Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Beach Buzz: New Toll Road to El Golfo and a Retirement Survey...

-by La Huerita

Just a couple of items today, but they're goodies. First up: The good news is that the section of the new coastal highway from San Luis Rio Colorado to El Golfo de Santa Clara has been completed and was opened earlier this month. The bad news: It's a toll road, with an unusually high toll that has a lot of people's knickers in a serious twist.

The new two-lane road begins on the east side of San Luis Rio Colorado at Highway 2 and goes directly south to El Golfo, shaving half an hour off the trip when compared to the old free road that winds through farmland in the San Luis Valley. That road connects to the new Coastal Highway outside of El Golfo to continue south to Puerto Peñasco.

The state of Sonora paid for the construction of the new highway, then turned it over to a private enterprise to run. But the State set the toll, which is a whopping 94 pesos -- about US$7 -- one way. By comparison, the new four-lane highway between San Luis and Mexicali (in Baja), a much longer distance, is a mere 12.50 pesos one way. Merchants and residents in El Golfo want to know who in their right mind is going to pay that price to save half an hour? Nope, folks will take the old road, and many will therefore bypass El Golfo completely on their way to Rocky Point. That is not good for the tourism the new highway was supposed to bring to the town, and merchants are already hearing complaints about the toll price.

Residents and merchants in El Golfo are demanding that the State reduce the toll to a reasonable amount, or else. Or else what? Well, they intend to bring their issues to the newly elected mayor of San Luis Rio Colorado, in the hope he can do something to reduce the toll. If that doesn't work, they are prepared to perform some civil disobedience by blocking the road. Stay tuned...

Second: Take a survey and help CEDO at the same time. To better understand U.S. retirement trends in Mexico, the International Community Foundation (www.icfdn.org) is undertaking a survey of the American retiree communities in key Mexican coastal cities along Sonora, the Baja California peninsula, Riviera Nayarit/Puerto Vallarta and Rivera Maya. The goal of this research will be to better assess the consumer preferences and lifestyle choices of U.S. retirees now living in Mexico on issues related to cost of living, health care, public safety, environmental sustainability, as well as the degree of cultural integration and civic engagement in ones adopted Mexican community.

Through the research findings the ICF hopes to provide U.S. and Mexican policymakers with recommendations that will better enable Americans to comfortably retire in Mexico while at the same time assisting their adopted Mexican communities to adjust to the growing number of U.S. retirees that are likely to emigrate to Mexico in the coming years. They also hope to use this research to promote more active engagement of U.S. retirees with Mexico’s nonprofit sector through expanded volunteerism and philanthropy.

Please consider donating your time and information to this important study. For every survey you fill out $3.00 will be donated to CEDO (or your favorite Mexican charity). You can help by contributing your personal experiences in Puerto Penasco or other retirement destinations in Mexico to the online survey: US Retiree in Mexico Community Survey

And that's all the Buzz on the Beach for today.

Peace out...

About Beach Buzz: Not necessarily the news, this is a place for information, opinion, speculation, gossip, tips and other good stuff about Rocky Point, and Mexico in general. Have opinions to air, anecdotes to share, tips or tidbits to contribute? I'd like to hear from you!

Email me: La Huerita

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