The news is that basically 8 years into this struggle, the struggle goes on.
Haven’t sent a beach update in a long time; maybe you’re wondering what’s going on. After more than 8 years, we’re still fighting for the beach and the surrounding properties that were taken illegally. Sometimes it’s 2 steps forward and 1 step back.
|The beach scene - before the takeover|
Last year the lawyer who’s been helping us for the last few years, was able to secure a permit so people could legally be on the beach renting umbrellas (for shade) with tables and chairs, and also selling food, beach toys, coconuts, etc. Food can’t be cooked there, but thanks to cell phones, people can sit in the shade, order their food from one of several restaurants on the road to the beach and have it delivered to their table. Other vendors walk around selling fruit (hollowed out pineapples with lots of cut up fruit inside), flan (Mexican custard), drinks, etc.
It’s been a blessing for the town as most of the money made by the people working on the beach stays in town. Plus, the more amenities and services locals can provide, the more visitors come. Many spend a few days, eat in town, buy supplies at the grocery stores and generally help the town economy. It certainly isn’t the same as when there were 20 restaurants and stores on the beach, but it’s better than it’s been for the last 8 years.
The big problem is there are no bathrooms. The county was supposed to build them last year, but they didn’t start until the spring, and squandered much of the money through inefficiency and poor administration. Elections were held in July and a new party won control of the county. Unfortunately the old administration left the county in debt, so at the moment there are no funds available.
Last year we rented porta-potties, but they were very expensive and had to be emptied daily. The nearest place is in Manzanillo which is a couple of hours away. We had to cover them with palm fronds, but even so, sitting in the sun all day with not much ventilation, they started to smell. Not pleasant.
We can’t legally build any permanent buildings but we can make some portable ones that will be on a trailer with a tank underneath. The tank will be emptied in a designated site not too far away. We’d like to have 2 sets, to place in different parts of the beach – each would have 2 women’s bathrooms and one for men.
There have been many expenses dealing with the ongoing lawsuits. The people renting the umbrellas and selling food on the beach have had major expenses getting their permits as a surveyor had to come to measure and provide exact coordinates for each permit. It won’t cost so much when it comes time to renew (the permits are good for 3 months).
Tourist season is about to begin, and without bathrooms on the beach, many of the tour buses and families won’t come. We’re estimating that each set will cost about $3,500 (for the bathrooms, the trailer and the holding tank). The Tena Fund has generously offered to donate $2,500 which I was told is the balance of the money in the fund.
Last year a new group was started here in town called La Junta Vecinal (The Neighborhood Council). It’s composed of people who lost their businesses on the beach, members of the fishing cooperative and anyone who lives in El Rebalsito (the town closest to the beach, where I live) or who owns land here. There are over 140 members. I’m the treasurer and I’ve offered to help fundraise (along with others).
So, anyone who would like to contribute towards having bathrooms on Tenacatita beach – all donations are accepted! Donations can be made via Pay Pal, to Dobie Dolphin, or checks may be sent to:
Savings Bank of Mendocino, P.O. Box 687, Mendocino, Ca. 95460
Checks can be made out to Dobie Dolphin. On the back of the check write For Deposit Only, acct# 3274
Please let me know if you send a check so I can keep track of who sent what as the bank statement just shows deposits, but doesn’t say who they’re from.
All contributions will be acknowledged and an accounting will be provided of how the money is spent.
I realize there are many needs and more so now with the fires in California. Anything that can be spared will be greatly appreciated.
Peace, health and happiness to all.