Christmas Day I was working at the Costa Maya Port, doing our tours for cruise ship passengers. I looked up and all the Mexicans that work there with me kind of scattered, when about twenty Amish Americans walked around the corner. It was several Amish families from Indiana, and they had decided to take a Caribbean cruise for the week of Christmas. They had their beards, and the women were wearing their Amish bonnets, and they all were wearing their traditional Amish long skirts and long pants and long sleeves. I don’t think the locals that work with me had ever seen Amish before.
Well I noticed nobody was helping them or trying to see if they wanted to go on a tour or not. The Amish were kind of standing around looking and trying to decide what to do or where to go. It was adults and children ranging in ages from 6 years old to about 50 years old, and they were all related.
I figured I might as well go talk to them and try to help them out, because everybody else was scared to approach them. I did not think they would want to go to the beach and sit in the sun, or go snorkeling, so I was not expecting to sell them any tours or make any money off them, but I went ahead and went to talk to them anyway. I asked them where they were from and what did they want to do today. We sell at lot of beach break parties that include all you can drink alcohol, beer, shots, and mixed drinks, so I dared not even bring up that subject. Two men stepped forward and asked me to tell them about the area here and what they could do for the day. The other Amish, women and children, kind of hid back and kind of looked like they were out of their element. Much to my surprise the Amish men told me that they had always heard about the Caribbean and how beautiful it was, and they wanted to take their families for a day on the beach. I looked around at the Amish in their hats and bonnets, long pants, skirts, and sleeves, and I thought to myself, “What are these people in Mahahual going to think when 20 Amish walk up and sit on the beach”. I think these were the first Amish to get off on a cruise ship here.
I talked it over with the two guys in charge of the group, and I gave them a family discount and the whole Amish group went into Mahahual to our Senor Frogs resort. I got all 20 or so on a shuttle and got them to our place on the beach and they got settled in for a day on the beach. I was told that they made quite an impression on the guys that work at our beach club when they piled out of the shuttle. To my surprise the young Amish women wore bathing suits, long ones like you see from the 1920s, but never the less bathing suits. They kept their bonnets on, even in the water.
At the end of the day the Amish returned to the port, to get back on the ship, and they all stopped by to thank me and tell me Merry Christmas, and told me how much they enjoyed the beach here and how beautiful the Caribbean was. They were very nice people, and it was kind of amusing to see Amish women covered up in towels coming back from the beach.
I did not take any photos or anything of them because I figured they might get offended or something, because I am sure they get gawked at a lot traveling around.
The people at the port could not believe I got the Amish to go into town and spend a day on the beach, in fact I had to explain to some of them what Amish are. There are Mormons and Mennonites in Mexico, but it is the first time any of the people who work at the port had been exposed to Amish. I also had to describe the Amish lifestyle to the folks at the port, and they were fascinated that people live that way in the USA.
I will always remember the Christmas Day I sent a bunch of Amish to the beach to celebrate Christmas Caribbean style.
Thanks for reading,
Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina