Costa Maya Mahahual
For the last three years I have been working at the port selling tours to cruise ship tourists. Another part of my job was to hang around when the people came back to the port from their tours, or a trip into Mahahual, and answer any questions concerning real estate or about living in Mahahual. I usually would talk to 2 or 3 people a day, give them some brochures, maps, and anything else. they were interested in. Now that I am on the malecon in Mahahual, I am talking to 10 or 20 people a day when cruise ships are in town now.
At the port the hardest part of my job was to get people to leave the port and go into town or on a tour. A lot of the tourists were scared to leave the port or go into town, because of all they hear about…
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My new football, fresh from the USA.
I got a question the other day on this blog that I am a true expert at, watching football. I watch American football all the time on my computer here in Mahahual, and in fact I have not missed a South Carolina Gamecock football game in the whole seven years I have been in Belize and Mahahual.
This past Saturday I watched six college football games, and one NFL game on my computer, which is a personal best for me. There were no cruise ships in town this past Saturday, and I watched football all day, from 11am to midnight. All for free on my computer, using different websites that have pro and college football games.
I got this question the other day from a blog reader, and I will answer it now.
“Stewart, can you explain how to stream football in Mahahual. Will be at our villa for the super bowl?
We have internet.. what more do we need? any info would be great!”
Great question, and I will answer now with all the options I use to watch football.
First of all, all you need is good internet to watch football in Mahahual. I have internet now from Costa Maya Communications, but almost any internet will do. I know a lot of people that hook their computer and internet to their television and watch it that way. In fact I have hooked up my Iphone to a TV and watched it that way.
I will now go into all the websites that I use to watch football and never miss a game. Now there are several out there, but these are the ones I have been using the last four or five years here in Mahahual. I know the college bowl season is under way now, and the NFL playoffs start next week, so I hope these websites will help some of you be able to watch your teams, and answer the above question.
The first and most popular choice to watch football from network television is http://www.tvnow.com. TVNow is a free website that has all the major networks CBS,ABC, FOX, NBC, and PBS. You can watch all games on these networks, like playoff games, and the Super Bowl on USTVNow. The website is free and is for expats and servicemen overseas, and all you have to do is sign up. You can also watch and record all the network shows that you like back home in the USA.
It takes like 2 minutes to sign up for USTVNow, and all you need is a passport. There are also upgrades to this service, and you can pay so much a month to add channels, like ESPN and HBO. This a very popular website, so be forewarned on big games like the Super Bowl, you may not be able to log on, because of all the traffic at one time. So because of this, be prepared to have a back up website. This reason I know this is because one year in trying to watch the Super Bowl, I could not get in, and had to use another website.
The second option, and the one I use the most is First Row Sports out of England, http://www.firstrowi.eu. With First Row you can get any college or pro football game being televised anywhere. This is where I watch most of my University of South Carolina games, and any other college or pro games not on network TV. I mean you can get Cecil’s Business College playing Slippery Rock State Teachers College, if you wish, they have every college game being played in the USA.
I also watch NFL Redzone, College Game Day, and NCAA Goal Line on First Row. In fact the only game I have never been able to pick up in seven years on First Row Sports, was last weeks Clemson-South Carolina basketball game, which we ended up listening to on radio. On First Row there are several pop ups you have to go through to get to the game, but it is free, so I don’t mind.
The stream on First Row Sports is excellent, and I watch a lot of games on this website. I have even talked to the guys that run this website by email, and they told me they have to change website address every year, because the FCC in the USA keeps trying to block them. So they send me an email every year on where the website is, so I get free football every year, and I like free stuff. You can also watch baseball, hockey, cricket, basketball, racing, and any other sport that is televised, any where in the world.
Other options to watch football, ESPN, and other sports games are http://www.cricfreetv.com and http://www.tvtoss.com. You can watch ESPN and all college and pro football games on these websites also, out of Europe. What is different about these websites that is different from watching the games in the USA is, sometimes you get commercials from England and Europe, which is pretty cool.
There are also several other websites like http://www.watchseries.li and http://www.tvrush.eu that you can watch television shows from all over the world for free. I watch shows like “Game of Thrones”, “Fargo”, and other shows I like on these websites.
If you are in Mahahual and want to watch the NFL playoffs or the Super Bowl with a crowd, Padrino’s is your best bet. I have watched the Super Bowl the last two years there, and it is always a good time, and fun. Just be sure to make reservations.
So today I hope I have answered the question of how to watch the Super Bowl online, or streaming in Mahahual. If anyone else has any more questions on how to watch sports or television in Mahahual, fell free to submit them, this is a subject right up in my wheelhouse.
Thanks for reading,
Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina
Costa Maya Mahahual
View form lots.
Last week I was on the malecon, and I met a nice couple from Oregon who were in town to look around Mahahual and check it out. They were here on vacation, and they had read my blog, so they decided to come find me on the malecon. They said they had been looking for me all week, and this was their last day in town, and they were going to Bacalar later in the afternoon. They wanted to meet me and talk to me about getting some property here, and they had discovered Mahahual after reading my blog.
They informed me that they had been trying to see some real estate, but an American realtor here would not return their phone calls. (Trust me this happens a lot with a certain realtor here). I said yes I understand i get that complaint from people all the…
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Here are some current photos of Mahahual taken lately.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,
Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina
Making merry in
Christmas festivities begin with Las Posadas, nine consecutive days of candelight processions and lively parties starting December 16.
In villages and urban neighborhoods throughout Mexico youngsters gather each afternoon to reenact the holy family’s quest for lodging in Bethlehem. The procession is headed by a diminutive Virgen María, often perched on a live burro, led by a equally tiny San José. They are followed by other children protraying angels, the Santos Reyes (Three Kings), and a host of pastores y pastoras (shepherds and shepherdesses), all usually decked out in colorful handmade costumes and carrying brightly decorated báculos(walking staffs) or faroles (paper lanterns).
The parade of Santos Peregrinos (Holy Pilgrims) stops at a designated house to sing a traditional litany (Link to words & music) by which the Holy Family requests shelter for the night and those waiting behind the closed door turn them away. They proceed to a second home where the scene is repeated. At the third stop the pilgrims are told that while there is no room in the posada (inn), they are welcome to take refuge in the stable. The doors are flung open and all are invited to enter.
This is an active way of teaching children the story of the Nativity, but the chief attraction is the merrymaking that follows, above all the chance to engage in the ruthless smashing of piñatas and a mad scramble for the shower of fruits, sugar cane, peanuts and candies released from within.
Pastorelas (Shepherds Plays) are staged throughout the holiday season by both amateur and professional groups. These traditional, often improvised, theatrical presentations date back to Mexico’s Colonial period when Roman Catholic missionaries wooed converts and taught doctrine through dramatizations of Biblical stories.
The light, humor-filled Pastorelas tell of the shepherds’ adoration of the Christ Child. First they are visited in the fields by an angel who announces the holy birth. As the shepherds attempt to follow the great star leading them to Bethlehem they are plagued by a series of evils and misadventures provoked by the Devil. But in the proverbial all’s-well-that-ends-well finale, good triumphs over evil and the shepherd’s reach their intended destination.
Nativity scenes, or El Nacimiento
In most Mexican homes the principal holiday adornment is el Nacimiento (Nativity scene). The focal point, naturally, is a stable where clay or plaster figurines of the Holy Family are sheltered. The scene may be further populated by an angel,Los Reyes Magos (the Magi), the ox and the ass, shepherds and their flocks, and assorted other people and livestock. It is not unusual to also find the forces of evil represented by a serpent and a grotesque Lucifer lurking in the shadows. The figures may be simply positioned in a bed of heno(Spanish moss), or scattered throughout an elaborate landscape.
A major masterpiece may occupy an entire room, often near the front of the house for convenient viewing by neighbors and passersby. The creation of the basic landscape begins with papel roca(paper painted in earth tones) draped over tables, taped onto boxes, crushed and shaped to form a multi-leveled, natural looking terrain that frequently includes a series of hills and dales, a cellophane waterfall, a mirror pond, artificial trees, cacti, palm trees, and little houses set to form an entire village scene. Colored sawdust and a variety of natural mosses may be spread out as ground cover before the addition of strings of Christmas lights and the assorted human and animal figures. The scene will not be completed until Christmas Eve when the newborn Baby Jesus is finally laid in the manger bed.
Nowadays a decorated Christmas tree may be incorporated in the Nacimiento or set up elsewhere in the home. As purchase of a natural pine represents a luxury commodity to most Mexican families, the typical arbolito (little tree) is often an artificial one, a bare branch cut from a copal tree (Bursera microphylla) or some type of shrub collected from the countryside.
Christmas Eve — Noche Buena
Holiday festivities culminate on Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) with the celebration of a late-nightMisa de Gallo (Rooster’s Mass). Afterwards families head home for a traditional Christmas supper which may feature a simple fare of homemade tamales and atole (corn gruel) or other regional dishes. A more exotic feast might include bacalao a la vizcaína (Biscayan cod) and revoltijo de romeritos (wild greens in mole sauce). Roast turkey, ham or suckling pig are other popular menu items for those who can afford it. Ponche (a hot fruit punch), sidra (sparkling cider) or other spirits are served for the holiday brindis (toast). The evening is rounded out with the opening of gifts and, for the children, piñatas and luces de Belen (sparklers). As these happy family gatherings generally last into the wee hours, December 25th is set aside as a day to rest and enjoy that universal holiday bonus — el recalentado (leftovers).
Incidentally, Santa Claus and the clatter of reindeer hooves on the roof do not generally figure in the scheme of Navidad. A Mexican youngster’s holiday wishlist is directed instead to el Niño Dios(the Holy Child) for Christmas Eve and the Reyes Magos (Magi) for Three Kings Day.
Poinsettias: La Flor de Noche Buena
Its Latin name is Euphorbia Pulcherrima. Its Mexican monikers include the ancient Nahuatl termCuitlaxochitl (star flower), along with Catarina (Catherine), Flor de Pastor (Shepherd’s Flower) and, most commonly, Flor de Noche Buena (Christmas Eve Flower).
In the English-speaking world this illustrious holiday bloom is called the Poinsettia, named after Dr. Joel R. Poinsett, a U.S. diplomat who served as Minister to Mexico in the 1820’s. Like many newcomers to Mexico, he was no doubt enthralled by the sight of the gargantuan shrubs covered in mid-winter with brilliant vermillion blossoms. After experimenting with various methods of propagation, he returned home to Charleston, South Carolina with enough cuttings to begin the cultivation of these stunning plants in northern climes.
The bright petals of the poinsettia are not really flowers, but bracts or leaves that surround the true blossom, a rather inconspicuous cluster of yellow florets. The bracts may be solid creamy white, salmon pink or scarlet, variegated or double blooms.
Among pre-Hispanic tribes of ancient Mexico, the Cuitlaxochitl was more than just a pretty face. The blood-red bracts were often placed on the chests of those suffering afflictions of the heart to help stimulate circulation. They were sometimes crushed to a pulp to be used as a poultice for the treatment of skin infections.
A note of good cheer to those more inclined to be couch potatoes than gardeners: Modern-day Mexicans enjoy still another form of Noche Buena— a rich, dark, bock-like beer distributed only during the holiday season.
Los Santos Inocentes
December 28, Day of the Holy Innocents, is a religious commemoration of King Herod’s ordering the slaughter of all male infants in his kingdom, intended to include the Christ Child. In Mexico it is celebrated as day akin to April Fool’s, an occasion for jokes and pranks. The usual tactic is to approach a friend and ask to borrow cash or some object of value. If fooled by the ploy, the victim may be given a candy or silly gift in return, along with much joking and name calling. So beware or you may find yourself titled Fool Saint for a day!
The Three Kings: Los Reyes Magos
The Christmas season continues unabated in Mexico through Epiphany, which is called Día de los Reyes (Three Kings Day). Echoing the arrival in Bethlehem of Wise Men bearing gifts for the baby Jesus, children throughout Mexico anxiously await waking up January 6 to find toys and gifts left by the Reyes Magos (Magi). In some regions it is customary to leave out shoes where treasures may be deposited by the visiting Wise Men.
A special treat served one this day is the Rosca de Reyes — a crown-shaped sweet bread decorated with jewel-like candied fruits. Tiny figures of babies are hidden in the dough before baking. There is much excitement as each partaker cuts his or her own slice, for whoever gets a piece containing a baby is obliged to host another party on or before Candlemas, February 2, when Mexico’s holiday season finally comes to an end.
Thanks for reading,
Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina
I have been doing a lot of research into Christmas in Mexico, and how Christmas is celebrated throughout different parts of Mexico. I came across some Mexico Christmas traditions I am sharing today.
Few North Americans recognize that the roots of these treasured “Christmas” traditions were active long before the birth of Christ. In fact, most evolved from pagan winter solstice rituals of the Celts, Druids, Scandinavians and indigenous groups, and the much older Jewish Festival of Lights.
Mexico’s Christmas traditions
While the most beloved Mexican Christmas traditions are firmly based on the birth of Christ, the timing of the celebration coincides with Mexico’s ancient worship of the sun. During the nine darkest days of winter, the Aztecs celebrated the God of the Sun, pleading for his return and praising both the Sun and his virgin mother goddess.
Early priests obtained permission from Rome to hold special processions and masses for nine days before Christmas. Beginning December 16 village children dressed as Mary and Joseph still lead a group of “angels and shepherds” from house to house to commemorate the search for an inn (posada) in Bethlehem. They are curtly refused at every door until the entourage is welcomed at a prearranged home with a fiesta including music, food and piñatas.
To begin teaching church lessons, the first priests acted out Biblical scenes. This tradition has continued through five centuries with Pastorelas, or shepherds’ plays still performed each year. The lines and details vary, the lines written in verse often embellished with actors’ ad-libbed quips. As the shepherds are excitedly traveling to the stable as directed by the angels; the Devil and his band waylay them. The slick-talking satans offer liquor, gambling, wild living. Today it is common to see the Devil suggesting cigarettes, violence, war, drugs and sex in his vigorous attempts to delay the shepherds. Finally, the Archangel Michael triumphs over evil, slaying the Devil and the shepherds continue to the manger.
The most beloved Christmas tradition in Mexico is the Nacimiento, an elaborate arrangement of clay, wax, wood, metal, fabric and beaded figures depicting the birth of the Christ Child
Called Crèches in France and Nativity scenes in England; today’s Nacimientos or birthplaces were called Belens or Bethlehems well into the last century. Mexico’s scenes are very different from the 14-piece sets sold in north of the border malls and shops. Often an entire room of a home is needed to arrange and display the hundreds of pieces constituting a miniature village surrounding the stable with Mary and Joseph focused on the empty manger, awaiting the birth of the babe. In some areas, the baby’s appointed godparents rock the baby to sleep before placing the figure in the manger during a Christmas Eve party. Among the charming and unusual hand-made figures are women making tortillas, the infidels in Egypt, farmers milking cows, mothers nursing infants, vegetable and pottery merchants and a large variety of shepherds in various events of their day. Many families incorporate waterfalls, mountains and new figures each year, searching for new and amusing illustrations of daily life.
Some Nacimientos bend time a little to feature the Garden of Eden, St. John the Baptist, Herod’s shoulders destroying the innocent children, Jesus at the well with Mary Madalene, Mary at the base of the Cross, and other biblical scenes.
St. Francis of Assisi is credited with preparing the first nativity scene in an Italian cave in 1223. One of the most meaningful ways to experience Christmas eve in Ajijic is to view a number of nacimientos with the live participants and animals that ring the Atrium of the Church de San Andres on Marcos Castellanos at about 8 p.m. Each Nacimiento is sponsored by a different neighborhood and represents a different country of the world or region of Mexico.
This article appears courtesy of the Chapala Review, a monthly Newspaper published in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico. The focus is the Lake Chapala area. The goal is to provide quality information about the area, its stories, events, history, culture and people.
Thanks for reading,
Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina
Did You Know? –
Nochebuena, the Mexican name of the flower English-speakers call poinsettia, was discovered in Taxco and the valleys surrounding Cuernavaca. Known by the Aztecs in their native Nahuatl language as cuetlaxochitl, it is believed that they brought the plant from the tropical climate of Cuernavaca to their Aztec highlands for cultivation in special nurseries. Prized in the prehispanic era for the curative properties of the milk that dripped from the leaves, stems and flowers when cut, the pigment from the red leaves was also used to dye cotton fibers.
After the Conquest, the Spanish Franciscan priests posted to the Taxco area used the plants to decorate their Christian nativity scenes, creating its first link to the Christmas season. The nochebuena gained further attention when Hernando Ruiz de Alarcon, a resident of Taxco and the brother of a famous Spanish writer, Juan Ruiz de Alarcon, wrote poetically about the flower and later, when it captured the attention of the Spanish botanist Don Juan Balme.
Its greatest promoter, however, was Joel Roberto Poinsett (1770-1851), who served as the U.S.’s ambassador to Mexico following Mexico´s Independence from Spain. Although his record as an ambassador is generally agreed to be mediocre, he cherished Mexico and fell in love with the plant when he first saw it in 1823 adorning the churches of Taxco. He sent plants to decorate his mansion in Charlestonville, South Carolina, one Christmas, and upon his return home several years later he was astonished to find the entire town growing the Christmas flower, or “poinsettia”.
Poinsett began propagating the plant and dedicated the last years of his life to making the “poinsettia” the Mexican symbol of Christmas throughout the world. His dedication earned him a fortune even though the plant´s translated Nahuatl name ( flor que se marchita or the flower that wilts) correctly described one of its drawbacks. (Every Mexican gardener knows that the nochebuena wilts within a few minutes after it is cut, making it unsuitable for bouquets.) The former ambassador gained a greater success, however, when its original Latin name euphorbia pulcherrima was changed to poinsettia pulcherrima. Today, millions of dollars of poinsettias are sold each year throughout the world to herald the Christmas season.
YOUR POINSETTIA – CARE & FEEDING
At one time or another, most everyone has either received or given a poinsettia as a gift during the Christmas season. Without question they are very beautiful. OK, it’s mid-January, the once beautiful foliage has dried up and fallen off, the soil around the roots is so dry that it makes the Sahara look like a swamp. Now what?
At this point most people simply throw the plant away, pot and all. In fact, The poinsettia has been described as a ‘disposable plant’.
By ‘disposable plants’ is meant a whole range of plants that will only last for a short time indoors. A good example is the potted chrysanthemum sold by many florists. With assistance from artificial light and darkness, the plants are forced into bloom. They are sprayed with substances to stunt growth. You then buy the plant in a beautiful flowering state. Enjoy it while the flowers last for after they are gone, there is little to do but throw it away. With watering you can prolong the existence of the plant, but nothing will get the plant to bloom again. In the summer you can plant the chrysanthemum out in the garden. The growth inhibitors will be worn off by that time, and it may grow into a rather large plant, that will probably freeze the next winter because it is not hardy. Occasionally somebody succeeds in bringing a poinsettia into bloom a second time, for this is not completely impossible in home conditions. But 95 percent of them end up in the garbage after Christmas.
Having TWO green thumbs, you decide to give it a shot. Here’s how:
Cut back the plant to half its size and keep it cooler, about 54°F (12°C). After some time, new shoots will appear. Then repot and grow warmer. Bring it outside if possible in the summer. Feed once every two weeks with a fertilizer that contains micronutrients. Growth stunting hormones will keep the plants small. To get the plant to bloom a second time, it will need absolute darkness for 14 hours a day, for two months. If you do not provide them with darkness, the plants will bloom later than Christmas, sometime in the spring.
This Did you Know provided by Teresa Kendrick.
source: Did You Know? – Nochebuena / Poinsettia
I am from South Carolina, and I have seen Poinsettia flowers at Christmas time my whole life. It was not until I moved to Mexico did I discover the link between South Carolina and Mexico through the Poinsettia and Christmas time.
There are a lot of things named after Joel Poinsett in my hometown of Greenville, South Carolina. There is the Poinsett Hotel, the Poinsett Club, even a road named Poinsett Highway. So a person from my hometown of Greenville, South Carolina is responsible for spreading the Poinsettia flower through out the USA, and establishing its link with Christmas and Mexico throughout history.
Thanks for reading,
Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina