Saturday, October 31, 2009

Day of the Dead...What's it all about, anyway?

Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico are celebrated in conjunction with two Catholic Holidays, All Saints Day on November 1 and All Souls Day on November 2.

While the holiday has Pre-Hispanic roots, it's currently celebrated as a way to remember loved ones who have passed on, as well as spend time with the ones still here.  In practical terms, it is also an opportunity for families to give annual maintenance and a good cleaning to the family grave sites.

In addition to attending to the graves, families often build altars in their homes that commemorate loved ones and ancestors that have passed on.  Flowers, photos, candles, favorite foods and drinks, and incense are place on the decorated tables for souls to enjoy.

In some areas, particularly rural ones, it is believed that the souls actually return and bring fortune, or misfortune, for not being respected properly.

What an excellent way to teach children about their ancestors and family, respect for their heritage, and to keep the family story going!  The kids and I are going to take some time on Sunday to talk about our family history and those who still bless us with their presence and those we remember fondly. 

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Friday, October 30, 2009

Mayan Riviera Properties Office Decorated for Halloween

Stop by the office tomorrow night if you are in town!  We'll be passing out candy to trick or treaters!  We've decked out the office for Puerto Morelos' Decoration Contest.  So, I thought I'd post some photos.

Each member of the office staff made a tombstone that we've put up outside.  Some of them are quite funny!  My favorite is the tombstone of Guadalupe, our staff housekeeper.  Her tombstone reads "Ni un baƱo mas" (Not one more toilet). Apparently, she's tired of cleaning bathrooms!

Here is the Office:

And the Tombstones:

Laura said she wasn't dying.  So instead, she was abducted by aliens!

Pilar, our office manager (and office queen), whose birth date will remain unmentioned even in death.

This is Josh's Tombstone.  Someone came to the office one day looking for "Juanito Chul".  That is the best, worst translation of Joshua Schulz that we've heard -- and it's stuck.  It's become Josh's new Mayan Name.

Yours truly.

Lupita, the aforementioned 'tired of toilets' housekeeper.

Gala, our property maintenance specialist, who is "resting from the pumps, leaks, and repair quotes".

Jheniffer, who oversees Caribbean Reef Villas.

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Halloween / Day of the Dead in Puerto Morelos THIS WEEKEND!!

Just a reminder to all that the festivities kick off tomorrow night at 5 p.m. with Trick or Treat in the Town Square.  Costume contests for kids, teens, adults, and pets to follow -- along with theatrical performances, food, fun, etc. 

Day of the Dead Festivities continue Sunday and Monday in the Colonia's Town Square.

See the flyer of events here.

SEE YOU THERE!  Caden, Easton, and our dog, Rasca will be Trick or Treating and entering the costume contests!  Easton has an adorable devil costume (which, is rather fitting for the little troublemaker).  Caden and Rasca are superheroes! 

Be sure to bring your the kiddos by the office!  We've got the place decorated and are passing out candy!

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My White Heron, A ?? Bird, and The Yucatan Bird Festival

In my continuing quest to identify/name the animals I see...

I have grown quite fond of a particular Great White Heron that often makes her way through the open lot (the one next to Las Tortugas Condominiums), on her trek to the beach.

She (at least I like to think she's a "she" -- some true birders may know better than I) is so regal - with almost a snobby air about her.  

I was pleasantly surprised to see her back this August and got a few shots of her before she flew out of sight and closer to the beach.  We've seen her for 3 summers in a row now!  And hope to see her return next year!

On another note, we had an unexpected visitor in the yard this week.  A small birdie graced us with a visit.  He was cute as a button and appeared to have hurt his foot.  So, he was using our yard as a resting place to regain his bearings.  In a short time, he and his partner flew off again on their way...

However, I can't figure out what this little guy is.  I thought he might be a "Grace's Warbler", but the eye markings don't match up.  I can't seem to find this guy on any of the Yucatan Bird Websites.  Anybody with a guess?

Are you into birdwatching?  If so, the Yucatan is a great place to visit!  This is a world class Birdwatchers' Destination!!  The Yucatan Bird Festival is coming up: November 19-21st! 

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Monday, October 26, 2009

The Mayan Riviera Airport Closer to Becoming Reality

While today's post doesn't deal directly with Puerto Morelos, it is an update regarding an issue that I am often asked about:  The Possibility of a New Airport near Tulum.  And while I tend to not count chickens before they hatch -- especially in Mexico -- it seems as if this one is nearing reality.

It is being reported that the Mexican Government is going to officially begin the search for a contractor to build the planned airport in November.  The project is expected to cost 4.1 billion pesos and take 4 years to complete.

Asur, the company that operates the Cancun Airport, has reportedly signed onto the new project as well.

This comes after the Federal and State governments officially approved funds in May of this year.

This new airport is to service national and international flights and is to occupy 2000 hectares of land, just to the north of Tulum.

When asked about the possibility of a new airport, it's often a two part question.  Is it going to happen?  And, if so, what is its impact?  Here's my opinion -- purely opinion -- so, take it for what the it is...

I think that the impact of the airport will depend directly on the availability of flights to this airport -- something that doesn't seem logically imminent in the near future.  The success of the Cancun airport (which has recently opened its second runway) has been the enormous amount of charters, non-stops, and daily flights from cities worldwide.  It has made Cancun and the Riviera Maya easily, and affordably, accessible to the entire world.  At the moment, I can't see airlines duplicating their flight schedules into the new airport.  It doesn't seem feasible from the airlines' standpoint.  For the short term, maybe international flights will still fly into Cancun and have the option of a jumper flight to the Tulum aiport, much like the services offered to the airport in Cozumel. 

What the new airport will do -- again, completely my opinion -- is open up the northern parts Costa Maya to the world of opportunity, development, investment, and resorts.  As of now, Tulum is about as far as most tourists (and therefore most investors) want to travel from the Cancun Airport -- about an hour driving time.  With the new airport's location, developments to the south of Tulum now have the opportunity to receive more traffic.  Once the level of development exists to warrant more direct flights into the new airport, then airlines will respond to demand with more directs and charters.

What do you think?

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Halloween / Day of the Dead Festivities -- Flyer of Events

Are you getting your costume ready?  The kids, the dog, and I are going to fine tuning our costumes for next Saturday's contest ;)  Unfortunately, Josh will be away that weekend on a hunting trip -- so we'll be minus one for the weekend's festivities.

Here are links to the Fliers of Events:
  1. Click here to view/print Flyer in English
  2. Click here to view/print Flyer in Spanish
See the first post about these events here.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

REMINDER: Daylight Savings Time Sunday at 12 a.m.

Ready to Fall Back?  Saturday night, before going to bed, you'll need to set your clocks back one hour for Daylight Savings Time!

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

We're getting some rain!

Finally! Some much needed rain drops are falling! Reports say that we are in a fifty year drought. While today's downpours probably won't refill the dry mangrove, they are certainly a welcomed drink of water!!

By the way, the dead patches of grass in our backyard... I think those are due to a lovely plague of snails that hatched in our yard this week! Strange, eh?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New Events & Updates to the Halloween/Day of the Dead Festivities!

New Events have been added to the Halloween/Day of the Dead Festivities!  Check out the updates to the original post here.

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Coming Soon...The Little Mexican Cooking School

Designed for visitors and Puerto Morelians, this school will offer 1 day instruction courses in preparation of traditional Mexican cuisine.  

The school will be open for cooking instruction on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Classes begin on December 8th and will run through May.  Cost is $90 USD per class and prices may be higher for celebrity chef classes.  Soon you will be able to reserve your spot in a class online at their website.

I am looking forward to taking a class!  Maybe a group of us can get together and pick a day to go?!?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Invitation: Puerto Morelians to be Spotlighted on

I would love to spotlight fellow Puerto Morelians on this Blog!

This is an open invitation to MRP Homeowners, fellow full time Puerto Morelians, and PM visitors to participate, if you are interested!  It's an opportunity to introduce yourself / family, tell your story, promote your property or business, give your thoughts on living in Puerto Morelos/Mexico/Abroad!

I think it's a great way to:
  • Get to know the neighbors
  • Promote Puerto Morelos/Mexico to those considering a visit or moving here
  • Promotion of your local business
And, in general, a fun read!

No pressure!  Only if you are interested!  And no deadline!  I'll post them as they come in.

If you are interested, please email me the following:
  • Script of what you would like posted.  Can be short, long, or somewhere in between.
  • Photos to go with the post.  At least a photo of yourselves would be great, so that you are not anonymous.  Favorite PM shots would be great too.
  • If you wish to include contact info, like an email address, that is fine too.  I'll be sure to post the email addresses so that spambots cannot get ahold  of them.
 Do you know someone you'd like to read about?  Tell them about this invitation!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Halloween / Day of the Dead Festivities

This year, Puerto Morelos is doing it up right!

Here is the calendar of events, along with the phone numbers of event coordinators if you have any questions...(Any changes will be updated directly to this post):

OCTOBER 31ST -- HALLOWEEN -- All Events Held in Town Square (in front of ocean):

  • 4:30 - 7 p.m.  TRICK or TREAT -- Houses are being instructed to put a balloon on their gate if they are going to be handing out candy.  Dress up in your best spooky crazy costumes and meet the organizers at 4:30pm.  They'll be leaving at 5 p.m. from the park to tour the houses and stores to receive your treats.  (Cece Glover 998 1097329)
  • 7 p.m.  HALLOWEEN COSTUME COMPETITION -- Awards will be given for best costume for the children 12 & Under.  (Catriona Brown 998 1598890)  [The awards for other age groups will be given at 8:10 p.m.]
  • 7:30 p.m.  THEATRICAL PRESENTATION -- The Casa de Cultura Theater Group will have a Halloween presentation.
  • 8 p.m.  HALLOWEEN COSTUME COMPETITION -- Let's go crazy this year with original ideas! Your costumes will be judged in the Park with mood lighting and sounds on the Halloween Stage.  Ages: 13-21 and Over 21!!!  Also a prizes for the best costume on a pet!  (Catriona Brown 998 1598890)
  • 8 p.m.  BEST DRESSED HOUSE OR STORE -- Dress up your house or store. Judges will be coming around on the night of 30 October, the night before!,  to see what crazy things you have done to Halloween your house!!!  Please let us know if you are going to participate so we can make sure the judges will visit your house!! (Frank Reams 998 1836713 or Mitzy )
  • 9 p.m. DANCE OF THE DEAD -- ...ooooohhhhhaaaahhhhhYIYEEEE  Spooky  music and dancing  (Laura Alcantar 2069015) for everyone!

NOVEMBER 1ST -- ALL SAINTS DAY -- All Events Held in the Colonia's Square:
  • 7 p.m.  THRILLER MUSICAL -- Micheal Jackson and other celebrities ;) will be performing!  It's a professional act and should be great!
  • 8 p.m.  THEATRICAL PRESENTATION -- The Casa de Cultura Theater Group will have a Halloween presentation.
  • 8:30 p.m.  CLASSIC LEGEND & STORYTELLING -- Mexico has a rich tradition in legend and storytelling.  Come to see the tales being told!
  •  9 p.m.  DANCE  -- Dance in Square with Live Music
  • FOOD & EXHIBITS -- Preview the Altar and Calavera entries before tomorrow's winner is announced (see below), food, and traditional handicrafts and customs for the Day of the Dead.

NOVEMBER 2ND -- DAY OF THE DEAD -- All Events Held in Cemetary/Colonia's Square:
  • 5 p.m.  CATHOLIC MASS/BLESSING -- To be held in the Cemetary, where all of the graves will have been decorated in traditional styles.  Great chance to see the decorations, ceremony, and flower vendors of this traditional event. 
  • 6 p.m.  DECORATION OF GRAVES -- Also held in Cemetary, following the mass.  Families will have decorated the graves of loved ones.  Great opportunity to see/learn more about this tradition. (Guadalupe Aldecua 998 2324574)  
  • 7 p.m.  CALAVERA READING & WINNERS ANNOUNCED -- Want to write a Calavera?  It's a type of poem, written as a eulogy for someone living or dead, often written to be a joke/funny.  The best will be read at this time and the winners announced.  (Want to enter one?  Contact Andres Uscanga 998 8454376)
  • 7:30 p.m.  ALTAR CONTEST WINNERS ANNOUNCED -- Try your hand at making a traditional altar decorated with candles, flowers, and photos.  Each state has a different way of doing the altars -- learn the yucatecan style!  (Want to enter one or help with one?  Contact Isla 998 1105403)
  • 8 p.m.  ALL SAINTS COSTUME CONTEST -- This costume contest will chose those with the best saint costume!  (Isla 998 1105403)
  • 9 p.m.  DANCE PERFORMANCE -- Professional Dancers wrap up a fun event.
 * Traditional food, flowers, and artisan vendors will be selling their wares throughout the event.*

 Photo Credit:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Animals of the Yucatan: Northern Tamandua

In my continuing interest to identify the wierd animals I've seen, but cannot name, I present the "Northern Tamandua".

Have you seen one of these?  Known as "Ahchab" in Maya, a Tamandua is a large ant eater that can reach 5 ft in length.  Its nocturnal and elusive -- so they are unusual to see.

Sorry to report that I saw one today -- on the side of the highway :(

But, it means that they are around and if you happen to be a night owl, you just may see one too.

Photo Credit:

Monday, October 5, 2009

Chetumal International Border Fair! Begins October 15th!

Fair in Chetumal begins October 15th and will continue for 16 days until November 1st!  The fair will include musical and theatrical programs, fair rides, horse races, art competitions, dances, folkloric ballet, and handicrafts by artists from Yucatan, Campeche, and Tabasco.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Ron's Bougainvillea

Here are photos of Ron Martin's ever-growing, ever-flowing bougainvillea. It's one impressive plant!

Must be all of the lovin' it's getting from your super management company ;)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Hecho a Mano -- Looks like a GREAT book series!

I was perusing Sanborn's book selection and came across these two books:  Mexico: Hecho a Mano - Sur and Mexico: Hecho a Mano - Centro.

Hopefully, they'll be two of a continuing series featuring Mexican Folkart by region.  So far, the publishers have "Centro" (central) and "Sur" (south) regions in hardcover, coffee table books.

I am a total sucker for Mexican folkart and these are definately on the "To Be Purchased" list.  I plan to use them for inspiration in selecting the next location for our annual Mexico trip with friends Ron and Sue.  However, with a pricetag of 495 pesos each, I am searching for a better price.

They sure would make a great gift!  [HINT, HINT:  Josh, are you listening?]

If anyone is interested, here is their ISBN numbers:
  • Centro: 978 970 9726-81-7
  • Sur: 978 970 8280-09-9
Please let a comment below if you happen to find them at a better price! 

Friday, October 2, 2009

Puerto Morelos and Mayan Riviera Properties Featured in New York Times!

GOTTA SEE IT!!  Grab a copy of the New York Times today!

Photo Credit: Robert Caplin

Puerto Morelos, Mayan Riviera Properties, and Las Tortugas Condominiums are featured in today's the New York Times!!

News Article Photos Link

Back in February, journalist Jim Atkinson, came to Puerto Morelos.  He was interested in seeing beachfront projects under $300,000 USD and meeting Puerto Morelos Homeowners.  We took a tour of Puerto Morelos and featured 2 properties:  Las Tortugas Condominiums and Caribbean Reef Villas.  Both are super, affordable options!  Afterward, we met up with homeowners at the Mayan Riviera Properties to chat about Puerto Morelophilia.

Xcaret Festival de Vida y Muerte

Xcaret is preparing to celebrate their 4th Annual "Festival de Vida y Muerte" on October 30 - November 2.

The festival is filled with special ceremonies, exhibits, and children's activities to celebrate and learn about The Day of the Dead Mexican Holiday.

You can view more info about the celebration here.

I think the kiddos and I will go this year!

Puerto Morelos will also be having some activities!  More about that to follow...