Current Questions About Mahahual

Mahahual lighthouse.

Mahahual lighthouse.

I get a lot of questions and comments on this blog about living or visiting in Mahahual. Today I thought I would share some recent questions I got on this blog lately about Mahahual. I try to do this from time to time, answer comments and questions about living and visiting here.

This blog has become very popular, and is averaging about 1,200 readers a week from all over the world. Also there are numerous search engines that steer people to the blog if they have questions about Costa Maya or Mahahual. What I have learned is a lot of people when they book a cruise to Mahahual, one of the first things they do is Google Costa Maya and Mahahual.

Because this blog is on the first page of most search engines, and sometimes the first listed on a lot of search engines, a lot of people discover Mahahual and Costa Maya for the first time on this blog. Of course by far the most searches and questions on this blog are about safety in Mahahual, and for that matter Mexico.

So today I am going to concentrate on some recent questions I have recieved lately, and try to answer them the best I can. I will post each question then answer below it.

QUESTIONS ABOUT MAHAHUAL

1)Mahahual long term rentals?
Yes, Mahahual has plenty of long term rentals. You can rent houses, apartments, condos, and rooms long term in Mahahual. You can rent a room for the month for $240 USD a month in New Mahahual, that includes air consditioning, cable TV, internet, hot water, and other amenities. In fact Canadian Stewart, the guy who lowered his blood pressure, and cut it almost in half, is living in one of these and he is very happy there. Houses can go anywhere from $200 USD to $1,000 USD a month depending on what you want. Anywhere from unfurnished to totaaly furnished. There are also some really nice apartments that rent for 5,500 pesos (around $375 USD) right near the port. So to answer this question, yes there are a number of options to rent long term in Mahahual.

2) Time zone in Costa Maya Mexico?
Right now today March 30, 2015, Costa Maya is in the Central Time Zone if you are looking at USA time. When the clocks fall back next fall, we will be in the Eastern Time Zone of the USA. Starting this year, we do not turn our clocks forward or backwards here, just stay on the same time zone to get the most daylight for the tourists, and the cruise ships. All of Quintana Roo is now under this time zone. But I have also learned that time is not that important here, I quit wearing a watch about a year and a half ago. Only the cruise ships here keep a strict schedule.

3) What clothing to wear in Costa Maya, Mexico?
This is an easy question, in Mahahual you can wear your summer clothes all year round. I have not worn a pair of long pants but maybe twice since I have been here. One day last winter it got down in the 60s and I wore a pair of jeans to work one day, but besides that it is shorts and short sleeves everyday. What also is cool about Mahahual is everybody dresses casual here, even businessmen wear sandals and shorts around here. In fact almost everyday here you see women walking around in bikinis, one of the many things I like about Mahahual. So if you like wearing sandals, tshirts, and shorts, Mahahual is the place for you.

4) What kind of car is needed in Majahual?
In Mahahual you really don’t need a car unless you live out in the jungle, or live in some remote beach properties. Cabs are $2 USD everywhere, and bussses can get back and forth from Chetumal, and any other place you wish to travel. A lot of people here ride bikes around, or walk. I myself have been riding a bike since I have been here. You can get around here pretty good without a car here, but if you have or want to have one I would suggest someting cheap on gas, or a 4WD ifyou are planning to live on the coast roads or in the jungle. Personnaly, I think because of the ecological status of Mahahual, I think the less cars the better. The less cars in Mahahual, the less pollutants and oil and gas into the environment, but that is my opinion. I know some expats that do have cars here, so it is pretty common. Some of the long term expats here have brought their cars down from USA and Canada, so if you must have a car it is doable here.

5) Costa maya, Mahahaul crime rate? …. Costa Maya, Mexico is it safe?
These are the most frequent questions this blog gets and I get these questions everyday. Because of all the media bias in the USA and Canada, a lot of people are scared and reluctant to visit or consider living in Mahahual. When tourists off of cruise ships ask me how can I live in Mexico with all the crime and violence they hear about on TV in the USA. I have a stock answer that I provide them with now, I tell them since Jan.1, 2015 there have been 37 violent gun deaths in my hometown of Greenville, South Carolina, and here in Mahahual 0 violent gun deaths so far this year, so where am I safer, I would say here.

Also because of all the research I have to do for this blog and other things I have read the statistics, and you are more likely to die from a cocoanut falling from a tree and hitting you in the head here, than from a violent gun death. For more information on this topic there are numerous articles I have written in the past in the archives of this blog, so you can read the statistics for yourself. I myself, feel a lot safer here than I ever did in Belize, or the USA for that matter. Mahahual, Mexico I bet you is one of the safer places in the world to live you could find. I am never scared to walk around or ride my bike here at night, and so are a lot of other people. There was a couple from the USA who slept on the beach out front last week and they said they were not scared at all. Trust me you could never sleep on the beach in Belize or most other countries.

6) Temperature in Mahahual Mexico June?
Good question, the weather in May and June here is great, in fact it is cooler here in the summertime, than my home state of South Carolina in the USA. There are always cool breezes here in the summer, except late August and Septembe, those are the most uncomfortable months here. But it never gets to be over 100 degrees here like is common in the USA in the summertime. A lot of people have been asking me lately when is a good time to visit Mahahual, and I have been telling them May and June. It is not that hot here, and I lot of places lower their rates here after high season, and the cruise ships scale back to one or two a week. For those reasons Mahahual is a great place to visit in Maya and June, and the temperature is moderate, and the water is the same 82 degrees year round.

7) Where is Mahahual Mexico?
Mahahual, Mexico is on the Mexican Caribbean Sea, on the coast between Tulum and Xcalak. Mahahual is located in Costa Maya which is the area from Sian Kaan Biosphere south to Chetumal on the Belize border. Mahahual is 3 1/2 hours from Playa del Carmen by bus, and 1 1/2 hour from Chetumal by car or bus. Mahahual is about 60 kilometers north of Belize, and in the center of Costa Maya. Mahahual is not an island like a lot of cruise ship tourists think when they visit, but surrounded by mangroves and jungle, kind of remote. so there is only one road in and out to the main highway 307.

8) Kidnapping in Costa Maya?
There is not a kidnapping that I am aware about that has occured here since I have been here. Some bandits tried to kidnap some ATM machines from the port last year, but they were caught, and are now in jail.

9) Can my husband sail and park his 33 ft sailboat there in Mahahual?
Good question, I did not know the answer to this, and there is a funny story concerning this question. I got this question so I asked one of the locals here, Jorge if he knew if someone could park a 33 ft sailboat at the fisherman’s pier here, and what would they have to do to or talk to to park it there. He said he did not know but would ask the Port Captain next time he saw him. Well about 30 minutes later he comes up to me with the Port Captain, and the Captain starts asking me when is this boat coming, and kind of excited and wanted some details. He told me, yes, someone could park there boat there for awhile, and it would not cost them anything, until they found a permanent place to store it when not being sailed. He wanted to know what kind of boat and when it was arriving, he had his book with him and everything, he was kind of excited about a nice sailboat that size coming to Mahahual, and was ready to save a place for this boat. I then had to break the news to them that I was just asking for a woman who had acquired, and her and her husband were looking for a place to retire, and one of the factors had to be, he could bring his boat to explore the Caribbean during their retirement. When I told them this, they kind of got disappointed, and I told them thanks, and they walked away, dejected because I had got there hopes up about seeing a nice sailboat sail into Mahahual. So the answer is yes, if you have a yacht or sailboat, you are welcome here in Mahahual.

So there are the latest questions that I have gotten and I hope I answered them to everyone’s satisfaction. If you have any comments or questions about some of my answers or need more information let me know.

Sunrise in Mahahual.

Sunrise in Mahahual.

This week starts Semana Santa (Holy Week), so things will be very busy here and every hotel is full for the week. So unless you are on a cruise ship, good luck if you are coming to Mahahual this week. Semana Santa here is like Daytona Beach Spring Break, Mexican style, the place will be full of people enjoying their spring vacations and partying all week.

Thanks for reading,
Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

An Aussie’s View of Mahahual, Mexico

I was sitting on the malecon about 5 or 6 weeks ago, and this guy walks up to me wearing an outback hat and asked me in an Australian accent, was I Stewart the guy who wrote the blog about living in Costa Maya and Mahahual. I told him yes, and then he told me he read my blog, and he and his wife were traveling through Mexico, and decided because they had read my blog, to stop and visit Mahahual.

We got to talking, and he told me he and his wife were from Perth, Australia, and were on an extended holiday, traveling. He told me he and his wife put everything in storage in Perth, and decided to travel and see the world. He and his wife have been writing a blog and taking photos of their travels and I shared both of their blogs in an earlier article I wrote.

Well he told me he and his wife were going to stay a week or two in Mahahual and see some sights around here, (they ended staying three weeks in Mahahual). So every day he would come by or drop by and we would chat, and he got to be a regular here. He would wear his Aussie hat, (In fact I never saw him without it on). He told me a lot about stuff about Australia, that I did not know.

I have written about Aussie Steve in the past, so today I thought I would share his blog, and an Aussie view so to speak of Mahahual. But first I have to share a story. One day after he had been here awhile and we had gotten to know each other pretty good, he asked me if didn’t my readers and people from South Carolina get mad or angry at me for at what he called, “Taking a piss” on them.”( I think that is Australian for what us southerners would call dumping on, or making fun of your people). I thought for a minute and said, “No I doubt it, they hate me already, and plus if you are a “Redneck” and you know you are a “Redneck”, you can call other people “Redneck” and “Take a piss on them”, as he would call it. So if any of you out there think I am “Taking a piss” on you let me know. (Note… I got a message from Aussie Steve today after I had written this post, and he informed me the correct Australian slang is “Taking the piss out of them”, not what I said above, “Take a piss on them”, my mistake.)

I am sharing his blog with a link below, because I like to give the readers of this blog other views and opinions of Mahahual, not just my personal insight. So here is an Aussie’s view and take on Mahahual. I heard from Aussie Steve the other day, and he and his wife went to Cuba, and are now in the Bahamas, who knows where they will end up next. I don’t know about you guys, but I enjoy meeting adventurous and different people from all over the world, and I have met many in Mahahual since I have been here.

Aussie Steve on malecon.

Aussie Steve on malecon.

http://www.stephenmanning.com.au/our-amigos-of-mahahual/

Thanks for reading,
Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

Bartending at “Hooray for Lovers” Party in Mahahual

I have been meaning to write this article for quite awhile, things have been real busy here lately, so today there is not much going on here in Mahahual, so here goes.

Last month I saw where there was going to be a “Hooray for Lovers” party to be held on Valentine’s Day, Saturday, February 14, 2015 in Mahahual. The all night disco and party was being put on by Mahahual Music, and Preston Ernest. Preston Ernest used to work with us in Mahahual until he moved to Playa del Carmen and made it big as a DJ there. I saw where he was looking for some help the night of the party and was looking for someone to bartend and help out.

I saw that and got to thinking, I have bartended in the USA a lot. I have bartended Greek weddings, in a strip club, discos, steak houses, sports bars, and just about every other kind of venue, but I thought to myself I have never bartended in Mexico, and this might be my chance. So I contacted Preston and told him I would help out, and let me know what I can do.

Me, behind bar.

Me, behind bar.


I did not know what to expect, so Preston told me I would have have to work all night until 5am or 6am in the morning. I said no problem and he told me to be there at 5pm. It was being held on the malecon south of town in the “Luv Shack” between Luna de Plata and Cabanas del Doctor, so I could walk there.

It was the fifth year of this event, and I had been to one in the past here. The event had numerous DJs from Playa del Carmen, and other places in Mexico performing, and was sponsered by Mahahual Music and Salt Tequila. There were other sponsers like Tropical Dandy T-Shirts, Highway 420, Prana Juice Spa, and several others. Also several hotels in Mahahual were offering discounts to people wanting rooms for the weekend. The party and music was also continued all day on Sunday at the YaYa Beach Club on the malecon in Mahahual.

I got there at about 5pm and everything was being set up, bar and decorations, and the place looked nice. There was plenty of beer, liqour, and Salt Tequila on hand. Salt Tequila was the main sponser and they had hats and other giveaways for all the people attending. Salt Tequila is naturally favored 100% Agave Tequila, and there were three flavors on hand that night, chocolate, strawberry, and lemon. There also was vodka, rum, whiskey and other liqours in the bar, plus a huge container of iced down beer. I thought to myself, these guys are ready for a party.

DJ booth.

DJ booth.

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I had not bartended in awhile, and I looked around and noticed that I was the oldest guy in the building, so I was curious on how all this would play out. Things started pretty slow untill about 7 or 8pm and then people started to trickle in. I was ready, and the first person that walks up to me orders a lager in Spanish. Now I know in the USA there are a lot of different lagers, but in Mexico when somebody orders a lager, they mean a Dos Equis. And that night I learned, Dos Equis is the most popular beer here, and we sold out of Dos Equis, I could not get it cold fast enough.

The next guy that walked up to the bar had a beard, baseball cap, and he looked like an American. He ordered a beer and then reached into his pocket and pulled out a can of Copenhagen and put a dip in his mouth and spit into his other bottle. I then said to him, “You are from Arkansas, and you are a fireman aren’t you”? He asked me how I knew that, and I told him I had heard a man and his wife had bought a house here in New Mahahual and they were from Arkansas. I also told him only a southern boy would put in a dip of tobacco while drinking beer in a Mexican bar, so he had to be the guy I had heard about, and introduced myself.

As the night got going on, I had people ordering drinks in all kinds of different languages. I had Italians, Germans, Mexicans, and a bunch of other people from all over ordering drinks in their own language. There were a lot of backpackers, and hippie looking people there also, with piercings, tattoos, and kinds of different clothes and haircuts. I really felt old, and out of place, but I was having a good time and staying busy.

The music started and played on and on, non-stop without a break, and was still playing at 5am when I left and walked home. I noticed almost everyone from Mahahual was there, and a bunch of people and DJs from Playa del Carmen also. I stayed real busy behind the bar, and even after not bartending in awhile, it came all back to me, and I was opening beers, and pouring shots of tequila just like the days of my youth.

The party got to going real good and people were dancing everywhere, and I got to thinking, this looks like a rave to me. (I have never been to rave, just heard of them). People were not dancing with each other, like in my days, but just kind of jumping around and dancing by themselves. I looked and about every nationality you could think of, was on the dance floor in Mahahual on Valentines’s Day. The whole place was packed by midnight, and everyone was having a good time, and drinking lots of beer and tequila.

I kept adding beer to the beer cooler of ice, and it kept going out as quick as I could get it cold. There were several kinds of beer, but people kept shouting lager at me all night. A couple of snobby Europeans came up and tried to order wine, and cognac, but I just yelled at them beer and tequila over the music. This crowd liked beer and shots of tequila, and not much else. The Salt Tequila flavored shots were very popular, and the chocolate was the most popular.
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I have been to a lot of parties and discos in my life, but this was my first forte into a Mexican all night disco and rave party. At about 1am I had to take a bathroom break, and went around back to where the bathrooms are, and at the woman’s bathroom there were about 5 or 6 women lined up against the wall with their skirts hiked up and squatting, and relieving themselves there because the bathroom line was so long. It was a funny sight, all these beautiful women in nice dresses, squatting to pee, but it is Mexico, what can I say. I just walked by and did not say a word, and went to the men’s bathroom.

Well this party went on and on, and I must say I had a good time bartending and having this experience. Everybody I saw kept asking me, “What are you doing here behind the bar?” I just told them I was helping out and I had bartended in the past. Everybody was having a good time, they kept changing DJs, and the music did not stop once. My hands were almost frozen by the end of the night because of all the digging in the beer cooler I had to do and open cold beers.

The party died down at about 4am and the crowd started to thin out, but some people were still going strong. The bar must have went though about 20 cases of beer, and numerous bottles of Salt Tequila. I left the party at about 5am and walked home tired and exhausted after bartending for 12 hours, but I had a good time, made some good tips, and got to experience a Mexican disco party from the other side of the bar for once. I tell you it was an unique experience. If you are a serious bartender and you have never bartended a Mexican disco, or rave, you are missing out, totally different from anything you will experience in the USA.

The night was a huge success, and I heard the party lasted long after I left and even continued all day and night Sunday at the YaYa Beach Club. I tell you one thing Mexican really know how to party. I have heard of parties here lasting 2 or 3 days non stop. I have even gone to a party on Friday night, went home slept, and came back next afternoon, and the party was still going on.

As long as I live, I will always remember the night I bartended an all night Mexican disco and DJ party in Mahauhual on Valentine’s Day. Mahahual Music, Preston Ernest and his crew really know how to throw a party.

Preston Ernest and Roberto Prado who planned and ran the party.

Preston Ernest and Roberto Prado who planned and ran the party.

Thanks for reading,
Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

Life Along the Malecon in Mahahual

Living on the malecon here in Mahahual, I see something different every day. Apart from all the activity on cruise ship day, the malecon is like a quiet little quaint neighborhood. There are people from all walks of life living and working on the malecon.

My whole life at the moment now consists of about a 200 foot stretch of beach and the malecon. I live and work on the malecon, and do all my shopping and eating on the malecon also. I go into New Mahahual, (Casitas the locals call it), about once a week, to go by the office or go to the pharmacy to get my diabetes meds. Besides that, I am on the malecon 24/7.

When I need to get something to eat, or go to the store, I just walk downstairs and walk around the corner. In fact I got it down to an art. I can go to the store or get something to eat during halftime of any game I am watching on March Madness. I went the other night during the games at halftime to the Ibaza Sunset, and ordered my dinner, and walked back, watched second half of game, and then went back and got my dinner, walked back, and did not miss the start of the next game.

I got all I need downtown here on the malecon. Plenty of places to eat, several stores, and there are always people walking by, and something is always going on.

Last night I was inside watching some college basketball NCAA games, and I heard some music and talking down on the beach in front of my place. Come to find out there was a wedding on the beach going on, right on the beach right in front of my balcony. So what I did the rest of the night was, when a commercial came on or halftime, I would go watch the wedding from the balcony. A young woman who lives next door got married here last night on the beach. Her relatives own and operate a store next door here on the malecon for tourists, and they also live in the back.

So I had an interesting evening last night, college basketball and a Mexican wedding. I bet there is not another person out there in the world who spent an evening like I did last night, watch a Mexican wedding and March Madness at the same time.

Setting up for wedding.

Setting up for wedding.

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Wedding cake.

Wedding cake.

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There is another person here on the malecon who I find interesting. There is a woman who has a booth on the malecon, and she paints and sells Mayan plates. She sits there with her daughter all day, and sells and plates her plates. I have watched her, she is quite good. Her booth is right on the malecon between El Faro and the Diving Burrito, at the entrance from the athletic field to the malecon.

Her name is Pascuala Remigio Chavez, and she has been working on the malecon for 5 years. She is quite talented with her artwork, and I watched her some the other day and took photos. So if you are here on a cruise ship or vacation, you should stop by her booth, she has some great plates and Mayan art.

Painting plates.

Painting plates.

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Her artwork.

Her artwork.

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Pascuala Remigio Chavez and her daughter, her daughter sits with her while she paints.

Pascuala Remigio Chavez and her daughter, her daughter sits with her while she paints.

Thanks for reading,
Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

New Time Zone for Costa Maya and Mahahual, Mexico

costamayamahahual:

I have been getting a lot of seaches and questions about the new time zone here. So today I am reblogging this for everyone.

Originally posted on Costa Maya Mahahual:

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A New Time for Quintana Roo
BY CARLOS UNDERWOOD • JANUARY 21, 2015

Starting on Sunday, February 1, 2015 the new time zone will be put into effect for Quintana Roo, and will be known as the “Southeastern Time Zone”. Last December 5, federal legislators reformed Articles 2 and 3 of the Time Zone System Law of Mexico -with 258 votes in favor and one against- standardizing the time in the southeastern part of the region with the time in the East coast of the United States.

Currently, our state, located on parallel 75, has the same time as the City of Mexico, located on parallel 94 west of the Greenwich meridian, which meant that in winter nighttime would fall very early. With the new time zone, clocks will be moved forward by an hour and will permanently remain on Daylight Savings Time (or Summer Time).

February 1, at 2:00…

View original 426 more words

Latest News from Mahahual March 2015

 

Some of the latest news from Mahahual.  I have translated from local news websites.  It is translated from Spanish, so not in perfect English.SINTRA04

The infrastructure implemented by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport (Sintra) to the cruise port of Mahahual, is strengthened further action as the expansion of the tourist pier, where 19 million pesos invested.

In compliance with the instruction of Governor Roberto Borge Angulo, optimize ASAP tourism infrastructure through major urban improvement works, the roadworks will be ready in the short time before the early start of the holiday period of the Week Holy.

The holder of the Sintra, Fernando Carrillo Escamilla said that the primary objective of this work in Mahahual is strengthen tourism in this southern state, generate more income sources for the population and better jobs and a better quality of quintanarroenses life for families.

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport works in the execution of a vehicular section six meters crown of track and a parallel pedestrian area of ​​580 linear meters long by 2.5 meters wide, which already stamped concrete is placed, and built garrisons.

-and Concrete casting began, like lighting, landscaping, street furniture and signage will be placed. Also in the works are performed works induced to give a better urban image in the area, in order to make it more attractive for visitors said.

He explained that to give the target a new and attractive image, constant supervision visits work to ascertain the progress of work remain, which when developed according to schedule.

‘These works will become more comfortable stay tourism, estimated at 400 thousand visitors arriving via cruise ship, and they will find a modern tourist cruise port at the height of their recreational needs pointed out.

Borge Angulo to federal authorities for Tourism, with the full backing of President Enrique Peña Nieto, who has spared your support to continue promoting projects that keep Quintana Roo as the first resort of Latin America.

In the current administration of Governor Roberto Borge, has privileged the construction and modernization of urban infrastructure in Cozumel and Mahahual, main points for receiving cruises.

-This Order to ensure better conditions and expanding expectations for economic benefit for service providers-explained.

It is noteworthy that the expansion project includes improving Malecón intersections, horizontal and vertical signage, landscaping, street furniture, street lighting, sidewalks, trimmings and pedestrian walkway.
-The Benefits with this third stage of the Malecon in Mahahual be reflected directly to service providers who will offer better conditions for the destination, with a pedestrian walkway where visitors and locals traveling in comfort and safety-he said .

According to supervision by the secretaries of Infrastructure, Ariel Meeser Soureau and Evaluation and Bonding, Gerardo Pérez Zafra and director of Roads, Ulises Real Alamilla, work force running through the Sintravan according to schedule.

http://www.galucomunicacion.com

Conquer European Southern Quintana Roo

Travel agencies and tour operators from the old continent show interest in destinations like Chetumal, Bacalar and Mahahual.

Friday, Mar 13, 2015

Claudia Martin / SIPSE

Chetumal, Q. Roo.- in international tourism fairs, southern Quintana Roo is winning travel agencies and tour operators in Europe.

Trust Chairman Grand Costa Maya, Fernando Salazar House, said the group Iberoservice informed them that sends monthly between 200-250 tourists from Germany, Finland, France and Serbia, while the Barcelona group reported that sends monthly downstate 300 Spaniards.

“When they began arriving European tourists to Chetumal, we talked about a group of 10 people at most. Suddenly begin to see that we had already reached a truck 50 people and now there are clear reports of 250 people a month. The same goes for Spanish, we now reached 10 and 300 visit us each month, “he said.

Offered tourist routes
He said that the circuits that supply the southern state are, Chetumal and surrounding area, including Calderitas and the Hondo River, Bacalar Pueblo Magico and of course Mahahual.

“The European tourism is more interested in supplementing their trip to Quintana Roo. They stay in Chetumal and hence were distributed to know archaeological sites, Bacalar, Mahahual, and even the neighboring country of Belize. The challenge for this year is to make instead of two nights and three days three nights and four days in the south of the state to stay, “he said.

You may also be interested in: Promoted natural beauties of Quintana Roo in Berlin, Germany

Salazar Chamber noted that the Berlin Fair 47 business meetings were implemented and important agreements were made with 12 tour operators to send the circuits of the Grand Costa Maya, to send more tourists to the South of the entity

He added that they have already finalized their participation in the Tianguis Turistico 2015 Acapulco, for which they have finalized 38 business appointments with travel agencies and tour operators, 80% of European origin, but additional business appointments materialize interviews Palace Group, Bojorquez and Alma to continue sending tourists to southern Quintana Roo.

Mahahual soon release his ‘House of Culture’

Construction started from 2011 and after several delays just waiting for the furniture.
Mar, 2015
Construction of the House of Culture of Mahahual concluded, now only are awaiting the furniture. (Harold Alcocer / SIPSE)

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Claudia Martin / SIPSE
Chetumal, Q. Roo.- The House of Culture of Mahahual awaits the arrival of furniture and equipment to take office.

According to the Secretary of Culture, Lilian Villanueva Chan, two million pesos and delays were invested in the work were for delay of federal resources (one year two months) plus flooding problems with which they were found in the field assigned.

“On the ground we stumbled upon a cave which had to inject more state resources. There we lay seven months to reach the highest ideal and keep in rainy seasons are going to flood, “he said.

He said that there is a basic cultural program for all houses of culture which includes classes in dance, music, visual arts. However, the program will be reinforced with artists living in Mahahual.

“In Mahahual there are many artists who came to the first and second festival Crossing Borders and have stayed, who have shown interest in participating in the activities of the Casa de la Cultura, not only to exhibit their works, but to impart their knowledge” he declared.

Construction since 2011
In 2011, the then culture secretary Cora Amalia Castilla Madrid, announced the construction of a house of Culture in Mahahual, with an investment of two million pesos.

He explained that the building will have classroom painting, dance room, classroom, theater, music room, sculpture workshop, library, restrooms, cafeteria lookout, administration, central plaza multipurpose for recitals, art and cultural events, access principal, box office, exhibition area of ​​several works of Mayan culture, multipurpose room and sale of handicrafts.

 

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

Saint Patrick’s Battalion in Mexico

Since today is St. Patricks Day, I thought I would share some history of the famous St. Patricio Battalion, and the history of the Irish soliders of Mexico. I know a Mexican woman who is a descendent of these Irish soliders, and her last name is Tandy.

The green harp flag in its 18th to 19th century design, showing the "Maid of Erin" as the harp's pillar, her wing forming the harp's neck, and the inscription Erin go Bragh ("Ireland forever").

The green harp flag in its 18th to 19th century design, showing the “Maid of Erin” as the harp’s pillar, her wing forming the harp’s neck, and the inscription Erin go Bragh (“Ireland forever”).

The St. Patricio Battalion
The Irish Soldiers of Mexico

On 12 September 1997, the Mexican government paid special tribute to the soldiers of the San Patricio Battalion who were tortured and hanged at the San Jacinto Plaza, San Ángel, in 1847.
Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo presided at the ceremonies marking the sesquicentennial of that tragic event and declared: “One hundred and fifty years ago, here in San Ángel, … members of the St. Patricks Battalion were executed for following their consciences. They were martyred for adhering to the highest ideals, and today we honor their memory. In the name of the people of Mexico, I salute today the people of Ireland and express my eternal gratitude.” The president concluded, saying: “While we honor the memory of the Irish who gave their lives for Mexico and for human dignity, we also honor our own commitment to cherish their ideals, and to always defend the values for which they occupy a place of honor in our history.” Irish Ambassador to Mexico Sean 0’Huighinn emphasized the bonds of friendship that the “San Patricios” have forged between the two countries, and which continue to grow and prosper. He noted that Ireland and Mexico shared a common history of struggle to preserve their cultural identities and political liberties, often threatened by powerful and aggressive neighbors. He also paid tribute to the humanitarian insights of the San Patricios who, “despite the confusion and animosities of war, were able to discern the admirable qualities of the Mexican people, unclouded by preconceived notions of racial prejudice.” In this context, he quoted the leader of the San Patricios, John O’Reilly (also written Riley) who wrote: “Do not be deceived by the prejudice of a nation at war with Mexico, because you will not find in all the world a people more friendly and hospitable than the Mexicans.”
Historical Review

Following the US declaration of war against Mexico in 1846, an Irish-born deserter from the US army, John O’Reilly, organized a company of soldiers at Matamoros to fight on the side of Mexico against the invading US forces. These foreign volunteers became known as “Las Compañías de San Patricio,” and were renowned for their skill as artillerists as well as their bravery in battle for the duration of the war (1846-1848). Not all the San Patricios were deserters from the US army. Their number also included Irish and other Europeans already settled in Mexico, and some historians use Mexican army records as a basis to state that the majority were not deserters. The San Patricios did, however, have a distinctly Irish identity since their name-sake, St. Patrick, is the patron saint of the Irish people. The groups banner displayed an Irish harp surrounded by the Mexican coat-of-arms with a scroll reading, Freedom for the Mexican Republic and underneath the harp was the motto in Gaelic “Erin go Brágh” (Ireland for Ever). On the other side of the banner Saint Patrick was depicted holding a pastoral staff resting on a serpent. A US soldier described it as “a beautiful green silk banner [that] waved over their heads; on it glittered a silver cross and a golden harp, embroidered by the hands of the fair nuns of San Luis Potosí.” Historian Robert Miller also cites another reference to the San Patricio banner by an American observer: “Among the mighty host we passed was O’Reilly and his company of deserters bearing aloft in high disgrace the holy banner of St. Patrick.”

From Matamoros to Churubusco

The San Patricios took part in the fighting at Matamoros and Monterrey where they earned a reputation for their expertise in handling heavy weaponry. Following the US victory at Monterrey, the Mexican army retreated to San Luis Potosí, where General Antonio López de Santa Anna reorganized the Mexican forces in late 1846. Liberating Army of the North, as well as a special artillery unit manned by the San Patricios. This unit was commanded by Colonel Francisco Rosendo Moreno and played and important role in the Mexican victory at the Battle of Angostura in February 1847. According to Miller, “Two six-powder cannon of the US Fourth Artillery were captured by the enemy due to intense fire from the San Patricio cannoneers, aided by support troops.” General Francisco Mejía cited the San Patricios in his report as “worthy of the most consummate praise because the men fought with daring bravery.” As a result of their heroism in battle, O’Reilly, among others, was promoted to the rank of captain and was given the Angostura Cross of Honor. Despite the apparent victory of the Mexican forces at Angostura, Santa Anna decided to abandon the field of battle and retreated to San Luis Potosí. According to Miller, about a third of the San Patricios were killed or wounded at Angostura. Only two weeks after the battle of Angostura, the main focus of the war shifted to the Mexican Gulf Coast with the arrival of General Winfield Scott at Veracruz with 9,000 troops. The San Patricios were transferred from San Luis Potosí to Jalapa and took part in the Battle of Cerro Gordo which ended in defeat for the Mexican forces.

The Foreign Legion of St. Patrick
In June 1847, Santa Anna created a foreign legion as part of the Mexican army, and the San Patricios were transferred from the artillery branch to the infantry and merged into the Foreign Legion. They then became known as the First and Second Militia Infantry Companies of San Patricio. Colonel Francisco R. Moreno was made commander, with Captain John O’Reilly in charge of the First Company and Captain Santiago 0’Leary of the Second. The companies were also referred to as “The Foreign Legion of San Patricio”.

The Battle of Churubusco

Dr. Michael Hogan, the Irish-American author of The Irish Soldiers of Mexico, provides a detailed, well-documented account of the heroic defence of the “convento” (monastery) at Churubusco when it was attacked by the invading US forces on 20 August 1847. The monastery, surrounded by huge, thick stone walls, provided a natural fortress for the defending Mexican forces. The San Patricio Companies together with the Los Bravos Battalion occupied the parapets of the building which was to become the scene of one of the bloodiest battles of the war. Though hopelessly outnumbered, the defenders repelled the attacking US forces with heavy losses until their ammunition ran out, and a Mexican officer, realizing the hopelessness of the situation, raised the white flag of surrender. According to Hogan, Captain Patrick Dalton of the San Patricios tore the white flag down, and General Pedro Anaya ordered his men to fight on with their bare hands if necessary. Mexican historian, Heriberto Frías described the heroic last stand of the San Patricios: “Only the soldiers of St. Patrick, brave Irishmen who spontaneously defended our standard, passing to our ranks out of sympathy for our ideals and religion, were able to use the munitions; and they continued their spirited volleys, until the enemys rain of fire brought death to those valiant marksmen.” History records that following the surrender, when US General Twiggs asked General Anaya where his ammunition was stored, he replied bitterly: “If I had ammunition, you would not be here.” Undoubtedly, the tenacity and skill of the San Patricio companies at Churubusco earned them the everlasting esteem and affection of the Mexican people; and their willingness to fight to the death for their commitment to Mexico forged an indelible seal of honor on that commitment. Mexicans are also justly proud of the heroic stand of their national guardsmen, “green civilian recruits, fighting to the death against Scotts well-equipped veterans.”

According to General Anaya’s written report, 35 San Patricios were killed in action, 0’Leary and O’Reilly were wounded and Francis 0’Connor lost both legs as a result of his heroic stand against the invaders. Eighty-five of the San Patricios were taken prisoner, while the other survivors (about 85) managed to escape, and apparently were later able to rejoin the retreating Mexican forces. Seventy-two were charged with desertion from the US army, and General Scott ordered that two courts-martial be convened to try them.

Lashing, Branding and Hanging

A court-martial at San Ángel on 8 September 1847, upheld the death sentence for 20 of the 29 San Patricios tried there, while a similar court at Tacubaya ordered the death penalty for 30 more. The others, including O’Reilly, escaped the death penalty since they had deserted before war was declared. They, however, were condemned to “receive 50 lashes on their bare backs, to be branded with the letter “D” for deserter, and to wear iron yokes around their necks for the duration of the war.” Two Mexican muleteers were forced to administer the lashes, according to Hogan.

On 10 September 1847, 16 of the condemned San Patricios were hanged at the San Jacinto Plaza, San Ángel, and 14 others received 59 lashes on their bare backs until, according to an American eyewitness, “Their backs had the appearance of a pounded piece of raw beef, the blood oozing from every stripe. ” After the flogging, the prisoners were branded with the letter “D” with red-hot branding irons. Some were branded on the hip, while others were branded on the cheek, and O’Reilly was branded on both cheeks for good measure. San Jacinto Plaza thus became the scene of bloody and mangled bodies, mingled with the repulsive odor of the burning flesh of the tortured San Patricios. According to Hogan, five Mexican priests who sought to give spiritual assistance to the victims were forced to witness the whippings and brandings and ordered to withdraw to the gallows to witness the final act of this “gruesome and carefully orchestrated spectacle.”
Eight mule-drawn wagons were brought up, and two prisoners were placed on each wagon. Sixteen nooses hanging from the crossbeam were placed around their necks, and the priests were brought forward to administer the last rites of the Catholic Church. Then, “the whips cracked, and the wagons drove off leaving the 16 victims dangling from their nooses.” Some, like Captain Patrick Dalton, had asked to be buried in consecrated ground, and were interred in nearby Tla-copac. The others were buried beneath the gallows, and C. O’Reilly and his tortured companions were forced to dig their fallen comrades’ graves. On September 2, four more convicted San Patricios were hanged at the nearby village of Mixcoac.
The final scene of this macabre and somewhat sadistic “hanging spree” took place near Tacubaya on September 13, when the remaining 30 convicted San Patricios were hanged. Francis 0’Connor, who had lost his legs at Churubusco and was dying from his wounds, was nonetheless dragged from the hospital tent and propped up on a wagon with a noose around his neck. When the US American flag was raised over Chapultepec Castle, the San Patricios were “launched into eternity as the wagons pulled away, and the nooses tightened on their necks.”

Mexicans were shocked and outraged by this cruel and barbaric treatment of the San Patricios. The Diario del Gobierno expressed its indignation, writing: “This day in cold blood, these [US American] Caribs from an impulse of superstition, and after the manner of savages as practiced in the days of Homer, have hanged these men as a holocaust.”

In Memoriam

1997 marked the sesquicentennial of a bitter and traumatic chapter in the history of the Irish and Mexican peoples. Mexico remembered the tragic loss of almost half its territory, “ceded” to the United States; and Ireland remembered the tragic loss of almost half its total population due to starvation and emigration brought about by the Great Famine of 1847. It has been wisely said that those who ignore the lessons of history are destined to repeat it, and that we do not need to savor the bitterness of the past in order to understand its lesson for the present and the future. Each year, on September 12, Mexico pays tribute to the San Patricios at San Jacinto Plaza. The commemorative plaque on the wall facing the plaza was designed by Lorenzo Rafael, son of Patricio Cox, who wrote the first book, a novel in Spanish, about the San Patricios. The escutcheon at the top of the plaque depicts a Celtic cross protected by the outstretched wings of the Aztec eagle. The inscription on the plaque reads: “In memory of the Irish soldiers of the heroic San Patricio Battalion, martyrs who gave their lives for the cause of Mexico during the unjust US invasion of 1847″. At the bottom of the plaque another inscription reads: “With the gratitude of Mexico, 112 years after their holocaust”. The plaque was placed in 1959 and continues to remind visitors to the peaceful, tree-shaded plaza, of the tragic events that took place there on 10 September 1847.

patricos01Thanks for reading, and Happy St. Patrick’s Day,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina