Cruise Ship Season Has Started in Mahahual

It is that time of year now in Mahahual that the cruise ships start coming back for high season. High season officially begins on November 1, and runs until the end of April. Also around November, the “Snow Birds” start their normal winter migration from Canada and the northern part of the USA to escape the cold and snow.

This past week, we had 2 ships, and next week we will have 3 ships, so from now on we will be getting ships every week. As soon as it starts to get cold up north, we start getting ships and people trickling into Mahahual.

One of my favorite things to do on cruise ship day is to “tourist watch”. I find it entertaining to watch cruise ship tourists going about on the malecon, experiencing Mahahual and Mexico for the first time. I meet people from all over the world and the USA. Here are some photos I took of all the action and tourists on the malecon and the beach this past week.

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Tourists going on snorkeling tour.

Tourists going on snorkeling tour.

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Massages on the beach.

Massages on the beach.

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Tourists being tourists.

Tourists being tourists.

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Malecon activity.

Malecon activity.

My chair on the malecon and the beach.  Here I sit on cruise ship day, and watch the world go by.

My chair on the malecon and the beach. Here I sit on cruise ship day, and watch the world go by.

 

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

Bread and Other Offerings on Day of the Dead

Pan de Muerto: Day of the Dead Bread, Mexico

The first and second days of November mark one of the most important cultural and religious festivals on Mexico’s events calendar: Day of the Dead, a festival that emphasizes remembrance of past lives and celebration of the continuity of life.  Traditionally, November 1st honors deceased children and November 2nd honors deceased adults.

An important feature of the festivities is the creation of an ofrenda – an offering – that usually manifests as an alter in Catholic homes; placing upon this photographs of the remembered dead, accompanied by a number of traditional foods and decorations, including caramelized pumpkin, small sugar skulls, and orange marigold flowers called cempaxochitl, colloquially referred to as Flor de Muerto.

Another traditional food oftentimes found on ofrendas is Pan de Muerto: literally translated, Bread of the Dead.  This bread is sold by most bakers (and all supermarkets) only in the weeks leading up to Day of the Dead.  As of November 3rd, the bread disappears from shelves until next year.

Like Easter eggs, or turkey dinner at Thanksgiving, Bread of the Dead is a treat that people look forward to and miss when its season passes.  Of course, this passing of availability is the essential ingredient that creates its lasting allure: another example of how scarcity can make things attractive and endows them with some intrinsic value.

Bread of the Dead is like any other bread—except that it has a few treats added into the mixture which serve to make it special.  The generous amounts of butter employed in its making, accompanied by a citrus glaze, and a good helping of sugar crystals dusted on top make this particular loaf a high-calorie sweet feast that, when fresh, also happens to melt deliciously on the tongue.

A remarkable feature of the bread is the presence of “bones”, formed from the same mixture, and laid over the dome-shaped dough. These give the bread a somewhat macabre look, but rest well with the theme it represents.

The recipe for Bread of the Dead is quite simple and you can find a range of recipes online, examples here. The succulent citrus undertones are bestowed by the addition of zest from a fresh orange and its juice or orange blossom water.

The bread is best when taken on the same day it was baked, accompanied with a cup of hot chocolate made the Mexican way (add ground cinnamon to the chocolate and whisk).

One of the long-standing traditions of people who attend the graves of their loved ones now deceased, is to take Pan de Muerto and drink Mexican hot chocolate; usually after dark, when the cool November temperatures begin to make their presence felt in the night air.

Pan de Muerto is one of those Mexican foods which many foreigners have yet to try. If you live in Mexico, or visit in late October / early November, then you’ll know (or come to know) about Day of the Dead and taste the delicious bread that accompanies this important festival.  Pan de Muerto appears on bakers’ shelves as of early October each year.

source:http://www.mexperience.com/blog/offerings-on-day-of-the-dead-mexico/

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

Day of the Dead in Mexico.

Costa Maya Mahahual

B-Catarinas

One of Mexico’s most important religious holidays is celebrated on All Saint’s Day (Nov 1) and All Soul’s Day (Nov 2): Dia de los Muertos (sometimes called Dia de los Fieles Difuntos) – Day of the Dead. Traditionally, November 1st honors deceased children and November 2nd honors deceased adults.

Far from being a morbid event, Day of Dead emphasizes remembrance of past lives and celebration of the continuity of life. This acknowledgement of life’s continuity has roots which go back to some of Mexico’s oldest civilizations: Olmec, Zapotec, Maya, Purepecha. The Aztecs, too, celebrated Day of the Dead, although earlier (August) on the current calendar.

Day of the Dead is celebrated passionately throughout Mexico, and especially so in smaller provincial towns and cities.

One of the culinary highlights of the season is “Pan de Muerto” (Bread of the Dead) which is a semi-sweet sugar-coated bread made from eggs and infused…

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Maya Alux or Goblins

Since Halloween and “Day of the Dead” are right around the corner, today I thought I would share some Maya mythology about the Alux today.  Monica from our office here sent me this article, and I am sharing on this blog today.

This is translated from Spanish.

What is a Alux?

– Mythology –

It is very common in these lands, mention the word indiscriminately Alux, but you know it’s really a Alux?
In the Maya mythology, it is designated a being like an elf or goblin, which also robs children, cattle or make mischief. According to tradition, it is said that tend to live in natural areas, mainly in the cenotes or caves.

The Aluxo’ob or aluxes are small that reach the height of the knee of a normal person, although it is mentioned that often invisible, occasionally show themselves to have communication with humans, to scare or just to meet each other .

In contemporary culture, it still respects to this mythical figure and still believe that aluxes are summoned as a farmer builds on his property an altar in a house known as kahtal alux or “house of alux”, usually in his field. For seven years, aluxes help you grow corn, call the rain and watch the fields at night, whistling to scare off predators or thieves betray. At the end of the seven years, the farmer must close the windows and doors of the house, sealing the alux inside. If this is not so, you can lose control over alux and it will begin to behave aggressively against people.

Some contemporary Maya altars still consider them useful in their field work (although its origins and the true purpose of these they are unknown).

 

Representation of Ob Aluxo

It is also said that occasionally Aluxo’ob stop along the way to ask offerings and if these are denied, they get angry and cause havoc and diseases.

Is this completely native mythology?

Although not known for sure, an interesting theory is that this mythology was an adaptation of British folklore, spread through the English pirates that sailed the Caribbean seas in the sixteenth century.

Own folklore or adapted, the fact is that the contemporary Maya misfortunes continue to attribute these beings and even considered almost an authority when they decide to enter their territories, so you have to ask permission.

We hope that the information has been interesting to know a little more detail of this great culture that is the Maya.

source:http://ojosmayastc.blogspot.mx/2014/10/que-es-un-alux.html

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

Crab Wanting to Watch Football

I was sitting at home last night getting ready to watch Monday Night Football. I had just made fajitas, and was getting ready to eat. All of a sudden I heard some scratching like someone was trying to get in.

I got up turned on all the outside lights and checked the windows, to see if someone was trying to get into the house, nothing. So I sat back down, and a couple of minutes later, the scratching started back. I got up checked again nothing. So after about 30 minutes of this, I got up and looked down, and there was this crab trying to get in the sliding glass doors, and it was causing the scary noises. He was trying to walk through the house to get to the beach.

Crab trying to get in to watch football.

Crab trying to get in to watch football.

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Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina Continue reading

Silver Reef Silver Shop Mahahual Village

If you are coming to Mahahual on a cruise ship, or visiting on vacation and you want some fine quality silver and jewelry, you might want to visit the Silver Reef shop on the malecon here.

Costa Maya Mahahual

Siver Reef on the malecon. Silver Reef on the malecon.

Since 2002, Silver Reef a jewelry shop specializing in Mexican silver, has been in business on the malecon here in Mahahual. They were one of the first businesses to open on the malecon in Mahahual, right after the cruise ship port was built. David Benitez, and his wife Suni specialize in .925 and .950 silver the best in Mexico. They also sell opals, and jewelry of Mayan design.

David and Suni Benitez, owners and operators. David and Suni Benitez, owners and operators.

They moved here 13 years ago, and are originally form Taxco, the best silver mining district in Mexico. It is also the biggest producer of silver in the world. They moved to Mahahual because they like the quiet and tranquil life here, and there is no crime.

At Silver Reef they make their own jewelry, and it comes with a trademark, letter of authenticity and quality certificate. They only sell the…

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