Land Reclaimed From The Sea

By JOHN M. DERBY
TIMES PUBLISHER
January 5, 2017

Despite what some people think and say, Mexican land can only be owned by Mexicans.
So it is with that in mind, that we as Americans can only use the land which we live on while in Mexico.
Those who think they own Mexican land actually have a “Bank Trust” which means the bank owns the property and keeps it in trust for the foreigner for a fee.
Does this bother us? Actually, when we think about it, we only use the land we live on in America, as when we leave at the end of our lives, we surely don’t take it with us.
However, in Posada Conception, the little beach community in Baja California where we spend our winters, there is a different status for the land. It is legally called “Land Reclaimed From The Sea,” and as such, is owned by the government and can not even be purchased by Mexicans.
The government allows Mexicans to apply for a concession to manage the "Land Reclaimed From The Sea," and they can manage the land so long as they pay a concession fee and meet the government’s rules and regulations.
Those rules include not building within 100 feet of the highest high tide. This rule was passed in 1988, and since our beach community was in existence prior to that time, many houses are closer to the Sea of Cortez than 100 feet. Some are actually within 25 to 30 feet from the high tide line.
This means there is continual a battle between the sea and the land dwellers. Land dwellers eventually lose as the tides break their limits and crash up against the rock and concrete walls built to protect the houses.
During the summer, the rainy season, the water comes down from the mountains and turns our roads into turrants, sweeping the sand on the roads out to sea.
This is a regular seasonal event and so one of the first things which needs to be done when Snow Birds like ourselves return to Mexico, is to replace the sand on the roads.
For years this has been done every fall, mostly by day laborers with a shovel and wheel borrow; however, in more recent years, the owners have purchased a backhoe and dump truck to make this task easier.
When the tide is at its lowest, the backhoe and dump truck drive out on the beach and scoop up loads of wet sand and dump it in the middle of the road. It takes a day or two for the water to drain out of the sand making it dry enough to spread.
Then one dump truck after another returns until the streets are all level again. The process takes about a month or so, depending on the tides and the number of times the dump truck gets stuck on the beach.
Each time the dump truck gets stuck, the community comes out to watch the process of getting the dump truck unstuck. Other vehicles are lined up with tow ropes and eventually the dump truck is moved on to solid sand.
This year it took the crew longer because they had to unload the sand from the drump truck even before it could be moved to dryer land.
Little things like this keep the Snow Birds amused as they relish the warm Mexican weather, watching the "Land Being Reclaimed From The Sea" once again.


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