on humans stated, “EMF disrupts the chemical structures of tissue since a high degree of electromagnetic energy absorption can change the electric current in the body.”

National Library of Medicine  reports that the intensity of electromagnetic radiation in human environment is increasing and currently reaches astronomical levels that had never before been experienced on our planet. EMF impacts living organisms by direct tissue penetration. It isn’t a stretch to think the EMF symptoms for human such as disrupted sleep, headache, fatigue, lack of concentration and dizziness could make a hapless little bee fly in circles.

Is there a way to support the health and well being of ourselves and the bees? Some of the current thinking is to “Go Wild” and let your lawn grow without mowing. Bees love flowering weeds and grasses. Let some of the native plants thrive around your home is a good source of necture. Bees need water too; think about creating a bee pond in a shallow pan with pebbles, no need to clean it as bees love dirty water too. Support your local organic farmer. And it should go without saying, stop using toxic sprays. One of the most brilliant new ideas I am hearing is happening right here in Baja California.

Reagan White, a student from Escuela de Comunicación Transcultural  in Tijuana, contacted me. The school offers classes meant to look at how to build a business in a foreign country that can help people. He was looking for information for his school project using bees, honey and sustainable living, “We have a business project at our school, where we need to look for business opportunities in Tijuana. My teammates and I are researching bee-keeping for honey production and pollination of farms in Baja.” I suggested several names of people in Ensenada who were well versed in caring for the bee population. Several weeks later Reagan returned to report, “We are through our data-gathering phase of our project and have found the beekeeping community in Baja to be extremely welcoming and kind to us in this school project. We’re currently putting together a PowerPoint presentation for our panel of judges and would like to send that information over to you once it is completed.” I was thrilled with the idea of writing the story.

When the PowerPoint arrived, it was impressive and professionally done. Reagan and the team, Josiah, Elisabeth, Katie, Jacob, and Ruth had laid out clearly where the “gap in the honey market” was to be found. The point was to bring the raw unfiltered honey from the Baja beekeepers and to provide a more affordable and sustainable raw unfiltered honey to the higher purchasing markets of San Diego. In that city there is a high demand for raw unfiltered honey. This then creates jobs, benefits the farmers with higher crop yield due to the natural pollinators like bees with the added benefit that it helps the dwindling bee population. Since beekeeping is already aligned with Mexico’s direction there would be no issues of implementation. This is a win win for people, bees and the planet.

The students developed a three phase marketing plan based on a profit margin that has a “lean start up cost” because it is helpful to the farmers is a possibility of free or low rent. There is naturally lower labor and material cost, and the government has provided beekeeping subsidies.  The overall good news about this is there is a “high price point and consistent demand.” Their figures showed that by the fifth year there would be no need for further outside capital, thanks to nature’s amazing bees.

This business model is the wave of the future. It is a must that intelligent ideas include sustainability, health and wellbeing for humanity, the planet, and all its creatures.

With a delightful Mexican play on words, the English word honey is pronounced Hunnie in Spanish. They named the new product, Hey Hunnie!

BeeKeepers in Ensenada

Amado Abejas


Dayan Amanda Moran Lugo


A Bee Rescue Chat group

Roberto 646-141-6859

What Should I Do If I’m Involved In a Car Accident In Mexico?

Make sure you follow these 11 tips


The Mexican Traffic Safety Research Center reports that Mexico registers 4 million car accidents every year, and the total cost of the accidents reaches over $10 billion dollars annually.

If you are involved in an accident in Mexico and no one is injured, it is always best to be prepared for the situation at hand. Discussed here are 11 essential tips that will help you at the scene of the accident and during the claim process. The laws and protocols when dealing with accidents in Mexico are different from other countries and to understand these laws and protocols will only help you, so you are better prepared. 

To avoid potential problems in the event of a car accident, having an active Mexico car insurance policy in hand is your first line of defense and will help keep you protected from the unexpected. Having the proper insurance in Mexico will help you deal with serious legal and financial consequences and will offer support when involved in an auto accident in Mexico.

TIP 1 – STAY CALM and FOCUSED: The first and most crucial action for you to consider is to stay calm and focused by protecting yourself, your family, third parties, and your property. Immediately after an accident, there will be many emotions to manage. However, it is highly recommended to remain as calm as possible and tend to any personal injuries you or your passengers may have sustained. In Mexico, it is important to remain at the scene of the accident until the proper authorities arrive, so the details of the accident are properly documented. There are of course exceptions to these rules if serious medical attention is required. 

TIP 2 – DOCUMENT: Take photos and video of the damage sustained to your vehicle and all other vehicles involved in the accident from multiple angles. Documenting any and all damage close and from afar of the entire scene is highly recommended. 

You can imagine that there will be a lot going on at this time, so collecting photos and video will help tell the story of the accident at a later time, when for example your insurance adjuster is involved and has requested to understand the full scope of the accident. 

It is recommended that taking photos and video of the other vehicle’s license plates, Mexico insurance policies, and drivers’ licenses are the fastest and easiest way to build your digital claim file. Also, if you or your passengers have sustained any injuries, be sure to document this just the same.

TIP 3 – CALL FOR HELP: Dial 911, the emergency hotline in Mexico, and make sure medical help is dispatched to tend to anyone with severe injuries and the police to make an accident report. Remember that the accident report is vital for you to file a claim to your Mexico insurance provider.

TIP 4 – READY THE ESSENTIALS: Prepare your essential identification documents to present to the police when they arrive at the scene. These include your passport, visa, driver’s license, valid registration, and an active Mexico auto insurance policy.

TIP 5 – CALL YOUR INSURANCE PROVIDER and REPORT YOUR CLAIM: You are REQUIRED to Report your claim to your Mexico insurance carrier FROM MEXICO AND BEFORE YOU RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES. Failure to report your claim before returning to the United States will result in your claim being denied as this is a requirement in the terms and conditions of your Mexico car insurance policy. I always recommend to my clients to call their Mexican car insurance provider as soon as possible and report the accident and file their formal claim. Request a field adjuster to come to the scene of the accident for assistance when dealing with Mexican authorities.

TIP 6 – AVOID GOING TO JAIL: In Mexico, “YOU’RE GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT.” Kind of scary if you are from the United States or Canada and not used to these types of Mexican laws. All involved in the accident will be taken into custody to identify who caused the accident and to make sure that the person at fault is capable to cover the expenses of the damages. 

If you have a valid and active Mexico car insurance policy, then feel assured that you have legal bond included and have met the requirements of Mexican law. 

Although there is no guarantee that the local officials will not detain you, knowing you have a Mexico car Insurance policy issued by West Coast Global Insurance Services will assure you have a reputable Mexico insurance carrier providing coverage and protection for your financial responsibility.

TIP 7 – DON’T SIGN ANYTHING: If you are handed any document at the scene of the accident and forced or asked to sign, DO NOT SIGN this agreement without knowing 100% what you are signing. Signing a settlement agreement or accepting payment from anyone involved in the accident will void your Mexico insurance policy. We strongly recommend consulting with your field adjuster assigned from your insurance company before you sign anything. You do not want to regret making a decision that may result in your claim being denied because you entered into your agreement which forces the Mexican insurance company from being able to be involved any further in the claim.

TIP 8 – KNOW THE RISKS: Remember that driving in Mexico without car insurance is illegal, and plain and simple, just NOT A GOOD IDEA. Additionally, there is a good chance you will land yourself in jail if you are unfortunately involved in an accident. However, with an active authorized Mexican car insurance policy, you will be protected from the unexpected and have the financial and legal strength of an “A” rated Mexico car insurance carrier by your side providing you peace of mind.

TIP 9 – KNOW YOUR POLICY: Not every Mexico car insurance policy is written the same.

Did you know that U.S. and Canadian vehicles are not insured with the same type of policy that a Mexico-registered vehicle is secured with? If after a claim, you find out that the policy written on your vehicle was issued with the wrong insurance program, meaning a Mexico registered vehicle was insured on a Tourist auto policy, or vice versa your claim will be denied for not having a valid policy. You will have wasted your hard-earned dineros and are now stuck with a bill to repair your car 100 percent out of pocket. Double check your policy declarations page to be sure your policy is written correctly.

TIP 10 – PERMISSION TO DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE: If you decide to hand your car keys over to a friend to drive your vehicle, it is essential to know that you are now handing over the insurability and decision making of your vehicle to that person. This means that if your vehicle is in an accident and your friend negotiates to have your vehicle fixed by a third party, then this will void your Mexico auto insurance policy. This person can negotiate on your behalf due to you permitting them to drive your vehicle; they now become the insured on the vehicle and have the authority to act on your behalf. Please note, as mentioned previously in the KNOW YOUR POLICY section, that some Mexico auto insurance policies written for U.S. and Canadian vehicles do not extend protection for Mexican Nationals when driving under these insurance policies.

TIP 11 – ASK YOUR AGENT: If you have any questions about your Mexico auto insurance policy, ask your licensed insurance agent to provide you the details of your policy. Request a copy of the policies terms and conditions, which should be provided to you in Spanish and a courtesy copy in English. Please note that the Spanish-written policy conditions will always prevail in Mexico.

IN-Closing: Driving in Mexico and especially in Baja can sometimes be a challenging experience, accidents & fender benders can occur in a blink of the eye and some say it’s best to be a defensive driver rather than an offensive driver. Always be aware of your surroundings, limit your driving at night and contact Jason Wagner of West Coast Global Insurance Services for ALL your Insurance needs in Mexico. With over 16 years of focused experience protecting our clients’ Assets & Health in Mexico, we assist our clients with the Best Coverages and Pricing available. 

When was your last Mexico Insurance Review? Purchasing Mexico car insurance has never been easier with our Quote and Apply online platform. Quote up to 5 Mexico car insurance carriers at the same time with flat deductible options, policies in English, and the ability to purchase and print your policy online securely in just a few easy steps.

Reliable Mexico Insurance Protection for all Vehicle Types & Registration Types.

Are you Protected from the Unexpected? Jason Wagner & the West Coast Global Insurance Team!! Contact our office by: email WCGN@InsureMeWC.com or 

Call us at (818) 788-5353 Website – www.InsureMeWC.com 

Disclaimer: Review the policy conditions attached to your insurance policy in Mexico. Each Mexico insurance carrier and policy is written with unique terms and conditions. This article was written to provide an outline of what to expect when involved in an auto accident in Mexico. Details within this article are subject to change based on individual occurrences, companies and persons involved.

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