Cozumel turtle release

costamayamahahual:

This is written by a friend of mine, so I thought I would have a guest blogger today.

Originally posted on Life at Mahahual, Mexico on the Costa Maya:

                                           Liberación de tortugas cozumel

As you ever found something on the beach that makes you feel you found a treasure ???

 

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It happened to me a few days ago , when making a hole in the sand , I found over 100 beautiful baby turtles sleeping and reclining one over the other , moving their little bodies with my hands awoke for the smell of the sea and the life instinct leads them to the road right to walk to the sea…

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This happens every year in Cozumel , a beautiful Mexican island where with the support of government authorities and good-hearted people helps turtles which come to find free home in quiet arenas to continue the cycle of life …

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This is not an easy way, not…

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Why Moving To Mexico Will (Probably) Make You Happier

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The Better Life Index report released by the OECD rated 36 countries on areas such as income, education and health. They were also ranked on work to life balance and overall life satisfaction. Mexico scored rather low on many of these criteria, but still had among the highest scores when it came to life satisfaction. It was just a few paces behind wealthy nations like Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark.

Almost 85 percent of Mexicans reported having more positive experiences than negatives one on any given day.

This is obviously not linked to more income because the average earnings in Mexico are half the OECD yearly average income. There is also great financial inequality and the wages of the top earners are about 13 times higher than the wages of those at the lower end of the scale. When it came to work-life balance, a country like Denmark scored high because it accords its employees a high degree of flexibility of work hours and a good amount of paid vacation days. But in Mexico, levels of life satisfaction can’t be attributed to having more time for themselves because Mexicans put in more hours of work than any other country that was surveyed. Education was another sore spot for Mexico and it scored rather low on reading literacy, science and math test scores, and not all students go on to earn a high school diploma. Apparently, Mexicans don’t live as long either as the report showed that their average life expectancy was at 74 years compared to the OECD average of 80 years.

So why then are Mexicans so satisfied with their lives? This may have something to do with the long-standing Mexican tradition of family, cultural pride and faith.

Mexico is a country with a rich culture and things like family, traditions and religion serve as anchors for most Mexicans. Expats who relocate to Mexico often find that embracing the local customs and traditions leads to a more fulfilling experience in the country. The Mexicans are only too happy to show off their culture to newbies and will go out of their way to help expats adjust. They are also very helpful and are happy to offer a helping hand to someone who is lost or requires assistance. It’s no wonder that Mexico has become a new home for many foreigners over the years.

Mexicans place great value on family and for many, family always comes before work. It’s common for generations of families to live in same home or neighborhood. Even friends are referred to as brothers and sisters affectionately. It is customary for families to engage in religious traditions together and their faith serves as spiritual and social support. Weddings, christenings and even funerals are elaborate religious affairs that bring people together. There are also the special days for the patron saints of different communities, which involve large-scale celebrations.

When Mexicans say they have more positive experiences than negative ones, it also means that they are more attuned to positive experiences. Mexico witnesses a considerable amount of corruption and drug trafficking, but the people have good stress-coping mechanisms in place. Their social relationships act as a buffer for the hard times and the inherent large-heartedness that is often seen in Mexicans goes a long way in boosting their own happiness. The OECD survey brings out an important point that happiness has very little to do with income or material wealth.

One reason why many expats like living in Mexico is the pace of life. The lifestyle is much slower and while this may be a cause for frustration at times, it is also a freeing experience for those who have always lived life by the clock. Another reason for expats to love Mexico is the low price point. Mexico’s cost of living is not the lowest in Latin America; it is significantly lower than all of North America. Housing is available at affordable prices and food and household goods are available cheaply. However there may be variation in costs depending on the location. Rental rates in some of the popular areas in the country can be comparable to the rates in the United States. In rural areas, accommodation costs can be quite inexpensive.

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

The History of Mexican Chocolate

 

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CHOCOLATE HISTORY
The Olmec Indians are believed to be the first to grow cocoa beans as a domestic crop. The consumption of cocoa beans was restricted to the Mayan society’s elite, in the form of an unsweetened cocoa drink made from the ground beans. The cacao beans were used as currency. 10 beans would buy you a rabbit or a prostitute. 100 beans would buy you a slave. Some clever person even came up with a way to counterfeit beans – by carving them out of clay. The beans were still used as currency in parts of Latin America until the 19th century!

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The cacao tree, which chocolate comes from, originated in Mesoamerica. Native Peoples used the cacao tree to produce a potent drink that is a far cry from the modern sweet incarnations of chocolate today. Historians disagree over where exactly in Mesoamerica the trees first appeared, but what they do agree on is that people first began to prepare cacao for human enjoyment in Mexico. Native Peoples used cacao beans to make drinks, as religious offerings, and they were even used as a from of currency. Nowadays, when people think of Mexican chocolate, they picture the cinnamon-scented variety commonly used in many Mexican style dishes and beverages.

The chocolate prepared in Mexico in pre-European Mexico possessed a strong, sour taste different from modern chocolate. It is well-known that Native Peoples prized this chocolate and used it in a variety of dishes and drinks. The first known large-scale “farmer” and consumers of chocolate were the Mayans, who inhabited Central Mexico.

The Aztecs, who rose to dominance after the Mayans, inherited the Mayan affinity for chocolate, which became even more culturally significant for them than it had for the Mayan people. Chocolate was a symbol of power and authority to the Aztecs, and people even used cacao beans as currency. The cacao beans were so valuable, that counterfeiting by filling cacao shells with clay was not uncommon.

The most popular use of the cacao bean in pre-European Mexico was to produce a chocolate drink. To make the drink, producers fermented, toasted, and ground the cacao bean into a powder which provided the drink’s base. Often, people used different spices such as chiles, anise seed, allspice, and vanilla to add flavor. While this drink was a favorite among the rich, it was also religiously significant. The Aztecs gave the drink to human sacrifices to purify them. The Spanish also quickly developed a taste for chocolate not long after their arrival in Mexico. They then introduced it to Europe where a hot chocolate like drink became very popular.

Modern Mexican chocolate still retains many qualities of its predecessor. Makers still use some of the same spices as the Aztecs, as well as cinnamon and sugar to produce a chocolate with a unique flavor, texture, and aroma. It provides the base for hot chocolate beverages and serves as a key ingredient to several Mexican dishes such as Mole. Mexican chocolate is best recognized when sold in the form of small solid discs. The Spanish began the practice of storing chocolate in the shape of discs in the 1500s, and it continues to today. The modern world owes thanks to Mexico’s long history with chocolate for providing one of the world’s favorite treats.

Mole in the bottom right corner of the photo is a very popular dish here.  It is more bitter than sweet.

Mole in the bottom right corner of the photo is a very popular dish here. It is more bitter than sweet.

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

English Spoken in Mahahual, Mexico

Originally posted on Life at Mahahual, Mexico on the Costa Maya:

I have discovered something since I have been in Mahahual now for about six months. Almost everybody who lives or works here speaks English. I first noticed that when I got here and maybe that is why I stayed and chose to live here. In Calderitas and Chetumal, where I lived before, hardly anyone spoke English and I had to struggle with my Spanish to get by. Mahahual is a tourist town that basically caters to the cruise ships that come here, so to get by here most of the locals learn English. At the Costa Maya Port, almost everyone who I have met speaks English pretty good, and they can communicate with the American tourists. I know a lot of Americans and Canadians retire to Belize because English is the primary language, but with all the english spoken here in Mahahual and the Costa Maya, I think Mahahual and…

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Costa Maya Real Estate Mahahual, Mexico

costamayamahahual:

This is the first article I wrote about real estate about Mahahual. I wrote this after I first got to Mahahual and started working at the port. The contact information in the bottom of the post has changed so ignore that. I found this post when I was looking back at all the things I have written about Mahahual. What I find interesting is I still feel the same way about Mahahual as I did when I first got there.

Originally posted on Life at Mahahual, Mexico on the Costa Maya:

I have been on the Costa Maya for about four months now and everyday that I am here I am amazed by the beauty of the Caribbean and especially the town of Mahahual.  Mahahual is a cruise destination stop and is visited by thousands of tourists each year.  It is also a sleepy fishing and diving town when the cruise ships are not in port. I meet a lot of Americans at Puerto Costa Maya when the criuse ships are in port and more and more people are asking me about buying real estate here in Mahahual, and inquiring who to contact.  Costa Maya Real Estate is the foremost authority on real estate in Mahahual and the surronding areas.  In fact foreigners are not only allowed to legally purchase property in Mexico, the Mexican government has gone to great lengths to make it safe and simple. Costa Maya Real Estate will provide you…

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Columbus Day in Latin America.

Originally posted on Life at Mahahual, Mexico on the Costa Maya:

Here is what Latin America thinks about Columbus Day here. I translated from Spanish to English, so some of the wording is difficult to understand sometimes.
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Arrives October 12, 1492 and I have yet to hear stupid things like the DAY OF THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA? Columbus Day? MOTHER COUNTRY? Here the natives were never “discovered” nor had the need to be Hispanic. They already had a country, a religion, a system of government and values​​. To the conquerors they were uncivilized, heretics, idolaters … wild. However, it proved to be more wild colonizer the colonized. I wish to change the texts of books in school and these same institutions are not encouraged to follow “celebrating” this day is nothing great or teach histórico.No we are what we are civilized we but teach knowledge killed richest can imagine. Wisdom were killed, attempted to kill culture, but killed people … and…

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The Best & Worst Places for Expats

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I came across this survey over the weekend doing some research on expats. this article is from the website http://www.internations.org and it is about the world through expats lives.  The Expat Insider took a bunch of surveys among expats throughout the world, and came up with this survey.

This survey is very good and I learned some things about expats around the world, and which countries are popular with expats.

Now take in mind, this is a survey of expats from around the world, not just USA and Canada.  I am sure if only expats from USA and Canada were taken in account, Mexico would even score higher on this survey.

Mahahual ligbhthouse and crusie ship pier in background.

The Best & Worst Places for Expats

Ecuador, Luxembourg, and Mexico emerge as clear winners while Greece, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait fall behind.

Methodology
To arrive at our ranking of the most and least popular expat destinations worldwide, the results of several sub-indices were averaged. These include the General Quality of Life Index, Ease of Settling In Index, Working Abroad Index, Family Life Index (where applicable), Personal Finance Index, as well as the results for the question: “how satisfied are you with life abroad in general?”. As this last factor is a single question, it carries disproportionate weight in the overall country ranking.

For each question in the survey, participants were asked to rate their own opinion or experience on a scale of one to seven, or one to five, in some cases. A sample size of at least 50 survey participants was necessary in order to feature in a specific ranking. The only exception to this was the Family Life Index, where a sample size of 30 respondents was required.

EXPAT DESTINATIONS

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Ecuador: The Overall Winner
Ecuador emerges as a top destination in our expat survey. This can be explained by its high ranking in our various sub-indices, notably the Personal Finance Index. Here, the South American country ranks first, as expats are generally very pleased with their financial situation in Ecuador.

In the Ease of Settling In Index, Ecuador holds spot eight. It has the highest result of all survey countries for the ease of making friends. Over eight in ten expats (82%) find it easy to settle down and feel at home in Ecuador.

However, Ecuador has a less than average result when it comes to language difficulties. Over one-third (37%) agree that it is very difficult to live in this country without speaking Spanish. Luckily, one in three expats (30%) also think that learning the language is very easy.

Ecuador also comes in first place for personal happiness. A high 85% are satisfied with their relationship. In addition, nearly half the participants (44%) say they are “very happy” with their lives in general.

It is thus unsurprising that over nine out of ten expats (91%) report being satisfied with their life in Ecuador. As so many participants seem to be content with life there, it makes sense that almost half of the expats in Ecuador plan to stay there “possibly forever” (42%).

Most of the expats here report that they enjoy living abroad and that they moved here for a better quality of life. Although Ecuador ranks fifth in the Working Abroad Index, not many expats relocate to this country for work purposes. Ecuador has a high percentage of retirees (39%) and the average age of expats in Ecuador is 52.8, well above the global average of 39.5.

Luxembourg: Home of the Career Expat
The small, land-locked European country ranks second overall in our expat survey. This is primarily due to Luxembourg’s second-place ranking in the Working Abroad Index.

Indeed, two out of three expats (64%) report career opportunities – whether they found a job themselves, were sent by their employer, or were recruited – to be the most important reason for their move abroad. Two in five even found a job in Luxembourg on their own, a higher percentage than for any other country in the survey.

Only about one in three expats (28%) want to stay in Luxembourg for the long run, however. One-fifth of expats (21%) plan to complete an assignment of one to three years.

Luxembourg may be a good place to advance your career, but this alone does not apparently equal overall contentment. Luxembourg only comes in 50th out of 61 countries in the category personal happiness. Despite this, 89% say that they are satisfied with expat life in Luxembourg.

While Luxembourg provides an above-average infrastructure for travel and transport, as well as health and safety, the country only ranks 32nd out of 61 when it comes to the ease of settling in. Expats find it especially hard to make friends here, contributing to its ranking of 46th in this category. Only 9% report that it is very easy to make local friends.

Mexico: For Love or Money
In striking contrast to Luxembourg, Mexico is the clear winner in the Ease of Settling In Index. Its high ranking here helps account for its achieving third place overall in our expat survey.

Nine in ten expats (91%) are pleased with their expat life in Mexico, the same percentage as for the overall winner, Ecuador. Another measure of satisfaction is the high number of expats (44%) that would like to stay forever.

About one in three expats (28%) moved to Mexico for a job. Interestingly, the next highest percentage (19%) list love as their main motivation for moving to Mexico. They either moved in order to join their partner in Mexico or moved along with them.

Mexico ranks the lowest of our top three countries in the Working Abroad Index, coming in at 25th place out of 61. The lowest ranking was in the subcategory “job security” (32nd place).

Mexico’s results in the Quality of Life Index are somewhat mixed. On the bright side, Mexico ranks fourth for personal happiness, and the general satisfaction with the local climate and weather also adds to the quality of living. Only 61% of expats, however, are satisfied with Mexico’s transportation infrastructure. Not even two-thirds (62%) are pleased with their level of personal safety.

The Bottom Three: Greece, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait
The economic crisis in Greece and the resulting very low rankings in the Working Abroad Index help explain its third to last place overall. Greece holds last place in the “job and career” category and has the lowest score for job security by a large margin. Greece also fares poorly in the Personal Finance Index with another last place ranking.

Saudi Arabia holds the 60th place in the overall country ranking. This is primarily due to the country’s poor results in the Quality of Life Index (59th place). Saudi Arabia comes in last place in the “leisure activities” subcategory. A majority (54%) of participants are dissatisfied with the availability of leisure activities in the country.

Kuwait ranks last in the overall country ranking. This is largely due to its low results for personal happiness and in the Ease of Settling In Index. Expats in Kuwait do not think it is easy to settle down there, make friends, or feel at home. Only 5% of survey participants feel completely at home there, and only 7% find it very easy to make local friends.

Sunny and welcoming Mexico makes it to
the top of our Ease of Settling In Index.
Spain and New Zealand receive glowing
ratings as well.

Mexico is the friendliest country, Spain welcomes expats with open arms despite the economic crisis, and New Zealand also makes expats feel at home.

Methodology
The Ease of Settling In Index combines
several “soft topics” – such as how welcome
expats feel in their host country, how
friendly the local population is, how easy it
is for expatriates to make new friends, and
how easy and important it is to learn the
local language. Survey participants were
asked to evaluate these factors on a scale
of one to seven. Each country required a
sample size of at least 50 survey participants
to be featured in the ranking.

Friendly Mexico
Mexico ranks first place overall in the Ease
of Settling In Index. In terms of friendliness,
this Latin American country clearly takes
the lead: An unrivalled 97% of participants
answer positively when asked about the
general friendliness of the population, and
94% agree that the local population has a
friendly attitude towards foreign residents.
Our survey respondents are also impressed
by the welcome they received in Mexico.
Four out of five (80%) expats in Mexico
feel at home in the local culture. A similar number of expats respond that it’s easy to
settle down in Mexico (78%) and get used
to the Mexican culture (76%).
Mexico comes in second place for the ease
of making friends, whether among locals or
expats. Only Ecuador beats Mexico in this
category. Over two-thirds of expats (69%)
find it easy to make local friends in Mexico.
Ecuador only slightly exceeds this result
with 70%.
Mexico ranks a bit lower when it comes to
how easy and important expats think it is to learn the local language. Luckily, around
70% agree that it is easy to learn Spanish, as
half the survey participants (51%) also think
that life in Mexico is difficult for those who
cannot speak Spanish.
Only 15%, however, say that learning the
local language poses problems for them.
Indeed, around 83% of the respondents
living in Mexico report having Spanish
language skills.

Happiness in a Relationship
There are various factors which influence
a relationship and which might determine
its success. After all, a move abroad can
take quite a toll on a relationship as one or
both partners experience frustration and
alienation, as well as other symptoms of
culture shock.
Thus, the ease of settling in (of finding friends,
learning the local language, and feeling
welcome) in their country of residence may play a big role when it comes to satisfaction
with one’s relationship. Mexico tops our
Ease of Settling In Index, mostly for its high
positive results for making friends (23%)
and friendliness (58%). One can easily
imagine that this explains why so many
of our respondents in Mexico met their
significant other after moving abroad.

To sum up this survey, Mexico ranks third in the world among all expats as the best place to live outside your own country.  Mexico ranks number one in friendly people and ease of settling in and starting a new life of all expats around the world.mexico

I can attest to that, I had no problem with settling in when I first got to Mexico, and the Mexican people have always been friendly to me.

Also you have to take into account that this survey includes all of the expats in Mexico.  I am sure if the survey was just concentrated on Quintana Roo and the Mexican Caribbean, Mexico would score even higher.

So if you are looking to live or retire, and want to stay close to the USA and Canada, Mexico is your best bet by far.  Beautiful beaches, low cost of living, safety, and friendly people are some of the reasons expats are finding Costa Maya and Mahahual desireable.

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina