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Showing posts from October, 2011

Adios Tropical Storm Rina

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Tropical Storm Rina making her entrance on Oct. 27
(thanks to webcamsdemexico for the photo)
She came, she blew, she left. Hurricane Rina/Tropical Storm Rina played more havoc with our minds than our environment this week, teasing us with the possibility of a major hurricane before disintegrating into a simple storm. Yes, the winds blew hard last night, we lost power and we had a terrific lightning and thunder storm, but overall she was just a pussy cat compared to other storms that have passed through Cancun.

Waking up this morning to very little damage and clearing skies, I took a jaunt around town and out to the hotel zone to see what damage she may have wrought. My discovery? NOTHING. A few branches down, trees at an angle but nothing serious at all. The hotel zone was getting back to normal, businesses taking down the boards from the windows and opening for business. Tourists on the beach enjoying the sunshine and surprisingly calm seas. Today I am proud to be Cancunense, the aut…

"La Llorona": A Mexican Legend of Terror

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"La Llorona"
(image courtesy http://tenoch.scimexico.com)
"Mis hijooooos, mis hijoooooos!" the ghostly voice travels through the night sky under the full moon, bringing terror into the hearts of children across Mexico. The cry of "my children, my children" is the lament of "La Llorona" or "The Crying Woman", an ancient tale famous in Mexico and Latin America, told for centuries in a myriad of variations. As we approach the end of October and the "Day of the Dead" and Halloween, it seems an appropriately scary story to share.

Habia una vez...ahem...Once upon a time, there was a very beautiful woman named Maria living in a small town in Mexico. She was beautiful, but she was also arrogant, and was determined not to marry a man from the pueblo, but a man of stature, good looks and wealth. One day a handsome wanderer arrived in the town and Maria set her mind to making him her husband. She used her feminine wiles, knowing that i…

Hurricane Rina Cancun

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Hurricane Rina becomes Tropical Storm Rina
Hurricane Rina has now been downgraded to Tropical Storm Rina, great news for the Yucatan Peninsula. The storm is located about 145 km south of Cozumel island and is moving at a pace of 9 km/h to the north-northwest with winds about 110 km/h, with gusts up to 139 km/h. (full story here
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Hurricane Rina Cancun Update- Wednesday Oct. 26th 10 pm
Hurricane Rina has weakened to a Category 1 hurricane, with sustained winds of 85 mph, moving towards the Yucatan Peninsula at a speed of 6 mph. Reports indicate that she will likely continue to lose strength and the probability is that she will make landfall as a Tropical Storm. (full Hurricane Rina update here)
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Hurricane Rina Cancun Update- Wednesday Oct. 26th, 3 pm
Hurricane Rina has weakened…

Hurricane Rina becomes Tropical Storm Rina

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Hurricane Rina has now been downgraded to Tropical Storm Rina, great news for the Yucatan Peninsula. The storm is located about 145 km south of Cozumel island and is moving at a pace of 9 km/h to the north-northwest with winds about 110 km/h, with gusts up to 139 km/h. The alert from the government of the state is still at "orange" level for most of the state, indicating the danger of tropical storm force winds today.

While the disintegration from hurricane to tropical storm is a very good thing, this does not mean that the population should let their guard down. A tropical storm will still bring heavy rains and strong winds and those along the coast must be extremely aware of the danger of a storm surge. We expect heavy flooding in the region today and tomorrow as Tropical Storm Rina passes through.

This morning in Cancun's hotel zone
 (thanks again to Diane for the photo!)
Currently in Cancun it is cloudy with some minor rain and very little wind (downtown at least, h…

Hurricane Rina Cancun Update: Wed. Oct. 26 10 pm

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Hurricane Rina has weakened to a Category 1 hurricane, with sustained winds of 85 mph, moving towards the Yucatan Peninsula at a speed of 6 mph. Reports indicate that she will likely continue to lose strength and the probability is that she will make landfall as a Tropical Storm. Cozumel will feel the first effects and the coast of the Riviera Maya and Cancun will begin to experience tropical storm conditions Thursday morning, intensifying throughout the day as she passes. Despite her weakening and apparent disintegration, Hurricane Rina still threatens to bring heavy rainfall to the region and a dangerous storm surge of up to 2 to 4 feet.

The entire state of Quintana Roo is now on "orange alert" and authorities are urging people to remain vigilant in spite of Rina's weakened state. Shelters are open and 4200 people in vulnerable areas have been evacuated. The entire island of Isla Holbox (population 2600) has been evacuated and 600 tourists from Isla Mujeres have been …

Hurricane Rina Update- Wed. Oct. 26th 3 pm

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Hurricane Rina has weakened to a Category 1 hurricane this afternoon, though she is still on track to hit the Yucatan Peninsula on Thursday at hurricane strength. Not much news this afternoon, Cancun remains on "yellow alert" while the southern part of the state continue on "orange alert". Though Rina may have lost some of her strength, authorities are urging people to remain vigilant and to rush to finish preparations before the winds arrive. The region should start to feel tropical storm force winds today before the full hurricane force winds of Rina arrive on Thursday. Hurricane Rina is expected to make landfall  in Cozumel before moving north to Cancun.

The weather today in Cancun started out as hot and partly cloudy. I took a trip out to the hotel zone to photograph preparations and found myself very, very sweaty as I tromped up and down the beach in my "Happy Hurricane" boots and wearing my work uniform. The clouds began to roll in towards noon and …

Hurricane Rina Cancun Update- Wed. Oct. 26th 9 am

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Hurricane Rina continues her path towards the Yucatan Peninsula this morning, currently a Category 2 though she is expected to convert to a dangerous Category 3 before striking the coast of the Riviera Maya and Cancun on Thursday. A hurricane warning is in effect for the entire coast of Quintana Roo and the state government has issued an "orange alert" for municipalities in the south (elevated danger levels, tropical storm force winds expected within 12 hours) and the central and northern parts of the state are currently on "yellow alert", though an order for "orange alert" for the entire state is expected within a few hours. It appears that Hurricane Rina will make landfall on Thursday on Cozumel before moving north to Cancun.

Towns in the southern end of the state are being evacuated to designated shelters. Tourists in Tulum are being moved to safety from the small hotels on the beach. The island of Holbox and the areas around Chiquila are being evacuat…

Hurricane Rina Cancun Update - Tuesday Oct. 25th, 7 pm

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Hurricane Rina continues to strengthen in the Atlantic basin, now a strong category 2 hurricane with expectations of developing into a category 3 Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. At 5 pm CST, Hurricane Rina was located approximately 430 km south of Chetumal (southernmost city in Quintana Roo, the state where Cancun and the Riviera Maya are located).  Rina is moving west north-west slowly at 3 mph, heading towards Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula with winds around 110 mph. Current models have Rina moving towards the coast of the Riviera Maya for a possible strike on Thursday.

At a meeting of the Quintana Roo hurricane committee this afternoon, authorities upgraded the official alert to "yellow" for the entire state, from Chetumal to Cancun and a hurricane warning has been issued. A "yellow alert" signifies "moderate" danger, citizens and businesses must prepare for a hurricane impact within 12-60 hours with a minimum wind speed of 63 km/h. Schools rema…

Hurricane Wilma Revisited

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Oct. 21/22, 2005, Hurricane Wilma struck Cancun, parking on top of us and delivering a battering ram of destruction. Every year at this time, anyone who survived Wilma looks back and remembers, the fear, the sounds, the smells....friends and I know that we suffered PTSD and the anniversary brings back a sense of anxiety, a profound feeling that is difficult to describe. This year, I asked some friends to share their thoughts, here's what they had to say.....


"My strongest memories of Hurricane Wilma are not during the three days we were holed up bailing water and listening to that horrible wind, but of the tenacity of the human spirit in the days, weeks and months afterward. Hard to believe it's been six years."- Joyce


"Our front door blew in and the wind picked me up and threw me into the living room. The kitchen cabinet doors, coffee machine and toaster landed on top of me. Then, as the windows blew out, I watched one of our cats, the big black guy Pepe, sail ov…

Enamorada in Mexico City

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Yes, yes, I know this is a "Cancun" blog, but a girl with a passion for Mexico has the right to expand her horizons once in awhile! This past weekend I had the chance to experience a place I had never been before, Mexico City or as it's known down here,  "D.F.". I'll admit I went with some preconceived notions in my head, it's one of the largest and most heavily populated cities in the world and I expected to find a big, bad concrete jungle (with some cool museums thrown in the mix of course, I was starved for "cultcha").

Lake Chapultepec
What I discovered was something completely different. A magical place, all the things I love about Toronto and Chicago and New York City rolled into one with something extra, like a spicy salsa thrown on top of my favourite metropolises. This city is ALIVE, pulsating, vibrant and warm, and yet still somehow laid back enough that I never felt a moment of anxiety or heart-racing panic. Most surprising was just …

Mexico Today Social Magazine wants YOU

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"Mexico Today" launches an innovative social magazine on Facebook!

Many of you know that I am a part of the "Mexico Today" initiative from Marca Pais, a project aimed at promoting all the positive aspects of Mexico through real voices of people with a passion for the country. There are 24 of us lending our expertise and love through blog posts and social media efforts and now you can be a part of this too. The "Mexico Today Social Magazine" invites submissions from anyone with amor for Mexico, you can submit your blog posts or articles to be shared on Facebook and become a part of this great community. This means YOU, from all the ex-pat bloggers I know and love to travel writers to the kid down the street, share your voice! Here's the skinny....
"The newly launched Mexico Today Social Magazine on Facebook profiles stories and submissions from leading Mexico bloggers and influencers, including the 24 Mexico Today Ambassadors. 

This innovative tactic…

Living in Mexico- 8 Year Mexiversary!

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Cancun Canuck 2003
On a chilly, rainy day in October 2003, I nervously boarded a plane with a back pack and a rough travel plan, not really knowing what to expect when I reached Cozumel. I didn't even know much about my destination, it was chosen with a spin of the globe, eyes closed and a jab of my finger to determine where I was heading. All I knew was that I was on a journey to learn more about myself and the world, meet interesting people and have some fun.

Jumping for joy on Isla Blanca
Eight years later I look back on that day and giggle at myself, if only I had known what was going to come. I am pretty sure I would have packed better for one, moving to Mexico with nothing but a mochila is not something I would recommend for everyone. I've learned a lot in these eight years, about myself, about the world and of course, about Mexico. Here are some lists of eight I've created reflecting on my journey thus far.

Hanging with a whale shark
8 Best Mexican Adventures

- Swim…