Monday, September 24, 2007

Ivo Reduced to Tropical Storm Likely to Miss Loreto

The Presidente Municipal Rodolfo Davis Osuna, called to ask our assistance in helping him, along with Ex Director de Fonatur Loreto, Rafael Padilla, and other delegates deliver food and supplies to the fishing village of Tembabiche. This is a small town of approximately 50 families with little road access. The best way to get there is by water and it is 3 or 4 hours cruising from Puerto Escondido. Of course, we would be more than happy to oblige and donated REEL TROUBLE, our captain and gas to make the journey. They were accompanied by the Director of Education who was meeting the town’s people to see if they would put in a classroom.

The big news this week was Hurricane Ivo approaching the Baja from the south. It was a Category 1 and anything could happen as it was hundreds of miles off shore. I arrived home on Friday to find sandbags at my door. LBC is putting some type of road or courtyard in front of my home, and my first thought was “Good Lord, how much dust are they going to create that they need to stop it from seeping through my front door!” But after pondering the situation for a few moments, I realized it was probably in anticipation of Hurricane Ivo. Nevertheless, it was very thoughtful and much appreciated. Good news is that Ivo has been downgraded to a tropical storm and looks like it will lose momentum before it hits Loreto.

I visited my friends this morning and noticed large delicious peaches on their table. I actually picked one up and asked if it was plastic and where they got it? It had a sticker that said “Orchard Perfect, Produce of USA”. They went on to tell me that at the Saturday market there is an abundance of fresh fruit, more than ever before. There are potatoes from Idaho, applies from Washington State, grapes from Chile, and onions from Nevada. All the crates are well marked … How Bizarre! This goes to prove that after living in Loreto for some time, we are easily amused.

Many homeowners were in town this week and there were 8 final inspections of finished homes. Steve & Carol Morgan of FN482 were out celebrating with Mike & Sue of FN463 at Mita Gourmet. What is more appropriate than new neighbors under the Mexican Independence Flag? It was hot and humid but we all enjoyed Herzon on the guitar making us feel right at home as he played CCR, Bee Gees, Led Zeppelin and a variety of golden oldies. Now I am dating myself … but at least I am in great company.

Cal and Vicky Switzer of FN368 came up to the bar to see me. Sitting beside them were Jack and Arlene Randall of FN202 and both tables had just ordered margaritas and tapas when I came up to say hello. I introduced them to each other, and there were gales of laughter as they had emailed and were trying to find each other at the INN without much success. Here they were at Nellie’s Bar getting to know their neighbors! This is what I envisioned in the early days, and am happy that I can still be a part of building community.

September is the slowest month for tourism in Loreto, and many restaurants and shops are closed. Tom and Jan Alpers of FN400, Laurie Sanborn of FN122 and I met for dinner, and Juan Carlos the proprietor of Mita’s was teasing Tom about being with Charlie’s Angels. The roads are still under construction and be forewarned that it is a maze to get around town. Good news is that this is a great way to discover new streets and businesses that one would not normally travel. My suggestion is to park the car and stroll to your destination … taking the time to look in shop windows and say hello to the people you pass by.

We took Tom, Laurie, Charlie and Mike (brothers of FN332) out on a 3 hour tour, which turned out to be a 6 hour cruise of dolphins, manta rays, snorkeling to see giant squid, as well as the colorful angel fish and St. Pepper’s, among all the other species that live close to the rocks. The water was 85 degrees and crystal clear.

It seems each group we take has a brilliant new idea, and this day it was the Beer Catch to save having to walk around the side of the boat to get refreshment. I am enclosing photos of our day trip. One of the many questions that I get asked each week is concerning FM3s and I would like to give you some general information.

The advantage to obtaining an FM3 residency visa is that this gives you the legal right to be a resident in Mexico. You are allowed to bring in household goods and other items that you can leave here. You have twelve months from the date of your FM3 to ship used furniture and goods for your home, without paying the 10% tax. There is a new ruling that if you have residency for 5 years (which is proven by your FM3 status and evidence of domicile) you do not have the pay the 28% “capital gain” tax when you sell your principal residence in Mexico. This is a new rule and should be checked with your tax experts at the time of sale, but it would mean tremendous savings.

You can apply for an FM3 visa at your local Mexican Consulate Office, but please be aware that this is a different Authority that the Immigration Office and there are many rules subject to interpretation. It is sometimes easier and less time consuming to obtain an FM3 at the Consulate Office, but be sure that you fully understand that the local Immigration Office in Mexico is the authority over these documents. For example, the local office does not accept color photographs, however, most Consulate Offices will insist upon them. In addition, you must register your FM3 in Mexico within a specific period of time; otherwise there are “infractions” which could mean fines of $100 USD per month for late filing of supporting documentation.

To apply for a residential FM3 you will require the following:

1. Application form. This is obtained from the Immigration or Consulate Offices.
2. Six black and white photos (3 side view, 3 front)
3. Fully copy of your passport (every page)
4. Three months recent bank statements
5. Evidence of Domicile (Proof of Address)
6. Immigration and/or Consulate fee

BajaBOSS will assist with business FM3s as they are much more complex and many more supporting documents are required. However, the residential FM3s are not too difficult and we recommend that you can apply for them at the local Loreto Immigration Office which is located on the main street into Loreto between the University and Bridgestone Tire. The Immigration Officers speak good English and we find them very helpful. This is another incredible sunrise to start the First Day of the Rest of My Life.

Have a great week!

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