Fastest Fish Visiting the Mexican Caribbean

Non-impact observation is the best way to see these lightning fast fish / Photo: Wikimedia
Non-impact observation is the best way to see these lightning fast fish / Photo: Wikimedia

With individuals recorded at speeds of 75 km/hr, the Atlantic sailfish has one of the highest speeds recorded for aquatic animals

dato2The fastest fish in the ocean are within the group of billfishes which are large predatory fish like marlins, swordfish and sailfish. They all have a spear-like rostrum or ‘bill’ used to slash their prey and have a large dorsal fin. Billfish are found all over the world but sailfish prefer tropical and subtropical waters. Some scientists think it is only one species of sailfish worldwide, while others think there are two separated species (Pacific and Atlantic).

Sailfish is considered highly migratory. They have been known to travel as far as 3800 km in the northwest Atlantic! Their migratory patterns are likely linked to waters between 21° to 28° C. The Atlantic sailfish gathers in large groups in the Mexican Caribbean, giving us the opportunity to see them during winter.

The Atlantic sailfish can reach up to three meters and owes its name to the spectacular dorsal fin which stretches nearly the length of its body. It can also streamline itself by retracting it into a groove in the dorsal side of its body. It is thought they use the dorsal fin to herd fish, make itself look bigger to fend off predators, cool down after periods of high activity, and to increase body stability while swimming and hunting.

They are usually found in the upper layers of water but can go as deep as 200 meters. Although they usually do not exceed speeds of 36 km/hr, individuals have been monitored at speeds of 75 km/hr which is one of the highest speeds reported for aquatic animals! It is primarily caught in sport and artisanal fishing, and declines have been observed in Central America, Iran and India. However, despite its importance in sport fishery, there are no stock assessments or reliable landings data to understand the species and the threats it may face.

Although it is a highly prized game fish due to its size, strength, jumps, and speed, non-impact observation of the amazing wildlife we get to see through snorkeling tours seems a better approach to me than chasing and/or killing these amazing predators through any sort of fishery. For a bit more information: http://marinebio.org.

source:http://www.theplayatimes.com/fastest-fish-visiting-mexican-caribbean/

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

You know you’re in Mexico when…

Today some Mexican culture and humor from the Matador Network.  I subscribe to the Matador Network and they have some really good articles, and some excellent writers. They give insight to life in Mexico, as seen through their writers eyes, some are Mexican natives, and some are expats.

1. “Madre” becomes a good thing, a bad thing, practically anything, but also your mother.

2. You can stop a bus wherever you want, as if it were a cab.

3. Everyone around you is wearing an overwhelming amount of hair products.

4. People laugh at you because you said you love chile or longaniza.

5. Sanitation workers are equipped with a bell, a donkey or both.

6. Every celebration is overtaken at some point by a chiquiti bum… and everyone there knows the whole incomprehensible litany.

7. You order a beer and you are asked if you want it “normal.” The opposite of normal can range from a little lime and salt, to an assortment of sauces, chili, tomato juice and maybe even some gummy bears… or shrimp… for real.

8. Someone gets his face smashed into a birthday cake and everybody applauds.

9. Your Spanish skills are immediately put to the test with two common and apparently simple concepts: limón and lima.

10. Fireworks become a totally acceptable substitute for an alarm clock, especially if you have a church nearby (and you’ll have a church nearby).

11. The same goes to the military band of your nearest school.

12. You have to stop your car in the middle of a lonely road because some guys are asking for money for a quinceañera party or for painting the local church. They use a piece of rope to stop random cars and have the quinceañera right there as proof of their good intentions.

13. The first cut in a birthday cake is a circle around its center and nobody has a convincing explanation for this.

14. Fresh made tortillas are available from specialized shops everywhere.

15. People suddenly forget what punctuality means… and you quickly follow the trend.

16. You look both sides of the road even when the crossing light is green.

17. It doesn’t matter what you’re having for breakfast, you’ll get a side of either papaya or frijolitos.

18. You’ll either be greeted with some superb coffee from Chiapas or with water for Nescafe.

19. The wall in front of you is painted with political propaganda, some party info featuring Polymarchs or a moralizing message from the virgencita.

20. Four people hanging from ropes cast themselves into the abyss from the top of a giant pole while playing drums and flutes and everybody acts as if that were perfectly normal.

21. Every single restaurant offers “something else”, like “tacos, tostadas… and something else.”

source:https://matadornetwork.com/abroad/know-youre-mexico/

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

It is That Time of Year Again

Well it is that time of year again, hippie season in Mahahual.  Every spring, about this time of year, after the snows start to melt up north, hippies from Europe and the USA start showing up in Mahahual.

Hippie van showing up in Mahahual, loaded with hippies.

Hippies chilling out.

Some of the hippies perform music, juggle, and other things to try to make money to survive.  They show up every year about this time, and leave before it gets too hot.

One of the hippie girls doing belly dancing on the malecon.

Another thing I find interesting is, most of the “snow bird” expats are leaving, or have already left to go back up north.  It seems the hippies show up as soon as the “snow birds” head back up north, I wonder if there is a correlation there.

Also Semana Santa starts this weekend, so we will be having college students from all over Mexico here next week on spring break.  So the next two weeks should be very interesting here in Mahahual, stay tuned.

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South carolina

Yemaya Beach Club and Resort, Mahahual

First of all I would like to apologize to Robert Gruber, owner of Yemaya Beach, for taking so long to get this article out.  I went to a birthday party about a month ago, took some photos, at Yemaya Beach, and I told Robert I would put them on this blog with his information and website.  Well I had to leave the birthday party early, and kind of forgot about the article until I found photos this morning.  So again sorry, I have been a little behind schedule.

Like I said, Yemaya Beach is owned and operated by Robert Gruber, originally from Germany.  I have seen Robert around Mahahual since I have been here, so he has been here quite a while. Well he has opened a beach club south of town on the coastal road to Xcalak.

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His place is about 4.5 kilometers south of town.

Entrance to Yemaya.

It is a great little spot on the beach, and you can see the port and Mahahual from the beach there.

Beach at Yemaya.

Robert has a swing bar, a restaurant, and all the other beach club amenities. You can hang out on the beach, snorkel, get a massage and there are also kayaks.

Cool swing bar.

Birthday party I was at.

They also have rooms, or cabanas I should say, you can stay in.  Here is their ad off of booking.com.

“Offering a barbecue and views of the sea, Yemaya Beachclub & Resort – Mahahual is set in Mahahual. The resort has a sun terrace and a private beach area, and guests can enjoy a meal at the restaurant. Free WiFi is offered throughout the property and free private parking is available on site.

The rooms have a private bathroom.

You will find concierge service at the property.

A range of activities are offered in the area, such as snorkelling, windsurfing and diving. The nearest airport is Chetumal International Airport, 68 km from Yemaya Beachclub & Resort – Mahahual.

We speak your language!”

Also I got this off of their website.

“Our secluded, private beach club offers an authentic “off the beaten path” experience, while our friendly staff, full service bar & restaurant provide all the necessary comforts. Kayaks are available for guests as well as massages (upon request).

Whether you are looking for an exclusive beach location where to kick back for the day, a serene spot where to settle for a camping vacation in the Caribbean, a gorgeous setting where to celebrate a special occasion, or just a place where you can enjoy doing nothing, Yemayá Beach Club & Resort is waiting for you!”

So if you are here on a cruise ship, or on vacation, or an expat looking for a different place to go for the day or night, check out Yemaya Beach Club and Resort.

If you are interested in visiting or booking a room at Yemaya Beach Club and Resort, I am enclosing their website below, so you can check them out for yourself.

http://www.yemaya.com.mx/

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

Mayan chewing gum penetrates global organic-foods market

Mayan farmers in the states of Campeche and Quintana Roo have become players in the global chewing gum market with their unique and organic product.

Sold under the brand Chicza Organic Rainforest Gum, the biodegradable chewing gum was launched in 2009 and has since expanded to 26 European countries, Canada and the United States.

Introduced to the global market during BioFach 2009, the world’s largest trade fair for organic food, Chicza was chosen as one of the top 20 original products.

Chicza is made from raw latex obtained from the sustainable harvest of the chicozapote tree by Consorcio Chiclero, an umbrella cooperative that brings together 40 groups representing some 2,000 small producers from the two southeastern states.

The cooperative provides gum producers with social security, scholarships and other benefits, improving the quality of life of their families.

The chicozapote, or Manilkara zapota, trees from which the latex is taken are located in a 1.3-million-hectare region of rainforest with organic certification.

Chicza chewing gum is produced in Campeche and Quintana Roo. (PHOTO: chicza.com.uk)

Chicza chewing gum is produced in Campeche and Quintana Roo. (PHOTO: chicza.com.uk)



The cooperative produces 40 tonnes of flavored chewing gum annually, while an additional 100 tonnes of raw gum are exported every year to Japan and Singapore, which have been buying Campeche and Quintana Roo gum for over 100 years.

The processed gum comes in five flavors, lime, cinnamon, mint, spearmint and mixed berry.

With offices in Quintana Roo and the United Kingdom, Consorcio Chiclero oversees all stages of the production chain, from cultivation to distribution and exporting the finished product.

CEO Manuel Alderete Terrazas says Chicza is proof that the private sector doesn’t have to be at odds with the environment.

Source: mexiconewsdaily.com

source:http://www.theyucatantimes.com/2017/03/mayan-chewing-gum-penetrates-global-organic-foods-market/

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

Benito Juarez Day in Mexico

Today is one of the many holidays we have in Mexico, Benito Juarez Day.  It is a national holiday here, and school is out, and all the banks and government offices are closed.  So here is some background and history to Benito Juarez Day.

10 razones por las que Benito Juárez nos dio un día feriado

Per Article 74 of the labor law of Mexico, Benito Juarez Day is celebrated as a national day in Mexico on every third Monday of March. It is a public holiday that marks the birthday of former 19th century president of Mexico, Benito Juarez.

Juarez was famous for his resistance against the intervention of the French in Mexico during his time in office. To commemorate his efforts for the Mexican people, he is remembered on his birthday every year.

The History Behind Benito Juarez

Benito Juarez was born on March 21, 1806. He was a Mexican lawyer and a politician who was from the Zapotec part of Oaxaca. On January 15th, 1858, he was elected as president of Mexico where he was most notorious for his reformation of the Mexican system. He was dedicated to the creation of democracy, worked to reduce the Catholic Church’s influence on politics in Mexico, and also fought hard to campaign on behalf of the rights of indigenous peoples. Additionally, he defended the importance of national sovereignty. He served five terms as Mexico’s 26th president until July 18, 1872, over 14 years in total of serving. This included an interim term from 1858 to 1861, then terms 1861 to 1865, 1865 to 1867, 1867 to 1871, and 1871-1872 where he served as a constitutional president.

The era in which Juarez lived was perhaps one of the most chaotic eras of Mexican history. With this chaos, however, came great significance. This era resulted in what a multitude of historians would consider the nation’s consolidation as a republic. The role Juarez had on this result was significant, and his rule is reformed to the ‘La Reforma” period of Mexican history, or the Reform. Both a political and a social revolution had occurred during this time, resulting in significant reforms that translated into the Mexican constitution. Juarez, through his resistance of French occupation in Mexico, also managed to overthrow the Second Mexican Empire in order to restore the Mexican Republic. His efforts were incredibly liberal for the time and resulted in a modernisation of the entire country.

Perhaps it was Juarez’s childhood that significantly molded his future success, including his heritage. Juarez was raised by his uncle after his parents died when he was 3 due to complications from diabetes, his grandparents also dying shortly thereafter. Juarez was well aware of the indigenous identity his family held. That awareness surely contributed to his efforts in the future in protecting Mexico from further invasion and in defending the rights of the original people across the land.

Celebrating Benito Juarez Day in Mexico

This national holiday is Mexico has grown in acceptance and popularity over the years with the culture of Mexico and Mexican people. It commemorates the success and power of former President Benito Juarez as well as the fact that Juarez was the first and only (so far) full indigenous leader of Mexico. The holiday is celebrated across Mexico, but it is especially celebrated in bigger cities and in his home region compared to others. Here are some ideas of where to find the biggest festivals on this day in Mexico:

  • Oaxaca: The home state of Juarez throws perhaps the largest celebrations in memory of Juarez.
  • Mexico City: The capital of Mexico is heavily populated and celebrates every Mexican holiday with great panache.
  • Guadalajara: Known for throwing a festival for each holiday, this Mexican city also observes the former president’s birthday.

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

I Can Eat for $5.00 a Day in Mahahual

Yes, you read me correctly, I can eat most days in Mahahual for around five good old USA dollars.  I mean and not just eating a can and beans and some rice, I eat out every meal almost every day, or get take out.  I found this out the other day.  I got a $5 tip from a couple of college students here on spring break, for showing them around town.  After I got the tip, the guy who rides around on a bike here changing dollars to pesos came by.  I go him to change my $5 into pesos, and I got 96 pesos.

So after my tip I went to lunch at one of my usual haunts, right off the malecon.  I went to the Oaxaca girls place and got two empanadas, carne molido, and a garnacho, and it cost me only 26 pesos.  Later that day on my way home I stopped and got me a hamburger and fries from Solofish, and that cost me only 40 pesos.  So my total for my two main meals of the day was only 66 pesos, and this is not just on that day.  I eat for around 100 pesos every day, which is about $5 USA dollars.  I will now show you how I do it and provide some examples.

Hamburger and fries, 40 pesos.

First of all I am a bachelor, so I only have to feed myself.  Second, I am living in the K’ay Kook hotel now at the moment and don’t really have access to a refrigerator, just a freezer. Now when I originally moved into the hotel here last July, I was only supposed to be here two weeks to a month, it now has been eight months, but that is another story for the future.  I have been promised a place on the malecon to live, but there has been trouble with the legal procedures, more on that story later.

So being a bachelor here in Mahahual, I have learned it is as cheap to eat out here, as it is to cook your own meals.  Trust me, I have the good, cheap eating out to a science here. Now I am not going to include my drinks or my water in my daily eating totals, because I buy the big 5 liter water bottles, and 2-liter Coke Zero, and drink that with most of my meals.  I probably spend 20 pesos a day on my drinks and water, because it is important to stay hydrated here.

For instance, yesterday I was watching March Madness all day, and I had a fantasy baseball draft, so I went up to the corner and got me a hamburger for 30 pesos, and a bag of Cheetos 6 for lunch, for a total of 36 pesos, with the exchange rate now at 19.02 pesos to 1 USA dollar, that figures out to about $1.89 usd for lunch.  For dinner I ordered out for sushi, and had that delivered for 50 pesos, $2.62 usd.  So the total for the day was around 86 pesos.

But you are now thinking to yourself, well what about breakfast?  My answer, I am not a big breakfast eater, so I usually eat a sweet roll, or something  from the local bakery here. At Panaderia La Tartaleta, the local bakery here, I buy bags of day old pastries or rolls for 12 pesos.  It usually has three or four nice baked goods, and I eat one of those for breakfast with my Coke Zero.  Yesterday the bag I picked up had a brownie in it, a jelly roll, and a croissant filled with chocolate, not bad for only 12 pesos.

Thursday, I think I had chicken soup at Primos for 30 pesos for lunch, and picked up two slices of pepperoni pizza from Metro Pizza to take home for dinner, 50 pesos, another under $5.00 usd total, 80 pesos.  And as you can see, my meals are not bad, Metro Pizza has very good pizza, and the slices are big, good enough for me.

My meals also vary, one day I may get quarter chicken meal( pollo asada), rice and beans, tortillas, and salad for 40 pesos, at my place in downtown Mahahual.  So my diet varies, and is somewhat healthy, (beats eating fast food in the USA), and I can say almost all my meals taste good, I get a bad meal every now and then, but I usually stick to my usual haunts, so I know what I am getting most of the time.

I go to a place up on the corner a lot from my hotel, and the Mexican lady there has started making sandwiches, hamburgers, pastas, potato salad kind of Mexican style, and other meals for her customers to take home, and they are usually around 30 pesos.  I get these a lot at night, or on weekends, when I don’t want to venture all the way into town to eat.

Assorted salads, sandwiches, pastas, and even cupcakes, all around 20 or 30 pesos.

My store on the corner from where I live. I buy my ice there, and also a lot of my meals to take home. It is at the entrance to Barrio Cinco-Cinco, right across from Don Kike.

Mexican lady who owns store, with her hamburgers and sandwiches.

So as you can see, I got the $5 a day eating down to a science here in Mahahual.  Now I am sure I have left some people and places I eat out, and I will remember some later, but it is Sunday morning, and March Madness will be coming on soon, and I have to go watch my Gamecocks play Duke, (Go Cocks, sorry I had to throw that in there).

Now don’t get me wrong, I would much rather have my own kitchen to cook my own meals, but at the time being, this is my best option.  In fact something has to give on my “promised” apartment this week, or I am out of the deal, more on this later, I am not at liberty to go into more detail because of ongoing legal procedures, but lets just say, eight months is too long to wait for an apartment.

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina