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«LA CONEXIÓN MEXICANA Winter 2011 Volume XXVII Number 4 In this issue: Message from President Cynthia Ponder.......... 2 Wagonmaster 2012 ...»

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Escapees Chapter 8 RV Club



Winter 2011 Volume XXVII Number 4

In this issue:

Message from President Cynthia Ponder............ 2

Wagonmaster 2012 Report................... 3

Message from Susie and Denny Orr............... 5

Officers & Appointed Officers................ 5 From the 2012 Charity Co-Chairs, Lin & Maryke Hines..... 6 How do we apply for Mexican insurance............ 7 Habla Español........................ 8 From Nomination Committee Chairman, Ed Biller........ 9 Update on Arlo Thomas.................... 11 Earl Reese......................... 11 Rally Checklist....................... 12 Coming Back Into the United States............. 13 Mexican Border Notice to Returning Travelers Agriculture Quarantine Information........... 14

Newsletter editor:

Jan Biller chapter8.newsletter@yahoo.com MENSAJE de los PRESIDENTE Message from President Cynthia Ponder Happy New Year!

We have a great year to look forward to in 2012 and beyond. Dannie Dolan with help from his wife Beverly and his brother Randy are planning a great rally in Puerto Peñasco for us in February. With good food and many wonderful things to do - we will have a hard time staying free on our “free” days.

Lin and Maryke Hines have agreed to be Chairpersons for The Mexican Connection Charity Committee for

2012. They will be including an article telling you in more detail what they have planned; but come with a generous heart and open pocket. We will hold at least one auction either live or silent or both. Bring an item(s) you would like to donate to the auction so we can raise money for charity. Then of course we need you to buy the things you would like as well. There are usually some bidding wars that take place.

Jim and I will bring an excellent bottle of Oregon wine. I am still arm twisting for him to downsize the CD collection; if he doesn’t contribute that he will come up with something else.

We always save a part of our money from what we put on the registration sheet for charity to participate in these auctions. This way we can fight with friends over “treasured items”. We sold one man his own hat back for $50.00. Well, he was the Auctioneer and it was his wife who put it up for bid. After all “It’s for the children”, our auction motto.

I am sure when you have a chance to hear about the many opportunities to help and the needs we find when we travel you will want to have fun and participate in the auction and some of you with the charity committee itself.

I have included a quick answer to a question I received last week from one of our rally attendees about Mexican Insurance. Please take time to review it. (See article on page ) There is never one right company or plan for everyone. We all drive different types of RV’s and cars. They are different ages and sizes. All of this needs to be factored into your choice.

One last thing to share with you before you move on into the new year. We will be having a potluck in Quartzsite in January. The location will be posted on The Mexican Connection website and the Yahoo Forum. Directions for getting to both of these will be given in a different place in this newsletter. Some of the information may already be there. You and all your friends, relatives and strangers you meet are welcome to attend. Just bring a dish to SHARE. This means enough for yourselves and 3 others. Please bring your own plates and utensils. The chapter will provide the drinks unless you wish to bring your own bottle. Any and all updates to this information will be at the sites listed above with exact dates and time.

Jim and I are looking forward to meeting all of you at the rally, Quartzsite, or further down the road.

Safe Travels and Adios, Cynthia Ponder, President

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Good Day to all the travelers that are going to Puerto Peñasco with the Mexican Connection for the 2012 rally.

Remember to arrive at Organ Pipe National Park for registration on Feb. 7, 2012 between 12 - 4:00 pm.

Meetings will be at 4:30 pm that day. We will leave for Puerto Peñasco on Feb. 10 in our groups.

We have been in Puerto Peñasco working on getting the best deals for the trips that you indicated you would be interested to go on. I think we have come up with some great trips and some good prices for these events.

The El Pinacate tours are set with the price of $27.00 per person for an all day trip to the Volcanic Maars field. 25 people will be able to go on each trip. You will need to bring your own lunch, snacks and drinks for the day. They will not be provided.

The Sunset Cruise is $21.00 per person on a pirate ship which includes snacks, margaritas, beer, and soft drinks. This will be a 2½ hour cruise around the harbor, transportation is included.

Fishing trips will be $50.00 per person for a 6-hour trip which will include chips, salsa, water, and soda.

Fishing poles are included and they will cut up the fish you catch as you request. They will have XX beer for $2.00 each, meat burritos for $2.00 each, or you can take your own snacks.

Bird Island will be $50.00 per person for an 8-hour trip. Travel time is 2½ hours each way and 3 hours on Bird Island. On the boat they will have two kayaks and snorkeling gear available. They will furnish water, soda, chips, salsa, beef burritos, margaritas and beer. You will be able to see dolphins, sea lions, and some exotic birds.

Both boat trips will be on 54-ft boats with two bathrooms and two cabins plus a seating area for 20 people going to Bird Island, or 10 people going fishing. We can arrange as many trips as needed to let everyone go that wants to sign up. All trips are cash trips so bring enough money to to pay for the trip(s) you choose in cash to Puerto Peñasco.

We will need at least 8 people for the fishing trip and 20 people per boat for the Bird Island trips to make them happen.

We will be breaking into groups of 25 people for the city tour, so the guides will be able to explain things as you travel around town to see the sights. Check the sign-up sheets at the rally and decide which day you would like to go on and sign up. If you miss a trip you will only be able to go on another day if they have room. There is no refund on city tours.

The Playa de Oro RV Park will have a Margarita party for us on the day we arrive and a fish taco party on the 11th of Feb. to say thank you for coming to their park.

Remember to get your papers for your animals from the vet before you leave the US.

NO weapons or ammunition are allowed in Mexico.

I know that we’re going to have a great time, because we have a beautiful camping place to enjoy some of the best views of the ocean. Below is a list of services that you may want done while in Puerto Peñasco.

 If you need body repair work on your RV, they have people who can repair body damage or painting of your RV.

 There is a person who can air brush murals on your vehicle at a very good price.

 You can get your car, truck, or RV washed and waxed for a very good price.

 You can have upholstery work done.

Itinerary in Puerto Peñasco:

On some days there will be two different choices so decide which days work for you.

Feb 10 arrive in Puerto Peñasco 3:30 pm Margarita party at the RV park Feb 11 1:00 pm Taco Party at the RV park 4:30 pm Sunset Cruise

–  –  –

Feb 17 9:00 El Pinacate Volcanic field trip 9:00 am Bird Island Feb 18 Open day for shopping Feb 19 Open day for shopping 5:00 pm Catered Dinner Feb 20 Rally over If you have questions about times and schedules please contact Dannie Dolan Dolanwagonmaster2012@yahoo.com Funcionarios de Capitulo 8 *Chapter 8 Elected Officers*

–  –  –

From the 2012 Charity Co-Chairs—Lin and Maryke Hines--SKP #70910 Hola! We’re really looking forward to the Puerto Peñasco Rally and meeting all of the participants after our two year hiatus in visiting Mexico! We have been involved with Chapter 8’s Charity program on most of the eight Rallies we have been on since 2002. We were the Wagonmasters for the 2008 Baja Rally to Mulege, BCS and President in 2009 (Guaymas.) We know Charity is a very important part of Chapter 8 from many heartwarming experiences and we’re proud that our chapter has left lasting positive images of RVers, Escapees and Americans by our generosity everywhere we have been. We thank Chapter 8 President Cynthia Ponder for selecting us to lead the Charity Committee!

Danny, our Wagonmaster has made a number of charitable organization contacts in Puerto Peñasco and our Charity Committee will personally visit to be sure that we distribute the goods that we all bring to the Rally as well as Chapter funds allocated and $ donated by you for charity to worthy organizations that have a proven record of responsible stewardship, efficiency and honesty. The type of organizations we have helped in the past include orphanages, schools, hospitals and clinics, homes for the elderly, soup kitchens, libraries, food & clothing banks, disabled persons homes and more. We would ask you to be generous in helping the less fortunate people in Puerto Peñasco.

As you all know, Mexico’s tourism industry has sharply declined in the last 2-3 years and many people, especially in the hospitality industry, have been laid off and need any help they can get.

Here is a partial list of the material things you can bring with you in your RV:

(Please put any clothing and other charity items you bring into an old duffel bag to avoid questions at the border.) Clothing--all sizes/types for babies to teens—T-shirts, athletic garb, sweaters, jackets etc--new or gently used !

Sporting goods of all kinds—baseball/basketball/soccer balls and equipment of all kinds Toys for kids—all ages—new or gently used--$1 stores have sets of tiny cars, boats, trucks and much more New toothbrushes and toothpaste—ask your DDS or hygienist for a bagful of sample toothpaste and brushes Toiletries—hand lotion, shampoo, deodorant, soap, combs, brushes, TP--$1 stores have all of these items and more Coloring books, crayons, colored pencil sets, #2 pencils (sharpened), notepads, erasers, rulers, any school supplies!

Educational toys—any kind or level in good condition Nature activities are big in PP—desert plant/flower guidebooks, bird books, fish/marine mammals—-good used OK!

Maps—AAA maps of United States, Mexico, Baja CA, AZ/NM, CA Western States maps--great for schools & libraries Picture books for young kids in English (Spanish too if you find) are useful—a few of the schools here are bilingual For the disabled-- good used wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, canes or any portable medical equipment/supplies Cleaning supplies—bleach, Pinesol, dish soap, laundry detergent, window etc cleaners, large trash bags Computers--primarily laptops with usable software & clean hard disk/printers/usable digital cameras/memory cards Dry foods (not fresh)—cooking oil, jam, canned tomatoes/fruits/chicken/tuna, cookies, pancake mix, rice, ketchup.

Misc.—AA & D batteries (Harbor Freight--24 AA alkaline for $3.99 on sale), engine oil, transmission fluid, eyeglasses $ are always useful—we can convert to pesos easily. We can pay a home for the elderly’s electric bill or buy groceries or some other necessity. We do not give to individuals, only valid institutions!

We will have a Charity Auction at some point in the Rally so bring one nice RV-type item that your fellow participants will want to bid on and raise more charity money—please no junk! Small portable items like Krugerands or other gold/silver coins, DVDs, CD collections, wine are popular! We’ve had auctions raise well over $1000 for charity! For example, we own a brand new RV patio mat that we can’t permanently store in our new Sprinter-based RV that will be in the auction—--did I hear $50, $75-—-going once--sold!!! Bring some good stuff and help us help some folks! And if you have any auctioneering experience, please email us ASAP!!

The official Charity Committee consists of 5 people but we will post times of our visits to various insy activities and a few interested people are welcome to join us and see for yourself the realities of the good works we all can do in Puerto Peñasco!

If you have any questions, email us at linhines@earthlink.net Because of prior commitments, we can’t leave our Olympia, WA home base until 1/26/2012 so we’ll see you all in Organ Pipe NM, one of our favorite places!

How do we apply for Mexican Ins? Do we receive a policy that is acceptable to the Mexican authorities at the border crossing?

Dear Mexican Connection Members, The first thing Jim and I strongly suggest is getting at least two quotes and understanding the types of insurance offered in Mexico. Always check your current insurance policy to see if it includes any coverage.

After that most companies can issue your policy to you by e-mail or snail mail after receiving your payment. We usually are able to pay by PayPal or other electronic means. We have occasionally sent a check. I am sure ProAlliance will have some similar type of program.

We always used Point South as our resource for "second opinions" as they do such a good job in education. Then we know the questions to check when price shopping in other places. Now we just call them up and say e-mail us a policy and they do it within the hour after they receive payment. But, they will not be the choice for everyone, so do check with at least 2-3 companies when pricing and comparing your coverage for insurance.

The prices for a few weeks vs. 6 months in Mexico are often similar. If you think there is any possibility that you to might become enamored with warm weather and great people, that you might want to stay a few days or weeks longer or travel to another location consider this option.

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