Opinion: Our Puerto Penasco community is running into discouraging troubles

We love Las Conchas but investment by more Americans is threatened


We love living in Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point). It is our home. We are committed to making this already wonderful place an even better destination for visitors, new residents and businesses.

The residents of our community, Las Conchas, are all-in when it comes to Puerto Penasco and encouraging other Americans, especially Arizonans, to move and invest here.

We are enthusiastic cheerleaders, including on social media, for the beautiful beaches and life on the Sea of Cortez. It gives us no greater pleasure than to promote our community and its ties with Arizona.

But our Las Conchas community has been having some unfortunate difficulties with the city government of Puerto Penasco including Mayor Kiko Munro. Las Conchas is the largest HOA in the area.

We are worried our situation will discourage others from investing, moving or visiting here. This is unfortunate considering this a time when the city and mayor presumably want to attract more economic development and tourism including making the city a homeport for international cruise ships.

Our troubles include harassment and intimidation by local government officials as well as demolition of our security gate and entrance last year by municipal authorities. The gate has been there for 30 years and is important to our community’s security.

Our residents’ property rights are being jeopardized, if not trampled, by the city.

Why the intimidation and adverse actions against residents who love and want to promote Puerto Penasco to others?

We are having a hard time figuring this out, which is why we have been forced to press our cases in the Mexican courts.

Our community has alerted the city to illegal construction projects happening within the Las Conchas area. Unfortunately, the city has granted some permits that go against our HOA’s construction rules after reportedly receiving $5,000 “donations” from other builders with designs on the area.

A large, beachfront construction project runs afoul of Mexico’s strong laws protecting beaches and related to sea wall construction. A female employee at our HOA who was checking on the property was harassed and threatened by workers at the construction site.

These are just a couple of the difficulties our community has been facing the past few years. We are hoping for better relationships in 2020.

The Las Conchas community includes 2,000 residents and 700 homes. Our residents could have lived in a lot of different places. We chose Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point) for a reason. The community, the climate, the beaches and culture --- the way of life --- all called to us. It suits us.

Recent headlines about Rocky Point have focused on killings and mass graves. That is not the community we know.

We very much want to be good neighbors and good partners with the city and state governments here in Puerto Penasco. We just want our relationships to be a positive and productive two-way street.

We want to work with Mayor Munro, the City Council and state of Sonora to make our community and our city an attractive destination. This is especially important considering other less positive images of Mexico for those considering investing, living or visiting here.

We want our relationship with the city to show the best of our wonderful community and help encourage more investments here --- and not serve as a warning sign for others looking to move or invest in Puerto Penasco and Mexico.

Editor’s Note: Phil Naylor, Bart Stockton, Kay Warren, Jim Curcio and Ginger Beauchamp serve on the executive board of the Asociacion de Vecinos de Las Conchas. Ms. Beauchamp is also a Scottsdale resident. The authors can be reached at lasconchashoarp@gmail.com.