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Showing posts from August, 2009

Canada Requires Visa for Mexicans- A Real Life Tale of Red Tape

Last month the Canadian government announced that it would be requiring visas for Mexicans to enter the country. They did this with 48 hours notice, leaving thousands of travelers stranded, tickets in hand and no way to get a visa in time. The explanation was that with an increasing number of Mexican nationals claiming refugee status in Canada, they needed to implement the visa system to alleviate the pressures on the refugee system. Shortly after this announcement was made, I received an email from a lovely young woman in Puerto Morelos asking me for help. She was one of the people who had planned for a trip to Canada for a long time and was now left with just a couple of weeks to get a visa. Unfortunately I was unable to offer any assistance, but we kept in touch and I asked if I could do a little interview with her about her experience with the process. Here is the unedited interview with J from Puerto Morelos....

Canuck- Tell me about the trip you had planned to Canada?

J- W…

Xpu Ha Beach- Shhhh, don't tell anybody!

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After our terrific dip in the extremely refreshing Cenote Azul, we popped back onto the highway to head further south in search of a beach. I thought we were close to Xpu Ha (prounounced "schpoo hah") and voila, there it was, not even five minutes away! We made the turn and found our way to the entrance. There was a rope across the road and a couple of ladies sitting at a table collecting entrance fees. As they say, "We don't own the road but we own the rope". They charged us 25 pesos per adult and we were past the barricades and on our way down this road......


The road to Xpu Ha


Whee doggy, almost like off-roading, we were bounced and jiggled around and I swear even with my seat belt on I hit my head on the roof of the car. We found a fairly full parking lot and made our way down to La Playa beach club. We got settled in, ordered a couple of chelas, got Max lathered up with sunscreen (always a battle and a half for some reason) and set him free to terrori…

Cenote Azul- A Refreshing Sunday Dip

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Sunday morning dawned bright and hot and as usual we were looking to get out of town for the day. Normally we sit at the computer and make a plan, so yesterday we decided to just hit the road and see what we could see. Hubby is really keen on seeing the ruins of Coba, but in this heat and humidity it just wasn't all that appealing to me but we started driving south in the hopes of finding inspiration. Max was in the back seat chanting "Cenote, cenote, cenote, CENOTE" (yes, he's a bit repetitive and loud sometimes) so once we got south of Playa we started looking for a yep, you guessed it, cenote. We stopped in at Kantun Chi first, it looks like a gorgeous place but it was out of our budget for the day, 300 or 500 pesos each wasn't exactly what we were looking for. We went a few meters up the road and saw the sign for Cenote Azul and stopped in to check out the lay of the land. Hurrah, 50 pesos for adults and 30 pesos for kids, much more in keeping with our …

New Olympic Pool in Cancun- Inaugural Day with Governor Felix Gonzalez and Mayor Greg Sanchez

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For months and months and months we've been watching the construction of the new Olympic pool of Cancun. What used to be a jungle area is now a community center, with areas for soccer, volleyball, basketball and of course the gigantic Olympic-size pool. We knew they were getting close to finishing the project when they installed stadium lights last week, stadium lights that penetrate our bedroom window so harshly at night that I feel as though I've been caught escaping from jail. Anywho, I digress (lack of sleep). We took a walk over last night to see how things were progressing and we were very impressed by the facilities. We had no idea when things were going to be opening, but the clues were there that it would be soon as they were vacuuming and sweeping and making things presentable all night long.

When I arrived home this afternoon the parking lot was jam-packed with cars and I knew that something was up. Max and I headed over to see what all the hubbub was about and…

Molotov in Cancun- Benefit for the Fire Dept.

Molotov, one of the most famous (and controversial!) bands in Mexico will be holding a benefit concert in Cancun this Thursday, August 20th at the Bulldog Cafe. A portion of the show's proceeds will go to the fire department of Cancun, an organization desperately in need of new equipment. Tickets are available in advance for 450 pesos, 500 pesos at the door.

I must admit that my first experiences with the music of Molotov were quite negative, I didn't understand their message and honestly hated the one song that I had heard, "Puto". I was living in Cozumel (my first home in Mexico) and going to the nightclubs where the song was played loud, with the crowd going nuts chanting the chorus. I didn't know much Spanish then, but I knew that "puto" was a derogatory term for a homosexual man and I was completely offended by the whole thing. Since then I have read that the song is not meant to be homophobic at all, the band claims that the word is being used…

Bad Behaviour- Mexico/USA Soccer

I was rudely awoken from my afternoon nap yesterday by the neighbours screaming. At first I was scared, thinking "What the bleep is going on???" until I groggily realized that it was the Mexico/US soccer game. My second thought was "The players can't hear you $%^#$%". I understand screaming while you are at the game, that's what gives the home field advantage, you let the players know you are supporting them, but screaming while watching something on TV is just ridiculous, what's the point?

Anywho....I'm not a huge soccer fan but decided to get online to see what all the screaming was about. Much to my dismay, I found not only the score, but a whole nasty pile of nonsense that had nothing to do with "sport". The first live chat I found was entitled "USA versus Evil", a lovely way to start my exploration. Within this chat I saw comments that infuriated me, mocking the Mexican national anthem, "jokes" about Mexicans …

Cancun Events

Hi all, just want to share a few upcoming Cancun and area events, a little bit of this, a little bit of that...

This Saturday August 15th The City nightclub is having a special event and the city of Cancun is plastered with flyers and posters. The Mayan Battle Championships will be the first mixed martial arts event to come to Cancun, big muscle heads hurting other big muscle heads! Not my type of entertainment, but hey, if you like to watch grown men beat the bejesus out of each other while surrounded by drunken macho men cheering them on, you can visit The City on Saturday night. Tickets are available here and here. (Yeah, I really sold that one didn't I? I figure either you like this stuff or you don't, personally I don't have a taste for it, if you do, whatever floats yer boat, come on down!)

Two events that are certainly more appealing to me than the above were announced earlier this month. After the success of Placido Domingo's concert at Chichen Itza, the gov…

Es Un Pingo

Raising a kid in Mexico is a daily learning experience. Well heck, I guess raising a kid anywhere is a daily learning experience, but for me it's not just parenting lessons, but language and culture lessons as well. There are some expressions that people use that leave me befuddled the first time I hear them though I find myself using them repeatedly once I have learned them. I still don't understand why parents call their children "papi" and "mami", shouldn't it be the other way around? Don't get me wrong, I use them too, but at first it seemed a little odd. Now I call Max "Pa" more often than not and when I talk to little girls I find myself calling them "mami" or "hija" though they are neither my mother nor my child.

A few of my other favourite "kid" words in Spanish....

Chamaco- Used to refer to any child, but more often than not it seems to be used when the kids are being annoying. "Pinches cham…

"Volun-cation"- Make your next vacation count

Want to make a difference on your next vacation? Come to Cancun and give your time to a very worthy organization helping homeless and abused animals. RAP Cancun is holding their annual spay and neuter clinic this October and they need your help. RAP is working with CANDI International in providing free spaying and neutering to pet owners who might not otherwise be able to afford it and are also planning to do some "catch and release" work with animals in the street in the hopes of reducing the population of homeless animals.

Here is the information from their release:


CANDi’s Second Annual
Mexico Spay & Neuter Clinic

CANDi - Cats and Dogs International is proud to announce that our second annual Mexicosterilization clinic will take place October 10 - 24, 2009.

We need volunteers to help us reach our goal of 500 sterilizations!Volunteers are needed to help the animals after surgery, through recovery. The only thingvolunteers need to have is a love of animals. Volunteers do …

Isla Mujeres Para la Cruda

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Summertime, and the living is easy. We had a very summery kind of weekend, no big adventures, just taking it easy in this POUNDING HEAT. I am not complaining, really, I chose to live here for the weather so I cannot complain, but oy vay, it's hot. Like, take your breath away, someone sitting on your chest kind of hot. Saturday morning we went to Mercado 28 to get hair cuts for the boys at the old fashioned barber shop. As with most small town barbers, it's not only a place for a haircut, but a place for men to gather and chat. Saturdays topic was baseball, again, very much like any barbershop. "El Cubano" was there, one of the scouts for the Cancun Tigres and he and Max chatted like old friends. Turns out the playoffs were starting Saturday night so we decided to check out the game. Did I mention it was hot? Did I mention how very very cold and delicious the stadium beer is? Suffice it to say that I drank a LOT of beer and the Tigres won and I woke up Sunda…