A Young Mexican Woman’s Thoughts of Mahahual

I have a lot of readers on this blog from Mexico now. I am always looking for some good Mexican content for my Mexican readers. From time to time I have asked some people who I work with or know here if they want to write something in Spanish for me on this blog for my Spanish-speaking readers.

So today I have a woman who I know that worked at the port and is from another part of Mexico, and her impression of Mahahual, and some of her photos she has taken.  It is in Spanish so if you don’t read Spanish you can translate.

Octubre, 2014 Soy Fátima, tengo 24 años y soy de Guadalajara, Jalisco, México. Por casualidad conocí un hermoso y pequeño paraíso terrenal. Mahahual, Q. Roo. Desde la primera vez que pisé sus playas, con hermosas tonalidades de azul; supe que me había enamorado de ese lugar. Su gente tan linda, amistosa y cálida; la tranquilidad y pasividad de su pueblo, pero a la vez la energía, alegría y vida, todo esto en un sólo lugar. Las oportunidades son infinitas aquí, ningún día es igual al otro. Comencé a trabajar en el Puerto Costa Maya, pues Mahahual me habia atrapado y no quería irme. Esa adrenalina y alegría de conocer personas nuevas todos los días es increíble. Tanto por ver y visitar. Acabo de regresar hace 1 semana de este lugar y pienso volver cada vez que sea posible. Caminar por sus hermosas playas, hacer snorkel después del trabajo, nadar con delfines, o un simple paseo por el faro; eso es el paraíso. “Dicen que las personas vuelven siempre al lugar donde se enamoraron y fueron más felices”, creo que siempre regresaré. Es un destino que nadie se puede perder.

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

 

Food and drink, Mexico vs. Belize

Here is part four of a series of articles published in The Yucatan Times this week comparing Belize to Mexico and Mahahual.

Expat Insights Part IV: Food and

drink, Mexico vs. Belize

 Stewart Rogers is an American expatriate who lived in Belize for two years before relocating to Mahahual, Quintana Roo, where he has lived for the past four years. He is webmaster for the web blog, http://www.costamayalife.com. The blog is sponsored by a real estate company in Mahahual. He has written a series of four articles on his move to the Caribbean and on lifestyles in Belize and Mahahual. The articles are appearing in The Yucatan Times for four consecutive days. This is the last edition of  Stewart Rogers’ story in his own words:

For the last article of these series comparing life in Belize to Mahahual, Quintana Roo Mexico. I will talk about how superior Mexico is to Belize in anything that has to do with food & drink.

As I said before, I lived in Belize for almost 2 years, and I have lived in Mahahual for the last 4 years. I lived in Corozal and Kich Pan Ha, Belize, and have traveled extensively through Belize.

I get asked all the time about life in Belize, and which do I prefer the most, living in Mahahual or Belize. At the cruise ship port I talk to a lot of people who get off the boat at Costa Maya Port after their ship was in Belize the day before or so. I also encounter some tourists on their way to Belize, and they always ask me about it and what to expect.

As I have written in earlier posts, people from USA and Canada are attracted to the fact that English is spoken in Belize and that makes a lot of them inquire about retiring there. But there are a lot of other factors in deciding where to retire on the Caribbean, and in this post I will address one of the main factors, Food & Drink.

Today I am going to compare food and drink in Belize with Mahahual and Costa Maya.

I want to state again that these are my personal opinions and observations accumulated over my 5 years in Mahahual and Belize.

These comparisons are for people looking to live or retire in Belize or the Mexican Caribbean. I am talking about everyday life and not tourist related comparisons for people looking to visit for a week.

FOOD AND DRINK

First of all this is going to be an easy post because there is really no comparison, but I will continue.

There is a joke in Belize that says, “You have 2 choices in Belize for things to eat, rice and beans, or beans and rice”. Trust me that is very true. Now if you are rich and can afford to live in San Pedro, or one of the Cayes, you can eat pretty good in Belize. Belize has some nice places to eat on the islands, but it is quite expensive.

Belize meals range with the cultures who make them. Barbecued chicken served with rice, beans and coleslaw is a standard Belize dish. Due to an influx of Chinese immigrants, Chinese food restaurants can be found in almost every Belize town. And obviously, due to its geographical situation, there is a strong Mexican / Yucatan influence as well.

Other Belize meals

Stew chicken or fish: Chicken or fish rubbed in Red recado, or achiote paste, and slow-cooked in broth. Served over rice and beans.

Garnaches: Fried tortillas coated in refried beans, cheese, and cabbage and carrots doused in vinegar. (Comes from the Mexican word “garnachas“)

Boil ups (or “Bile ups”): A Creole dish containing boiled eggs, pig’s tail (yes, really), fish and ground plantains, sweet potatoes and/or cassava (yuca).

Tamales: Boiled pockets of corn dough, stuffed with meat or sweet corn and served in banana leaves.

Hudut or Hodut: A Garifuna dish made from fish cooked in coconut broth, served with mashed plantains.

Cows foot soup: (Pata de Vaca) A cow’s foot in broth. I have had this in Orange Walk, but slightly different.

 

Snacks & Sides in Belize:

Ceviche: Chopped raw fish, shrimp, or conch mixed with onions, tomatoes and cilantro, and marinated in lime juice. Served with fresh tortilla chips.

Cassava bread: There are two kinds of Garifuna cassava bread. Ereba uses cassava juice in a pancake-like bread. Bammy is a fried bread made with grated cassava root and coconut milk.

Belizean rice and beans: Red pinto beans mixed with white rice and flavored with coconut milk.

 

Where to Eat & What You’ll Pay:

Outside of pricey luxury resort restaurants, Belize food is cheaper than U.S. food, but still some of Central America’s most expensive. If you’re on a budget, you can frequent food stalls at public gathering placed like parks and bus stations, or dine at basic local eateries (most which only serve one or two menu items a day, like stew chicken and barbecued fish).

Expect to pay around $5 USD for a plate of chicken, rice and beans, and coleslaw from a roadside grill, on down to $1 USD for a single tamale.

As you can see for yourself there is not much of a wide range of choices for cuisine in Belize, and I will compare to Mahahual later.

The Chinese (Taiwanese), have basically bought out most of the eating places throughout Belize on the mainland, and everywhere you go you will see a Chinese restaurant. All these places sell fried chicken, chinese food, and hamburgers. And let me tell you from personal experience, the food does not taste that good. It is cheap and basically the only choice you have for cheap eating in Belize.

The local stores in Belize, mostly Chinese, also do not have a wide choice of selections. The first thing I did when I got to Mexico was to go to a store and buy some ham and cheese, and make me a sandwich. In fact a lot of women I knew in Corozal would cross over the border to Chetumal to do their shopping, and would smuggle meats and other things you can’t buy in Belize back over across the border.

There is a very poor selection of meats, cheeses, and vegetables in Belize. You can go to the fresh market and buy fruits and vegetables, and sometimes some good fish and meat, but to do so you have to get there early.

My diet in Belize consisted mainly of a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, rice and beans, Ramen noodles, and some fruits. A local woman next door to me in Corozal, Yada, cooked some meals for me from time to time and that made life bearable.

There was also a “Gringo” meeting once a month, and all the ExPats would bring a covered dish dinner, trust me I used to look forward to that.

When I finally left Corozal and went to Mexico, I weighed 175 pounds, which is thin for me. Also I must confess eating rice and beans all the time in Belize gives you a lot of gas, and I could not believe the difference once I reached Mexico.

Now comparing Mexican cuisine to Belizean cuisine, trust me people Mahahual and Mexico wins hands down. The food is Mexico is excellent and there is a wide range of choices. The food in Belize has practically no taste, unless some local cooks it for you, if you are that lucky.

There are numerous Mexican dishes I could list like I did with the Belizean dishes above, but most people reading this know about Mexican cuisine so I will not make a list.

Food in Mahahual
I eat very good in Mahahual, and my average meal here runs 50 pesos. I also have bunch of choices compared to Belize. In Belize if you want a good meal or for instance a pizza, it would run you $10 USD. Every meal in Mahahual is not served with rice and beans like Belize, and you can get a good hamburger and fries also in Mahahual for around 50 pesos (2.75 USD).
There’s a woman on the malecon, Rosa, who makes lunch everyday for me. Everyday she cooks something different , from fresh fish to chicken mole, and everything is fresh and healthy. A lot of the locals on the malecon eat her lunches, and everyday when I ride by on my bike to work she yells at me in Spanish what she is cooking that day.

Fresh fish meal on malecon.

Fresh fish meal on Mahahual’s malecon. (Photo: Stewart Rogers)

In Mahahual there are a lot of different places to eat that are owned and operated by a lot of different people from different countries. From Italian, French, German, Canadian, and cuisine even from the USA ,you can make your choice in Mahahual.

The stores here in Mahahual and Mexico have a much superior selection to anything in Belize. I was shocked when I first got to Mexico, and I saw all the choices of food I could eat here compared to Belize. My first week in Mexico all I did was eat things I could not eat in Belize.

Also if you live in Mahahual and want a McDonalds or a Burger King hamburger, you can go into Chetumal, they even have an Applebees in there. Also there is a Sam’s Club and Walmart in Chetumal, which they don’t have in Belize at all.

So in summing up in my opinion the food in Mahahual and Mexico is vastly superior to any Belizean food on a day-to-day basis, and also is a lot cheaper and more healthy. Also your choices at the store are better and wider in Mahahual compared to Belize.

Beverages in Belize:

The main Belize beer brand is Belikin, which comes in Belikin Beer, Belikin Premium, Belikin Stout and Lighthouse Lager. Belize wines are fermented from creative ingredients like blackberry, cashew fruit, sorrel and ginger. Rum punch is the standard Belize cocktail: a mix of rum and whatever juices happen to be laying about.
Belizeans juice every fruit available, from standard fruits like orange and pineapple, to more exotic ones like soursop

For all of you that don’t know, Belize is a country run by monopolies. There is one brand and beer company Belikin, and it controls the whole country. Beers from the USA and Europe are smuggled in and are very expensive. The Bowen family in Belize owns the beer company and also the Coca-Cola rights. You cannot get Pepsi or any other brands of soft drinks in Belize, because of the monopoly that exists. In fact, I have seen people get Pepsi taken away from them at the Belizean border, for trying to smuggle it into Belize. I think you get more jail time in Belize for smuggling Pepsi into Belize than you do for smuggling drugs. Don’t get me wrong the Belikin beer is not bad, and I drank my share, but it is the only choice, and for me I like different choices. I also like Pepsi Light, and I can get that in Mahahual.

In Mahahual and Mexico there are a vast amount of different beers, wines, and liquors compared to Belize. You can even get beer from the USA in Mahahual and Costa Maya. Also the beer in Mexico is better than Belize and you have a much more wide range of choices. I like Montejo myself a local Mexican beer.

So in summing up, if you are considering retiring or living in Belize or the Mexican Caribbean, I hope this post comparing the food and drink between Belize and Mahahual, Mexico has given you some insight. Again I want to say this is my opinion and my observations and other people may feel differently. As for myself, I eat much better and healthier in Mahahual than I ever did in Belize, and the USA for that matter.

 

The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of The Yucatan Times.

 

Thanks for reading this series, Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

stewart_rogers

Stewart E. Rogers Jr. originally from Greenville South Carolina, grew up in Germany, Japan,  and all over the USA. University of South Carolina 1980 BA in Journalism. Now a resident  of Mahahual, after living in Belize for 2 years, he loves the Caribbean, eat, work, live with  Mexicans and Mayas. Loves Mayan ruins and history. Expert on Belize and Quintana Roo. Not your typical expat. Webmaster at www.costamayalife.com.

Top 25 Mexican slang words every expat MUST know

Here is another article from The Yucatan Times I thought I would share today.

Top 25 Mexican slang words every expat MUST know

 Your Ultimate guide for Mexican Slang is here!

If you are an Expat living in México, you know by now that slang is a big part of the Mexican way of life.

Or maybe you are in the States or Canada planning a trip to Mexico?

Well, these are the top 25 slang words that will have you speaking like the locals in no time! Or at least understand what they’re saying.

Once you know the slang, you’ll realize that you hear it all the time. So try some out and see how you go!!
(We are including a few more vulgar words at the end too, just in case…)

Mexican Slang

Wey/Güey – Means dude. The number one Mexican slang word. You will hear this word everywhere on the streets and in bars with locals, mainly amoungst men. Like, how’s it going wey? What are you doing tonight wey? No wey, you can’t do that wey. You’re crazy wey. If you’re not hearing it, you’re hanging around too many tourist areas.

Que onda – How’s it going? What’s up? The most popular way to say ‘hows it going’ with friends. Can also use ‘Que tal?’ and ‘Que paso?’

No manches!! – ‘No way!’ or ‘You can’t be serious’. If someone tells you something incredible or bad has happened, or a story you don’t believe, you will say ‘No manches!

Aguas!! – Look out!! If you hear someone yell out ‘Aguas!!’, they’re telling you something is about to hit you, or quick, get out of the way.

Estoy crudo – I’m hungover. Not slang, but one you will use if you plan on partying it up in Mexico and feeling a bit rough the next day. ‘Estoy crudo. Tomé desmasiado anoche.’ I’m hungover. I drank too much last night.

Que padre – That’s awesome/really good. If someone tells you some good news or shows you something good. Say, ‘Que Padre‘. Can also say ‘Que chido‘ but that will sound more “naco” (vulgar).

Chingón – The informal/cool way to say something is awesome, the best or super good. ‘Está chingon‘ Its awesome. Used with friends. (The use of this word is not recommended in working environments or formal gatherings.)

Fresa – Also means strawberry, but is used talk about about a girl who is a bit stuck up, snob or who thinks she is a bit better than everyone else. Wears fancy clothes, eats at fancy restaurants, won’t take the bus, criticises people lesser than them. But sometimes used about men. ‘Ella es muy fresa. No quiere comer en la calle‘. She is very stuck up. She won’t eat street food.

Chela – Beer. ‘Quieres una chela?’ Do you want a beer? (Here in Yucatán is more common to useCheva.)

Mande – Repeat that. When you didn’t hear what someone said to you.

Órale – This word has a thousand different meanings, but most commonly means: Lets do it now/Hurry up/Amazing. It all depends how you express the word. If you say it with force it’s ‘hurry up’. If you say it casual, or stretch it out, it’ll mean ‘amazing’. Ooooraleeee, amazing.

Codo/a – Tight ass, someone who doesn’t like spending money. ‘No seas codo‘, Don’t be tight. ‘El es tan codo!‘, he is so tight!

Sale – To agree or to confirm. Pronounced sa-le.

Naco/a – To describe someone who is bad mannered, poorly educated or has bad taste.

No hay bronca – No problem, don’t worry about it.

Mota – Marijuana.

Ándale – Hurry up! or to confirm/agree. ‘Andale!!‘ Hurry up. Or, The bar is just around the corner… ‘Ahhh si, andele.

This year’s “winner” is Mexico, taking that dubious honor from last year’s title holder, Italy. (Photo: Google)

Mexican crowd in Mexico City. (Photo: Google)

Vulgar/Swear words
These Mexican slang words aren’t recomended that you use just yet. Some may be taken the wrong way. But of course, knowing all the bad words in another language could come in pretty handy (and is fun too); and for some unknown reason they’re always easier to remember.

No mames – ‘No way!’ or ‘You can’t be serious.’ Exactly the same as ‘No manches‘, but a lot stronger!! Only used with friends you know very, very well.

Pinche – Damn. When using to describe something. ‘Pinches perros‘, damn dogs. ‘Pinche José‘. If used aggressively can mean ‘F#@?!¿g dogs.’

Pendejo – Asshole.

Pedo – Literaly means fart. But is used in many different ways. And is a very informal word and only to be used with people you know very well. For example, ‘Que pedo?’ Whats up?/ How’s it going?. ‘No hay pedo‘ No problem/no worries. ‘Estoy muy pedo wey.‘ I’m very drunk.

Puta madre – Has both positive and negative meanings. ‘Esta de puta madre.‘ That is super awesome. Or can be a cursing word if you have a car accident or drop a cup of coffee ‘Puta madre!‘ F%!king hell!!

Me vale madre – It’s the worst way to say ‘I don’t care’ or ‘I don’t give a shit’.

Chingar
We can’t even start to explain the  word Chingar. This is the king verb of Mexican slang. There are literally hundreds of variations, uses and examples. There is even a whole book dedicated to the word Chingar called the Chingonario.

  • Here are a few examples…
    Trabajas un chingo – You work too much.
    Se chingó mi dinero – He stole my money.
    Vete a la chingada! – Get the fuck out of here. Go to hell.
    Esta de la chingada! – This really sucks. This situation is really bad.
    Hijo de la chingada! – Son of a bitch.

Now you’ll be up to speed with the most common Mexican slang words and phrases. Hope you enjoyed it. Please feel free to share.

If we are missing out any other vital slang words, let us know in the comments so we can add them in.

You can see the original here athttp://www.mexicotrippa.com/top-25-mexican-slang-words-need-know/

 

Source: http://www.theyucatantimes.com/2016/02/top-25-mexican-slang-words-every-expat-must-know/

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

Language and other issues in Belize vs. Mexico

Here is Part 3 of a series of articles I wrote now running in The Yucatan Times this week.

Expat Insights Part III: Language and other issues in Belize vs. Mexico

Mahahual, Mexican Caribbean.

Stewart Rogers is an American expatriate who lived in Belize for two years before relocating to Mahahual, Quintana Roo, where he has lived for the past four years. He is webmaster for the web blog, http://www.costamayalife.com. The blog is sponsored by a real estate company in Mahahual. He has written a series of four articles on his move to the Caribbean and on lifestyles in Belize and Mahahual. The articles are appearing in The Yucatan Times for four consecutive days. This is Stewart Rogers’ story in his own words:  

This is part 3 of a series of posts I am writing comparing living in Mahahual, Mexico to living in Belize. First off I want to say Belize is a very beautiful country and has a lot of nice people. I still have some friends that live there, mainly in Corozal. With these posts I am not trying to shed a negative light on Belize, and all its problems, only comparing my experiences and how I personally see Belize compared to Mexico.
If you would have asked me 10 years ago if I thought I would ever end up living in Mexico, much less Mahahual, the answer would have been a solid no. I have always wanted to live on the Caribbean, and around 2001 I started doing research on the internet about leaving South Carolina and all I read was how great Belize was. The Mexican Caribbean was never even a consideration in my mind, in fact like a lot of other people from the USA, I did not know Mexico was on the Caribbean Sea. All I thought about was how to get to Belize.
Myself like a lot of other people from North America, liked the fact that English is spoken in Belize, and the USA dollar is accepted currency. That is one of the main reasons a lot of Expats pick Belize to live or retire. English is spoken everywhere, and on official documents, street signs, menus and a lot of other things are in English, and most of the media, newspapers, radio and television stations are primarily in English. Spanish is widely spoken and unofficially it is believed it is the more popular language, as the Latinos have now become the largest single ethnic group in Belize.
In my opinion, that is the single biggest reason that North Americans (from USA and Canada), pick Belize to live or retire. That is the reason I did. But guess what, if that is your main reason considering Belize to live or retire, English is spoken almost everywhere in Mahahual and Quintana Roo, and practically up and down the Mexican Caribbean coastline in places like Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Mahahual, and everywhere that cater to tourists.

Because of the cruise ship port in Mahahual, almost all the locals in town speak English, or some form of it. When I first got off the bus in Mahahual my Spanish was not all that good (and for that matter still not great today), and I found out that everybody I met in town spoke English. In fact so much English is spoken in Mahahual, my Spanish has not gotten much better, because I speak English all day. At night I go to the stores and places and have to use Spanish there, but besides that I speak English most of the time. All the people who work at the Costa Maya Port have to speak English, ( a lot have lived in the USA), to deal with the cruise ship tourists, so there are a lot of English-speaking locals around Mahahual and the surrounding villages.

Costa Maya Port (Image: thecostamaya.com)

Costa Maya Port (Image: thecostamaya.com)

Also I have learned in Mexico, and especially Mahahual and Chetumal, if you know how to count in Spanish, and know some key words, you can get by just fine. Most of the Mexican people are very helpful and will try to help you out if you try to converse with them in Spanish, and not shun you away like a lot of time happens in the USA. They respect the fact you are trying to speak their language. (Side note-I once saw a man from the USA cuss out a taco stand guy here because he did not speak English and the guy did not how to order a taco in Spanish).

So if you are considering retiring or living in Belize solely on the fact that the country speaks English, you might want to look into Mahahual and Costa Maya, Mexico. It is on the Caribbean Sea, like Belize, has much more beautiful beaches, and it is a whole lot cheaper to live than Belize.

In the next upcoming post on this series “Belize vs. Mahahual, Mexico” I will compare cost of living, health care, food (unless you are rich, Belizean food sucks), crime, safety, and other factors. If you have a certain thing you would like to know about feel free to comment or ask a question on this post.

The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of The Yucatan Times.

 

Thanks for reading, Stewart Rogers

stewart_rogers

Stewart E. Rogers Jr. originally from Greenville South Carolina, grew up in Germany, Japan,  and all over the USA. University of South Carolina 1980 BA in Journalism. Now a resident  of Mahahual, after living in Belize for 2 years, he loves the Caribbean, eat, work, live with  Mexicans and Mayas. Loves Mayan ruins and history. Expert on Belize and Quintana Roo. Not your typical expat. Webmaster at www.costamayalife.com.

source:http://www.theyucatantimes.com/2016/02/expat-insights-part-iii-language-and-other-issues-in-belize-vs-mexico/

Mahahual Night at Costa de Cocos Resort, Xcalak

Tomorrow,  Saturday February, 27, 2016 is Mahahual night at Costa de Cocos Resort in Xcalak.  There will be live music by Dave Gauci from Canada, and for people from Mahahual, all rooms will be half price.  If you have never been to Costa de Cocos or Xcalak. now is your chance.

Set among coconut palms along a serene and secluded stretch of the Caribbean, our resort is located at the ‘end-of-the-road’ less traveled. The Yucatan Jungle, rich with wildlife, is our backyard. The Xcalak Reef National Marine Park, with all the exotic wonders of the Caribbean Sea, is our front yard. The resort itself has a rich Mayan cultural charm. When you are looking for the ultimate destination to scuba dive, fish, kayak, explore, or just relax in the Caribbean Tradewinds to the sound of surf breaking on the reef offshore, Costa de Cocos is your personal paradise.

At Costa de Cocos your comfort is very important to us. Our private cabanas have traditional exterior stonework, exotic tropical woods, native thatch palapa roofs, ceiling fans, and louvered windows all around that capture the cooling Caribbean breeze. Each cabana has its own private bathroom & shower, fresh hot water, and daily maid service. Our fully stocked bar and cold cervezas are available anytime. Our large Breakfast Buffet is included with your room price.

The Restaurant is open everyday, offering many dishes with a tasty Caribbean influence, and of course Fresh Seafood. Our Restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating that overlooks the Caribbean Sea and Xcalak Reef. After dinner visit with us, other guests, and perhaps even some of the locals at our charming bar.

Costa de Cocos Restaurant and Bar

Costa de Cocos' Bar Costa de Cocos Dining Room and Bar Dining at Costa de Cocos

Our Menu includes Fresh Ceviches and Fish Tacos, the ever popular Mango-Lobster Pizza, and Four Course Seafood Dinners, and is a hit with guests and locals alike.

Costa de Cocos Breakfast MenuCosta de Cocos Botanas MenuCosta de Cocos Lunch Menu Page 1Costa de Cocos Lunch Menu Page 2Costa de Cocos Pizza MenuCosta de Cocos Dinner Menu
Double rooms tomorrow for people from Mahahual coming down will be $40.00 USD, and that comes out to $20.00 a person not bad.  While you are there you can take a tour of the Mango Moonshining facility, and get some samples of the moonshine, bourbon, vodka, and rum they make there.  There is also a full range of craft beers made in Xcalak for you to sample also.
They will be live music and a big party so make your reservations, or just show up, there is plenty of room.

Location of Costa de

Cocos

Costa de Cocos is in the small fishing village of Xcalak, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
Located 250 miles South Of Cancun. You can easily rent a car at the Airport, and follow these Directions.

Costa de CocosLeaving the Cancun Airport, you will be heading East and come to Highway 307; take the turn Right/South towards Playa del Carmen / Tulum. Highway 307  from Cancun to Playa del Carmen is a busy tourist area; traffic will decrease after Tulum.

 Continue South on Highway 307  to Tulum (if it is getting late in the day consider staying the night in Tulum).  100 km/62 miles south of Tulum is Felipe Carrillo Puerto, with 2  Pemex Gas Stations, 1 north of town, and 1 in the center of town that has an ATM.

Continue South on Hwy 307 about one hour. 3 km past the town of Limones is a well marked Left/East turn to Mahahual & Xcalak.

The turn off to Mahahual & Xcalak  is the first Left/East turn, 3 km past the town of Limones. You will approach a large T intersection with a small store. The road is fairly straight and in great shape. At 18 km there is a severe curve; please watch for this and slow down…then at 51 km there is a tope/speed bump in the road.

A little after the large speed bump is the turn off  for Xcalak. You will see a large Costa de Cocos sign. Turn Right/South…But if you need gas, the Pemex Gas Station in Mahahual is straight ahead 1/2 mile. You drive past the Xcalak turn-off and go straight ahead to buy gas, and then reverse back to the turn-off, and Turn Left/South to Xcalak. Follow the paved  ‘Jungle Road’ south 60 km/38 miles. At the end of the road, you are at aT and a Stop Sign. Go Left/East about 2 kilometers into Xcalak Village. As you enter the village drive slowly straight through to the ocean. Turn Left/North along the Beach Road, the ocean is on your right, continue north through town past the lighthouse and town pier. Turn LEFT at the two-story white building that is the Port Captain’s Office, painted in large letters on the building (if you miss that turn you’ll come to a dead-end in about 2 blocks, and have to go back), then turn at the next street RIGHT. You will then go over the small town bridge. Cocos is less than 1/2 mile North of the bridge.

For more information go to their website:http://www.costadecocos.com/index.html

So if you are in Mahahual meet us tomorrow at Costa de Cocos for Mahahual night, half priced rooms and live music, and moonshine and craft beer.

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

How I came to Mahahual

Here is the second article of a series of articles now running in the Yucatan Times.  It tells the story how I ended up in Mahahual, Mexico.

Expat Insights Part II: How I came to Mahahual

 Stewart Rogers is an American expatriate who lived in Belize for two years before relocating to Mahahual, Quintana Roo, where he has lived for the past four years. He is webmaster for the web blog, http://www.costamayalife.com. The blog is sponsored by a real estate company in Mahahual. He has written a series of four articles on his move to the Caribbean and on lifestyles in Belize and Mahahual. The articles are appearing in The Yucatan Times for four consecutive days. This is Stewart Rogers’ story in his own words:  

 

I had someone ask me recently: “Would you ever live in Belize again?”  I thought about it for a moment, and I said, “No, I much prefer Mexico, and Mahahual to Belize.”  I explained Belize is a beautiful country and all, but once I set foot in Mahahual, I was hooked.  I lived in Belize for two years, but now, I prefer Mexico.

I left the USA in 2002 for Belize for the first time, after I read a bunch of stuff on the internet about how beautiful the country was, and I also always had an interest in the old Mayan civilization.  I lived in Kich Pan Ha near Orange Walk, an old Mayan ruin that had a lagoon and used to be an artisan settlement for the ancient Mayans.  I lived in the jungle and tried to make a run at the business there for tourists, but the economy was so bad after 9/11, not many tourists came, so I went back to the USA.

After going back to work in the USA, I still could not get Belize and the Caribbean out of my mind, and longed to go back.  So after a friend of mine died, we had planned on going back to Belize some day, and talked about it a lot while we worked together.  He had come to Belize and he wanted to retire there one day.

After he died, I thought I am not getting any younger, and I have no job now, (he owned the business we worked at together, and his family sold the business after he died).  So I said on part 1 of these series, I sold my car, gave a bunch of stuff away and decided to make a go of it in Belize.

In 2009, I caught a flight to Cancun from Greenville, South Carolina and arrived in Mexico.  I went to Playa del Carmen for the first time, and I really liked it and stayed a couple of days.  After a couple of days in Playa, I headed out for Belize and the border.

I had decided to try to find something in Corozal, Belize to do.  I had been to San Pedro, San Ignacio, Orange Walk, and practically all of Belize in 2002, and decided Corozal looked like a place for a fresh start.  I lucked out and after a week, I ended up at the Oasis Resort Hotel and a woman from the USA who owned it let me live in a palapa hut on her property, and I started a blog there and helped around the place.

Aerial view of Corozal Town, Belize (Photo: en.wikipedia.org)

Aerial view of Corozal Town, Belize (Photo: en.wikipedia.org)

I got to know a lot of people in Corozal and it is a nice town and everything.  But there was not much going on in the tourist market there, and times were hard.

After a year there, Belize was becoming expensive, much more than I had experienced in 2002, I set out to Mexico to stay in Caldaritas, help out a retired man from Texas, and try to figure out what to do.  While I was there and in Chetumal, people kept telling me I should look into going to Mahahual to find a job.  I had never even heard of Mahahual before, and had no idea what is was like.  I met a guy at the mall one day, from Mahahual, at the Yak sports book watching USA football.  He told me that they were looking for people who speak English in Mahahual because of all the cruise ships and tourists.  He invited me to come for a visit.

My passport was expiring at that time so I had to take a trip to Playa del Carmen to renew my passport.  So I went to Playa del Carmen, stayed a week and looked around to see if there was any work in Playa del Carmen.  I decided I was going to go to check Mahahual out, and see if I liked it or if maybe I could find some thing to do there.

That was the best decision I ever made in my life.  The first morning I was there I was in Fernando’s Hostel and a Mexican man who was there walked by and asked if I was from the USA.  I told him yes, that I was from South Carolina.  He asked me if I wanted a job working with tourists from the cruise ships, he said a lot of the cruise ships were from the southern part of the USA, and he would like to have someone there who knew how to deal with them.  I told him. “Don’t worry I am fluent in Redneck”.  I started working at the port that week.

Well that was three years ago, and I have been in Mahahual ever since.  The man who offered me my job, is still my boss, and he also manages Costa Maya Real Estate, which sponsors the Costa Maya Life web blog.  I am in Playa del Carmen now for a month on vacation, and that is the longest I have been away from Mahahual since I got there three years ago.

Mahahual Boardwalk (Photo: mexicorelax.com)

Mahahual Boardwalk (Photo: mexicorelax.com)

The minute I set foot in Mahahual, I felt like this was the place I wanted to be.  I thought Belize was a beautiful place, but it does not hold a candle to Mahahual.  The beaches are beautiful here, the people very friendly, and the weather is fantastic.  Mahahual is truly a paradise in my eyes and according to my standards.

I get asked a lot from people who find out I have lived in Belize, to compare Belize to Mahahual.  So I have decided to do a series of articles comparing Belize to Mexico.  This is the first installment, and I will continue  with different aspects of life in Belize and Mexico that I have experienced, both good and bad.

The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of The Yucatan Times.

By Stewart Rogers

stewart_rogers

Stewart E. Rogers Jr. originally from Greenville South Carolina, grew up in Germany, Japan,  and all over the USA. University of South Carolina 1980 BA in Journalism. Now a resident  of Mahahual, after living in Belize for 2 years, he loves the Caribbean, eat, work, live with  Mexicans and Mayas. Loves Mayan ruins and history. Expert on Belize and Quintana Roo. Not your typical expat. Webmaster at www.costamayalife.com.

Source:http://www.theyucatantimes.com/2016/02/expat-insights-part-ii-how-i-came-to-mahahual/

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

Calakmul Biosphere Reserve

I lot of people ask me about things to do and places to see here in Mahahual and Costa Maya.  The Calakmul Biosphere is one of these.  I have not been there yet, but I plan on going to visit this summer.

Here is an article from the Yucatan Times about the Biosphere Reserve.

Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, the largest tropical forest reserve in Mexico

 Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, the largest tropical forest reserve in Mexico, is a treasure trove of Mayan history in the heart of the Maya Forest. The ruins in the middle of Calakmul reserve’s 1.8 million acres of forests extend over 10 square miles – the remains of a city that was the power base of Tikal’s rival dating back to AD 364.

Calakmul in Maya means “the city of two adjacent pyramids.”  And the spectacular view of the surrounding jungle from the top of one of these massive pyramids extends into Guatemala and includes several archaeologically important ruins from the Mayan era.

The Maya Forest, covers almost 15 percent of Campeche state in Mexico, and extends into Guatemala and Belize. The Calakmul reserve, slightly larger than Delaware, harbors jaguars, crocodiles, Baird’s tapir, and more than 230 bird species.

calakmul_1

CALAKMUL-SIAN KA’AN CORRIDOR

The Conservancy began working in a new site in 2007: the Calakmul Sian Ka’an Corridor. This vast forested area links two biosphere reserves and is important for far-ranging animals such asjaguars andmigratory birds.

Here as in the community owned lands in Calakmul, the Conservancy recognizes that effective conservation can only be achieved if the needs and aspirations of local people are met. In this site, we are working with a new partner organization — the Organization of Forestry Ejidos of the Maya Zone (OEPF). Our shared goal is to conserve the forest while improving the income realized from forest activities.

Tapping chicle (a resin from the chico zapote tree native to Central America) and timber extraction have provided the economic rationale for conserving the community-owned forests. Although chicleros continue to tap these trees, there are fewer tappers than in the past. In 2008 the Conservancy funded a workshop bringing together chicle tappers from several communities to share best practices on improving production and marketing possibilities.

In 2007 Hurricane Dean hit the region hard. Some of the communities reported withstanding the hurricanes better than in previous years thanks to the forest buffer. The Conservancy began working with ejidos affected by the hurricane to find uses of and ways to market their fallen timber and begin restoration efforts.

source:http://www.theyucatantimes.com/2016/02/calakmul-biosphere-reserve-the-largest-tropical-forest-reserve-in-mexico/

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina