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Puerto Morelos coral project goes to Akumal

The National Fisheries Institute Research Center (INAPESCA-CRIAP) in Puerto Morelos is raising corals to be transplanted on reefs that have been damaged by storms or human activity and to replenish disappearing coral colonies. Biologists working at the center recently planted more than 3,500 fragments of elkhorn and staghorn coral and other stony corals on reefs in the Akumal area.

   The project goal is to transplant 265,000 corals on Mexican Caribbean reefs in six years. Biologists are focusing their efforts on species such as elkhorn and staghorn coral, which are the reef builders. 

   The technology developed by Inapesca and its strategic partners has the capacity to produce up to three thousand coral colonies per day. Project Director Claudia Padilla estimates that the laboratory will produce 48,000 fragments of 13 different species of coral in 2019, and 60,000 in the next three years. 

   The project has the support of the Quintana Roo State government and to date 12 reef sites have received coral fragments, including Manchones and Cuevones reefs in the bay between Cancun and Isla Mujeres and Tanchacte in Petempich Bay to the north of Puerto Morelos. The center has also established four submerged coral nurseries in Contoy, Isla Mujeres, Cancun and Playa del Carmen.

   Coral reefs are under threat worldwide from rising sea temperatures and coral bleaching, pollution, overfishing and boat collisions. As coral colonies weaken they also become prone to illnesses such as the stony coral tissue loss disease, which has spread from Florida through the Caribbean and appears to affect 20 species of coral, including pillar, and star brain corals. 

(Source: Centro Ecológico de Akumal, Gobierno de Mexico)

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San Luis Potosi guest state in Xcaret Festival of Life & Death 2019

Xcaret Park is gearing up for the 14th Festival of Life and Death from October 29 to November 3. This annual Riviera Maya event is a celebration of customs, rituals and beliefs associated with the Mexican Day of the Dead, a tradition that is on the World Heritage list in the intangible culture category.

   From seeing Day of the Dead altars laden with offerings to the departed to music, dance, art, theater, crafts and cuisine, the Festival of Life and Death is an amazing experience.

    Each year a Mexican state is invited to take part in the Festival and showcase its traditions, joining Mayan communities from Quintana Roo. This year, representatives of the state of San Luis Potosi will be reenacting the Xantolo, Day of the Dead customs from the highland region known as the Huasteca Potosina. They include processions, altars, art, textiles, cuisine, dances and songs known as huapangos. 

   Spain and Peru are also special guests at this year’s Festival in Xcaret.

   Tickets for the Festival are on sale online.

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Cancun flight news

In another sign of Cancun’s global appeal, Turkish Airlines has begun flights to Cancun and Mexico City.  Delta has also confirmed four flights a week from Washington DC for the winter season.