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The Islas Marías ("Mary Islands") are an archipelago of four islands that belong to Mexico. They are located in the Pacific Ocean, some 100 km (62 mi) off the coast of the state of Nayarit and about 230 miles (370 km) southeast of the tip of Baja California.[1][2] They are part of the municipality (municipio) of San Blas, Nayarit. As of 2011, the islands are still being used as a penal colony, containing the Islas Marías Federal Prison.

Islas Marías
Islas Marias Nayarit.png
Geography
LocationPacific Ocean
Coordinates21°31′N 106°29′W / 21.517°N 106.483°W / 21.517; -106.483Coordinates: 21°31′N 106°29′W / 21.517°N 106.483°W / 21.517; -106.483
ArchipelagoIslas Marías
Total islands9
Major islandsMaría Madre, María Magdalena, María Cleofas & San Juanito
Area244.970 km2 (94.583 sq mi)
Highest elevation616 m (2,021 ft)
Highest pointPunta Rocallosa
Administration
Mexico
StateNayarit
MunicipalitySan Blas, Nayarit
Largest settlementPuerto Balleto (pop. 602)
Demographics
Population1,116 (2005)
Pop. density7.68 /km2 (19.89 /sq mi)

The first European to discover the islands was Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, a cousin of Hernan Cortez in 1532, who gave them the name Islas Magdalenas. He found no evidence of prior habitation by the Native Americans.

In 2010 the archipelago was designated the Islas Marías Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO[3][4]

Contents

GeographyEdit

The islands have an aggregate area of 244.970 km². 1,116 people lived on Isla María Madre as of the census of 2005 along with around 8000 prisoners.[5] The other islands are uninhabited. The main settlement is Puerto Balleto, with a population of 602.

Isla María Madre is the largest of the islands, with a surface area of 145.282 km². It houses the Islas Marías Federal Prison which was established there in 1905. The next two largest islands are Isla María Magdalena (70.440 km²) and, further south, Isla María Cleofas (19.818 km²). They were named after three women called Mary in the Biblical New Testament: respectively, Mary, the mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and Mary, the wife of Cleopas, and are referred to as the Tres Marias. A smaller island, Isla San Juanito, with an area of 9.105 km² lies off the north coast of Isla María Madre.[6]

The islands are listed from north to south in the following table:

Island or Rock Area
km²
Height
m
Location
San Juanito 9.105 . 21°44′48″N 106°40′41″W / 21.74667°N 106.67806°W / 21.74667; -106.67806 (San Juanito)
Piedra El Morro 0.060 . 21°44′17″N 106°42′11″W / 21.73806°N 106.70306°W / 21.73806; -106.70306 (Piedra El Morro)
María Madre 145.282 616 21°36′57″N 106°34′42″W / 21.61583°N 106.57833°W / 21.61583; -106.57833 (María Madre)
Isla Don Boni 0.025 . 21°32′30″N 106°32′00″W / 21.54167°N 106.53333°W / 21.54167; -106.53333 (Isla Don Boni)
María Magdalena 70.440 457 21°27′44″N 106°25′48″W / 21.46222°N 106.43000°W / 21.46222; -106.43000 (María Magdalena)
María Cleofas 19.818 402 21°18′44″N 106°14′51″W / 21.31222°N 106.24750°W / 21.31222; -106.24750 (María Cleofas)
Piedra Blanca 0.172 . 21°19′01″N 106°17′09″W / 21.31694°N 106.28583°W / 21.31694; -106.28583 (Piedra Blanca)
Roca Blanca 0.034 . 21°17′44″N 106°16′07″W / 21.29556°N 106.26861°W / 21.29556; -106.26861 (Roca Blanca)
Unnamed Rock 0.034 . 21°17′52″N 106°16′35″W / 21.29778°N 106.27639°W / 21.29778; -106.27639 (Unnamed Rock)
Islas Marías 244.970 616 21°32′N 106°28′W / 21.533°N 106.467°W / 21.533; -106.467 (Islas Marías)

GeologyEdit

Research supports the hypothesis that the Islas Marias are fragments of continental crust left over from the separation of the Baja California Peninsula from the mainland of Mexico. Rocks found on the islands correspond with rocks found around Cabo San Lucas as well as Puerto Vallarta.[7]

Populated placesEdit

All populated places of the Islas Marías are on Isla María Madre. They are listed from north to south in the following table:

 
Populated Place Population (Census 2005) Location
Punta el Morro - 21°41′45″N 106°39′19″W / 21.69583°N 106.65528°W / 21.69583; -106.65528 (Punta el Morro)
Venustiano Carranza (Serradero, Aserradero) - 21°40′45″N 106°36′45″W / 21.67917°N 106.61250°W / 21.67917; -106.61250 (Venustiano Carranza)
Campamento Cica (Bugambilias) 190 21°40′15″N 106°37′45″W / 21.67083°N 106.62917°W / 21.67083; -106.62917 (Campamento Cica)
Campamento Nayarit 51 21°39′00″N 106°32′20″W / 21.65000°N 106.53889°W / 21.65000; -106.53889 (Campamento Nayarit)
Campamento Rehilete 71 21°38′44″N 106°32′29″W / 21.64556°N 106.54139°W / 21.64556; -106.54139 (Campamento Rehilete)
Puerto Balleto (Isla María Madre) 602 21°37′58″N 106°32′21″W / 21.63278°N 106.53917°W / 21.63278; -106.53917 (Puerto Balleto)
Zacatal - 21°37′44″N 106°35′26″W / 21.62889°N 106.59056°W / 21.62889; -106.59056 (Zacatal)
Camarón - 21°37′26″N 106°37′55″W / 21.62389°N 106.63194°W / 21.62389; -106.63194 (Camarón)
Campamento Hospital (Veinte de Noviembre) 53 21°37′34″N 106°31′55″W / 21.62611°N 106.53194°W / 21.62611; -106.53194 (Campamento Hospital)
Las Antenas 2 21°37′15″N 106°36′18″W / 21.62083°N 106.60500°W / 21.62083; -106.60500 (Las Antenas)
Campamento Morelos (José María Morelos) 98 21°36′04″N 106°30′47″W / 21.60111°N 106.51306°W / 21.60111; -106.51306 (Campamento Morelos)
Campamento San Juan Papelillo 18 21°35′30″N 106°36′26″W / 21.59167°N 106.60722°W / 21.59167; -106.60722 (Campamento San Juan Papelillo)
Borbollón (Borbollones) - 21°34′15″N 106°31′00″W / 21.57083°N 106.51667°W / 21.57083; -106.51667 (Borbollón)
Campamento Laguna del Toro 31 21°34′08″N 106°32′37″W / 21.56889°N 106.54361°W / 21.56889; -106.54361 (Campamento Laguna del Toro)
Punta Halcones - 21°32′45″N 106°32′30″W / 21.54583°N 106.54167°W / 21.54583; -106.54167 (Punta Halcones)
Isla María Madre 1116 21°36′57″N 106°34′42″W / 21.61583°N 106.57833°W / 21.61583; -106.57833 (Isla María Madre)

Each populated center features a different economic activity. The primary population center is Puerto Balleto, the location of the administrative offices and the primary centers of commerce and recreation. It is subdivided into four jefaturas[1]:

  1. Balleto, 21°38′02″N 106°32′21″W / 21.63389°N 106.53917°W / 21.63389; -106.53917 (Balleto)
  2. Bellavista, 21°38′19″N 106°32′30″W / 21.63861°N 106.54167°W / 21.63861; -106.54167 (Bellavista)
  3. Unit Habitacional Miguel Hidalgo (UHMH), 21°38′13″N 106°32′26″W / 21.63694°N 106.54056°W / 21.63694; -106.54056 (Unit Habitacional Miguel Hidalgo)
  4. Primero de Mayo, 21°38′20″N 106°32′23″W / 21.63889°N 106.53972°W / 21.63889; -106.53972 (Primero del Mayo)

In addition to prisoners, on Maria Madre island there are employees of diverse institutions of the federal government, such as the Secretariat of Public Education, the Secretariat of the Environment, the Secretariat of Communications and Transport, post office, and the Secretariat of the Navy. Another group of settlers is made up of religious ministers and acolytes of the Catholic Church, nuns of the Order of Social Service, and invited teachers, technicians and their relatives.

The colony is governed by a state official who is both the governor of the islands and chief judge. The military command is independent and is exercised by an officer of the Mexican Navy.

WeatherEdit

The mean temperature of island remain between 84 and 89 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year.[8][9] In April, May, and June sometimes temperatures cross the limit of thirty five degree Celsius. In December January, and February the temperatures remain under twenty five degrees. Sometimes the temperature may drop under twenty degree Celsius. Most of the time weather remains dry but July, August, and September may receive rain up to 10mm. The average wind speed is between twelve and nineteen km/hour. The below chart shows the maximum and minimum temperature.[10]

Unit Celsius Celsius Celsius Celsius Celsius Celsius Celsius Celsius Celsius Celsius Celsius Celsius
Mean Daily Max 29 29 31 32 34 34 32 31 31 31 31 29
Mean Daily Min 13 14 15 17 19 22 24 24 24 22 18 15
Month Jan Fab March April May June July August September October November December

Hurricane WillaEdit

Hurricane Willa passed through the Islas Marias on October 23, 2018. The National Hurricane Center reported at 9 AM MDT "Aircraft finds the core of Willa passing over Las Islas Marias Mexico".[11] A subsequent report from the NHC stated that "Life-threatening storm surge is occurring along the coasts of the Isla Marias'.[12] The NHC also reported that "An automated observing site on Las Islas Marias recently reported a sustained wind of 88 mph (142 km/h) with a gust to 112mph (180 km/h)".[13]

Light houseEdit

The lighthouse was constructed by the Govt. of Mexico and is named San Bias lighthouse.[14] The height of tower is two hundred feet or sixty two meters.[15] The lighthouse main gallery is painted white while the tower of the lighthouse is colored in red and white.[16][17] The lighthouse is made of concrete and a large single story keeper house is also constructed with lighthouse. The light house shines two white flashes every ten seconds. The diameter of the light house is 7 meters.[18]

Prison of Isla MariaEdit

The Islas Marías Federal Prison was constructed in 1905.[19]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ "Marías Islands | archipelago, Mexico". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  2. ^ "UAE Tours - Isla Maria Madre Islands, Temperature and other details". www.vjcyber.com. Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  3. ^ "Designation of New Biosphere Reserves". UNESCO. 17 June 2010. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  4. ^ "Islas María". UNESCO. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  5. ^ "UAE Tours - Isla Maria Madre Islands, Temperature and other details". www.vjcyber.com. Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  6. ^ "UAE Tours - Isla Maria Madre Islands, Temperature and other details". www.vjcyber.com. Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  7. ^ "Islas Marias Archipelago, Mexico. A Missing Piece to Reconstruct the Paleoposition of Baja California", Valerie Pompa-Mera, et al, Researchgate, 2011
  8. ^ "UAE Tours - Isla Maria Madre Islands, Temperature and other details". www.vjcyber.com. Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  9. ^ "Climate Puerto Balleto (Isla María Madre)". meteoblue. Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  10. ^ "UAE Tours - Isla Maria Madre Islands, Temperature and other details". www.vjcyber.com. Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  11. ^ [National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Willa, Public Advisory 14, 9 AM MDT]
  12. ^ National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Willa, Discussion 15, October 23, 2018, 3 PM MDT
  13. ^ National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Willa, Advisory 15, October 23, 2018, 3 PM MDT
  14. ^ "Lighthouses of Mexico: Northwest Coast". www.ibiblio.org. Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  15. ^ "UAE Tours - Isla Maria Madre Islands, Temperature and other details". www.vjcyber.com. Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  16. ^ "UAE Tours - Isla Maria Madre Islands, Temperature and other details". www.vjcyber.com. Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  17. ^ "Lighthouses of Mexico: Northwest Coast". www.ibiblio.org. Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  18. ^ "Lighthouses of Mexico: Northwest Coast". www.ibiblio.org. Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  19. ^ "Marías Islands | archipelago, Mexico". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2018-08-07.

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit