What Mahahual Really Means in the Mayan Language

I get asked all the time from cruise ship tourists, what Mahahual means, and what is the origin to the name Mahahual.  I always give them my standard pat answer that Mahahual is a named for an indigenous tree that grows here.  But that is not the whole total truth, if you live here in Mahahual, we have a saying,  Mahahual means in Mayan, “Land of the lonely men”.

By my calculations there are about five men for every woman here in Mahahual, and ten men for every single, available, attractive woman here.  It has been that way throughout the history on the Costa Maya coast.  There has always been a shortage of women in this area because of the harsh and difficult life that was needed to survive in this environment.

A quick history lesson on the Costa Maya area.  Most of the first inhabitants here that were not Maya, where the chicle (made for making chewing gum) harvesters.  They would gather sap from trees to make chewing gum, and lived in camps of just men.  There were also coconut plantations here that sent coconuts around the world, and it was a male dominated industry here.  Later on fishermen arrived and set up here, and that also did not have a lot of females around.

In fact the history of Bacalar includes several raids by pirates who invaded the town not to loot and get booty, but to kidnap women( the real booty).  I have read several stories at the Bacalar pirate museum about how pirates would raid, kidnap women, and use them for a couple of days or a week, and then drop them off at a nearby island.  They then would let the town know where they left the women, and continue on their pirate ways. This happened several times in Bacalar”s history during the 16th and 17th centuries.  That my friends you don’t read in history books.  Most of the pirates were English and Dutch, so they added to the gene pool here, as well as they did throughout Belize.

During the Caste Wars, there were a lot of soldiers and military in this area, fighting the war, so again women were in short supply.  There were some women in Xcalak and Chetumal, but not a lot, and these were usually wives or prostitutes. Mahahual was basically uninhabited until the late 1970s, save a couple of fishing families, so again not many women.  Even in the 1970s this area was basically coconuts, mahogany, and chicle. To farm these products includes living in the jungle, in immense heat, bugs, and disease, and that does not attract a lot of women to that life.

So as you can see throughout history there have not been a lot of women in the Mahahual area because of the conditions.  Times have changed and Mahahual is much more modern , but we have the same problem as the area has had throughout its history, not enough women to go around.  Jimmy Buffett has a line in one of his songs that says…..”Women and water are in short supply, and there is not enough dope for us all to get high”, that my friends describes Mahahual to a tee.

We have a lot of male workers here who work at the port, with tour companies, doing construction, and other jobs at a growing tourist destination.  Most of the women here are married, but there are some who work at the water park and other places, but most women in this town are taken.  So as you can see, that is why we say Mahahual means “Land of lonely men”, in Mayan.  Bunch of men running all over town with very few eligible women.  At the moment we have two “strip clubs” or whatever they are called for female companionship, but that is not enough to meet the demand.

For some examples I will tell I about these two women I have met in the last two months. For some reason I met every vagabond and drifter that comes through Mahahual, and a lot of them are single women by themselves.  Now if you are a single woman walking down the malecon in Mahahual, and you are a white, you will get hit on all day, that is the nature of the beast, and you can expect that.  The local guys here love the European and women from the USA, and especially if you are a blond.  I hear “Hello are you looking for a Mexican boyfriend”, all day on the malecon.

I had a German woman I went out with down here, and every time I went to the bathroom I had to shoo 4 or 5 guys away from my table when I got back.  They love the European women here, all shapes and sizes.

These two women I met said they have been propositioned by men here  more than anywhere else they have been in the world.  One was a Gypsy from lower Spain, and the other was from Crimea and Israel (she wrote a blog for me about her time here).  These women were OK, but nothing to write home about, and one was 50 years old.


50 year old Gypsy woman from Spain, she filled me in on all I need to know about the plight of gypsies in Europe.

50-year-old Gypsy woman from Spain, she filled me in on all I need to know about the plight of gypsies in Europe.

Anita Agape disFRUTA al a playa

Anita Agape disFRUTA al a playa

Mahahual kind of reminds me of some of those towns in the old Wild West movies waiting for some wagon loads of women to arrive.  When I was in Merida they called Mahahual, “the frontier” there, meaning it was “in the boonies”, like we would say in the south of the USA where I come from.

So the moral of this story is, Mahahual is full of lonely men, with not much to do.  So I have been thinking, if you are a lonely woman in the USA or Europe and are looking somewhere to go to maybe meet a man or are looking for some male companionship, Mahahual may be for you.  No matter how old you are, you a little overweight?, no problem they really dig chunky chubby women here, all shapes and sizes of European and USA women. I have seen some of the Mexican guys here push away a beautiful, thin Latina woman to talk to an overweight woman from the USA, she was blond of course.

So like a lot of towns in the old wild west in the USA back in the old days, Mahahual is hankering for some women.  So think about ladies, you will have your self-esteem lifted every day if you move to Mahahual because you be flirted with and complimented every day, regardless of how you look, or your age.

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina


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