Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Tours Offer a Zesty Taste of the Real Mexico

Still another route offers a 10-day sampling of the Maya culture, starting at the so-called "white city" of Merida on the Yucatan Peninsula. Besides stops at archaeological sites such as Chichen Itza and Tulum, the tour allows time to play at the resort areas of Cancun, the Riviera Maya and the island of Cozumel before a flight down to the country's southernmost state of Chiapas. Among showstoppers there is a river cruise through a Grand Canyon-like gorge, a visit to the shopping mecca of San Cristobal de las Casas and pyramid-climbing at the ruins of Palenque.

The other seven routes typically feature inland cities elsewhere in the country. Among their themes are "Wine country and the aquarium of the world," "The art of tequila and music under the sun" and "The magic of traditions and nature."

Collectively, the routes wind through some 90 cities around Mexico including a number of smaller towns designated as "magic cities" and UNESCO World Heritage sites.

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Cozumel Island Living Among Best In World

As a global authority on island destinations with more than half a milion readers, Island Magazine's recommendations are worth listening to.

So, the inclusion of Cozumel this month as one of their World's Best Islands to Live On, is worthy praise indeed.

In their latest edition, the glossy US-based publication described Cozumel as a "colorful Mexico blended with the Caribbean's laid-back attitude [...] a social island with patient, relaxed people."

Cozumel Islands Magazine
Cozumel commended.

They named Cozumel number 16 in their list of the top 20 islands to live on, number 1 was the Big Island in Hawaii.

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Developing nations see Cancun climate deal tough | Reuters

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Reaching a binding climate deal at the upcoming U.N. conference in Mexico will likely be difficult, delegates from a group of developing nations said on Monday, spurring further doubts about a global climate accord this year.

Environment ministers from Brazil, South Africa, India and China -- known as the BASIC group -- meeting in Rio de Janeiro said developed nations have not done enough to cut their own emissions or help poor countries reduce theirs.

Delays by the United States and Australia in implementing schemes to cut carbon emissions has added to gloomy sentiment about possible results from the Cancun meeting.

"If by the time we get to Cancun (U.S. senators) still have not completed the legislation then clearly we will get less than a legally binding outcome," said Buyelwa Sonjica, South Africa's Water and Environment Affairs minister.

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Monday, July 5, 2010

China to host climate talks before Mexico meeting

China will host an extra round of international negotiations in October aimed at fostering agreement over a new climate treaty, the United Nations' top environment official said in remarks published on Monday.

Achim Steiner, a U.N. Under-Secretary General who is director of the U.N. Environment Program, told the China Daily the extra round of negotiations would take place in the north Chinese port city of Tianjin, which is close to Beijing.

"China will introduce some new ideas and opportunities to move the negotiation forward," said Steiner, who has been visiting China.

Governments are hoping to strike agreement on a new binding climate change treaty after a summit in Copenhagen late last year ended with a weak and non-binding accord.

The newly added Tianjin talks will come in the build-up to the next major ministerial meeting in Cancun, Mexico, from Nov. 29-Dec. 10, when climate officials hope to agree on the key elements of a new treaty, if not the details.

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Baseball4Christ's first trip to Mexico becomes 'life-changing' experience

Brian Morgan assembled Baseball4Christ's first offering of its missionary work in their waning moments together as a week-long baseball team during a mission trip to Cancun, Mexico.

The goal of a final talk was to measure the internal impact of the trip from June 20-26 had on the 12 teenagers seated in front of him.

He'd soon find out that among a majority, their recent trip to Mexico had been "life-changing."

Included among the 19 on a mission trip to Cancun were a dozen players, split among each of Coweta County's three public high-schools. Outside of a few teammates, most knew each other, at best, as occasional opponents this spring on area diamonds.

The plan for the trip called for the group to spend their days in the surrounding Barrios, spreading their messages both of the Gospel and baseball through daily clinics where they could also distribute donated equipment that had been shipped from Georgia to be given to the Mexican children.

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Harris joining Valpo teammates for series in Mexico

Jay Harris is getting a jumpstart on his collegiate career.

The former Oswego East basketball standout has started classes this summer at Valparaiso University, where he signed a national letter of intent for a basketball scholarship after the high school season ended.
» Click to enlarge image
Former Oswego East star Jay Harris (left), now a freshman at Valparaiso University, will join his teammates when they head to Cancun, Mexico, in August for a series of games against international competition.
(Sun-Times Media File)

And next month, Harris will join coach Homer Drew's team when they head to Cancun, Mexico, for a series of games (Aug. 8-13) against international competition.

"It will give him a chance to adjust and a chance to play with his teammates before everything starts in the fall," Drew said.

"He has started summer school. He's here on campus so he will be coming with us."

Harris, a smooth-shooting 6-foot-1 guard who can play the 1 or 2 spot, was the lone recruit signed by Drew this offseason.

Because the trip has been sanctioned by the NCAA, Drew's team will be allowed to practice for 10 days prior to the trip.

"We're going to be able to get a jumpstart on the season," Drew told the Northwest Times of Indiana. "This will give us an early chance to evaluate our guys and this is the first time that we've ever gone international since I've been here."

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India to host 'dress rehearsal' for Mexico

India will host a two-day ministerial round on climate technology transfer and cooperation in November before the year's big UN meet on the subject in Mexico. The meeting of ministers is intended to thrash out a deal on how the rich countries can share clean technologies with the developing world.

The calendar for the year is packed with informal and formal international meetings on climate as a run up to the Cancun, Mexico, meeting where countries would try to at least come up with few partial pacts as a full package deal is not expected to come through before 2011. India's attempt to push for technology transfer and cooperation is in sync with its effort all through the last year in asking the global community to set up innovation centres that would help develop new technologies with the rights over it being held in a common pool as was done for agriculture in the CGIAR (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research) model.

Union environment and forests minister Jairam Ramesh made the offer to host the meeting at the Major Economies Forum meeting that concluded on Wednesday in Rome.

The meeting also saw a strong pitch by the minister to incorporate the principles of equity and carbon space sharing in the negotiations.

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New flights from Lansing to include Cancun, Jamaica, Las Vegas

Apple Vacations and Sun Country Airlines are teaming up to add flights at Capital Region International Airport.

Airport officials said today that Sun Country plans to start nonstop service from Lansing to Cancun, Mexico, in December. USA 3000 Airlines previously flew the route.

Sun Country also is adding flights from Lansing to Orlando and Ft. Myers, Fla.; Las Vegas; and Montego Bay, Jamaica. The airline plans to start the routes Dec. 22.

The Cancun and Montego Bay flights will be seasonal, operating through May 1, 2011. Sun Country initially will offer seasonal service to the Florida and Las Vegas destinations, but hopes demand will be strong enough to make those flights year-round.

Sun Country is offering introductory fares on the routes. They range from $89 one-way to Orlando to $199 one-way to Montego Bay. Apple Vacations will offer all-inclusive packages for Cancun and Montego Bay that include flights and lodging.

Apple Vacations had started seasonal service to Cancun last year using planes flown by USA 3000 Airlines. Sun Country is a Minneapolis-based leisure carrier.

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