Royal News Round Up, July 22 2011

All Six Royal Resorts now have MARTI Certification as Eco-friendly Resorts
Royal Resorts is always looking for ways in which to save natural resources, reduce the use of chemicals and help protect our planet and we are proud to announce that representatives of MARTI, the Mesoamerican Reef Tourism Initiative, recently certified The Royal Cancun, The Royal Mayan, The Royal Caribbean and The Royal Islander as resorts with eco-friendly policies. This means that all six resorts have now achieved this goal.

MARTI seeks to protect the world’s second longest coral reef through the implementation of better environmental practices to reduce pollution and minimize the impact of tourism on area ecosystems. Over 100 resorts and other companies in Cancun, Riviera Maya and Cozumel have already signed up to this initiative.

We would like to thank all Royal Resorts employees for helping us reach this important milestone and for sharing our commitment to conservation.

Poolside Summer Snacks
If you traveling to the Royal Resorts in Cancun or the Riviera Maya this summer be sure to try the tempting seasonal snacks available poolside. They include mixed seafood cocktails and ceviche, coconuts and fresh fruit such as mango, jicama and orange sprinkled with chili and lime juice. A particular favorite is the traditional elote or Mexican corn on the cob and mouthwatering esquites which are tender cooked corn kernels with lime juice, cream, crumbled cheese and chili powder. If you are feeling really hungry ask for the Taco Special from the pool bar, the order includes five tacos (soft tortillas of course) and a choice of fillings.

Wash down your meal with an ice-cold beer or a tropical cocktail. What’s it to be? How about a margarita or daiquiri and an exotic medley of flavors such as the Weeping Willow, Leaping Lizard or even the much-loved Banana Monkey? Tell us which is your favorite, we’d love to hear from you!

Cancun, Riviera Maya & Mexico News

Who’s Playing at this Year’s Riviera Maya Jazz Festival?
Head to Playa Mamitas in Playa del Carmen from November 24 to 26 for the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival, this year featuring a line up of talented performers from Mexico and the world music scene. Don’t miss it.

The line up is as follows:

November 24 Natalie Lafourcade, Jeff Lorber, Randy Brecker
November 25 Hermanos Toussaint & Enrique Pat, Jon Anderson, Stanley Clarke,
November 26 Alex Otaola, Richard Bona, Yellow Jackets

The concerts are free and the music starts at 7 p.m. Schedule is subject to change.

Green Energy for Mexico
With over 20 percent of its energy already coming from renewable sources and enormous potential in the field of solar, wind and hydroelectric power, Mexico is looking towards a green future and less reliance on fossil fuels for its energy needs. Mexican President Felipe Calderon Hinojosa recently announced the development of three new wind farms. The Cannon Power Group will operate the plants in Baja California, Zacatecas and on the island of Cozumel which will collectively produce 312 megawatts for the national grid and reduce the country’s oil consumption by 8,600 barrels a day or 3.2 million barrels a year. It also means 1.6 million tons less carbon dioxide will be pumped into the atmosphere.

In other energy news, Mexico has launched a new program to replace light bulbs used by millions of households throughout the country. Consumers who use less than 250 kilowatts every two months will be able to exchange four old bulbs with four new energy saving bulbs. The only requisites they must satisfy in order to qualify for this are to be up to date with their electricity bills, show an official ID and a document proving their address.

Over the next few months the Electricity Board hopes to distribute almost 23 million bulbs, a figure that will reach 47.2 million in 2012. The country will be using energy more efficiently and reducing carbon dioxide emissions – 2.8 million tons a year less – and the consumers will also benefit with lower electricity bills.

Sadly, in recent years, Mexico has had one of the highest deforestation rates in the world but the hopes are that this trend is reversing with ambitious replanting projects in different parts of the country. In a recent bulletin released by SEMARNAT, the Mexican Environmental Agency, it is estimated that one in every ten trees planted in the world on International Tree Day was planted in Mexico.

Mayan Discoveries
It is estimated that Mexico has over 30,000 archaeological sites and thousands of these are scattered throughout the Maya World, the territory occupied by Quintana Roo, Yucatan, Campeche, Tabasco and Chiapas. Not a month goes by when there isn’t an amazing discovery somewhere in this area, in temples deep in the jungle, high in the mountains and even in the mysterious cenotes and caves of the Yucatan, considered the gateway to Xibalba, the Mayan Underworld and home of the gods. Here is a round up of some of the latest finds throughout the Maya World:

Seven new archaeological sites were discovered in Sitpach on the outskirts of Merida in May. From the burials and vestiges of pottery found in the 1,000-hectare area excavated, archaeologists have been able to pinpoint the occupation dates to the Terminal pre-Classic period (400 B.C. to A.D. 200), earlier than previously thought.

Experts studying the Mayan Pyramid of the Masks in the village of Acanceh in the Yucatan recently discovered that ancient astronomers used it as an observatory. They excavated a small cavity between the fourth and fifth mask, which appears to have been used by a sole priest or astronomer to watch the movement of the stars as they were reflected in a still pool of water.

Archaeologists studying one of the cenotes at Chichen Itza also found an offering of jade, pottery, shell, flint and the bones of six sacrificial victims in a flooded cave 26 meters below the mouth of the sinkhole. They think that the remains are evidence of two ritual ceremonies in honor of the rain gods that took place during droughts 1,200 and 900 years ago. At a depth of 50 meters, divers encountered more human and animal bones, ceramics, figurines and a standard in the shape of a jaguar.

It’s on to Comalcalco in the Gulf state of Tabasco where archaeologists discovered an ancient Mayan burial ground with 116 tombs that are thought to be between 1,161 and 1,200 years old. Sixty-six of the skeletons were buried in funerary urns and are probably members of the nobility judging from the offerings of pottery and obsidian, and the others may have been followers chosen to accompany them in death and the life beyond.

Finally, our journey takes us to Tonina in the hills of Chiapas where the discovery of two statues of captive warriors and two ball court markers with hieroglyphic inscriptions in the area of the ball court is another reminder of the ancient rivalry between the city and Palenque. From A.D. 688 to 714, they fought for control of the Usumacinta River and the cities that lay on the banks of this great waterway and trade route. Tonina Project Director Juan Yadeun believes that the captives were actually subjects of the lord of Copan in Honduras and that the statues are evidence of a military alliance between Palenque and Copan to bring about the downfall of Tonina. Other Mayan scholars, however, disagree with this theory.

Maya World Project Relaunched
And with growing interest in the Maya due to the approach of December 21, 2012, the day when one cycle draws to a close in their sophisticated calendar and a new one begins, President Felipe Calderon Hinojosa unveiled an ambitious tourism project in June to promote the Mundo Maya or Maya World.

A wealth of natural and historical wonders, including Mayan temples, colonial cities, traditional communities, landscapes and nature reserves teeming with wildlife already awaits visitors to Quintana Roo, Yucatan, Campeche, Tabasco and Chiapas. The area also has six UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Chichen Itza, Uxmal, Calakmul, Palenque, Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve and the walled port city of Campeche. More attractions such as museums, archaeological sites, restored churches and haciendas, ecological reserves and community visits will be added to the list of places to visit in 2012.

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