The 160-kilo grouper caught off Punta Lobo. The 160-kilo grouper caught off Punta Lobo.

As more flights begin to arrive Baja businesses hope for a rebound

Restaurants in Baja California Sur find it a challenge to fill the 30% of seats they are allowed

With restaurants and hotels once again open and around 28 flights arriving at the Los Cabos airport daily from elsewhere in Mexico and from the United States, businesses in Baja California Sur (BCS) are hopeful that the economy will soon rebound. 

Flight numbers are up from a dismal eight per day in April, the airport manager said June 22, noting that typically there used to be as many as 70 flights arriving every day.

But even though more tourists might begin arriving, businesses’ costs are up.

The cost of doing business during the pandemic and complying with health protocols can cost up to 20,000 pesos (US $890) a month for sanitary supplies and other adaptations to comply with virus protocols, the Mexican Employers Federation reports.  

Meanwhile, restaurants in BCS continue to struggle, says the state chapter of the national restaurant association Canirac, and those that remain open are having difficulty filling just 10% of their seats, much less the 30% capacity they are permitted.

At least 25 restaurants in the state have been permanently shuttered, BCS Noticias reports.

While things are looking down for the restaurant industry, the same cannot be said for alcohol retailers. Sales have quadrupled in the state, Canirac says.

In other coronavirus news, there was panic on the streets of Cabo San Lucas Thursday when a man who had been hospitalized with the virus escaped and attempted to board a city bus after learning he was to be put on a ventilator.

Family members of carpenter Waldo Ramírez Astudillo, originally from Guerrero, say he was first hospitalized on June 30 with respiratory symptoms.

As his condition worsened, medical staff informed him he would need the assistance of a ventilator and Ramírez, 56, panicked, ripping out his IV drip and threatening workers with his IV stand. 

He broke a window and managed to cross the highway where he reached a bus stop in front of a supermarket and collapsed, Metropolimx reports, frightening passersby. Five doctors wearing protective equipment ran out to assist him and the National Guard was called but Ramírez died at the scene.

As of July 2, BCS has seen 1,631confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 79 deaths. 

Mulegé fire

Around 10 hectares of palm groves in Mulegé were destroyed by fire on the afternoon of June 28, BCS Noticias reports. 

Firefighters battled the blaze for five hours as residents pitched in to help douse the flames, alerted to the situation by the dense cloud of smoke.  

Road trippin’

A brightly painted Mercedes bus converted into a camper arrived in Los Cabos this week, a pit stop on a journey a family is making from Patagonia, Argentina, to Alaska that began 15 years ago.

The Argentine travelers, center and the Bicho Latino.
The three Argentine travelers, center, and the Bicho Latino.

The “Bicho Latino” (Latin Bug), as the bus is affectionately called, has spent the last four years in Mexico and arrived in BCS via ferry in March where the family of three and their dog quarantined for the past three months. 

Matu, Shanti and the couple’s 11-year-old daughter, who was born during their travels, are in no hurry to reach their destination and say “the plan is to have no plan” as they enjoy their nomadic lifestyle. 

The family survives on selling t-shirts and a book they have written about their travels, as well as working the occasional odd job in communities where they stop. 

“I cannot imagine a better life to live, I cannot imagine stopping in a fixed place, I am not attracted to the idea,” Shanti told the newspaper El Debate earlier this year. 

Fish tales

Fishermen in Todos Santos had quite the surprise when they landed a monster, 160-kilo grouper this week. The men, led by legendary captain Luis Manuel Inzunza Salvatierra, were fishing the waters of Punta Lobo from a panga, or fiberglass skiff, when they pulled in the colossal catch, Metropolimex reports. 

And in La Ribera, another big fish caused quite a stir last weekend when drone footage of a two-meter-long shark swimming in shallow waters just off the beach went viral. 

Authorities say the presence of two large sharks in proximity to the shore was enough to close the beach out of concern for the safety of bathers. 

“We are going to be teaming up with Zofemat (Federal Terrestrial Maritime Zone), Civil Protection, Public Security and the private sector and are going to be monitoring the species now so that it does not endanger bathers,” explained delegate Juan Carlos Montaño as the beach reopened on Monday.

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