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

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

Saint Patrick’s Battalion in Mexico Some History

Today is St. Patrick’s day here in Mahahual and Mexico, and not much going on as far as celebrations.  When I was younger and during my drinking and party days, St. Patrick’s Day was always one of my favorite holidays.  In fact when I first graduated from college in 1980, my first job was working for Budweiser in Greenville, South Carolina.  One of my responsibilities was to get all the green kegs of beer out to all the bars and nightclubs for the celebration.  Even after that when I managed bars and discos, St. Patrick’s day was always a big day in that business.

I was in Charleston, South Carolina once at an Irish bar, Tommy Condon’s, and I got to meet Tom Berenger, the actor.  This was in the late 1980s, and he had just bought a house in Charleston on one of the islands.  We had a few drinks, I was in the comedy club business at the time, and I was also there with Tim Allen, the comedian. We all got to talking, and Tom Berenger was telling us about this movie he was thinking about working on, “One Man’s Hero”, about the Irish battalion in Mexico during the Mexican-American War in the 1840s.

Well several years later I got to see the movie and it was pretty good.  It tells the story of the St. Patricio Battalion, and it is a pretty good history flick, I like history movies.  So if you are interested in Mexican history, you might want to spend St. Patricks Day watching this movie.

So in honor of my Irish ancestry, and because I now make Mexico my home, I am going to provide some information about this movie, and some history of the St. Patricio Battalion, and the part they played in Mexico’s history.

“But Saint Patrick also resonates with Latin American countries in his own special way. In addition to being revered as a patron saint in the town of Loíza Aldea – the heart of Afro-Puerto Rican folklore – he has become a symbol of international solidarity with the cause of Mexican independence. I’m talking about el Batallón de San Patricio: a hodgepodge of expatriate Catholics who fought valiantly against the invading U.S. army during the Mexican-American War of 1846-48. Comprised primarily of deserters from the ranks of U.S. infantry, the Saint Patrick’s Battalion included to a smaller degree Italians, Poles, escaped African-American slaves, and Germans, while Irish immigrants made up the bulk of the more than 700-strong artillery unit.

Lured by offers of religious freedom, higher wages, and generous land grants, the members of the Saint Patrick’s Battalion were disenchanted by forced conscription into the U.S. army, where they found themselves the object of religious persecution and general mistreatment at the hands of native-born soldiers. And guess what? They made a movie about it. Behold One Man’s Hero, directed by Lance Hool.

Now there’s nothing in the historical record to suggest John Riley, the Irish-born leader of the Battalion, looked anything like ’80s heartthrob Tom Berenger, but Berenger’s squinted gaze and tousled blond locks likely made the story of an ex-U.S. soldier fighting for the Mexican cause that much more palatable for U.S. audiences, despite the whole treason thing. Yet few could deny Riley was a man of exceptional bravery and One Man’s Hero gives his epic, and ultimately tragic story a highbrow Hollywood makeover, complete with a Mexican señorita and unobtainable love interest named Marta, whose historical accuracy is somewhat questionable.

Still One Man’s Hero does a good job of sticking to the events that made the Saint Patrick’s Battalion an almost mythical force in the history of the Mexican Republic, fighting tirelessly at decisive battles like Monterrey, Cerro Gordo and Churubusco, all under the emerald-green shadow of the Battalion’s characteristic flag, which featured a golden Irish Harp and Mexican coat of arms emblazoned with the quintessentially Irish slogan, “Erin Go Bragh.”

MSDONMA EC006

Ultimately, as we all know, Mexico lost the war along with about fifty percent of its territory, and many members of the Saint Patrick’s Battalion were found guilty of treason by U.S. forces and summarily hanged in a controversial public spectacle that coincided with the hoisting of the American flag at Chapultepec. But at least Riley got to ride off into the wilderness with Marta by his side.

Hollywood endings aside, the story of el Batallón San Patricio is a reminder that the U.S. doesn’t have a monopoly on providing refuge to the persecuted, and in some instances did its fair share of persecuting. For those interested in more background on the matter, here’s a BBC Radio story that recounts the history of Los San Patricios.”

 

 

Since today is St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I would share some history of the famous St. Patricio Battalion, and the history of the Irish soldiers of Mexico. I know a Mexican woman who is a descendant of these Irish soldiers, and her last name is Tandy.

The green harp flag in its 18th to 19th century design, showing the "Maid of Erin" as the harp's pillar, her wing forming the harp's neck, and the inscription Erin go Bragh ("Ireland forever").

The green harp flag in its 18th to 19th century design, showing the “Maid of Erin” as the harp’s pillar, her wing forming the harp’s neck, and the inscription Erin go Bragh (“Ireland forever”).

The St. Patricio Battalion
The Irish Soldiers of Mexico

On 12 September 1997, the Mexican government paid special tribute to the soldiers of the San Patricio Battalion who were tortured and hanged at the San Jacinto Plaza, San Ángel, in 1847.
Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo presided at the ceremonies marking the sesquicentennial of that tragic event and declared: “One hundred and fifty years ago, here in San Ángel, … members of the St. Patricks Battalion were executed for following their consciences. They were martyred for adhering to the highest ideals, and today we honor their memory. In the name of the people of Mexico, I salute today the people of Ireland and express my eternal gratitude.” The president concluded, saying: “While we honor the memory of the Irish who gave their lives for Mexico and for human dignity, we also honor our own commitment to cherish their ideals, and to always defend the values for which they occupy a place of honor in our history.” Irish Ambassador to Mexico Sean 0’Huighinn emphasized the bonds of friendship that the “San Patricios” have forged between the two countries, and which continue to grow and prosper. He noted that Ireland and Mexico shared a common history of struggle to preserve their cultural identities and political liberties, often threatened by powerful and aggressive neighbors. He also paid tribute to the humanitarian insights of the San Patricios who, “despite the confusion and animosities of war, were able to discern the admirable qualities of the Mexican people, unclouded by preconceived notions of racial prejudice.” In this context, he quoted the leader of the San Patricios, John O’Reilly (also written Riley) who wrote: “Do not be deceived by the prejudice of a nation at war with Mexico, because you will not find in all the world a people more friendly and hospitable than the Mexicans.”

Historical Review

Following the US declaration of war against Mexico in 1846, an Irish-born deserter from the US army, John O’Reilly, organized a company of soldiers at Matamoros to fight on the side of Mexico against the invading US forces. These foreign volunteers became known as “Las Compañías de San Patricio,” and were renowned for their skill as artillerists as well as their bravery in battle for the duration of the war (1846-1848). Not all the San Patricios were deserters from the US army. Their number also included Irish and other Europeans already settled in Mexico, and some historians use Mexican army records as a basis to state that the majority were not deserters. The San Patricios did, however, have a distinctly Irish identity since their name-sake, St. Patrick, is the patron saint of the Irish people. The groups banner displayed an Irish harp surrounded by the Mexican coat-of-arms with a scroll reading, Freedom for the Mexican Republic and underneath the harp was the motto in Gaelic “Erin go Brágh” (Ireland for Ever). On the other side of the banner Saint Patrick was depicted holding a pastoral staff resting on a serpent. An US soldier described it as “a beautiful green silk banner [that] waved over their heads; on it glittered a silver cross and a golden harp, embroidered by the hands of the fair nuns of San Luis Potosí.” Historian Robert Miller also cites another reference to the San Patricio banner by an American observer: “Among the mighty host we passed was O’Reilly and his company of deserters bearing aloft in high disgrace the holy banner of St. Patrick.”

From Matamoros to Churubusco

The San Patricios took part in the fighting at Matamoros and Monterrey where they earned a reputation for their expertise in handling heavy weaponry. Following the US victory at Monterrey, the Mexican army retreated to San Luis Potosí, where General Antonio López de Santa Anna reorganized the Mexican forces in late 1846. Liberating Army of the North, as well as a special artillery unit manned by the San Patricios. This unit was commanded by Colonel Francisco Rosendo Moreno and played and important role in the Mexican victory at the Battle of Angostura in February 1847. According to Miller, “Two six-powder cannon of the US Fourth Artillery were captured by the enemy due to intense fire from the San Patricio cannoneers, aided by support troops.” General Francisco Mejía cited the San Patricios in his report as “worthy of the most consummate praise because the men fought with daring bravery.” As a result of their heroism in battle, O’Reilly, among others, was promoted to the rank of captain and was given the Angostura Cross of Honor. Despite the apparent victory of the Mexican forces at Angostura, Santa Anna decided to abandon the field of battle and retreated to San Luis Potosí. According to Miller, about a third of the San Patricios were killed or wounded at Angostura. Only two weeks after the battle of Angostura, the main focus of the war shifted to the Mexican Gulf Coast with the arrival of General Winfield Scott at Veracruz with 9,000 troops. The San Patricios were transferred from San Luis Potosí to Jalapa and took part in the Battle of Cerro Gordo which ended in defeat for the Mexican forces.

The Foreign Legion of St. Patrick
In June 1847, Santa Anna created a foreign legion as part of the Mexican army, and the San Patricios were transferred from the artillery branch to the infantry and merged into the Foreign Legion. They then became known as the First and Second Militia Infantry Companies of San Patricio. Colonel Francisco R. Moreno was made commander, with Captain John O’Reilly in charge of the First Company and Captain Santiago 0’Leary of the Second. The companies were also referred to as “The Foreign Legion of San Patricio”.

The Battle of Churubusco

Dr. Michael Hogan, the Irish-American author of The Irish Soldiers of Mexico, provides a detailed, well-documented account of the heroic defence of the “convento” (monastery) at Churubusco when it was attacked by the invading US forces on 20 August 1847. The monastery, surrounded by huge, thick stone walls, provided a natural fortress for the defending Mexican forces. The San Patricio Companies together with the Los Bravos Battalion occupied the parapets of the building which was to become the scene of one of the bloodiest battles of the war. Though hopelessly outnumbered, the defenders repelled the attacking US forces with heavy losses until their ammunition ran out, and a Mexican officer, realizing the hopelessness of the situation, raised the white flag of surrender. According to Hogan, Captain Patrick Dalton of the San Patricios tore the white flag down, and General Pedro Anaya ordered his men to fight on with their bare hands if necessary. Mexican historian, Heriberto Frías described the heroic last stand of the San Patricios: “Only the soldiers of St. Patrick, brave Irishmen who spontaneously defended our standard, passing to our ranks out of sympathy for our ideals and religion, were able to use the munitions; and they continued their spirited volleys, until the enemys rain of fire brought death to those valiant marksmen.” History records that following the surrender, when US General Twiggs asked General Anaya where his ammunition was stored, he replied bitterly: “If I had ammunition, you would not be here.” Undoubtedly, the tenacity and skill of the San Patricio companies at Churubusco earned them the everlasting esteem and affection of the Mexican people; and their willingness to fight to the death for their commitment to Mexico forged an indelible seal of honor on that commitment. Mexicans are also justly proud of the heroic stand of their national guardsmen, “green civilian recruits, fighting to the death against Scotts well-equipped veterans.”

According to General Anaya’s written report, 35 San Patricios were killed in action, 0’Leary and O’Reilly were wounded and Francis 0’Connor lost both legs as a result of his heroic stand against the invaders. Eighty-five of the San Patricios were taken prisoner, while the other survivors (about 85) managed to escape, and apparently were later able to rejoin the retreating Mexican forces. Seventy-two were charged with desertion from the US army, and General Scott ordered that two courts-martial be convened to try them.

Lashing, Branding and Hanging

A court-martial at San Ángel on 8 September 1847, upheld the death sentence for 20 of the 29 San Patricios tried there, while a similar court at Tacubaya ordered the death penalty for 30 more. The others, including O’Reilly, escaped the death penalty since they had deserted before war was declared. They, however, were condemned to “receive 50 lashes on their bare backs, to be branded with the letter “D” for deserter, and to wear iron yokes around their necks for the duration of the war.” Two Mexican muleteers were forced to administer the lashes, according to Hogan.

On 10 September 1847, 16 of the condemned San Patricios were hanged at the San Jacinto Plaza, San Ángel, and 14 others received 59 lashes on their bare backs until, according to an American eyewitness, “Their backs had the appearance of a pounded piece of raw beef, the blood oozing from every stripe. ” After the flogging, the prisoners were branded with the letter “D” with red-hot branding irons. Some were branded on the hip, while others were branded on the cheek, and O’Reilly was branded on both cheeks for good measure. San Jacinto Plaza thus became the scene of bloody and mangled bodies, mingled with the repulsive odor of the burning flesh of the tortured San Patricios. According to Hogan, five Mexican priests who sought to give spiritual assistance to the victims were forced to witness the whippings and brandings and ordered to withdraw to the gallows to witness the final act of this “gruesome and carefully orchestrated spectacle.”
Eight mule-drawn wagons were brought up, and two prisoners were placed on each wagon. Sixteen nooses hanging from the crossbeam were placed around their necks, and the priests were brought forward to administer the last rites of the Catholic Church. Then, “the whips cracked, and the wagons drove off leaving the 16 victims dangling from their nooses.” Some, like Captain Patrick Dalton, had asked to be buried in consecrated ground, and were interred in nearby Tla-copac. The others were buried beneath the gallows, and C. O’Reilly and his tortured companions were forced to dig their fallen comrades’ graves. On September 2, four more convicted San Patricios were hanged at the nearby village of Mixcoac.
The final scene of this macabre and somewhat sadistic “hanging spree” took place near Tacubaya on September 13, when the remaining 30 convicted San Patricios were hanged. Francis 0’Connor, who had lost his legs at Churubusco and was dying from his wounds, was nonetheless dragged from the hospital tent and propped up on a wagon with a noose around his neck. When the US American flag was raised over Chapultepec Castle, the San Patricios were “launched into eternity as the wagons pulled away, and the nooses tightened on their necks.”

Mexicans were shocked and outraged by this cruel and barbaric treatment of the San Patricios. The Diario del Gobierno expressed its indignation, writing: “This day in cold blood, these [US American] Caribs from an impulse of superstition, and after the manner of savages as practiced in the days of Homer, have hanged these men as a holocaust.”

In Memoriam

1997 marked the sesquicentennial of a bitter and traumatic chapter in the history of the Irish and Mexican peoples. Mexico remembered the tragic loss of almost half its territory, “ceded” to the United States; and Ireland remembered the tragic loss of almost half its total population due to starvation and emigration brought about by the Great Famine of 1847. It has been wisely said that those who ignore the lessons of history are destined to repeat it, and that we do not need to savor the bitterness of the past in order to understand its lesson for the present and the future. Each year, on September 12, Mexico pays tribute to the San Patricios at San Jacinto Plaza. The commemorative plaque on the wall facing the plaza was designed by Lorenzo Rafael, son of Patricio Cox, who wrote the first book, a novel in Spanish, about the San Patricios. The escutcheon at the top of the plaque depicts a Celtic cross protected by the outstretched wings of the Aztec eagle. The inscription on the plaque reads: “In memory of the Irish soldiers of the heroic San Patricio Battalion, martyrs who gave their lives for the cause of Mexico during the unjust US invasion of 1847”. At the bottom of the plaque another inscription reads: “With the gratitude of Mexico, 112 years after their holocaust”. The plaque was placed in 1959 and continues to remind visitors to the peaceful, tree-shaded plaza, of the tragic events that took place there on 10 September 1847.

patricos01Thanks for reading, and Happy St. Patrick’s Day,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

Moving Here: To Bring or not to Bring

Ok, here you go, I get a lot of searches on this blog, and a lot of questions about what or not to bring to Mexico.  I just saw this article from the Playa Times, and thought I must share.  It lists some things to bring, or not to bring if you move to Mexico.  Me, I just showed up in Mahahual with a suitcase, a computer, and the shirt on my back.

I left the USA in 2009, and I have not been back since, and I don’t plan on going back anytime soon.  So this may help some of you to figure out what you need to bring to survive in Mexico.

Plan ahead and make your checklistw / Photo: Agency

With an increasing influx of foreigners moving to the Riviera Maya, we spoke to dozens of expats and found out what they should have brought down and what just wasn’t worth the hassle

 

Must-haves

  • Bed: Sheets and pillow cases. Most of the quality here is not what you are used to back home. Three bottles of Downy won’t soften most linens, while pricing is triple of what you would pay back home.
  • Towels: The quality, thickness and softness of most products you can get back home can’t be beaten.
  • Hair color: If you color your own hair, bring your own. Especially lighter shades. Here, many have been on shelves past expiration dates, and may turn your hair green-blue.
  • Dogs: Don’t forget their treats and toys. Most of those items cost significantly more in local pet stores.
  • Pots and pans: High-quality cooking utensils, skillets and non–sticks are higher–priced here.
  • Lamps: Many expats brought these up as hard to find, especially when they have a certain style in mind.
  • Clothing: Swimsuits, crocs and your favorite T-shirts and shorts.

 

Don’t Bother

  • Glassware: Other than grandma’s beautiful china crystal for memories sake, it isn’t worth it. Playa has inexpensive glass stores to buy beautiful, locally made glassware. Or there is always Mega, Soriana and Walmart, where you can find cheap glassware.
  • Small Appliances: You can purchase packages for a coffeemaker, toaster or iron for under USD $90 at most stores.
  • Furniture: Unless it is your favorite chair or memory–laden bed, by the time transport, duty, import fees, etc. are paid, you can get a locally hand–hewn, embellished headboard.

 

Maybe

  • Medication: Many pharmacies charge less, some charge more, and some runout. Compare U.S. and Canadian pharmacy online prices and those at YZA, Similares and Ahorro.

 

With the arrivals of major stores from north of the border, like Costco, Home Depot, Sam’s Club and Walmart, many products are readily available. You might pay more for Thomas’ English Muffins, Bon Maman preserves, Marzetti dressings and Ocean Spray juices, but they aren’t worth putting in your check–in luggage and bringing down on a plane. Check the airline’s cost and remember that companies like Amazon and EBay are growing entities in Mexico.

So, is schlepping it down worth your time and money? Weigh all the elements, and if you forgot anything, consider asking a friend to bring it down the next time they visit. In the meantime, throw on those shorts, t–shirt and flip-flops. You are home.

source:http://www.theplayatimes.com/moving-bring-not-bring/

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

Solofish in New Mahahual

Solofish in New Mahahual.

One of my favorite places to eat in Mahahual has reopened under new owners and management.  I have been stopping by Solofish since it opened a couple of years ago.  I like their fish sandwich and I eat there two or three times a week.  It is on my way home from the malecon, and a lot of times I stop there to get something to go to take home to eat.

Solofish fish sandwich, only 50 pesos.

I would say Solofish has a combination of Mexican-American food.  They serve a wide range of cuisine from hamburgers and hot dogs to Mexican favorites like empanadas and gringas.  The majority of the food they told me they serve is American food, and they have a lot if local expats that eat there.  They have a big following with the expats here besides me.  I think my friend Canadian Stewart also eats there a lot.

2 expats from James, Island, South Carolina I met at Solofish yesterday, I forgot to write down their names. They live off the grid out in Rio Indio.

 

Solofish is open seven days a week.  Mondays through Saturdays they are open from 9am to 11:30pm, and on Sundays they open from 4pm to 11pm.  They also have delivery and take out.  They deliver to the malecon, New Mahahual, and Barrio 55, and there is no charge for delivery.  I have started getting delivery here lately to my hotel K’ay Kook in Barrio 55, I like the hot cakes there also, and get them delivered sometimes.  The phone number for take and delivery is 983-834-5917.

Solofish serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  They also have coffee, juices, and soft drinks, as well as licuados.  They serve eggs your way, hot cakes, chilquiles, and other breakfast favorites.  For lunch you can get hamburgers, chicken wings, tortas, sandwiches, gringas, burritos, tacos, hot dogs and french fries, and alhambres.  The dinner menu is basically the same as lunch, but you can order anything off the menu all day.

Solofish current menu, and expanded menu will be available soon.

Jesus told me their three biggest sellers at the moment are the hamburgers, mega gringas, and the chicken wings.  The chicken wings are new to the menu, and I had some last night, and they were quite good.  I think Solofish is the only place to get chicken wings in the casitas.

Solofish chicken wings and fries. You can get them BBQ, spicy, or Mexican style.

Hamburger and fries, 40 pesos.

Solofish in Mahahual is now owned and operated by Brian Constantino and his wife Mercedes Diaz.  They are originally from Chiapas, Mexico.  They have been in Mahahual for three months, and they love it here.  Brian went to chef school in Ciapas, and is a certified chef.  They are new, but still serve the same great food that Solofish always has had.

Mercedes Diaz and Brian Constantina, owners and operators of Solofish.

So if you are in Mahahual and want some good quick food American or Mexican style, go check them out at Solofish,  they at right next to Martin’s Super on the corner in New Mahahual.  And remember, they also deliver.

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

 

 

My Music at K’ay Kook Hotel

K’ay Kook Hotel, Barrio Cinco-Cinco, Mahahual.

I got the best compliment an old white guy from South Carolina can probably get in Mexico.  The other day as I was leaving my place to go into town, the wife of the owner of the hotel where I am staying now, told me she loved to listen to my music while she cleaned up in the halls and around the hotel.  To me that is a great compliment, because my music tastes are far out there, but more on that in a minute.

First some backdrop for this story.  For some reason for as long as I remember, I like to listen to music while I write, always have, even goes back to college.  For some reason I seem to write better while listening to music.  I also like my music loud, I think that comes from all my years working at discos and night clubs in my youth.

So when I write this blog and other things, I always listen to loud music, gets me in the mood.  So when I am writing my blog here at the hotel in the mornings, I listen to my music.  I usually start my day with answering emails, and other things, and then around 9am or so I start to write my daily blog here.

By time I sit down to do my blog, most of the other people who live at the hotel also, have gone off to work at the port or wherever, so I usually have the place to myself.  So I get in my groove and start writing, and become oblivious to what is going on around me, kind of like a zone, kind of like I am now.  It is about 11am here now, the place is quiet, except for my music blaring in the halls.

Now when I write my blog, I only listen to old stuff, I mean really old stuff.  I listen to old country ( not new), soul music, R&B, rock and roll, and even some Mexican stuff.  What I do is I go to You Tube and play “My Mix”, and it plays all my favorites.  “My Mix” can go from Ray Charles all the way to Coldplay.  I just put it on that, and I start hitting the keyboard.  I thought I was the only one listening, but come to find out I have been entertaining several people here at the hotel.  Of course to be an expat, you have to always have Jimmy Buffett on your playlist.

I remember when I lived in the condo in Playa del Carmen a while back during the summers.  I don’t remember how many times the security guard came by and asked me to turn down my music.  That has happened several other places I have lived in the past. That is why I like living here at the K’ay Kook.  I got me a room in the back away from everybody, and I can play my music as I like.  I never play my music loud at nights, only when I am writing this blog, in the morning before lunch.

The is also another woman who works here also, and she knows when my music is loud I am working, as she calls it.  I have been playing my music before, and I stepped out into the hall and caught her dancing to my music as she swept the floor.  I have asked several people here if my music bothered them, and they said they had no problem with it.

What I find fascinating is, they like my music, the music of a 58-year-old country boy,  Army brat from South Carolina.  I mean I listen to very wide diverse style of music, I don’t know what you would call it.  I even listen to beach music, which probably no Mexican has ever heard before.  I listen to oldies from the 50s and 60s, soul music form the 70s and 80s, Elvis, Waylon and Willie, Isley Brothers, George Strait, and many others.  I don’t like “rap”, new country, or any music past the 1990s.

For instance while I have been writing this article I have been listening to Willie Nelson and Ray Charles “Seven Spanish Angels”, “Beyond the Sea” by Bobby Darin, Meatloaf “Two out of Three Ain’t Bad”, ELO “Hold on Tight”, Steve Earl “Copperhead Road”,  Soggy Bottom Boys “A Man of Constant Sorrow”, Chairman of the Board “Gone Fishing”, Rehab “Sitting at the Bar”,  “Amarillo by Morning” by George Strait, and many others.  Right now the song is the old “Stars on 45s”, a real oldie.

There are a bunch of other artists and songs that I listen to each morning, I was just surprised of how many locals here liked my music.  A lot of locals here and other Mexicans I have noticed, love oldies music from the USA.  On the beach here at the beach clubs, you always hear 70s and 80s music form the USA being played.

This is what I am listening to now.

It really surprises me the response to my music here at the hotel, because everybody else I know in the USA hates my taste in music.  I guess that is why I like Mexico, I can be stuck in time here as far as my music.  A couple of weeks ago I was playing my music on the weekend in my room during a fantasy baseball draft, and I stepped outside to go get some ice, and there were 3 or 4 Mexican teenage girls sitting out in the hall listening to my music.  To an old codger like me, that is a compliment, that young teenage Mexican women would like my music.

And one final song for my friends in Belize.

So to wrap it up, getting a compliment on my music is the best thing an old white guy like me living in Mahahual and Mexico can get in my eyes.  So I think me and my music will stay in Mahahual for quite a while.

 

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina