Showing posts from April, 2009

Swine Flu Cancun- Thursday Report

I was interviewed by a local Saskatoon radio station this morning, so if you've ever wondered what the Canucka sounds like at 7 am while hiding in a closet from her screaming four year old, here you go....(Thanks Brent and Ashley at NewsTalk980 CJME)

What's happening in Cancun right now? Not much of anything really, it's pretty quiet out in the streets. I went to the grocery store this morning to fill the fridge and there were very few people at the Mega (Lopez Portillo for you Cancunenses looking to shop without a crowd). The only things they didn't have in stock were alcohol hand wash, Lysol and surgical masks, but that was no surprise, they are nowhere to be found in town. It really and truly feels like hurricane time here, everyone is stressed about being able to feed their families, no one knows when we'll be back to the crazy kind of "normal" that is Cancun. Hubby and I are both waiting for word on whether we'll have work in the next month, …

Swine Flu Cancun- More Bad News for Travelers

I really hate to be the bearer of bad news, but here I go. The government of Quintana Roo has ordered facilities with occupancy of greater than 80 people to close. This includes bars, nightclubs and restaurants in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel and the Riviera Maya. Mayor of Cancun Greg Sanchez vaguely told the press that some hotels have been ordered closed, but refused to name them, only saying that they were in the Riviera Maya. Authorities are also preparing for a mass exodus(note this does not say "evacuation", read the linked source, they are just preparing for a lot of people to leave) of around 40 000 tourists on Friday and Saturday, virtually clearing the area of visitors. All archaelogic zones in the country have shut down, this includes the Mayan ruins in the area of Cancun. Eco parks at the moment are still open, but I suspect they may be ordered closed as well.

The Cancun airport is the first in Mexico to install 50 new heat thermometers to detect passen…

Cancun Calm in Swine Flu Todo, Travelers Not So Much

Just another day in Cancun, except for the few folks in face masks and the constant chatter about the swine flu affecting other parts of Mexico. People aren't panicked, they're just trying to find a way to take care of their children while the schools are on mandatory shut down and hoping they'll survive the lack of tourists due to the cancellation of flights, cruises and the travel advisories from around the world. It kind of feels like we're waiting for the other shoe to drop, the first reported case of swine flu in Quintana Roo that we know is going to come. People are wondering why tourists who were in Cancun are sick but no one here is infected. There are numerous conspiracy theories floating around, but none I want to speculate about.

In spite of unanswered questions and an understandable uneasiness, I haven't seen anyone panic shopping, there were a normal number of people in the stores and the shelves were stocked full with the exception of alcohol hand …

Swine Flu in Cancun, Mexico- Update Monday Afternoon

Well, it's official, the president has called for schools nationwide to be closed until May 6th. As I am a teacher, that means that I am on vacation as well (thank goodness, don't know what I would have done with my son). Private and public day care centers, kindergartens, primary, high schools and universities will all be closed as of tomorrow in an effort to control the spread of the swine flu. Mexico City is all but shut down, museums, movie theaters and public events are closed and canceled. The governor of Yucatan has canceled public events in Merida for the next three days at least. Acapulco has closed discos and bars as a precautionary measure. Quintana Roo and Cancun are still functioning as normal, with the exception of the school closures.

As of this moment (and things change fast), there are still zero confirmed cases of swine flu in Cancun or the state of Quintana Roo, though there are a few cases currently under investigation.

Many airlines are waiving the cha…

Swine Flu in Mexico- Saturday Cancun Update

There really isn't much new information today on the outbreak of swine flu in Mexico. The most recent media releases indicate that no new cases have been reported since yesterday. There are still zero cases being reported in Cancun and the state of Quintana Roo. WHO (World Health Organization) is actively involved in the investigation of the outbreak, stating that it is a public health emergency and calling for close attention to the matter in Mexico City and central parts of the country. Twenty deaths have been confirmed as being a result of the swine flu, forty-eight others are being investigated and an estimated 1000 people are ill in Mexico City and central Mexico.

According to, officials in Mexico City are taking great precautions and urging citizens to stay home, distributing surgical masks in the subways and streets and canceling public events and gatherings for the next 10 days. Schools have been closed and many theaters and sporting arenas have shut t…

Influenza in Mexico

This is today's hot hot hot topic on the internet, the media is picking up on the news that a large number of people have been infected by influenza or swine flu in Mexico. Reports indicate various numbers of deaths from the infection (I've read so many different articles that I hate to put a number on it, some say 20, some say 60, it's hard to know what is accurate) and hundreds are ill. The reported cases appear to be focused around Mexico City and the central part of Mexico. Mexico City has canceled classes in schools and many cultural events have been postponed. The citizens of Mexico City are taking precautions against the infection, photos show people wearing surgical masks and reports suggest that the city is "paralyzed".

Currently, as of this moment on Friday afternoon, there have been zero cases reported in Quintana Roo and Cancun. The airport is apparently on alert, monitoring arrivals for indications of illness. (Not sure how much they can actuall…

Canuck Corner

This is not a post about anything important or life shaking or even really about Mexico, just some rambling thoughts of little ole me. I've been all caught up in the Camila adventure and feel the need to just splurge a few other things that have been on my brain lately. So here's a peek into the corners of my mind...

1. I realize that I have become a weeper. I'll cry at just about anything these days. I never used to be this way, so I was trying to figure out what happened. At first I thought it all started with my pregnancy in 2004 and attributed it to hormones. Then I thought, nope, you're "growing as a person" and allowing yourself to freely express the emotions you previously hid. But that's a bit pompous, isn't it? It's probably more to do with going off my heavy anti-depressant medication a couple of months before getting pregnant and not getting back on them since. I'm not unhappy or depressed (as often), but my emotions are cer…

Camila has been rescued!

The city of Cancun came through, Camila, the abused dog which inspired the march for animal rights, has been removed from her torturous home.  The dog catcher picked her up yesterday (an event not without its own scandal, but that's for another day) and Camila is waiting in the pound to be adopted.  Anyone interested in taking the last step in ensuring her future happiness can apply with the municipal pound for her adoption.  Cancunenses, step up, help this poor pup who has had such a miserable life thus far!  She is apparently a black Labrador (or mix with Lab) and is about nine months old.  Applications for her adoption are being taken at the following location:

Perrera Municipal 
Av Nichupte Region 99 Mz. 70 lote 1B 
tel 892-3326

This poor animal would have continued to suffer if it were not for the efforts of Maria Alicia and her volunteers at the RAP Cancun Animal Rescue.  I want to personally thank her for her great efforts in helping all the animals of Cancun.  As great as it i…

Cancun March for Animal Rights

Today the Canuck clan and a large contingent of Cancunenses took to the streets to march for the rights of animals in Cancun. The event was spearheaded by the incredible Maria Alicia Salgado, the director of RAP Cancun Animal Rescue in an effort to bring awareness to the plight of the thousands of animals that are neglected and abused in our city. One dog in particular has brought the citizens to their feet after a man in SM 41 was caught on tape repeatedly beating his puppy with a chain. Maria Alicia and RAP have been making every legal effort to rescue this poor animal, a 9 month old Labrador named Camila, and yet no action has been taken by the authorities.

Today's event saw babies and grandmas, rich and poor along with their four legged friends stopping traffic and chanting "Queremos Camila" ("We love Camila"), "Justicia por Camila" ("Justice for Camila"), and repeating the words of our mayor's campaign "Hechos, no palabras&qu…

March for the Rights of Animals in Cancun

This is an incredibly important public service announcement. I am sickened and ashamed by the way that animals are abused and neglected in Cancun and other parts of Mexico, it is time for citizens to stand up and speak, to make changes and to protect pets and wild animals in this country. I've written many times about RAP, "Respete, Ayuda y Protege", the wonderful organization in Cancun that rescues and cares for street dogs in Cancun. The director is organizing a peaceful march on Sunday to bring awareness to the people of Cancun of just how much care we need to direct to our animal friends.

I'm feeling particularly sad and nauseous after watching the video posted on the homepage of RAP of a dog being beaten by its owner, captured on camera by a caring neighbour. The neighbours and RAP are doing all they can to try to rescue this poor animal, a formal suit has been filed with the city government, but unfortunately there is no law being enforced against this cruel…

Camping on the Beach in Puerto Morelos

Last week was Semana Santa, vacation time for Max and I and a million other school kids. I knew that we would not be able to afford to get out of town to stay in a hotel, but then inspiration struck and I asked LisaLoveLoca if we could borrow her tent for a little camping adventure. She kindly agreed and I got to work trying to find a great spot for our first time. Being beach camping virgins with a small child, I didn't want to go someplace really remote, just in case things didn't work out. The Acamaya Reef in Puerto Morelos seemed to fill our needs, not too far from home, not too far from a town and it offered bathrooms and showers. Hubby managed to get half a day off on Friday so we packed our gear and headed out to Puerto Morelos. "Camp ground" would be a generous term for the place, it really wasn't much to speak of, but it did provide us with a safe spot to pitch the tent for 100 pesos a person, per night.

It was an extremely windy day, we were being …

Snorkeling Puerto Morelos- Fishy Photos!

I'm going to keep the chatter to a minimum on this post, I'm breaking the "rules" and posting lots of photos instead of yammering on and on. Our camping trip on the beach was fantastic and for a super bonus birthday present, we took Max on his first snorkel trip to the amazing reef in Puerto Morelos. He was happier with the boat ride than the rough swim, but Hubby and I had a fantastic guide and saw some incredible fish after Max gave up and ended up sleeping on the boat. I had a hard time editing the photos down, so sorry for the overload, I hope you enjoy our view of the underwater life (click for larger images!)

French Grunts- LOTS of these guys around

More French Grunts (I didn't hear any grunting, how did they get their name?)

My Favourite Find of the Day, Cowfish (Pez Toro in Spanish)

Gorgeous Parrot Fish (Pez perico)

The Parrot Fish saying "Cheese" for the camera

Manta Ray/Mantaraya

Up close and personal with the manta ray

French Grunt Traffic (that…

Max's Birthday- We Survived Four Years!

April 12th, 2005, Maximiliano made his way into the world. Four years later and his father and I are very pleased to say he is growing, thriving, talking up a storm, leaping from great heights and enjoying everything he encounters. He's an active kid, friendly and (mostly) polite, kind to other kids and animals, eager to learn and try new things and it's a real pleasure to have him as my son. Nothing, I mean, NOTHING in my life has ever given me such joy. I always swore I would never have children, but I am so very pleased that Hubby changed my mind about that, Max is certainly the best thing that has ever happened to me. He's made me a better person in every way and for that I am forever grateful to him.

Max Day One on the Planet
April 12th, 2005

Max One Year Birthday
April 2006

Max Two Years Old
April 2007

Max Three Year Birthday
April 2008

Max Four Years Old
First Ocean Snorkel, April 2009

I love you Max, happy birthday, feliz cumpleaños!

Gone campin'....

Just wanted to let everyone know that we're taking off for the weekend, going camping near Puerto Morelos.  We'll so how Mr. Max likes roughing it in a tent on the beach and how many mosquitoes we have to fight off.  Max's fourth birthday is on Sunday, we'll just do small celebration with the three of us, big party comes when he goes back to school after the holiday.  No Easter stuff happening with us, though my mom just called to see if I could put together an Easter basket for Max from his Grandparents.  I haven't seen any baskets or eggs or bunnies around, it's not such a commercial holiday around here, though I suspect I might find something in the touristy Walmart.  We're not a religious family so there won't be any church going either.  I guess Easter is really just vacation time and birthday celebrations for us.  I know it means a lot more to a lot of other people, I mean no offense, in fact I wish you all a very happy Easter!  May you find peace…

A Day at the Marina- Coco's Grill Cancun

Max and I are on vacation for "Semana Santa", or "Holy Week" and we couldn't be happier. We've done some cleaning and organizing of the house and have done a few artsy craftsy projects to keep us busy but we were really jonesing for some sunshine. Yesterday dawned with beautiful weather, clear blue skies and fluffy white clouds so we decided it was definitely time for the beach. A friend had told me about the beach club at the Chac Chi Marina, otherwise known as Coco's Grill, located on the north side of Cancun island at km 3.2 so we decided to check it out.

I was pleased to find easy parking, I had had visions of the place being mobbed by kids on break, but it was pretty tranquil. The Chac Chi Marina is mostly a pier for fishing and party boats, with a restaurant on site and a large, clean pool. The beach is not much to speak of, but perhaps I've been spoiled. The beauty of the site for us was the huge, shallow pool, clean bathrooms and waiter…

Cancun Beach Recovery Update- Starting Over

"Beach" behind the Fiesta Americana Condesa
The federal Secretary of Tourism and the government of Quintana Roo have announced that the original bidding process on the beach recovery process is now "deserted".  According to reports, the companies that have submitted proposals have not met the requirements of the project.  A new international tender will be released on April 16 in the hopes of finding a contractor that fully complies with the terms of the plan.  The financial resources for the project remain in trust for the "restoration, recovery, support and maintenance of the Federal Maritime Terrestrial Zone of the State of Quintana Roo".

As the original plan has been abandoned, no new start dates have been announced.  Citizens and politicians of the island of Cozumel is still protesting the plan to dredge sand from its northern shore, calling for more environmental impact studies, which could further delay the project.

If I may be so bold as to add a per…

Cancun Baseball- Take Me Out to the Baaaaaaall Game

Living in the "great big city" has its advantages, one of them being the pro sports teams that make Cancun home. Saturday night we decided to check out a baseball game, the Tigres de Quintana Roo versus the Oaxaca Guerreros. While I am not a huge sports fan, I am a big fan of getting out of the house and doing something different! I love the people watching and the sense of camaraderie that goes with supporting the local guys, and oh, don't forget the cheap, cold beer and wide variety of foods available! The price is right too, we had seats directly behind home plate for 90 pesos each, Max in for free. The end of the night tally included seven beers, two micheladas, two juices, a big bag of spicy chips and a big loss to the Guerreros. All those drinks for less than 300 pesos, shazam! I'll admit I barely watched the game, I was watching Max charm the crowd, running around like a mad miniature cheerleader with his giant LOUD horn, dancing like a fool and making …