Carnaval Costa Maya Mahahual 2018 Review

It has come and gone like a flash. The pueblito has returned to its quiet and sleepy state from the figurative and literal hangover from this past weekend’s Carnaval activities. The only sounds are the blowing of the seasonal breeze through the trees and songs of the tropical Great Kiskadee and Yucatan Jay birds pirched in them. It was a great weekend of parades, dancing and entertainment in that familiar imperfect Mahahual style.

The events kicked off Friday with a parade leaving from our neighborhood, casitas, scheduled for 6:30pm, which started promptly at 7:30pm in typical caribbean fashion, and traveling down the malecon with music and candy for the kids, ending up in “the dome”. As residents of casitas we thought it would be nice to grab our bikes and get there early to make sure we had a good spot for the show. That turned out to be silly of us because the parade only left from casitas, it wasn’t for casitas, as evidenced by the main float cruising by at mach 30 without a single wave or candy thrown our way.

The events calendar said the parade started in casitas so ourselves and a few flabbergasted others were left eating dust and sucking exhaust fumes as the floats whizzed by. If you are coming next year, be aware of that fact. Things don’t always make sense so plan for other eventualities!

After regrouping we headed down to the dome to check out the other events before the music started. There was a good sized crowd in good participatory spirits compared to last year at the light house when only a few hundred showed up and had all of the energy of a crowd at an international insomnia convention. The kings and queens were announced, the local dance troupe put on a show, the vendors fired up the tacos and marquesitas and Carnaval was officially under way for 2018!

The kids took over the stage with their care-free and cutting edge dance moves and once the Dos Equis took hold, everybody else was moving too. Lights flashed, cans emptied and tails shook until the music stopped around 3am.

Saturday’s activities were published only on the local facebook page in plenty of time for people to plan their day…late Saturday morning.  So if you were like me and don’t live on facebook, you had no idea there was another parade and round of activities before the music started again, despite my best efforts to try and find out what the schedule of events for the weekend was…flamboozled twice by the parade!

We made it down to the dome Saturday expecting a smaller crowd with a little less enthusiasm but what we found was a sea of little brown locals, dancing and smiling, peppered with hairy white tourists and expats who were just as happy to be there. The energy was thick and the night was quality once again. The kids ruled the stage and the lights flashed into the wee hours.

Overall Carnaval in Mahahual in 2018 was a success. We might be a small community but we really felt big this past weekend. If the improvements from 2017 to 2018 are any indication of the trend for the future, I would say don’t risk missing Carnaval 2019! Just make sure you don’t wait for the parade in casitas!

 

 

 

 

Carnaval Schedule of Events in Mahahual Costa Maya 2018

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Here we go guys as promised! For those gringos without the lingo I will translate for you here so you know what is going on!

Friday February 16 starting at 7:00pm in the Dome!

Kings and Queens of Carnaval 2018 Mahahual

7:00pm – Welcome and Presentation of Hosts

7:05pm – Inauguration by the Municipal President of Othon P. Blanco, Ing Luis Torres Llanes

Coronation Ceremony, Queen of Inclusion, Queen of Pro-Diversity, Emperors and Kings of Carnaval

7:30pm – Carnaval Antics

9:00pm – Presentation of Troupes

10:00pm – (Musical Acts) Los Huiros de Cozumel, Nohoch Purux y Pompi, and the best DJ in the Mexican Caribbean, Disco Macs

 

So there you have it! Looks like this year we are going to be celebrating in the dome instead of under the lighthouse. Stay tuned for updates from the festivities!

Carnaval 2018 Calendar for the Mexican Caribbean

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Carnaval is coming to Mahahual this weekend! I will post a schedule of events as soon as I can get my hands on it! For those who will be here visiting us for the first time you can look forward to live music, performances, comedy, arts and crafts, and more!

Mahahual Locals Spotlight #1

Hello all!  We are back at it after some time off and are starting off strong with a new series; “Mahahual Locals Spotlight”. This series will be published monthly and will highlight the journey of a well-known local who fell in love with our lovely little town and never looked back.

As you know, Mahahual is a special place full of special people that makes up a very unique community of locals, born and raised nearby, Mexican nationals who moved from far away parts of the country, Europeans, Americans, Canadians…you name it! We are all here experiencing this crazy ride together and each of our unique personalities and stories are what makes Mahahual what it is! Let’s get started!

This month we interviewed Lorena Lucidi, the well known, multi-talented, and lovely manager/waitress/owner/bartender of Divino Delicia Italiana, and Divino Delicia Mexicana, two of the staple restaurants here in Mahahual. You can catch her any day (except Monday!) in Divino Delicia Mexicana on the first corner in Casitas serving up delicious cappuccinos, vegetarian omelets, and huevos mexicanos to locals and tourists alike in three different languages, with a smile and relaxed demeanor.

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Costa Maya Life: Well first thing is first, how did you end up in Mahahual?

Lorena: It’s a long story! My husband and I are originally from Italy but where living in London for several years. The weather was bad and the pace of life was just too much for us. We wanted to do something different so we could enjoy life more. My husband’s father, Angelo, had moved down from Italy to Playa Del Carmen and we decided to go live with him. But we quickly realized that Playa Del Carmen, even though it isn’t as big as London, had the same pace as a city 10 times its size.  It wasn’t much different.

Costa Maya Life: Did you guys have a plan for what you wanted to do once you got there?

Lorena: We wanted to start a business renting paddle boards, jet skis and things like that but we realized that it was too expensive there. You have to pay a tax and the tax for each paddle board was as much as for a boat. We also thought about opening up a restaurant there but it was also extremely expensive. The rent and cost of living weren’t that different from Mahahual but to own a business was another thing.

Costa Maya Life: Yeah the tourism industry there is already pretty well established I would imagine! So how did you find Mahahual?

Lorena: Well some friends of ours had told us about Mahahual, it’s beautiful beaches and relaxed charm, and that there was a cruise port. So we came down to check it out and we loved it. We decided we wanted to stay right away!

Costa Maya Life: Yeah that seems to be how it happens!

Lorena: So we went back to get our stuff and moved down immediately.

Costa Maya Life: So what did you do for jobs when you first moved down?

Lorena: Well six years ago Mahahual was very different. There weren’t as many things here and there was a need for almost everything. We met some local hotel owners who let us open a business on the beach in front of their hotel renting paddle boards and jet skis like we wanted to in Playa Del Carmen. Imagine that for two people coming from London where it is cold and rainy all of the time, to a beach town in the Caribbean working all day every day on the beach, it was like a dream for us!

Costa Maya Life: Yeah it doesn’t get more picture perfect than that! So what happened? Why did you stop doing that?

Lorena: Well, being out on the beach all day, every day, is fun for a while but it does get old believe it or not! Business was good but we were having some problems with cruise ship tourists using the equipment and damaging it, then trying to get them to pay for it, or them getting hurt, because alcohol and jet skis aren’t really a good combination….it just became too much of a hassle. So we decided to look into opening up a restaurant because Angelo has a real passion for cooking. He loves it!

Costa Maya Life: And is that what he did in Italy? Owned a restaurant?

Lorena: No. He just loved cooking. And my husband and I had both worked in the industry in London. So we had some experience.

Costa Maya Life: Ok! So we all know that there are a lot of good Italian restaurants here in Mahahual. Were you guys one of the first?

Lorena: There were already some good restaurants in town but not too many when we opened Divino Delicias Italiano down at the beach. We wanted to open something nice, but not too fancy, where people could come for a good atmosphere but not have to worry about dressing up too much or paying to much.

Costa Maya Life: So business was good?

Lorena: Business was great! The first year there was always a line out the door waiting for a table. Every night!

Costa Maya Life: You guys do have some great food. That is totally understandable!

Lorena: Thank you. Then after the first year business kindof normalized and it has been steady since then.

Costa Maya Life: Well to the locals here in Casitas, Divino Delicia Mexicana is THE place to eat and enjoy some coffee. When did you open this one? What is the story?

Lorena: We decided to open this one after the success of Divino Delicia Italiana down at the beach. Before we bought it three years ago, this location was owned by a greek man and functioned more as a bar than a restaurant. When we first bought it we would be open until 5 in the morning and both sides of the street would be full of people because we were the only bar in Casitas. Pizza Papi was there, but this place was the spot!

Costa Maya Life: Yeah I remember when we first started coming down this place was really jumping at night!

Lorena: Yes but after a while it began to calm down some thank God. At the beginning we never had anybody come in to eat…maybe 10 people all day, but at night it was like a disco. Then after a while it began to shift and now we are more of a restaurant than a bar. we can’t stay open too late because they built the apartments above us and we can’t make so much noise.

Costa Maya Life: Yeah now it is really the low key local meet up spot. There are a few more places to go and have drinks in this area but this is still the place where “everybody knows your name”.

Lorena: Yep.

Costa Maya Life: Well that is a great story. One last question and I’ll let you go…What was the thing that really made you stop and say, “Wow. This is the place where we want to be”, when you first came down?

Lorena: Well we came down for two days the first time. The first day there was a cruise ship here so we saw the town and all of the people walking around and the potential to open a good business and that was positive. But the second day, when there was no ship and we saw how quiet and relaxed everything was, we really got that sense of freedom and relaxation that you really don’t get in many other places. Obviously the water is beautiful, the beaches are beautiful and the people are friendly…but that sense of freedom was really the thing that captured us.

Costa Maya Life: Yeah the air here can definitely be infectious. Thank you!

You can catch Lorena, her husband Marco, and her father-in-law Angelo anytime at Divino Delicia Mexicana in Casitas or Divino Delicia Italiana at the beach next to Hotel Pacha Mama every day except for Monday!

Holy Week and Easter in Mexico

Semana Santa starts here this weekend. The town will start to fill up this weekend, and will be packed all next week. It is like Spring Break on steroids, and a sight to see.

Costa Maya Mahahual

Semana Santa Traditions

Updated March 23, 2016.

Semana Santa (Holy Week) is the week leading up to Easter. This is a very important holiday in Mexico. Religious celebrations are at the forefront, but it’s also a time when Mexican families head to the beaches and tourist attractions.Most schools have two weeks vacation at this time, both Semana Santa and the following week, which is referred to as Semana de Pascua.

Dates of Semana Santa:

Semana Santa runs from Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos) to Easter Sunday (Domingo de Pascua), but since students (and some workers) enjoy a two-week break at this time, the full week preceding Easter as well as the following week comprise the Semana Santa holiday. Find out the dates of Semana Santa, which vary from year to year.

Travel During Holy Week:

Since schools in Mexico have a two-week vacation…

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European Back Packer Time of Year in Mahahual, Mexico

I did a post yesterday with some photos of some hippies coming through Mahahual, and I got several questions and comments. I forget sometimes that I am constantly getting new readers on this blog, and maybe have not read any of my past articles about life here. I got one question asking what is the “European Hippie Back Pack Tour”, I have mentioned in several posts. So I went in the archives and found a story I did about that 3 years or so ago. So here is the answer to that question. They are not necessarily “hippies” in the true sense, I just don’t know how else to describe them.
They have long hair, don’t bathe much, live communally, don’t work much, just to eat, and fit all the criteria that I learned about hippies growing up in the 60s. I know when they walk by on the malecon, all the Mexicans here say “hippie” under their breaths, so that is the term I adopted. I mean they have no political agenda, like hippies in the USA, just the lifestyle. I have met a bunch of them, nice people, just different.

Costa Maya Mahahual

This time of year in Mahahual and through out Quintana Roo and Mexico, backpackers from Europe descend on the area.  Young men and women from all over Europe visit Mexico a lot during the months of May and June.  A lot of Europeans choose to travel through Mexico and other parts of Central America after they get out of school, or take a vacation from their jobs.  They fly into Cancun usually and embark south for places like Tulum, Bacalar, Playa del Carmen, and even Mahahual.

They have back packs and usually stay in hostels, or camp out along the way.  Most of the European backpackers stay for a couple of months, and try to see and experience as much as they can during their travels.  A lot are attracted by the Mayan ruins, while some just love Mexico’s beaches and the natural beauty and friendly people.  They start off…

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