Highway 19, the road from Todos Santos to Highway 1 which goes on to La Paz, has been under construction for years now. The improvements are much needed and appreciated. In the past, many people have died on that highway. It was a narrow two lane road with no shoulders and no bridges. Cows and other livestock frequently wandered on to the tarmac. Rain in the mountains could fill an arroyo quickly and maybe even wash out the road.
There are now at least 3 bridges completed and 3 more under construction. The highway is 4 lanes with varying width shoulders all the way from La Paz to within 10 miles of Todos Santos. The last sections are being upgraded now and the entire trip should be 4 lanes before much longer. It’s hard work. They are blasting and digging through hills in order to make the road safer. The newest parts are a pleasure to drive on, smooth, well marked and even being fenced so that livestock can’t enter the highway area. What a change from even 5 years ago!
Old Highway 19 Near Entrance to Todos Santos Baja
Current Highway 19 Construction Zone, Lots of Dust
Beautiful New Section of 4 Lane Highway 19 to La Paz
I read in a new southern Baja publication (called Baja Citizen) that there was a confirmed case of swine flu in San Jose del Cabo on May 14. The woman was treated and recovered without incident. I have no way to confirm this information and to the best of my knowledge there has still be no swine flu in Todos Santos.
One of the local carnitas stands put up a poster explaining to people that you can’t catch swine flu by eating pork. Guess their business was down since the outbreak.
The Red Cross recently put posters on many telephone poles explaining what to do to avoid catching the flu (you know the routine, avoid large groups of people, wash your hands, etc.) and what to do if you think you did catch it. Don’t self medicate was the one bit of advice that caught my eye.
We are getting more tourists in town now. Not nearly enough but much better than 2 weeks ago. Cruise ships are docking in Cabo San Lucas again but my friends at the Hotel California inform me that they are not coming for day trips to Todos Santos as they frequently did before the flu scare. Businesses are still struggling. It could be hard for some to survive until next tourist season begins. Already there are a lot of empty office and shop locations in the center of town with more vacancies expected soon. Todos Santos might look a lot different next time you come to visit.
There has been a rumor running around Todos Santos for the last 2 days that there is a confirmed case of swine flu in Los Cabos. I can’t find any verification from Mexican national or international news sources.
I can say that there has been no notification of any flu here in Todos Santos.
The tourist season has been severely damaged. It was already in terrible shape due to the world wide “economic” crisis. Mexico is beginning to feel the full bite of the crisis and the flu scare has just about killed tourism for this season. We will have to wait and see how the upcoming season is affected but I think it will also be adversely impacted.
My friends in the construction business are all suffering too. One contractor who is always in demand, normally with a one year waiting list for his services, has nothing in the pipeline after his current project ends. Two other contractor friends of mine are in the same position. It’s a great time to build, with the weak peso and so many available builders to choose from.
The real estate business has felt the pain too, and many houses and lots have been marked down meaningful amounts. Now is a great time to buy if you have the cash.
Todos Santos is very empty, almost like late summer, but in spring. Such a shame. As they say here, “ni modo.”
This is great news! Erick is loved by nearly everyone and finally the Palapa Society has a Mexican president. Erick and the society did a great job on this year’s Dia del Tambo, trashcan painting day. I’ll post photos soon, really. I now have more time to devote to the blog so I will get more stuff uploaded for you all to enjoy, including the almost finished saga of building my new home in Las Tunas.
Erick Ochoa, President Palapa Society of Todos Santos
And here is a statement from Erick:
I would like to thank the Board of Directors of the Palapa Society of Todos Santos for their trust in electing me as their President. I look forward to an amazing new year and to the growth of our existing programs and to the creation of new ones. To coincide with our growth it is imperative that we enlist new committed members to the board as well as volunteers to help us reach our goals. The future of Todos Santos is in the hands of its children. It is my commitment to the Palapa Society to do everything possible to help educate and enlighten the future leaders of our town. We can not vary that course. All of us at the Palapa Society of Todos Santos invite you to come and see for yourselves how you can help make a difference in the lives of our children, because that is what it’s all about.
I just finished posting the May 2009 edition of El Calendario de Todos Santos on the web. The print issue has been delayed due to the business shutdown in Mexico City, where they are printed. We hope to have them on May 11. You can find the issue by clicking on the cover image below.
El Calendario de Todos Santos May 2009 Cover
I learned yesterday, that the May 9 wedding I referred to in a previous post has indeed been postponed but hopefully not canceled. Things were somewhat slow in Todos Santos before the flu scare. With cruise ships not stopping in Cabo San Lucas and event cancellations like the wedding and poetry workshop, we are definitely feeling the pinch. Let’s all hope the effects don’t linger for a long time.
For those of you still curious or worried about the “flu” situation in Todos Santos, we have no incidents at all (to the best of my knowledge.) Except for the holiday weekend, it is business as usual in Todos Santos. Galleries, hotels, vacations rentals and restaurants welcome your visit.