Questions and Comments about Mahahual September 2016

It is time for the latest comments and question on this blog.  I try to do this once a month. I answer comments and questions provided by the readers of this blog.  This month I have had quite a lot of comments, and a couple of good questions.  As usual I will do the questions first, and then do the comments.

view from the roof of proposed Aqua Star Hotel and Condos.

“I have been to Costa Maya a few times and the last 2 years I have snorkeled just south of the light house in front of the first dive shop by the dock going out. It is good snorkeling once it gets a bit deeper, but the boats come in and out there. Is there a better spot that you would recommend? Any shore spots that you can scuba dive from and rent tanks? My wife and 2 kids will all be diving or snorkeling, but renting a boat for all 4 of us, is just too expensive. I have heard of beaches about 5-10 miles south of the cruise docks, but not sure of their name. I would love to get your thoughts. We will be there in January 2017.”

Very good question, first of all. snorkeling is great here in Mahahual.  Some of the best places are the remote areas.  Also you can take a snorkeling tour by boat here for around $20-$25 a person.  The boat takes you to a remote place on other side of the reef.  The area you mentioned in your comment is good, and used by a lot of tourists here. The beaches you have heard off 5-10 miles south of town are the best.  The farther away you from the town and tourists, the better the snorkeling is.  Let me know before you come in January and I can set some stuff up for you.

“Stewart, if your from the US and go to live in mexico, is it possible to take something like directv or dish with you as well and use it to watch? I ask because i have a couple of friends that were deployed to Jakarta and they were able to do this. Just wondering if you know of anyone over there that has done this and if it would work. As you know we are on the initial planning stages for moving down there and would be a huge plus if this was possible.”

I am not sure if you can bring your Direct TV dish with you, but I am pretty sure if it works in the USA, it might not work here, because a lot of things are blocked here by USA media.  For instance ESPN watch is blocked here, and a lot of other media.  They have SKY TV here that has a lot of programs in English, and stuff like the NFL network and other sports.    Most of us expats here like me, watch most of our TV over the internet and everything else for free.  There are numerous websites that have programming and sports, all for free.  I watched college football all day on Saturday just using my computer.  But I am sure in the near future, there will be Direct TV or something similar here.  I will keep you posted on media available here.

I have gotten a ton of comments this month, so I am going to share some of those now.

“Yeah, I’d buy those 3/4 Time Boys a cerveza. I relate to them closer than Kentucky. Good read, and damn funny.”

“Stewart, one caveat to your most excellent blog on If Trump Wins. Please do not move to Mexico if you voted for or supported Trump, please go to Canada or somewhere else when Madam President Hillary is sworn in.”

“Awesome post, Stewart. Thanks so much! You answered a lot of my questions. I’ll try to get you that can of Hormel Chili smuggled to you. (I personally think Wolf Brand Chili, no beans, is better, mho.) Question is: Beans or No beans?”

Me:Beans of course, I am not from Texas.

“Lol, not everyone can be so lucky. Beans it is!”

“Your Gamecocks won!!”

“I’m planning to. Take me another 12 years and some Spanish lessons, though. I’m about tired of US political shenanigans from all sides, and the common folk having to pay for it all.”

“I wouldn’t worry about trolls. I enjoy your BLOG. Can’t you block comments from these or approve comments before you allow them to post?”

Me:I don’t mind the critics, keeps me humble. I believe in free speech, if someone hates me, I believe they have the right to express it. He is first bad comment in a while. I usually post them along with the good comments.

“Your choice, of course. I blog, just a bit, or re-blog, for family and folks that may visit me and the few who have said they might retire here. Your Blog, on the other hand, is perfect for commercial sponsors and rotating affiliate programs. Additionally, the trolls kick down, for no reason, where you live and work or enjoy retirement. That’s a different story. I have always felt a responsibility to give back to any place I live and work.”

“Good info and read. Just the perfect information for anyone wanting to become and EX-PAT in mexico.”

“Good gosh, i just ate, and this made me hungry all over again! These is by far the best either eaten alone, or in tacos. Oh i am hungry.. hehe”

“We are looking for a home or condo. Either will work. Within walking distance to beach. In or around playa. Looking for medical costs as well. Insurance, all that goes with moving. Plus maybe open up a little bar close to the beach just to keep us entertained.”

“There are a lot of readers because the content on here not only serves EX-PATS, or future EX-PATS. It serves those wanting to go there and have a good time. My wife and i are future EX-PATS and will be moving there soon. So all this great information is highly appreciated. Job well done! Keep it coming!”

“Congratulations Stewart, well done! In honor of your accomplishment, I am going to crack open a bottle of Patron, cut up a few limes, dust off the sea salt and have a few shots with some cold Dos Equix. Thanks for the excuse to drink, much appreciated!”

“Go GENERALS!!

Go TIGERS!!

(Moving to Akumal)”

Me: Is that Wade Hampton Generals, and Clemson Tigers? My 2 arch rivals.

“Absolutely! My wife and I are WHHS grads (’72). I’m actually a Georgia Tech grad, but I pull for the Tigers, too.”

“I like your blog, Stewart. Keep up the good work. I also like how you keep it pretty much politics free. Ignore the guy/gal, and start intentionally misusing grammar. That’ll teach them, and it might come out pretty funny.”

“As we say in Rhode Island, fuggedahboutit. How about something more interesting — that corn liquor made down in Xcalak? What’s it like? “Corn whiskey” covers a lot of ground — white lightning to fine bourbon. Go forth and research, sez I.”

“As they say in New York, forget about it. There are a large group of people in the United States that watch Fox News. I refer to Fox as the low information voter and viewer, foreign owned, lying tabloid on TV. But Fox does us nose breathers a real service by keeping the mouth breathers out of Mexico where they will ruin the country for all of us. Your Blog is an informational portal in to Mexico, the customs of Mexico, the food of Mexico, the Holidays of Mexico, Travel Information in Mexico, the list goes on and on. I am not surprised at the 200,000 figure, I am surprised it is not higher. Remember, Mexico is full of “rapists and murderers” so the ignorant are always going to question comments by a Gringo in Paradise. Best tweet I read when Trump visited the President of Mexico was, “Trumps in Mexico, hurry and build the wall now!” Keep up the good work Stewart and ignore the morons please, just pray they don’t visit Mexico anytime before they die.”

“Just let’s hope this negative blogger never graces our beautiful little paradise with his nonsense.”

“Does the name J. Brodie Bricker mean anything? He was (is) my soccer coach. If you played basketball or football against WHHS back then you probably played against one of my brothers.”

Me: I played a lot against Wade Hampton, in baseball and football. I was friends with Todd Hendley, Chris Miller, Rick Aldredge, all those guys. Also I know Clyde Mays quite well. I also started Nepals, the strip club with Pete Manos.

“I’ve known Pete since 6th grade. You probably played football against my brother Greg. You also probably played BB against Bob Patterson who was a friend of the family. If you swam in S.A.I.L in the summer, we all swam for Wellington Green.”

Me: Played baseball against and with Bob Patterson. Won state title in 1974 Bob and I were pitchers on team. I think I know Greg also.

“And when somebody disrespects Juanga. That also pisses Mexicans off. And Donald Trump.”

“fun read! #2 sounds horrible though!!😄”

“HAHAHA! Man this list made my day and it’s only getting started! What a great read.. Thanks!”

“Great info and love what people think about the water. I mean the most your going to get is the runs for a few days. hahahaha. Is that upsetting? No heck it’s going to clean you out.

I’ve been to numerous places in Mexico, not once have i had issues. Most places are safer than some cities in the US. Heck just in the city i live in right now in the US there are areas i would not even dare go into and think i would come out alive, or half alive. Yet there are places you go in Mexico that you would think that, but are actually good places to visit.

“Man i can’t wait to go back!”

“I can honestly attest to this as i have stayed there for even less a day. Of course the better part of me get me all the time, but it can be accomplished. Do your homework, research before you go and you can do a lot with just $30 or less as stated on this write up. Love it!”

“I can honestly attest to this as i have stayed there for even less a day. Of course the better part of me get me all the time, but it can be accomplished. Do your homework, research before you go and you can do a lot with just $30 or less as stated on this write up. Love it!”

“Ohh that is so awesome to know that the locals are into making their own blends. I will have to swing by and get a taste of some on my next trip.”

“Hey Stewart, I enjoyed reading a few of your posts. I haven’t been to Mahahual yet, though I’ve been living in Bacalar now for 2 months and 6 months in Progreso before that. I wonder if you’d care for some company this Saturday for college football? I haven’t checked the times to see when the Gamecocks play but my UofL Cardinals play in early afternoon and are hosting ESPN College GameDay The game is against Florida State, both teams 2-0 and it’s No 10 vs No 2 (the first top 10 matchup of the season). If you hadn’t heard about our QB I’d be surprised, though maybe you haven’t seen him play for a full game. If not, you’re in for a treat. I think he’s got like 13 touchdowns rushing and passing in the last 2 games, and crushed several ACC records playing a total of five quarters. Anyway, I’m looking forward to finding a way to watch the game, and someone to yell at the screen with would be welcome.”

“Have a very happy Independence Day🙂”

“Actually, the real hero of the War of Independece was Iturbide, but nobody likes to mention him. And Guerrero. We like to mention him, but he was also sentenced to death by firing squad.”

“We will. Though Clemson fans with their orange-colored $2.00 bills they spend in town are classy and always welcome in Louisville. I figure as a SC fan you probably feel differently about the team, but their fan base is a riot to tailgate with in my experience.

“Yeah, look forward to hearing from you next day or so.”

Jajaja you really must have scared her. I remember the days in MX when young women went nowhere without a chaperone. The US male students complained all the time that they couldn’t talk to MX girls. Those days are long gone.”

“Happy Birthday Stewart. Chin up, for everything there is a reason. I hope your luck soon turns around. Hang in there.”

“Ouch! I sent feliz cumpleanos to Stewart Rogers
If this is a good address for you…?”

“Stewart, you are killing me here in Texas. In the US/Florida Keys, those fish are called Hog Fish or Hog Snapper. Whatever name they are given, they are delicious cooked whole and not filleted. In Tulum, El Carmella Jrs serves them and they are called Bocanetti, not sure about Mahahual. Don’t tell anymore gringos about that fish, word will get out and soon the price will go up or there won’t be anymore or at least they will be scarce. I didn’t know about the Hormel Chili but I think we can find room in one of our bags for a few cans. See you the end of next month! Save some frio cerveza and bocanetti for us please”

“It was a good time, Stewart, thanks for the write up. It was great to meet you, and I’m glad you enjoyed the chili. The Tipsy Turtle really loaded up the dish, didn’t they. Yeah, I call them hogfish, too. To me, much better than the grouper people try to push. They had some nice hogfish, for sure. We had a great time in Mahahual, even if we didn’t find any ‘square fish’. It’s a beautiful place. I think you are going to carve your niche out in Mahahual. Just hang in there: Good times always follow hard times! Remember your friends when you get rich and famous!”

“Hey, Stewart, looks like you got the wrong coral snake picture. I’m pretty sure that’s the false coral, and perfectly harmless. The old saying is,
Red Touch Yellow – Kills a Fellow
Red Touch Black – Venom Lack, or
Yellow Touches Red – Soon You’ll Be Dead
Red Touches Black – Friend of Jack”

“My buddy Bill, from WV said the moon was good stuff, and bought a small bottle, for fairly low price. He said it was good stuff. I had a porter and a hamburguesa, and they were both real good. Excellent place for a meal and enjoying the breeze.”

“No injuries, no one hurt and no fire department”

So those are this month’s comments any questions, if you have any more feel free to send them.

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

 

 

10 BEVERAGES YOU CAN ONLY FIND IN MEXICO

It is the weekend, so time for some Mexican culture.  Here is another installment from the Matador Network, about life in Mexico.  I have tried a lot of these beverages here in Mahahual and Caldaritas.

Man in a pulqueria in Mexico City. Photo by Laura Bernhein.

1. PULQUE

The “poliuhqui”, “broken” in Nahuatl, is a very nutritious drink. It’s high in protein and vitamins and minerals such as C, B1, B2, riboflavin, thiamine, niacin and folic acid. But what makes it so special is that it’s also an alcoholic beverage, obtained by the fermentation of “aguamiel” which is the sugary sap of some species of agaves.

Pulque existed before the arrival of Europeans to the current Mexican territory, and its use was reserved for soldiers and elderly people. During colonial times, however, people stopped drinking it, mostly because of the bad reputation given to it by beer companies that saw in pulque one of their biggest competitors.

If you haven’t tried it yet, I suggest you to do it after it’s freshly made in the morning, when it has very little alcohol content. As the hours pass, it increases their bittersweet taste and its level of alcohol.

Photo: Katie Bordner

2. POZOL

Another prehispanic drink called “pozzoli” by the Nahuas and “Pochol” by the Mayans. It’s prepared by fermenting corn inside banana leaves, diluted in salted water to which are added dried chilies, honey and sometimes ground cocoa. It is consumed as an energy drink during working hours, as well as to quench the thirst. It also mitigates hunger. You can drink it or eat it. Yes, you can make dumplings with pozol and consume it in its dehydrated form.

Photo: Sally

3. ATOLE

Atole is, without a doubt, the most popular drink among us. Before the arrival of the Europeans, it was prepared only with corn and water sweetened with brown sugar.

Currently, it is consumed throughout Mexico and there are many flavors and variations, depending on the region you visit. One can find atole de leche (milk) with strawberry, vanilla or caramel. Or atole de cenizas (ashes), typical of Michoacan, which is prepared with the ashes of a pine tree. There is alsochampurrado, which is an atole with chocolate. The variation with corn is calledchileatole. Atole is consumed on a daily basis, accompanied by sweet bread for breakfast or dinner.

Photo: Waywuwei

4. TEPACHE

Its name comes from the Nahuatl “tepiatl”, which means “corn drink”. Originally made with this cereal, the current and most popular version of it is made with pineapple, whose juice and pulp are left to ferment for at least a week. After this period, water, lemon, chili powder, and ice are added and they make one of our favorite drinks, famous for its unique sweet-sour flavor.

5. TESGÜINO

“Tecuin” in Nahuatl, it means “heartbeat”. It’s consumed mainly in the little villages of the Western Sierra Madre mountains. The preparation consists of letting germinated, grounded and boiled corn ferment in a special clay pot for 24 hours.

The native people rarámuris add a spike called basia`wi to it, which increases the level of alcohol. Another variation of this drink is prepared with cornstalk. It has a stronger flavor, and often people add agave, pineapples, hikuri (peyote) and other flowers or herbs to flavor it.

6. COLONCHE

The Nahua knew it as “nochtli”, which means “nopal liqueur”. The colonche is a drink obtained by fermenting the juice of red tunas, the fruits of the nopal cactus.

Lately it’s gaining popularity, but it can only be drank a few days a year during the rainy season, when there are more prickly pears. After a few hours of fermentation, the colonche flavor is sweet and gaseous and its alcohol content is very low.

7. TUBA

It’s obtained by fermenting the stem sap of several species of palm, coconut mainly. First it has a brownish color, but as ferments it becomes white. Its flavor is somewhat sweet and its consistency is viscous. Similar drinks are consumed in other parts of the world, as in Ghana, Malaysia, South Africa and the Philippines.

Photo: Maria Chavez

8 TEJATE

It’s made from fermented cacao seeds, mamey bones and cocoa flowers (which is called rosita, little rose). All ingredients are mixed with cold water until they become a paste. It is a very popular drink in Oaxaca and its name in Nahuatl istexatl ,which means “floured water.” I warn you: Many consider it an aphrodisiac drink…

9. AGUAS FRESCAS

They are the most traditional drinks here in Mexico. These fresh waters are made by blending fruits, flowers or seeds with water, then draining them and adding sugar or honey to taste.

Photo: ebouwens

10. CHOCOLATE

From Mexico to the world, this is “the drink of the gods”! Its name comes from the Nahuatl “xocolatl” and its original preparation consists of milling and baking cocoa beans, then adding corn and honey, and everything is blended by hand in a small mill until the mixture becomes foamy.

Many people today still prepare it this way, but it’s becoming a lost art. The best place to drink chocolate the traditional way is in the South of the country.

Photo: Citlalli V

source:http://matadornetwork.com/trips/10-beverages-can-find-mexico/

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

Another Great Video from Buceando Mahahual

I have been getting a lot of questions and searches on this blog about scuba diving here in Mahahual about diving here.  I especially have been getting a lot of activity about Banco Chinchorro and the diving there.  Banco is getting very popular on the internet.

So if you are wanting to come to Mahahual, and are interested in diving, check out Buceando Mahahual.  They go to Banco Chinchorro, and a lot of other great dive locations around here.  Click their link on this blog if you want more information about diving here.

Here is a great video done by one of their diving clients.

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0ByVOXmF8_9s9QVNEdHFyQTB6dzQ

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

 

 

Some Excitement Today in Mahahual

We had some excitement in town today for a change, a VW van caught fire right off the malecon.  It was one of those “hippie” vans we see here all the time.

VW van on fire, right off the malecon

VW van on fire, right off the malecon.

It was a normal day today, nothing much going on.  We had a cruise ship yesterday, so the town was quiet today.  I went into town and stopped by some Mexican friends who live right off the malecon on the main street, and have a balcony apartment.

They had invited me for lunch, and we had conch cerviche, which was pretty good.  These guys are vendors who have a shop in the cruise ship port, and I have known them for a long time.  They were showing me some Amber stones they had gotten from Chiapas, that had insects inside.  We were looking at the amber through a microscope, which was pretty cool to see an insect in a stone several million years old.  That is another story I will be doing soon.

We had finished lunch, and I was sitting on the balcony watching what little traffic came by, when I saw a bunch of people running down the street towards the malecon.  I could not figure out what was going on, and I kept seeing people running in that direction.  One guy ran by and yelled “fuego”, which means fire in Spanish.

Well I jumped on the bike, and went to see what was going on.  I got down the street a little bit, and I could see a bunch of smoke.  When I pulled up there was this van on fire, and a small crowd watching.

20160923_161145.jpg 20160923_161128.jpg 20160923_161036.jpg

Even the Rural Police showed up.

Even the Rural Police showed up.

As I was taking my photos, a woman with tattoos rode by on her skateboard and yelled at me, “I saw everything, a guy in a red shirt got out of the van, and a couple of minutes later it caught on fire.”  I don’t know this woman, but I have seen her around.

So that my friends is the up to minute news here today from Mahahual.  No injuries, no one hurt, just a little excitement to liven the day up here.

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

 

New Bourbon Whiskey Made in Xcalak

Costa Maya Mahahual

I meet a lot of interesting people down here in Mexico, and the other day I got to talk with a man from the USA that has been in business in Xcalak, Mexico for the last 31 years. David Randall is originally from Minnesota. David and his wife, Ilana, own and operate Costa de Cocos in Xcalak, Mexico, about an hour south of Mahahual. They also own Mango Moonshining in Xcalak, a company that brews its own beer, and makes Muir Blanco, Mexican corn liquor, or what we call in the USA, moonshine.

Mango Moonshing, Xcalak, Mexico Mango Moonshing, Xcalak, Mexico

David has been in Xcalak for the last 31 years. He had a catfish farm and business in the USA. During the winters there was not much for him to do, so he decided to come to Mexico and look around for a place to spend three or four months in the winter.

In…

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Mango Moonshining Xcalak, Mexico

Costa Maya Mahahual

Where I come from in South Carolina, we are famous for our moonshine, that is brewed in the hills and mountains of North Carolina and South Carolina.  I was very surprised when I found out that there is moonshine being made now in Xcalak.

I first came exposed to Muir Blanco, moonshine, on the malecon at the Tropicante.  Nancy at the Tropicante book store sells bottles of the moonshine, and I had a chance to sample it there.  They sell Muir Blanco to cruise ship and local tourists.

I have tasted the moonshine made in Xcalak, and it tastes just like it does back home.  I just find it hard to believe that good old corn liquor moonshine is being brewed in Xcalak, on the Caribbean.  Established in 2013, they are proud to announce that are the first artisanal brewery and distillery in the state of Quintana Roo.

They also…

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Five poisonous snakes of the Yucatan Peninsula

Of the hundreds of species of poisonous snakes that exist in the world, in the Yucatan Peninsula there are only 5 that are dangerous to humans.

The Yucatan Peninsula has a variety of flora and fauna that make it a unique place in Mexico.

As an example of this, within the peninsula there are 134 species of snakes, 18% of which are considered endemic, which means that they can only be found in this region. 24 endemic species live in Quintana Roo, Yucatan and Campeche, and these are included in “at risk” categories in the Mexican Official Standard NOM- 059- Semarnat for the protection of Mexico’s native flora and fauna.

king snake

Specifically in the Yucatan peninsula there are five species of snakes that are lethal to humans. Four of them belong to the family Viperidae while one belongs to the Elapidae family.

Viperidae Family.

Snakes or viperids have a pair of long fangs at the roof of their mouth and exposed when they need to attack their prey. The venom of snakes is generally haemotoxic, affecting blood cells and vascular tissues, leading to internal bleeding.

Rattlesnakes belong to this family, along with the royal nauyaca and the Russel Viper in Southeast Asia, which kills about 10,000 people a year, and is considered the most dangerous snake in the world.

These reptiles are mostly nocturnal, have wide body and triangular head, and can be found throughout the world except for Australia, oceanic islands and poles. There are 200 living species, divided into 28 genuses, of which only 4 are in the state of Yucatan:

Agkistrodon: There are 10 species belonging to this genre of which only one is in Yucatan: Agkistrodon bilineatus, commonly known as the moccasin, cantil and uolpoch in Maya.

It reaches a length of 73 cm, and is located in the Yucatan Peninsula in several locations in Campeche, Yucatan, Quintana Roo and northern Belize. It is highly poisonous and is believed to leap great lengths and can inject their venom through their fangs and tail.

snake Cantil

Bothrops: It includes 31 living species. They mostly inhabit the tropical lowlands of South America and Central America. Of all the species of this genus, only one inhabits the Yucatán Peninsula: The Nauyaca Real, also known as spearhead, Labaria, four noses, velvet, yellow beard, and taxinchan in Maya.

The Nauyaca is the most dangerous venomous snakes in the Yucatan Peninsula and the Americas in general. It can reaches 2.4 m in length. Usually it has a gray or brown color in some cases with pink coloring. It is a viviparous species and it can bear 5 to 86 babies at a time.

snake Nauyaca Real

Crotalus: Of the 26 species of this genus, only Crotalus Tzabcan is located in the state of Yucatan. Commonly known as a tropical rattlesnake, blood snake and tzabcan in Maya, this snake is one of the most dangerous of Yucatan.

Males reaching a maximum length of 1.60m female 1.55m, and their tail ends in a “bell” formed by keratin.

They live mainly in the jungles of Yucatan and Campeche but they can also be found in the high jungle of Quintana Roo.

snake cascabel tropical

Prothidium: In the Yucatan Peninsula two species of this genus are found: Porthidium nasutum and Porthidium Yucatanicu. Only the second one can be found in the state of Yucatan.

Also known as 4 noses, hook nose snake, and Chac-cam in Maya, it is the smallest on the peninsula belonging to the family of the viperids. Females reach 46.2 cm long and males reach 36.8 cm. They are gray and sometimes have orange or reddish spots, with series of dark spots in a triangle downwards, with white lines on the contours.

snake 4 narices

Elapidae family:

These are poisonous snakes found throughout the world, which include famous species like the king cobra, the coral snake and mambas.

They have short, fixed fangs, with varied levels of poisons. They also tend to have much more dangerous toxins, which tend to affect the victim’s nervous system.

snake Coralillo.JPG

The only specimens from this family in Yucatán are those of the Micrurus genus, commonly known as coral snakes. They are slender and small, with small eyes and cylindrical body. They are brightly colored yellow rings arranged in black, red, usually with a black ring between two yellows. There are about 50 species of coral snakes, of which only three are in the Yucatan Peninsula.

And only one in the state of Yucatan: the Micrurus diastema. It reaches a maximum size of 65 cm in length. It is the most poisonous species of Yucatan, but is shy and passive, so it does not pose a great danger to humans.

It is important to remember that while an encounter with one of these creatures can be dangerous, snakes are not generally aggressive and will most likely try to escape if it is approached by a human. The venom snakes are known – and often maligned – for is used to secure food and you can be sure that, at least in the Yucatán Peninsula, human beings are not on the menu.

 

Source: http://www.mexiconewsnetwork.com

source:http://www.theyucatantimes.com/2016/09/five-poisonous-snakes-of-the-yucatan-peninsula/

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina