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2023 Annual Meeting Recap

The 2023 Vecinos Annual Meeting was held at La Buena Vida on February 23rd with 59 members present plus 7 members participating via video teleconference. All agenda items were approved by the membership.

Retirement and Admission of New Members. Meeting Chairperson Beryl Van Lierop read the list of new members for acceptance, and a rather lengthy list of “retired” members – those who may no longer own in Akumal, who have passed away, and who have not paid dues and are being removed from the roll.

Retiring President’s Message. Retiring President Dan Freeman provided a review of accomplishments over the past seven years, and reminded all that it takes a team to build a community.

Accomplishments include:

  • Agreements with the Tulum Municipality that grant Vecinos the representation for the entire community and allow the area to move forward as a private community - improvement of roads, lighting, and sewer service, etc.
  • Security, including the Pluma (gate). The Security Committee facilitates operations between the Pluma, municipality, private guard services, and the Guardia Nacional
  • Streetlights. Some need to be replaced, and a maintenance program is being discussed
  • Rebuilding of the Security Caseta at the pluma
  • Negotiation with Xcaret for building of a parking lot to alleviate van parking on the street at the Yal-Ku Lagoon
  • Initiation of new operating systems and technology – new website, accounting method/software, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system

Dan assured that he will be working closely with incoming President Ricardo Mangione when asked. He indicated he would like to serve as chair of a Park Committee, focused on cleanup, marking of pathways, and signage for trees.

Security Report. Committee Member Peter Swenson reported the following accomplishments for 2022:

  • Secured the community via the pluma and a guard force integrated with the Guardia Nacional. This resulted in a significantly reduced crime rate
  • Regulation of traffic flow into the community: More than 20,000 vehicles are entering through the pluma each year.
  • Replaced the topes (speed bumps) at the pluma (thank you to Lou Vitale for funding this project)

Peter encouraged all to make use of the color-coded tags (red = guests / renters, yellow = employees, blue = residents). These are available at the pluma.

In 2023, security goals will focus on:

  • Strong crime deterrence
  • Ability to respond to all emergencies
  • Improvement of camera resolution
  • Maintenance of a stable and high-quality private guard force
  • Establishment of radio communications and installation of repeaters
  • Improvement in public awareness

Government Report. Committee Chair Ingrid Datica explained that the goal of Vecinos is to establish formal contact with the Tulum authorities. The first agreement was signed in 2014, establishing an ongoing relationship to make improvements in services and security. The Government Committee is working toward a model of self-management, similar to a condo association.

So far, there has been a diagnosis of the community’s situation including urban, environmental and public services, and inventory of property to file with the Catastro to assure that all are accurately designated.

Next steps are:

  • Creation of an action plan and work plan (in progress)
  • Fundraising. The Government Project currently has a completed diagnostic report with recommendations from consultant Ivan Hernandez. To continue the project, an estimated $360,000 is needed, without which the project cannot move forward, Ingrid explained. To donate to the Government Project, please visit the Vecinos website:

The highest priorities are:

  • Update catastro and get a new agreement signed with the Tulum Municipality
  • Security – integrate with the Guardia Nacional and other agents
  • Sewer System: This has been a priority for 17 years. Ingrid reminded everyone that our effluent currently moves through the mangrove or out to Half Moon Bay. She implored everyone to assure proper handling of sewage at their properties to protect the environment. She suggested development of wastewater gardens, reviving wetlands, or providing some kind of on-site wastewater treatment.
  • Solid and Hazardous Waste: The Committee is creating a team to design a comprehensive solid waste (trash) disposal program in conjunction with the Centro Ecological de Akumal (CEA - you would like to get involved with this project, please reach out:

For more information on the purpose of Vecinos anthe goals of the Government Committee, please go to the Vecinos website, here:

Budget for FY 2023Newly appointed Treasurer Neil Canter acknowledged the 11 years of service on the Board by outgoing Treasurer Tandy Muir-Warden, and reviewed the budget for 2023. See separate article.

New PresidentRicardo Mangione, the new President, introduced himself to the membership and presented his priorities for the year (Agenda Item X). He was welcomed by the membership and his priorities were accepted unanimously.

2024 Annual Meeting

The date was tentatively set for Thursday, February 22, 2024 at 10 a.m.

Thank you to:

  • Jamie Cost for use of La Buena Vida (and great free coffee)
  • Jon Kantor, Zoom host
  • Ricardo Mangione and Neil Canter for being persuaded to volunteer
  • Alex Malison for technical assistance
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