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LocoGringo Mexico gives you local insights, vacation tips & stories from people who live in the Riviera Maya & Yucatan of Mexico. Info that you won’t find in a travel guidebook. Discover Mexico for on a more intimate level than a typical tourist.

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Podcast Episode's:
070: How to Lead a ‘Xuperb’ Life in the Riviera Maya with 
Jorie Maloney
<p>My guest this week, Jorie Maloney, finds the family-friendly atmosphere in Puerto Morelos a great place to live and raise her son. Jorie’s art, entrepreneurial spirit, and big heart have also been major factors in building a fulfilling life in the local community.</p> <p>As a child, Jorie lived in the dramatically different landscape of Baja on Mexico’s western coast. When she came to the Riviera Maya, she was pregnant with her first child, and uncertain of how her new life would play out.  After only four short years of living in Puerto Morelos, she created the thriving Puerto Morelos Market, which includes 60 vendors who sell their food and designs to visitors who want to buy custom made crafts, a prosperous art business, Xuperb Designs, and has become the Acting Director of Riviera Rescue, an animal sanctuary dedicated to rehabilitating dogs in distress.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>To make the most out of your trip to the Riviera Maya Jorie recommends:</strong></p> <p>● Visiting one of the 40 accessible dive sites that are a part of the Marine Parks in Puerto Morelos. There are many opportunities for first time, and experienced, divers to discover a sunken military ship, and to become surrounded by eagle rays that frequently swarm the area. Jorie says it’s also incredibly easy to hire a panga (a small boat), and snorkel spot for the day.</p> <p>● Visiting the Cenotes where you can swim in a magical, fresh water pool in a hidden spot in the jungle. Jorie’s favorite is at Kin-Ha, which is part of the Ruta de Cenotes route near Puerto Morelos.</p> <p>● Eating breakfast at El Nicho. El Nicho is one of the only restaurants in the area to offer Eggs Benedict. Jorie attributes the meal as being a driving factor in her moving to Puerto Morelos. The owners also support local artists by displaying art on the walls inside.</p> <p>● Visiting the family friendly town and beaches of Puerto Morelos. The reef along the coast keeps the waves small for swimming with youngsters, and the playgrounds surrounding town square make the day enjoyable for the entire family.</p> <p><strong><em>Thank you to</em></strong> <a href= "http://www.buyplaya.com/"><strong><em>Buy Playa</em></strong></a> <strong><em>for sponsoring this episode. They are buyer’s agents, and only sell titled properties. They are truly experts in their field!</em></strong></p> <p> </p> <p>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</p> <p><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></p> <p><a href= "mailto:concierge@locogringo.com">Concierge@locogringo.com</a> — Ask Paulina</p> <p>Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:Askkay@locogringo.com">Askkay@locogringo.com</a></p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/locogringocom">@locogringocom on Twitter</a></p> <p><a href= "https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico">@locogringo_mexico on Instagram</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/xuperbdesigns/">Xuperb Design</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/puertomorelosmarket/">Puerto Morelos Market on Facebook</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/rivierarescue/">Riviera Rescue on Facebook</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/groups/1068322746533499/">Moms de Puerto Morelos on Facebook</a></p>
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069: Rebecca Page: It’s Her Job to Stay “In the Know”
<p>My guest this week is Rebecca Page. Rebecca is the General Director and Editor of the newspaper, The Playa Times. Based out of Playa del Carmen, Rebecca describes The Playa Times as a local conversation tourists are welcome to listen in on.</p> <p>Originally from New England, Rebecca visited the Riviera Maya for the first time on vacation, and immediately fell in love with the area. After moving here permanently, Rebecca started looking for work teaching English but never imagined she would be the head of the local English-language newspaper.</p> <p>Rebecca is dedicated to including stories about the local community, the local projects and debunking myths foreigners may have about the Riviera Maya. She says her goal is to educate people without preaching.</p> <p>Some of the myths Rebecca would like to abolish include the common belief that there is a stereotypical Mexican person, and that crime runs rampant in the area. She enjoys telling readers about ‘real’ Mexicans and of the important community projects such as the work of Blue Corps, KKIS, and Reforest Playa del Carmen.</p> <p>Rebecca feels a deep connection with Mexico and its people. She has made her experience richer by speaking Spanish, knowing you can’t force things here, and that everything always works out in the end. Working for The Playa Times affords Rebecca the opportunity to travel throughout the region, including frequent visits to Yucatan, Rio Lagartos, Valladolid and the many of the magic towns.</p> <p>Rebecca truly enjoys tasting and preparing the many different foods which make up traditional Mexican cuisine. Mexican food varies by region so visiting a new part of Mexico also means a new menu of flavors to try.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Rebecca Recommends</strong>:</p> <p>1. El Castillo for Pozole soup with meat, hominy and more, in Playa del Carmen.</p> <p>2. Rivera Kitchen Tulum, to learn to make authentic tortillas with Lily in her home in Tulum.</p> <p> </p> <p>And, if you want a more authentic experience when traveling to the Riviera Maya, Rebecca recommends:</p> <p> </p> <p>1. Renting a car and driving down the highway (with proper insurance!).</p> <p>2. Sign up for a community-based tour in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.</p> <p>3. Taking a Mayan Village Eco-tour.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><em>Thank you to</em></strong> <a href= "http://www.buyplaya.com/"><strong><em>Buy Playa</em></strong></a> <strong><em>for sponsoring this episode. They are buyer’s agents, and only sell titled properties. They are truly experts in their field!</em></strong></p> <p> </p> <p>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</p> <p><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></p> <p><a href= "mailto:concierge@locogringo.com">Concierge@locogringo.com</a></p> <p>Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:Askkay@locogringo.com">Askkay@locogringo.com</a></p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/locogringocom">@locogringocom on Twitter</a></p> <p><a href= "https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico">@locogringo_mexico on Instagram</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.theplayatimes.com/">Playa Times</a> </p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/theplayatimes/">Playa Times on Facebook</a> </p> <p><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/BLUE-CORE-AC-1557444724524366/">Blue Core A.C. </a></p> <p><a href="https://kkisproject.org/">KKIS</a></p> <p> </p>
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068: Exploring the Unknown Freshwater Cave Systems with 
Sam Meacham
<p>My guest this week is credited with a long list of accomplishments, including being a Fellow of the Explorer’s Club, a National Geographic Society Grantee, <em>National Geographic Adventure Magazine’s</em> Best of Adventure Honoree, a NASA Space Grant Fellow, a PADI & GUE Cave Technical Diver. He has appeared in numerous documentaries filmed by the BBC, PBS, <em>National Geographic</em> and CNN International. But what I like the most about<br /> Sam Meacham, is that he is a great person and a long-time, close friend of mine.</p> <p>Sam arrived in the Riviera Maya in 1994, and started diving in the underwater caves beneath the cenotes. He wanted to be sure the immense cave system and pure water was preserved and appreciated,  so he started the nonprofit, CINDAQ, to raise awareness about the aquifer and the cultural and natural resources associated with it, through exploration, science, and education.</p> <p>Sam is still fascinated by the cave diving in the area and calls it a complex jigsaw puzzle. His and other organizations are putting the puzzle together piece by piece. He would love to complete the puzzle in his lifetime. Sam understands that by providing core samples and continuing to explore the area he is helping science move forward and has a direct impact on conserving the area.</p> <p>Sam recommends going off the beaten path to find a cenote. He says you have to just get a car and drive. There is magic in finding a secluded cenote. </p> <p>He appreciates the area around Valladolid and the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><em>Thank you to</em></strong> <a href= "http://www.buyplaya.com/"><strong><em>Buy Playa</em></strong></a> <strong><em>for sponsoring this episode. They are buyer’s agents, and only sell titled properties. They are truly experts in their field!</em></strong></p> <p> </p> <p>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</p> <p><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></p> <p><a href= "mailto:concierge@locogringo.com">Concierge@locogringo.com</a></p> <p>Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:Askkay@locogringo.com">Askkay@locogringo.com</a></p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/locogringocom">@locogringocom on Twitter</a></p> <p><a href= "https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico">@locogringo_mexico on Instagram</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.meachamdiving.com/">Meacham Diving</a></p> <p>CINDAQ.org</p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/meachamdiving">Meacham on Facebook</a></p> <p><a href="mailto:info@CINDAQ.org">info@CINDAQ.org</a></p> <p> </p>
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067: Monica Tello is a Chocolate Maker with Health Consciousness
<p>My guest this week is the Founder of Ah Cacao in Playa Del Carmen, Monica Tello. Monica’s passion for chocolate led her to the Riviera Maya from Mexico City. Since starting Ah Cacao, the business has grown to three stores and an online international marketplace. Monica shares the history of the cacao tree, the value of cacao within the Mayan culture, and some of the delectable chocolate products she produces today.</p> <p>During a tour of a cacao plantation, Monica discovered that there is so much more to chocolate than she previously thought. The Mayan people who lived in the Riviera Maya long ago were some of the first to use cacao. The Mayan Royals planted the sacred cacao trees next to cenotes and used them as currency because, at the time, everybody wanted some.</p> <p>The cacao used by Ah Cacao is still harvested in the traditional way hand-picked, fermented, and dried in the sun to preserve its healthy components, and for the flavor and aroma. And in addition to the much-loved chocolate mousse, the cacao bar, and the warmed Maya chocolate drink with chili, Ah Cacao provides beauty products made from cacao butter, which is a byproduct created during the chocolate making process.</p> <p>Monica says she loves the multi-cultural community in Playa del Carmen. When she travels, she visits the cacao plantation and museum in Merida, she loves the natural Mexican beauty of Palenque in Chiapas, and the great food and chocolate-making in Oaxaca.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><em>Thank you to</em></strong> <a href= "http://www.buyplaya.com/"><strong><em>Buy Playa</em></strong></a> <strong><em>for sponsoring this episode. They are buyer’s agents, and only sell titled properties. They are truly experts in their field!</em></strong></p> <p> </p> <p>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</p> <p><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></p> <p><a href= "mailto:concierge@locogringo.com">Concierge@locogringo.com</a></p> <p>Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:Askkay@locogringo.com">Askkay@locogringo.com</a></p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/locogringocom">@locogringocom on Twitter</a></p> <p><a href= "https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico">@locogringo_mexico on Instagram</a></p> <p><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexican-chocolate-history-production-ah-cacao"> History of Cacao</a></p> <p><a href="http://ahcacao.com/page/homepage">Ah Cacao</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.ahcacao.com/page/ah-cacao-chocolate-cafe">Ah Cacao Stores</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.ahcacao.com/shop">Ah Cacao Online Store</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/AhCacao/">Ah Cacao on Facebook</a></p> <p> </p>
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066: Transforming the Ecotourism Experience with Kenneth Johnson
<p>My guest this week, Kenneth Johnson, is an American-born Mexican who studied Marine Biology in Mexico City before moving to the Riviera Maya to start his passion project, EcoColors, an eco-travel company dedicated to educating visitors about the amazing wildlife of the area.</p> <p>Kenneth says he decided on the Mexican Caribbean because it has the second largest coral reef in the world, amazing jungles, wetlands and, in 1997,  about four million visitors. Along with his passion of sharing information,  he also wanted to enhance the environmental values with interesting facts about the wildlife, while offering a unique experience to his clients.</p> <p>He says, if you are swimming with whale sharks, observing snakes dropping from a cave ceiling to eat bats or visiting a Mayan community, you have to have a knowledgeable guide. People are more excited about the wildlife they are seeing if they understand the natural adaptation species must make to survive.</p> <p>In 1997, Mexico had only 70 protected areas, but now there are 172. So, in 20 years, Mexico has doubled the amount of protected land.  This means there is a shift towards understanding that we need to protect the wildlife we are blessed with.</p> <p>Kenneth’s 40-hour course for other local tour operators promotes the idea that following the rules and environmentally-driven practices helps the tourism business and the wildlife.</p> <p>When visiting the area, Kenneth recommends swimming with the whale sharks and marine turtles, enjoying the 550 different species of birds, exploring the cenotes, archeological sites, and visiting a Mayan community. He says visitors with disposable income are often pleasantly surprised about how rich the Mayans are, using happiness as their currency.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><em>Thank you to</em></strong> <a href= "http://www.buyplaya.com/"><strong><em>Buy Playa</em></strong></a> <strong><em>for sponsoring this episode. They are buyer’s agents, and only sell titled properties. They are truly experts in their field!</em></strong></p> <p> </p> <p>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</p> <p><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></p> <p><a href= "mailto:concierge@locogringo.com">Concierge@locogringo.com</a></p> <p>Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:Askkay@locogringo.com">Askkay@locogringo.com</a></p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/locogringocom">@locogringocom on Twitter</a></p> <p><a href= "https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico">@locogringo_mexico on Instagram</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.ecotravelmexico.com/">Eco Travel Mexico</a></p> <p><a href= "http://www.ecotravelmexico.com/snakes-bats-reptile-adventure.php">Eco Travel Mexico’s Snake, Bat, and Lizard Adventure</a></p> <p><a href= "mailto:info@ecotravelmexico.com">info@ecotravelmexico.com</a></p> <p> </p>
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065: Finding Quintana Roo with Wendy Morrill
<p>My guest this week, Wendy Morrill, went on the adventure of a lifetime, with her father, along the Riviera Maya coastline. They completed a 600-mile walk from Puerto Morelos to the border of Belize. They endured hiking through grueling deep sand, dense jungle and rocky cliffs with only a machete, a backpack and a limited water supply.</p> <p>Wendy and her father stopped in small towns to explore ruins and to enjoy the local culture. They found places like Xcacel, which was marked on the map as a town but was only a lean-to, and in Mahahual they had to go deep in the jungle to get around a huge security wall with armed gunmen.</p> <p>When the terrain became too difficult to pass on foot they hired local fisherman to take them around rocky cliffs and even built a raft to cross a very deep inlet. They found rarely visited ruins, a boa constrictor and resort beach bars they couldn’t buy food or water from.</p> <p>After returning from the experience, Wendy wrote a book and titled it <em>The Found World of Quintana Roo,</em> after reading Michel Peissel’s book, <em>The Lost World of Quintana Roo</em>, a book Wendy and her father used as a guide for their journey.</p> <p>Wendy and her father are now personally sharing their experience with family by recreating their trip and visiting all the special places Wendy noted in her journal.</p> <p><strong><em>Thank you to</em></strong> <a href= "http://www.buyplaya.com/"><strong><em>Buy Playa</em></strong></a> <strong><em>for sponsoring this episode. They are buyer’s agents, and only sell titled properties. They are truly experts in their field!</em></strong></p> <p> </p> <p>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</p> <p><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></p> <p><a href= "mailto:concierge@locogringo.com">Concierge@locogringo.com</a></p> <p>Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:Askkay@locogringo.com">Askkay@locogringo.com</a></p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/locogringocom">@locogringocom on Twitter</a></p> <p><a href= "https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico">@locogringo_mexico on Instagram</a></p> <p>Wendy’s email — <a href= "mailto:morrill@maine.edu">Morrill@maine.edu</a></p> <p><a href="http://foundworldofquintanaroo.blogspot.com/">Wendy’s Blog — The Found World of Quintana Roo</a></p> <p><em><a href= "https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1540754030/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1540754030&linkCode=as2&tag=locogringotravel&linkId=c20f945156a8227e01bac9caa8a83106"> The Found World of Quintana Roo Book</a></em></p> <p> </p>
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064: Preserving Rio Secreto with Otto von Bertrab
<p>My guest this week, Otto von Bertrab, famously discovered Rio Secreto in 2006. Originally from Mexico City, a short trip to Akumal left him in love with the Riviera Maya and the Mayan people. Otto is the published author of four books and has 11 more in various stages of completion.  He joins me today to tell us more about his Rio Secreto project and conservation within the community.</p> <p>17 years ago, Otto helped to get the Alltournative eco-tourism project off the ground in the Coba area near the Pac Chen cenote. He has always had the goal of preserving the area in pristine condition. After finding Rio Secreto, a series of underground pools, he recognized that if Playa del Carmen kept growing, the natural wonders and the clean water supply would be in danger, if there wasn’t someone guarding it.</p> <p>So, Otto helped to form the Centinelas del Agua, a non-profit group who maintains strict regulations for visitors and are requesting the cenotes and underground rivers be considered biological corridors. Otto believes protecting the fresh water cenotes from sea level rise caused by global warming to be an emergency. People with children should become active participants in protecting the life-giving water sources.</p> <p>Scientists are also studying the geology of the area and uncovering secrets of the Mayan culture throughout history.  Otto says the Mayan people and their culture is the true treasure of the area, and he recommends visitors rent a car, and visit the small Mayan towns which make up the Riviera Maya.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><em>Thank you to</em></strong> <a href= "http://www.buyplaya.com/"><strong><em>Buy Playa</em></strong></a> <strong><em>for sponsoring this episode. They are buyer’s agents, and only sell titled properties. They are truly experts in their field!</em></strong></p> <p> </p> <p>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</p> <p><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></p> <p><a href= "https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LDHP9QI/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B01LDHP9QI&linkCode=as2&tag=locogringotravel&linkId=540c291bc7238784e4065c12d814c948"> The Riviera Maya Green Guide</a> </p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></p> <p><a href= "mailto:concierge@locogringo.com">Concierge@locogringo.com</a></p> <p>Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:Askkay@locogringo.com">Askkay@locogringo.com</a></p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/locogringocom">@locogringocom on Twitter</a></p> <p><a href= "https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico">@locogringo_mexico on Instagram</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.riosecreto.com/">Rio Secreto</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/riosecretomexico/">Rio Secreto on Facebook </a></p> <p>Rio Secreto Contact Numbers:</p> <p>Toll Free US & CA: 1(800) 935-8352 </p> <p>Toll Free Mexico: 01-800-845-0529 </p> <p>Main Office: +52 (984) 147-60-50</p> <p><a href="http://www.alltournative.com/">Alltournative</a></p> <p> </p>
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063: Off the Beaten Track with Michael Maurus
<p>For this week’s episode, I step out of the office and into the jungle. My guest Michael Maurus has lived in an off-grid treehouse in the deep jungle since the beginning of this year. He even has to start a fire before he can make his morning coffee.</p> <p>Michael is originally from Bavaria, Germany. He made his way to the Riviera Maya by way of Munich, New York, Miami, and finally Cancun. He has lived in Mexico for 20 years, and much of that time was in Puerto Morelos. In an attempt to live the most authentic experience possible, he moved into the jungle, and provides visitors with personalized photography workshops along with a cultural journey.</p> <p>Michael’s early fascination with photography began when his uncle would show him slideshows of his travel photography. Little Michael never imagined he would be working as a photographer in Mexico. Now, he knows this is where he is meant to be, and hopes his photos one day will help him to preserve and share his wonderful experiences.</p> <p>For an authentic Mexican experience, Michael recommends visiting Colonia, in Puerto Morelos. The street food is amazing, and he says, interact with the local people as much as possible. Even if you don’t know any Spanish,  a smile is a great communication tool.</p> <p><strong><em>Thank you to</em></strong> <a href= "http://www.buyplaya.com/"><strong><em>Buy Playa</em></strong></a> <strong><em>for sponsoring this episode. They are buyer’s agents, and only sell titled properties. They are truly experts in their field!</em></strong></p> <p>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</p> <p><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.locogringodirectory.com/">Loco Gringo Directory</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></p> <p><a href= "mailto:concierge@locogringo.com">Concierge@locogringo.com</a></p> <p>Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:Askkay@locogringo.com">Askkay@locogringo.com</a></p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/locogringocom">@locogringocom on Twitter</a></p> <p><a href= "https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico">@locogringo_mexico on Instagram</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.mmaurus.com/">MMaurus.com</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/mikemaurus">Michael Maurus on Facebook</a></p> <p> </p>
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001: Rob Kinnon from Buy Playa Answers Common Questions About Buying Property in the Riviera Maya
<p>Rob Kinnon and his wife moved to the Riviera Maya 13 years ago from upstate New York. They have seen Playa del Carmen grow from a sleepy fishing village into what it is today. Rob has extensive real estate experience in the Riviera Maya. He and his wife started Buy Playa to be a representative for and an advocate to buyers, after their first land purchase left them underwhelmed.</p> <p>During this introductory episode, he answers the most common questions he receives from people looking to buy property in the Riviera Maya.</p> <p> </p> <p>Q. Is it legal for foreigners to own property in Mexico?</p> <p>A. <em>Yes, but not in the restricted zones.</em></p> <p> </p> <p>Q. What vehicles are available to me in order to purchase property in the Riviera Maya?</p> <p>A. <em>Many people open a Mexican Corporation which will hold the title to the property. The most popular way for foreigners to own property in the restricted zone is to own in Fideicomiso (akin to a bank trust). There are no additional risks to having a Fideicomiso.</em></p> <p> </p> <p>All of the expats in the Riviera Maya were first-time buyers at one point. It can be scary, but not when you have a team of experts on your side.</p> <p> </p> <p>Send Rob your questions directly and he’ll answer them on a future podcast!</p> <p> </p> <p>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</p> <p><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.locogringodirectory.com/">Loco Gringo Directory</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></p> <p><a href= "mailto:concierge@locogringo.com">Concierge@locogringo.com</a></p> <p>Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:Askkay@locogringo.com">Askkay@locogringo.com</a></p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/locogringocom">@locogringocom on Twitter</a></p> <p><a href= "https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico">@locogringo_mexico on Instagram</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.buyplaya.com/">Buy Playa</a></p> <p><a href="mailto:Rob@buyplaya.com">Rob@buyplaya.com</a></p> <p> </p>
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062: Family Fun in Playa del Carmen with Vicente Fito
<p>My guest on the podcast today is a diver from Playa del Carmen. In 2000, Vicente Fito came to the Riviera Maya, from Majorca Spain, for a one-year work assignment in a dive shop and has happily lived in Playa del Carmen ever since.</p> <p>In 2004, Vicente opened the Playa Diving Center in Playa del Carmen to assist the booming cave diving market to explore cenotes.</p> <p>He has a wife and 2 kids. Families can take the kids to the cenotes. They learn to swim safely in the fresh water. His dive center offers high-quality, entry-level scuba courses. He says people who aren’t interested in certification can get a 3-hour course to try it out. This way they can visit controlled areas within the cenotes, for a natural experience.</p> <p><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/personal-cenote-check-list-riviera-maya"> 5 Family Friendly Cenotes You Shouldn’t Miss</a></p> <p>1. Ponderosa</p> <p>2. Crystalina</p> <p>3. Cenote Azul</p> <p>4. Cenote Manatee</p> <p>5. Dos Ojos</p> <p><strong>For an Authentic Mayan Experience During Your Visit</strong></p> <p>1. Visit the <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/chaccohoben-ruins/"> Chacchoben Ruins.</a></p> <p>2. Go to <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/yucatan/merida/"> Merida City</a>.</p> <p>3. Relax on the <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/riviera-maya-beaches/"> Caribbean beaches South of Tulum</a>.  </p> <p>Vicente also details his recent trip to the pristine waters near Mahahual on Chinchorro Island. He was filming a  spot for a TV show which shows the life of local lobster fishermen. There are many animals living there that you don’t see often plus a lot of crocodiles.  He says you can snorkel with the crocodiles, stay overnight with the fisherman and they even have wifi! </p> <p><strong>Vicente’s Favorite Places in the Riviera Maya:</strong></p> <p>● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/costa-maya/bacalar/"> Bacalar</a>— Quiet, calm snorkeling along the  60 km long lagoon.</p> <p>● El Cuyo & <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/yucatan/isla-holbox/"> Isla Holbox</a> — Los Colorados — Amazing beaches, no people only turtles and flamingos.</p> <p>● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/riviera-maya/sian-kaan/"> Sian Ka’an</a> — Camping on the beach.</p> <p><strong><em>Thank you to</em></strong> <a href= "http://www.buyplaya.com/"><strong><em>Buy Playa</em></strong></a> <strong><em>for sponsoring this episode. They are buyer’s agents, and only sell titled properties. They are truly experts in their field!</em></strong></p> <p>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</p> <p><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.locogringodirectory.com/">Loco Gringo Directory</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></p> <p><a href= "mailto:concierge@locogringo.com">Concierge@locogringo.com</a></p> <p>Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:Askkay@locogringo.com">Askkay@locogringo.com</a></p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/locogringocom">@locogringocom on Twitter</a></p> <p><a href= "https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico">@locogringo_mexico on Instagram</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.playadivingcenter.com/en/">Playa Diving Center</a></p> <p><a href= "mailto:INFO@PlayaDivingCenter.com">INFO@PlayaDivingCenter.com</a></p> <p>+52 9842673601</p>
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061: A Global Cultural Approach to Unity with Natasha Alban
<p>My guest on the podcast today is a self-proclaimed citizen of the world. She runs an oasis of the arts, Le Lotus Rouge,  in Playa del Carmen. Natasha Alban was born in Germany to parents who didn’t want her to study the arts.</p> <p>In 2010, Natasha became an international teacher trainer of the arts of the five continents. She fell in love with Mexico and searched the Pacific Coast for a place to settle. But since she was already familiar with the Mayan culture of Quintana Roo and she wanted to live by the water, she chose the energetic Playa del Carmen to start her art program.</p> <p>Her continually evolving Le Lotus Rouge allows students to immerse themselves in, and produce, freeform art based on art from other countries. Natasha says when people want to separate citizens it is art which unites us.</p> <p>She enjoys observing visitors from different places in the world spontaneously make music together, eat meals together and communicate through art.</p> <p>“Arts reflect the soul of the culture. Arts commit us to understand what people are thinking and feeling in other parts of the world. Arts allow you to go into other dimensions. Arts appeal to our 5 senses and to our emotional intelligence.” — Natasha Alban</p> <p>If you are visiting Playa del Carmen, be sure to visit the fairy tale land which is Le Lotus Rouge.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Natasha  Recommends Visiting:</strong></p> <p>● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/palenque-ruins/"> Chiapas</a></p> <p>● <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/Centro-Cultural-Playa-del-Carmen-343644182335099/"> Centro Cultura Playa del Carmen</a></p> <p>● <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/ParqueLaCeibaFloraFaunayCultura/">Parque La Ceiba</a></p> <p>● <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/Centro-Cultural-Caracol-Marino-311842542787/"> Centro Cultura Marino Caracol</a></p> <p>● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/walk-playa-del-carmen-great-walks-explore-city"> Murals of Playa del Carmen</a></p> <p><em>Thank you to</em> <a href="http://www.buyplaya.com/"><em>Buy Playa</em></a> <em>for sponsoring this episode. They are buyer’s agents, and only sell titled properties. They are truly experts in their field!</em></p> <p>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</p> <p><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.locogringodirectory.com/">Loco Gringo Directory</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></p> <p><a href= "mailto:concierge@locogringo.com">Concierge@locogringo.com</a></p> <p>Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:Askkay@locogringo.com">Askkay@locogringo.com</a></p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/locogringocom">@locogringocom on Twitter</a></p> <p><a href= "https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico">@locogringo_mexico on Instagram</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/lotusrougeplaya/">Le Lotus Rouge</a></p> <p><a href= "mailto:natachaalban@yahoo.fr">natachaalban@yahoo.fr</a></p>
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060: Raising a Family in Puerto Morelos with Amber Pierce
<p>My guest on the podcast today, Amber Pierce, writes the very popular Puerto Morelos Blog, plus she raises her children and works as a certified real estate agent in the area. When Amber first visited Puerto Morelos she appreciated the “Mexican-ness” of the place, as compared to cities like Cancun.</p> <p>Amber says she accidentally became a property manager, after many snowbirds and friends asked her to take care of monthly bills and to help them find someone to watch over their homes. She knew a lot about the area, and when people started coming to her to see what properties were available in Mexico, she decided to become a real estate agent and opened an office. Then in 2006, when a certification became available, Amber became federally certified to sell real estate.</p> <p>Amber’s children are bilingual, and have gone to top-notch private schools which are affordable. She says they wouldn’t have had the same opportunities in the U.S., and feels there are absolutely no drawbacks to raising children in Puerto Morelos.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>3 Tips for Travelers Visiting Puerto Morelos</strong></p> <p>1. Snorkel or dive the reef — The area is designated as a Marine Sanctuary and has National Park status.</p> <p>2. Visit every taco stand you see.</p> <p>3. Go to the cenotes.</p> <p><strong>Outside of Puerto Morelos, Amber Recommends Visiting:</strong></p> <p>● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/palenque-ruins/"> Chiapas</a> — An ecotourism destination.</p> <p>● <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper_Canyon">Copper Canyon</a> — It’s bigger than the Grand Canyon.</p> <p>● <a href= "http://www.lakepatzcuaro.org/Uruapan.html">Uruapan</a> — Visit during Easter week for the Mexican Folk Art Festival.</p> <p><strong><em>Thank you to</em> <a href= "http://www.buyplaya.com/"><em>Buy Playa</em></a> <em>for sponsoring this episode. They are buyer’s agents, and only sell titled properties. They are truly experts in their field!</em></strong></p> <p><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.locogringodirectory.com/">Loco Gringo Directory</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href= "mailto:concierge@locogringo.com">Concierge@locogringo.com</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:Askkay@locogringo.com">Askkay@locogringo.com</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href= "https://twitter.com/locogringocom">@locogringocom on Twitter</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href= "https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico">@locogringo_mexico on Instagram</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/protecting-treasured-resource-national-marine-parks-riviera-maya"> Puerto Morelos Marine Park </a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="http://mayanrivieraproperties.com/">Mayan Riviera Properties</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.puertomorelosblog.com/">Puerto Morelos Blog</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href= "mailto:Amber@MayanRivieraProperties.com">Amber@MayanRivieraProperties.com</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/riviera-maya-photo-of-the-day-ruta-de-los-cenotes/"> Ruta de Cenotes</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href= "http://www.lakepatzcuaro.org/Uruapan.html">Uruapan Folk Art Festival</a></strong></p>
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059: Gilles Denis is Having A Blast in Playa del Carmen
<p>My guest on the podcast today is originally from Normandy, France.  Gilles Denis has been traveling to the Riviera Maya for 20 years, but it wasn’t until 2007 that he made the decision to pick up his family and move to where the sun was, Playa del Carmen. His children now speak Spanish as their first language.</p> <p> </p> <p>Gilles says he loves Playa del Carmen because it still has a village-type ambiance. Everyone seems to know each other. He says if someone were to give him the opportunity, and money, to do it all over again or to live somewhere else, he would still choose Playa in the Riviera Maya.</p> <p> </p> <p>After owning an ice cream shop and a dive center, Gilles decided he was not the management type, and developed individualized tours for visitors to the Riviera Maya.  He enjoys providing unique experiences to dive sites, cenotes, archeological sites, snorkeling, and just about anything else a visitor can dream up. Gilles loves his work, because he gets to do something different every day. He says the hardest part of his job is proving he is working.</p> <p> </p> <p>Gilles doesn’t get to travel through Mexico as often as he likes. His vacations are reserved for visiting family in France. He says after only 10 days in France, he starts craving Mexican foods. His favorites are <a href= "http://yucatantoday.com/recipe-relleno-negro/?lang=en">Relleno Negro</a> and <a href= "http://www.los-dos.com/recipes/verarticulo.php?IdArticulo=268">Pollo Pibil</a> and <a href= "http://www.los-dos.com/recipes/verarticulo.php?IdArticulo=244453">Poc Chuc</a>.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>3 Tips for an Authentic Riviera Maya Experience</strong></p> <p>1. Get out of the hotel.</p> <p>2. Speak with the locals.</p> <p>3. Rent a car and see the country.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Gilles Recommends Visiting:</strong></p> <p>● <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGqm8PlIT1w">Rio Sagrado</a> — near the <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/coba-ruins/"> Coba Ruins</a> — You can still get close to the pyramid.</p> <p>● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/loco-gringo-adventure-misol-ha-falls-chiapas"> Chiapas</a> — for a drastically different landscape.</p> <p>● <a href="http://wikitravel.org/en/Mexico_City">Mexico City</a> — A great city to tour.</p> <p>● <a href= "https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g150813-d8125485-Reviews-Taqueria_Honorio-Tulum_Yucatan_Peninsula.htm"> Taqueria Honorio</a> — Playa del Carmen — A great local place to get some eats!</p> <p><strong><em>Thank you to</em></strong> <a href= "http://www.buyplaya.com/"><strong><em>Buy Playa</em></strong></a> <strong><em>for sponsoring this episode. They are buyer’s agents and only sell titled properties. They are truly experts in their field!</em></strong></p> <p>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</p> <p><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.locogringodirectory.com/">Loco Gringo Directory</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></p> <p><a href= "https://www.amazon.com/Loco-Adventures-Cenotes-Caribbean-Snorkeling-ebook/dp/B01FPLZBOS"> <em>From Sea to Cenotes,</em> by Kay Walten</a></p> <p><a href= "mailto:concierge@locogringo.com">Concierge@locogringo.com</a></p> <p>Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:Askkay@locogringo.com">Askkay@locogringo.com</a></p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/locogringocom">@locogringocom on Twitter</a></p> <p><a href= "https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico">@locogringo_mexico on Instagram</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.playaprivatetours.com/">Playa Private Tours</a></p>
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058: Get Lost in the Jungle with Maria Azanza Cervantes
<p>My guest on the podcast today grew up as a traveler. When she was a young girl, her father told her traveling was the best investment she could make, and her money was best spent on summer excursions. Maria Azanza made the decision to travel from Guadalajara to the Riviera Maya, and has lived here for the past 11 years. She shares with us her favorite places in Mexico, why she stays in the Riviera Maya, and where she goes when she wants to get lost for a few days.</p> <p> </p> <p>Maria and her boyfriend, now husband, heard about the beauty of the Caribbean and Playa del Carmen. They wanted to see it for themselves, so they set out to make a new life in the area. Shortly after arriving, Maria got a job in a bikini shop to pay the bills, and followed her dreams to become a writer, working for the Caribbean News magazine. After a year on staff at the magazine, Maria started renting real estate through the Core company.</p> <p> </p> <p>Maria’s advice to visitors to the Riviera Maya region is to get out of the touristic places, and visit the other side. She says it’s amazing, and your travel dollars will go a lot further.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Maria Recommends Visiting:</strong></p> <p>● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/costa-maya/bacalar/"> Bacalar</a> — For the jungle and the sacred cenotes.</p> <p>● <a href= "http://www.locogringodirectory.com/cenotes-route-puerto-morelos-mayan-underworld/"> La Ruta de Cenotes</a> — Puerto Morelos — Over 20 different cenotes to explore.</p> <p>● <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oaxaca">Oaxaca</a> — La Costa Alegre — A beautiful town on the Pacific side of Mexico.</p> <p>● <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper_Canyon">Copper Canyon</a> — Chihuahua — A must see while in Mexico.</p> <p><strong><em>Thank you to</em></strong> <a href= "http://www.buyplaya.com/"><strong><em>Buy Playa</em></strong></a> <strong><em>for sponsoring this episode. They are buyer’s agents and only sell titled properties. They are truly experts in their field!</em></strong></p> <p>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</p> <p><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.locogringodirectory.com/">Loco Gringo Directory</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></p> <p><a href= "https://www.amazon.com/Loco-Adventures-Cenotes-Caribbean-Snorkeling-ebook/dp/B01FPLZBOS"> <em>From Sea to Cenotes,</em> by Kay Walten</a></p> <p><a href= "mailto:concierge@locogringo.com">Concierge@locogringo.com</a></p> <p>Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:Askkay@locogringo.com">Askkay@locogringo.com</a></p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/locogringocom">@locogringocom on Twitter</a></p> <p><a href= "https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico">@locogringo_mexico on Instagram</a></p> <p><a href="http://wizardrivieramaya.com/">Wizard Riviera Maya</a></p> <p><a href="https://es-es.facebook.com/wizard.rivieramaya">Wizard Riviera Maya on Facebook</a></p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/azanzamaria?lang=en">@AzanzaMaria on Twitter</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/CarmenBeerCo/">Carmen Brewing Co.</a></p>
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057: Diving is About Relaxing with Gerardo Orozco
<p>Born and raised in Akumal, my guest, Gerardo Orozco has been working at his family’s diving business for over 12 years. He has seen the growth of the Riviera Maya from the ground up. Gerardo says the area grew so fast, people were not able to make the necessary adjustments to preserve the environment and plan for future development.</p> <p> </p> <p>As the operations manager for the Akumal Dive Center, Gerardo contacted the ecological center in Akumal and works with universities such as University of Texas, UNAM and Politechnico Cancun, to preserve the natural beauty of his hometown. He says many people complain about the issues, but never take action to repair the environment, and he wants to change all that.</p> <p> </p> <p>Gerardo says many visitors come with a list of marine life they would like to see, but they are often afraid to dive. Many people think diving is a hard activity, but Gerardo and team take the stress out it. We change people’s lives when they see the magical world of the reef. Diving is relaxing, if you follow the rules and respect everything.</p> <p> </p> <p>Gerardo loves all of Mexico. When he was a semi-professional basketball player, he was able to see much of the large country. His favorites are the different types of tequila and the fresh pescado (fish).</p> <p><strong>Geraldo’s Secret Places:</strong></p> <p>● <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oaxaca">Oaxaca</a> — The food and the culture are very different from the Riviera Maya.</p> <p>● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/destination-merida">Merida</a> — The people are amazing.</p> <p>● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/palenque-ruins/"> Chiapas</a> — Discover something new in the jungle.</p> <p>● <a href= "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puntarenas">Puntarena</a> — South of Punta Allen, it’s like Akumal 25 years ago.</p> <p>● <a href="https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julio_(unidad)">El Julio</a> — A quaint fishing village and a sought-after kite surfing spot.</p> <p>● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/yucatan/rio-lagartos/"> Rio Lagartos</a> — Los Coloradas is a peach-colored, salt lagoon.</p> <p><strong><em>Thank you to</em></strong> <a href= "http://www.buyplaya.com/"><strong><em>Buy Playa</em></strong></a> <strong><em>for sponsoring this episode. They are buyer’s agents and only sell titled properties. They are truly experts in their field!</em></strong></p> <p>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</p> <p><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.locogringodirectory.com/">Loco Gringo Directory</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></p> <p><a href= "https://www.amazon.com/Loco-Adventures-Cenotes-Caribbean-Snorkeling-ebook/dp/B01FPLZBOS"> <em>From Sea to Cenotes,</em> by Kay Walten</a></p> <p><a href= "mailto:concierge@locogringo.com">Concierge@locogringo.com</a></p> <p>Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:Askkay@locogringo.com">Askkay@locogringo.com</a></p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/locogringocom">@locogringocom on Twitter</a></p> <p><a href= "https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico">@locogringo_mexico on Instagram</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.akumaldivecenter.com/">Akumal Dive Center </a></p> <p><a href= "mailto:dive@akumaldivecenter.com">dive@akumaldivecenter.com</a> </p> <p><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/accommodations/riviera-maya/small-hotels/club-akumal-caribe-hotel/"> Hotel Caribe Akumal </a></p>
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056: The Chemistry of Flavors with Chef Cristobal Tamariz
<p class="p1">My guest on today’s podcast, Cristobal Tamariz, is the owner of Riviera Maya Food Tours. Cristobal believes the best way to preserve a country's culture is through sharing and experiencing local traditions. And, his way of sharing is through authentic, regional cuisine.</p> <p class="p1">Born in Central Mexico, Cristobal grew up surrounded by his grandmother’s and his mother’s flavorful cooking. He thought he might become an engineer and study chemistry, but soon realized he could create chemical reactions through food, so he spent five years studying the culinary arts. Cristobal traveled to different parts of the world before his love of his culture, his food, and his family, drew him back to Mexico.</p> <p class="p1">While planning a vacation to the Riviera Maya,<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span> Cristobal received a call<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span> offering him a job in a cooking school in the area. He accepted the position of instructor to teach cooking classes to visitors.</p> <p class="p1">Cristobal loves working with locally available foods, including peppers. He says each region of Mexico uses a different type of pepper which gives each region its own distinct flavor. Mexicans have over 500 years of cooking traditions to preserve, and they consider their foods part of their identities.</p> <p class="p3"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Cristobal’s Secret Places:</strong></p> <p>● Puerto Morelos Square <span class="s1">—</span> The Best Churros Ever!</p> <p>● <span class="s2">Rinc</span><span class= "s3">ó</span><span class="s2">n de Archon</span> — Puerto Morelos — Take a Food Tour.</p> <p>● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/costa-maya/bacalar/"> <span class="s4">Bacalar</span></a> — The Lagoon Has Seven Different Colors of Blue.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><em>Thank you to</em></strong> <a href= "http://www.buyplaya.com/"><span class="s4"><strong><em>Buy Playa</em></strong></span></a> <strong><em>for sponsoring this episode. They are buyer’s agents and only sell titled properties. They are truly experts in their field!</em></strong></p> <p> </p> <p>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</p> <p><span class="s5"><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "http://www.locogringodirectory.com/">Loco Gringo Directory</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "mailto:concierge@locogringo.com">Concierge@locogringo.com</a></span></p> <p>Email Kay: <a href="mailto:Askkay@locogringo.com"><span class= "s5">Askkay@locogringo.com</span></a></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "https://twitter.com/locogringocom">@locogringocom on Twitter</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico">@locogringo_mexico on Instagram</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "http://rivieramayafoodtours.com/">Riviera Maya Food Tours</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/RivieraMayaFoodTours/">Riviera Maya Food Tours on Facebook</a></span></p>
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055: Get Out of Your Comfort Zone — Ael Enciso
<p class="p1">Ael Enciso was ‘made’ in Cozumel, and delivered in her grandmother’s living room in Mexico City. For the past 17 years, she has been in Playa del Carmen, working in just about every aspect of the tourism industry.</p> <p class="p1">Ael says the Riviera Maya is best seen off the beaten track. When a visitor ‘acts like a local,’ and enjoys the laid-back atmosphere of the area, is when they have the best time.</p> <p class="p4">When Ael travels within Mexico she visits the cenotes, rides her bike through trails in the jungle, and visits the colonial inland cities. She wants to travel throughout Mexico and re-visit Chiapas and Guanajuato.</p> <p class="p4">Ael works in the growing industry of destination weddings in the Riviera Maya. She recommends the area because there is so much for wedding guests to do. Guests can experience a wedding and a vacation in a single trip. Brides will appreciate the wedding planners, the backdrop, the flowers, and the photography options. Brides can also include a community service component, which gives back to the community.</p> <p class="p3"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Ael’s Favorite Eateries:</strong></p> <p>● <a href= "http://everythingplayadelcarmen.com/el-arbolito-roadside-tacos-you-have-to-pull-over-for/"> <span class="s1">Taqueria El Arbolito</span></a> <span class= "s2">—</span> Puerto Aventuras <span class="s2">— Try the</span> Pozole.</p> <p><span class="s3">● <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/Chamicos-Tulum-1526447341019132/"><span class="s1"> Chamicos</span></a></span> — <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/riviera-maya-beaches/soliman-bay/"> <span class="s1">Bahia Soliman</span></a> — For the Best Ceviche Ever!</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><em>Thank you to</em></strong> <a href= "http://www.buyplaya.com/"><span class="s5"><strong><em>Buy Playa</em></strong></span></a> <strong><em>for sponsoring this episode. They are buyer’s agents and only sell titled properties. They are truly experts in their field!</em></strong></p> <p> </p> <p>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</p> <p><span class="s6"><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p><span class="s6"><a href= "http://www.locogringodirectory.com/">Loco Gringo Directory</a></span></p> <p><span class="s6"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s6"><a href= "https://www.amazon.com.br/Loco-Adventures-Cenotes-Caribbean-Snorkeling-ebook/dp/B01FPLZBOS"> <em>From Sea to Cenotes,</em> ebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s6"><a href= "mailto:concierge@locogringo.com">Concierge@locogringo.com</a></span></p> <p>Email Kay: <a href="mailto:Askkay@locogringo.com"><span class= "s6">Askkay@locogringo.com</span></a></p> <p><span class="s6"><a href= "https://twitter.com/locogringocom">@locogringocom on Twitter</a></span></p> <p><span class="s6"><a href= "https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico">@locogringo_mexico on Instagram</a></span></p> <p><span class="s6"><a href="http://cocosanimalwelfare.org/">Coco’s Animal Welfare</a></span></p> <p><span class="s6"><a href= "https://www.instagram.com/encissimo/?hl=en">@encissimo on Instagram</a></span></p> <p><span class="s6"><a href= "mailto:beckerael@gmail.com">Beckerael@gmail.com</a></span></p>
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054: Tamara Adame’s Manatus Mexico Offers a Memorable Diving Experience
<p class="p1">My guest today, Tamara Adame, was born and raised Puerto Morelos, here in the Riviera Maya. After studying in Merida, Tamara spent 10 years in Europe, devoting most of her time to Brussels, Belgium. It was there she rekindled her love of diving and the ocean.</p> <p class="p1">When she returned to Mexico, she met up with a friend who also grew up in Puerto Morelos and who, like her, wanted to educate people about environmental protections, sustainability of the reef environment, and take them underwater to experience the unrivaled beauty. So the two friends created the environmentally responsible, educational, dive company, Manatus Mexico.</p> <p class="p1">Tamara remarks that the Riviera Maya area has grown so much in a short period of time. It's up to people to balance what is getting out of balance. The entire Yucatan peninsula is linked together. The reef is a complex system of life — you are looking at thousands of organisms at once.</p> <p class="p1">Tamara loves the cenotes, walks in the jungle, and the colonial inland cities of the past. She recommends visitors ask as many questions, and learn as much as possible while they are in the area.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>4 Tips from Tamara:</strong></p> <p><span class="s1">●</span> Go inland. It will change the way you think about Mexico.</p> <p><span class="s1">●</span> Visit a Mayan ruin with a local guide. The structures are hand-carved and astrologically connected.</p> <p><span class="s2">●</span> Visit the coral reef. Snorkel or dive to see the amazing fish.</p> <p><span class="s2">●</span> Visit the Botanical Garden in Puerto Morelos.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><em>Thank you to</em></strong> <a href= "http://www.buyplaya.com/"><span class="s3"><strong><em>Buy Playa</em></strong></span></a> <strong><em>for sponsoring this episode. They sell only titled properties and are experts in their field!</em></strong></p> <p> </p> <p>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</p> <p><span class="s4"><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "http://www.locogringodirectory.com/">Loco Gringo Directory</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.amazon.com.br/Loco-Adventures-Cenotes-Caribbean-Snorkeling-ebook/dp/B01FPLZBOS"> <em>From Sea to Cenotes</em> ebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "mailto:concierge@locogringo.com">concierge@locogringo.com</a></span></p> <p>Email Kay: <a href="mailto:Askkay@locogringo.com"><span class= "s4">Askkay@locogringo.com</span></a></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://twitter.com/locogringocom">@locogringocom on Twitter</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico">@locogringo_mexico on Instagram</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href="http://manatusmexico.com/">Manatus Mexico</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "mailto:info@manatusmexico.com">info@manatusmexico.com</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/ManatusMexico/">Manatus Mexico on Facebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://twitter.com/manatusmexico">@ManatusMexico on Twitter</a></span></p>
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053: Ken Brownlee Adds Creative Heart and Soul to Wedding Photography
<p class="p1">My guest today puts his heart and soul into everything he does.<br /> Ken Brownlee is the Founder and primary shooter of Visual Media Productions in Playa del Carmen. Today he shares funny stories about shooting weddings, tips for brides and his favorite food joints.</p> <p class="p2">When Ken was a teenager, his parents would drive from Canada to Florida, to get away from the harsh winters. Ken loved spending a month in the water, and didn’t want to return to the cold. He decided, after college, to become a scuba instructor and travel the world.</p> <p class="p1">Ken visited eight countries in four years, but once he came to Mexico he found himself in a place that instantly felt like home. He worked as a scuba instructor for tourists, and that turned into underwater photography and video, and then it morphed into weddings and landscapes.</p> <p class="p1">Ken says shooting weddings appealed to his nature, because he grew up surrounded by love. He loves capturing the special moments between couples, and he feels privileged to be able to share in the couple’s special day. Ken says he has had a Bridezilla or two, but the majority of brides are walking 3 feet off the ground.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Ken’s Tips for Brides</strong></p> <p>● The first dance is better when you and your groom move around.</p> <p>● Smile and look up when you are first announced, bride and groom.</p> <p>● Take a breath and get out of your own head. Everything will be fine.</p> <p>For Ken, the Mexican people are what keep him in the Riviera Maya. They are warm and friendly. He also loves the climate with its blue skies and cool nights, the delicious food, and the natural beauty.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Ken’s Favorite Spots:</strong></p> <p>● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/costa-maya-photo-of-the-day-bacalar-lagoon/"> <span class="s1">Bacalar</span></a> <span class="s3">—</span> The lagoon of 7 colors.</p> <p>● <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/pages/El-Pirata/246979215678809"><span class="s1"> El Pirata</span></a> <span class="s3">—</span> Ken’s go-to spot for ceviche in Playa del Carmen.</p> <p>● <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/Las-Hijas-De-La-Tostada-5ta-Avenida-1000232613352186/"> <span class="s1">Las Hijas de la Tostada</span></a> <span class= "s3">—</span> Great spot for lunch.</p> <p>● <a href="http://www.ranacansada.com/"><span class="s1">La Rana Cansada</span></a> <span class="s3">—</span> A hotel/bar that feels like home.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "http://www.locogringodirectory.com/">Loco Gringo Directory</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5">Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com"><span class= "s4">Askkay@locogringo.com</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://twitter.com/locogringocom">@locogringocom on Twitter</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico">@locogringo_mexico on Instagram</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "http://www.visualmediaproductions.info/">Visual Media Productions</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "mailto:visualmediaproductions@hotmail.com">visualmediaproductions@hotmail.com</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.youtube.com/user/kenbrownlee?feature=mhee">Ken’s YouTube Channel</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/CancunWeddingVideography/">Cancun Wedding Videos</a></span></p>
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052: Impacting the Community One Animal at a Time with Laura Raikes, Founder of Cocos Animal Welfare
<p class="p1">My guest today has a history of assisting animals in need. As a little girl growing up in Wales, Laura Raikes would rescue and adopt cats and dogs to bring them to her family’s farm. She first came to Playa del Carmen 14 years ago on a holiday, and loved it so much she ended up staying. Her love for animals has made a big impact in the Riviera Maya community.</p> <p class="p1">Laura’s Animal Welfare organization is named after a kitten she named Coco. Coco was hit by a car on the road and much to Laura’s surprise people joked about the travesty. It was then Laura decided she wanted to change the way people saw animals, and to keep them off the roads. Her first project was to trap cats, have them spayed or neutered, and then released.</p> <p class="p1">As many as 7 local veterinarians started donating two surgeries a week. As the need grew, Laura hired her first vet, Edgar, who helped to spay and neuter thousands of animals. To complete the idea of animal welfare, Laura realized educating the local community about animal care would also go a long way in helping local animals.</p> <p class="p1">In May of 2016, Cocos was able to build a state-of-the-art facility, which features a multipurpose room to function as a classroom for education, a training room for volunteers, and on Saturday mornings, there is even yoga with cats!</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Tips for Travelers</strong></p> <p class="p1">If you are visiting the Riviera Maya, and would like to help the animals of the area:</p> <p>● Make sure the animal you are trying to help isn’t already someone’s pet.</p> <p>● Remember, cats here are much slimmer than cats where you may be from.</p> <p>● Contact Cocos while you are still in the Riviera Maya, if you want to take the animal home with you.</p> <p>● If you rescue an animal, take responsibility for the rescue. If you can’t take it home, then help it find a home here.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Volunteer Activities</strong></p> <p>● Kitten cuddling from 12-2 p.m. on Saturday’s.</p> <p>● Adoption fair — 1st Saturday of every month.</p> <p>● Second-hand sale to raise money for programs.</p> <p>● Salsa dancing to raise funds.</p> <p>● Help with surgery prep or around the center (two-week training course required).</p> <p>Tepoztlán — special, magical place — the market. Playa is her favorite.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Laura’s Favorite Spots:</strong></p> <p>● <a href= "http://www.tourbymexico.com/morelos/tepoztla/tepoztla.htm"><span class="s2"> Tepoztlán</span></a> - A special place with a magical market.</p> <p><span class="s3">● <a href= "http://everythingplayadelcarmen.com/cenote-cristalino-a-good-cenote-to-visit-from-playa-del-carmen/"> <span class="s4">Cenote Cristalino</span></a></span> — Beautifully clear waters.</p> <p><span class="s3">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/yal-kul-lagoon-ins-outs-akumal-snorkel-adventure"> <span class="s4">Yal Ku Lagoon in Akumal</span></a></span> — Unique snorkeling in the place of the turtles.</p> <p><span class="s3">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/riviera-maya-beaches/playacar/"> <span class="s4">Playacar Beach</span></a></span> - Picnic at the when the crowds are at home.</p> <p><span class="s3">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/riviera-maya-beaches/xpu-ha/"> <span class="s4">Xpu Ha Beach</span></a></span> - A quiet beach on weekdays.</p> <p><span class="s3">● <a href= "http://www.don-chendo.com"><span class="s4">Don Chendo</span></a></span> - The best pizza!</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p><span class="s1"><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p><span class="s1"><a href= "http://www.locogringodirectory.com/">Loco Gringo Directory</a></span></p> <p><span class="s1"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s7">Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com"><span class= "s1">Askkay@locogringo.com</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s1"><a href= "https://twitter.com/locogringocom">@locogringocom on Twitter</a></span></p> <p><span class="s1"><a href= "https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico">@locogringo_mexico on Instagram</a></span></p> <p><span class="s1"><a href="http://cocosanimalwelfare.org/">Cocos Animal Welfare</a></span></p> <p><span class="s1"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/CocosAnimalWelfare/">Cocos Animal Welfare on Facebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s1"><a href= "mailto:info@cocosanimalwelfare.org">info@cocosanimalwelfare.org</a></span></p> <p>Whatsapp/Phone - 984-120-0572</p>
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051: Chef Daveed Placencia is Cooking Up Something Good
<p class="p1">My guest today fondly remembers his hometown of Mazatlan, a Pacific coastal town, for its amazing seafood. Daveed Placencia now lives in the Riviera Maya, where he owns a private chef service and in-home cooking course. His business is so popular, he has hired four other chefs to help him keep up with all the new business.</p> <p class="p1">Daveed moved to Puebla in Central Mexico to study biology, but found himself spending all day, every day, in a lab. He quickly tired of being inside, so when a friend invited him to Cancun, he accepted without hesitation. Once in Cancun, Daveed accepted an opportunity to volunteer for Global Vision International (GVI). He says his life changed the moment he submerged himself underwater for the first time. He knew he wanted to study marine biology and do field work.</p> <p class="p1">When he returned to school he had to change his focus. Daveed had a scholarship but it left very little money left for food. He made an arrangement with his friends to cook if they bought the food. He got permission from a professor to bring his food to school to sell and soon got paid to cook private dinners for parties.</p> <p class="p1">In 2008, Daveed moved to Puerto Morelos, and got a job with Centro Ecologico Akumal (CEA), monitoring the bay to make sure tourism activities were sustainable. Hotel and tour operators paid his salary by way of donations.</p> <p class="p1">Daveed decided to open his chef service company while continuing to work his day job. He would go to the rental houses of tourists or snowbirds, and cook traditional Mexican recipes passed down from his mother. Today, people are requesting different menus. Daveed still has his favorite, such as his mother’s chicken with mushroom cream and chipotle, fish tacos, and his favorite dessert, zucchini chocolate cake (a recipe a Canadian volunteer shared with him). Daveed and staff also provide in-home cooking lessons, which he says are fun for both adults and children.</p> <p class="p1">It’s obvious Daveed loves Mexican gastronomy and biology, but he says making happy moments is the best thing in his life. He fondly recalls the friends he made in Puebla, the town in Central Mexico where he discovered himself, started his studies and lived on his own for the very first time.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Daveed’s Favorite Spots in the Riviera Maya:</strong></p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://aerialmapsrivieramaya.com/chinchorro-1010093"><span class= "s2">Banco Chinchorro</span></a></span> — Off the coast of Mahahual. The coral reef is amazing.</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/riviera-maya-beaches/xcacel/"> <span class="s2">Xcacel Beach</span></a></span> — The entrance fee goes directly to the turtle protection program.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "http://www.locogringodirectory.com/">Loco Gringo Directory</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4">Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com"><span class= "s5">Askkay@locogringo.com</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "https://twitter.com/locogringocom">@locogringocom on Twitter</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico">@locogringo_mexico on Instagram</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "http://daveedchefservice.com/_/Welcome.html">Daveed Chef Services</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/daveedchefservice">Daveed Chef Services on Facebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "mailto:daveedchefservice@gmail.com">Daveedchefservice@gmail.com</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href="http://www.gviworld.com/">Global Vision International</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href="http://ceakumal.org">Centro Ecologico Akumal</a></span></p>
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050: Alternative Health in Playa del Carmen with Liliana Cruz
<p class="p1">Liliana Cruz joins me on today’s podcast. Originally from Mexico City, Liliana moved to the Riviera Maya in 2003. After living and working in Cancun and Tulum, she now calls Playa del Carmen her home. Liliana has a passion for spa and wellness. So much so, that she now runs a mobile spa service, and sponsors an annual Alternative Health Fair.</p> <p class="p1">Her background in business administration offered her an opportunity to run a spa in Tulum. She drifted from the business side to the practice of alternative therapies. Liliana studied massage, cosmetology, acupuncture, and yoga, and it has created a new life for her. She created SpaMobil Tulum in 2007. She and her team take their therapeutic practices on-the-road to perform yoga classes, set up sweat lodges, and perform massages, including the ancient practice of Mayan massage.</p> <p class="p1">In 2014, Liliana split her company into 22:11 Spa & Salon and Love for Love. Love for Love provides ceremonies for weddings, renewal of vows, and birthdays.</p> <p class="p1">Living near the ocean and the jungle provides Liliana the energy and peace she loves. She enjoys taking long weekends to discover little towns around the Yucatan peninsula.</p> <p class="p1">Living in Tulum made her appreciate the people of the area. In an effort to give back to the community, she and her team created an Alternative Health Fair. They offer low-cost services everyone can afford. 22:11 Spa & Salon will also participate in the Alternative Health Fair in Cancun on March 22-23rd and in Playa del Carmen on April 22-23rd. Services include a therapist, team activities, organic products for purchase, and food stands.</p> <p class="p3">Liliana loves the cuisine in the Riviera Maya. She recommends Panuchos, Papadzules, Lima soup, Cuernavaca, Chicharrones, and Gorditas.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Liliana’s Favorite Places:</strong></p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/valladolid"><span class= "s2">Valladolid</span></a></span> — Walking the Beautiful Streets and Visiting Cenotes.</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/yucatan/merida/"> <span class="s2">Merida</span></a></span> — The Energy is Beautiful.</p> <p><span class="s5">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/loco-adventure-museum-sacred-heart-museum"> <span class="s2">Sacred Art Museum of Merida</span></a></span> <span class="s6">— Artifacts from History.</span></p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/riviera-maya-aerial-photos-akumal-sian-kaan"> <span class="s2">Boca Paila</span></a></span> — A Place Between the Beach and the Ocean.</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/riviera-maya/tankah-bay/"> <span class="s2">Tankah</span></a></span> — A Bay Next to Tulum.</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/riviera-maya/soliman-bay/"> <span class="s2">Soliman Bay</span></a></span> — A Bay Near Akumal.</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/mariscoseldoctorcito"><span class="s2">El Doctorcito</span></a></span> — Delicious Ceviches.</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "http://www.ahcacao.com/page/ah-cacao-chocolate-cafe"><span class= "s2">Ah Cacao</span></a></span> — Chocolate Brownies and Coffees.</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "http://www.bionatural.infored.com.mx/"><span class= "s2">Bio-Orgánicos</span></a></span> — Vegan, Yucatán-Style of Food.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p><span class="s7"><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p><span class="s7"><a href= "http://www.locogringodirectory.com/">Loco Gringo Directory</a></span></p> <p><span class="s7"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4">Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com"><span class= "s7">Askkay@locogringo.com</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s7"><a href= "https://twitter.com/locogringocom">@locogringocom on Twitter</a></span></p> <p><span class="s7"><a href= "https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico">@locogringo_mexico on Instagram</a></span></p> <p><span class="s7"><a href= "https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01FRKLMCC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B01FRKLMCC&linkCode=as2&tag=locogringotravel&linkId=8576b77128a05bccb74adc497d5d5719"> Valladolid City Guide</a></span></p> <p><span class="s7"><a href= "http://www.locogringodirectory.com/places/cancun/healthmedical/2211-spa-salon/"> SpaMobil</a></span></p> <p><span class="s7"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/spacancun22.11/">SpaMobil on Facebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s7"><a href="http://loveforlove.com.mx/En/">Love for Love</a></span></p> <p><span class="s7"><a href= "mailto:22.11spa@gmail.com">22.11spa@gmail.com</a></span></p>
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049: An Integrated Healing Experience with Dr. Luis Suarez
<p class="p1">My guest on today’s podcast is a doctor who practices integrative healing in Playa del Carmen. Dr. Luis Suarez describes his health services as a blend of scientific medicine and complementary natural therapies. His holistic approach integrates nutrition, acupuncture,<span class= "Apple-converted-space"> </span> phytotherapy, and more to ensure patients receive total health care during their visits.</p> <p class="p1">Originally from Mexico City, Dr. Suarez is a pioneer in neural therapy and regenerative injection therapy, which includes platelet rich plasma and adipose tissue stem cells. Locals and travelers are eager to visit Dr. Suarez’s SANAR Center for anti-aging therapy, ozone therapy, hydrotherapy and detoxification.</p> <p class="p1">Dr. Suarez finds people living in and visiting the Riviera Maya are interested in a holistic approach to health care and integrative therapies, which are not widely available in the U.S. and Canada. Ozone therapy is one such practice. It is a versatile gas which elicits a reaction from the body’s antioxidant system and boosts oxygen levels. Medical tourism is on the rise in the Riviera Maya and many repeat patients are snowbirds who are interested in pain management.</p> <p class="p1">The Riviera Maya is a small place with a wide array of mindful oriented options, says Dr. Suarez. He enjoys the dynamic mix of people and believes the area is growing economically. He also loves the beach and the opportunity to scuba dive.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Dr. Suarez’s Secret Spots:</strong></p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/riviera-maya-beaches/xpu-ha/"> <span class="s2">Xpu ha</span></a></span> — A Beautiful Beach.</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/riviera-maya/sian-kaan/"> <span class="s2">Sian Ka’an</span></a></span> — For Camping in Wilderness.</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/lapepitarestaurante/"><span class="s2">La Pepita</span></a></span> — Seafood Restaurant in Puerto Morelos.</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cocina-Economica-Marisol/340353432752780"> <span class="s2">Cocina Economica Marisol</span></a></span> — Local Eatery with Prices You Won’t Believe.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "http://www.locogringodirectory.com/">Loco Gringo Directory</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4">Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com"><span class= "s5">Askkay@locogringo.com</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "https://twitter.com/locogringocom">@locogringocom on Twitter</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico">@locogringo_mexico on Instagram</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "http://www.sanar.org.mx/en/">SANAR</a></span></p> <p>(984) 803-2039 - SANAR</p>
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048: A dog's life in the Riviera Maya
<p class="p1">What does a happy dog look like? My guest, Veterinarian Erika Flores, offers advice to visitors of the Riviera Maya area about the local dog and cat populations.</p> <p class="p1">Erika trained in Mexico City, where she worked for the Mexican Government Wildlife Division. The stress of the city was getting to her, and she welcomed the opportunity to move to Quintana Roo with her partner. For the last six years, she has worked for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), focusing on humane management of the dog and cat population in the Riviera Maya. The IFAW partners with local veterinarians and animal protection groups, including Coco’s Animal Welfare.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Travelers</strong> <strong>Take Note</strong></p> <p class="p1">The culture regarding dogs and cats is different in Mexico. If an animal is roaming the streets it doesn’t mean they need to be rescued.</p> <p class="p1">Dogs have a different life than dogs in other places but they can still be happy. An animal needs exercise and social interaction.</p> <p class="p1">Going to a vet can be expensive for the average Mexican worker. It can even be more costly than human care.</p> <p class="p1">There is no shelter big enough to hold all the street dogs.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>How Travelers Can Help</strong></p> <p class="p1">Find a local organization that works with needy animals and see if they need a donation for food or someone to walk the animals.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p>● <a href="http://www.cocosanimalwelfare.org"><span class= "s1"><strong>Coco’s Animal Welfare</strong></span></a> — They sterilize community animals and is nearly free for those who cannot afford it.</p> <p>● <a href="http://soselarca.org/"><span class= "s1"><strong>S.O.S. el Arca</strong></span></a> — Visitors can volunteer to work at a shelter and play with the animals.</p> <p>● <strong>Become a Sponsor</strong> — Sponsor an animal or the cost of a surgery.</p> <p>● <strong>Don’t Put Wild Animals at Risk by Taking Pictures</strong>.</p> <p> </p> <p>*If you complain to the government about street dogs they may try to clear the streets, and it may not be in the best interest of the dogs.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Erika’s Favorite Places:</strong></p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/yucatan/isla-holbox/"> <span class="s3">Isla Holbox</span></a></span> <span class= "s4">—</span> The Best Place to Recharge Your Batteries.</p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/72-hours-isla-mujeres"><span class= "s3">Isla Mujeres</span></a></span> — A Little Island with a Lot to Do.</p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Cuyo"><span class="s3">El Cuyo</span></a></span> — A Fishing Town with Flamingos.</p> <p><span class="s5">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/riviera-maya-beaches/puerto-morelos/"> <span class="s3">Puerto Morelos</span></a></span> <span class= "s6">— Great Fish!</span></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p><span class="s7"><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p><span class="s7"><a href= "http://www.locogringodirectory.com/">Loco Gringo Directory</a></span></p> <p><span class="s7"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s6">Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com"><span class= "s7">Askkay@locogringo.com</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s7"><a href= "https://twitter.com/locogringocom">@locogringocom on Twitter</a></span></p> <p><span class="s7"><a href= "https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico">@locogringo_mexico on Instagram</a></span></p> <p><span class="s7"><a href= "http://www.cocosanimalwelfare.org">Coco’s Animal Welfare</a></span></p> <p><span class="s7"><a href= "mailto:eflores@ifaw.org">eflores@ifaw.org</a></span></p> <p><span class="s7"><a href="http://soselarca.org/">SOS el Arca</a></span></p> <p><span class="s7"><a href= "http://www.ifaw.org/">IFAW</a></span></p>
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047: A Tasty Way to See Mexico with Chef Mario Canul
<p class="p1">Head Chef and Instructor at Los Dos Cooking School, Mario Canul joins me on the podcast to share his favorite places to eat in Mexico, what makes the Yucatan version of pico de gallo so amazing, and information about David Sterling’s new cookbook.</p> <p class="p1">I have taken cooking classes at Los Dos Cooking School in Mérida several times. I am always amazed at how wonderful food is, and I love learning traditional Mayan recipes. Mario has roots in the Mayan community. In 2003, when David Sterling conceived the idea for the Los Dos cooking school, he passed all of his knowledge to Mario. In fact, one of the reasons Mario still teaches today, is because it honors David and the culinary education he shared.</p> <p class="p1">David’s book, <em>Yucatan: Recipes from a Culinary Expedition,</em> is considered the bible of Yucatan cuisine. Mario was traveling with David to gather information for his second book, which is 5 years in the making. The second book includes small magical towns outside of the Yucatan, as David was interested in preserving all of the cooking histories from as many Mexican States as possible.</p> <p class="p3"><span class="s1">During their travels, two pueblos stood out for their amazing food the Oaxaca town: Teotitlán del Valle and</span> Michoacán. In Oaxaca, there are tortillas in every color of the rainbow, due to the many varieties of corn. Mario still fondly recalls a pumpkin flower soup made by chef Abigail Mendoza. Michoacán also has amazing cuisine, with a distinct mix of sweet, spicy and seafood.</p> <p class="p1">While these places offer savory tastes, Mario believes Yucatan cuisine is different from anywhere else in Mexico.</p> <p class="p1">Mario describes the many specialty foods of the area, including the pico de gallo. He says the sauce made in Central Mexico is a common sauce made from Roma tomatoes, white onions, cilantro, lime and serrano chili but the Yucatan version adds habanero chili and sour orange. The taste is so distinct it has a different name, which is a Mayan word for dog nose, because after you eat it your nose runs.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Mario’s Special Places:</strong></p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "http://www.haciendateya.com/"><span class="s3">Hacienda Teya</span></a></span> <strong>—</strong> A beautifully refurbished hacienda, which serves quality, traditional Yucatan cuisine.</p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/Manjarblanco-100784880031961/"><span class="s3"> Manjarblanco</span></a></span> <strong>—</strong> For fantastic food.</p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/wayane.merida"><span class="s3">Taquería Wayan'e</span></a></span> <strong>—</strong> They started with 2 recipes, and now have 25 different recipes.</p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunucm%C3%A1_Municipality"><span class="s3"> Hunucmá</span></a></span> <strong>—</strong> The best cochinita in the world. For the best flavor, they slow cook cochinita underground, with a specific type of wood.</p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/yucatan-secret-smoked-meat"><span class="s3"> Temozon</span></a></span> <strong>—</strong> For the best smoked salty or spicy meat. It is THE spot to have lunch outside of Valladolid.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "http://www.locogringodirectory.com/">Loco Gringo Directory</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s1">Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com"><span class= "s4">Askkay@locogringo.com</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://twitter.com/locogringocom">@locogringocom on Twitter</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico">@locogringo_mexico on Instagram</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href="http://www.los-dos.com/">Los Dos Cooking School</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/pages/Los-Dos-Cooking-School-Merida-Yucatan/194678851869"> Los Dos Cooking School on Facebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "mailto:mcanul@los-dos.com">mcanul@los-dos.com</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0292735812/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0292735812&linkCode=as2&tag=locogringotravel&linkId=WLOIGFRAH7LPLXJ6"> <em>Yucatán: Recipes from a Culinary Expedition,</em> <span class= "s5">by David Sterling</span></a></span></p>
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046: Steve Moen Warning Geeks on the Beach
<p class="p1">Steve Moen had a stressful job working in Seattle for Microsoft, before coming to the Riviera Maya. After being hospitalized for stress and anxiety, Steve realized he needed a vacation. He had always wanted to visit the Cancun area, but feared the “Spring Break” crowds. It was then a co-worker told him about Playa del Carmen.</p> <p class="p1">The first thing Steve did after arriving in the laid back, stunningly beautiful Playa was to throw back a shot of tequila, and jump in the ocean. He started feeling like himself again.</p> <p class="p1">It changed Steve’s life. He went back to Seattle, sold all of his belongings, bought a van and headed to Mexico. After a few not-profitable but interesting business ventures, Steve started providing web design services to real estate agencies and dive shops. He now supports the Loco Gringo site.</p> <p class="p1">Steve is passionate about the beauty of the area, and the friends he has made here. During his time off he runs, travels to central Mexico, and watches football and futbol with friends.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Steve’s Special Places:</strong></p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/yucatan/rio-lagartos/"> <span class="s2">Rio Lagartos</span></a></span> <strong>—</strong> The area has 400 species of birds and great fishing.</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/loco-adventures-sian-kaan-biosphere-tour"> <span class="s2">Laguna Chunyaxche</span></a></span> <strong>—</strong> Boat Billed Herons abound on Bird Island.</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/punta-laguna-monkey-reserve-what-nature-intended/"> <span class="s2">Punta Laguna</span></a></span> <strong>—</strong> Near Coba, a spiral staircase leads to an amazing cenote.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p><span class="s3"><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p><span class="s3"><a href= "http://www.locogringodirectory.com/">Loco Gringo Directory</a></span></p> <p><span class="s3"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4">Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com"><span class= "s3">Askkay@locogringo.com</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s3"><a href= "https://twitter.com/locogringocom">@locogringocom on Twitter</a></span></p> <p><span class="s3"><a href= "https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico">@locogringo_mexico on Instagram</a></span></p> <p><span class="s3"><a href= "mailto:support@locogringo.com">support@locogringo.com</a></span></p>
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045: Paulina Riviera Knows Private Beaches and Secret Spots
<p class="p1">Originally from Veracruz, Paulina arrived in the Riviera Maya in 2007. She was required to do a college internship with a hotel to complete her tourism certification. Paulina finds that working in tourism gives her an opportunity to meet travelers and to learn different languages.</p> <p class="p1">Paulina says the Riviera Maya offers everything to travelers and to people working in tourism. There are beautiful beaches, interesting people, and delicious food. During her time off, she takes short trips to Tulum, Cancun, and Merida, but she always returns to her home in the Riviera Maya. Her home has become a foster house for dogs who need rescuing. Locals and travelers alike take part in animal welfare and rescue efforts.</p> <p class="p1">As the concierge for Loco Gringo, Paulina is able to experience fun activities like snorkeling in the cenotes. She isn’t exactly comfortable in the water yet, but she is enrolling in the <a href= "http://akumaldiveshop.com/discover-scuba-diving/"><span class= "s1">Discover Scuba</span></a> program.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Paulina’s Favorite Spots:</strong></p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/riviera-maya-beaches/xpu-ha/"> <span class="s3">Xpu-ha</span></a></span> <strong>—</strong> Snorkeling in a Beautiful Cenote.</p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/Captain-Quickie-200857179928022/"><span class="s4"> Captain Quickie’s</span></a></span> <strong>—</strong> Scuba, Snorkel, Sail, and More.</p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/curious-travelers-experience-mayan-life"> <span class="s4">Señor</span></a></span> <strong>—</strong> Visit a Mayan Village for an Educational Experience.</p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/riviera-maya/tankah-bay/"> <span class="s4">Tankah Bay</span></a></span> <strong>—</strong> A Private Beach near Tulum.</p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "http://vivapuertomorelos.com/travel/mapsdirections/ruta-de-los/"><span class="s4"> Ruta de Los Cenotes</span></a></span> <strong>—</strong> 20 km of Cenotes on Both Sides of the Route.</p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/sites-rock-missed-cenotes"><span class= "s4">Siete Bocas</span></a></span> <strong>—</strong> Seven Different Entrances to an Amazing Cenote.</p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "http://www.kaokaochocolatefactorytour.com/"><span class= "s4">Valladolid Chocolate Factory</span></a></span> <span class= "s5"><strong>—</strong> Make Your Own Chocolate.</span></p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "http://www.xcaret.com/mexican-folk-art-museum.php"><span class= "s4">Folk Art Museum</span></a></span> <strong>—</strong> The Magic of Mexico’s Art.</p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ex-convento-San-Bernardino-De-Siena-Sisal-Valladolid-Yucatan/355993777754054"> <span class="s4">Convent San Bernardino</span></a></span> <strong>—</strong> See the Catacombs, Hear the History.</p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/lasendadepaz/"><span class="s4">La Senda</span></a></span> <strong>—</strong> In Akumal, for Raw and Vegan Food.</p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "http://turtlebaycafe.com/"><span class="s4">Turtle Bay Cafe</span></a></span> <strong>—</strong> In Akumal, for Homemade Ice Cream.</p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "http://labuenavidarestaurant.com/"><span class="s4">La Buena Vida</span></a></span> <strong>—</strong> In Akumal, Vegan Quesadillas.</p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/vegantacos/"><span class="s4">Charly’s Vegan Tacos</span></a></span> <strong>—</strong> In Tulum, for Chicharron Verde Tacos.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p><span class="s6"><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p><span class="s6"><a href= "http://www.locogringodirectory.com/">Loco Gringo Directory</a></span></p> <p><span class="s6"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5">Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com"><span class= "s6">Askkay@locogringo.com</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s6"><a href= "https://twitter.com/locogringocom">@locogringocom on Twitter</a></span></p> <p><span class="s6"><a href= "https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico">@locogringo_mexico on Instagram</a></span></p> <p><span class="s6"><a href= "mailto:concierge@locogringo.com">concierge@locogringo.com</a></span></p> <p>984-192-1049 If calling from Mexico</p> <p>512 782-9878 If calling from outside Mexico</p> <p><span class="s6"><a href= "http://akumaldiveshop.com/discover-scuba-diving/">Discover Scuba</a></span></p> <p><span class="s6"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/Captain-Quickie-200857179928022/">Captain Quicky</a></span></p> <p><span class="s6"><a href="http://cocosanimalwelfare.org">Coco's Animal Welfare</a></span></p> <p><span class="s6"><a href= "http://www.tierradeanimales.org/">Tierra de Animales</a></span></p>
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044: Craig Zabransky — Staying Adventurous in Mexico
<p class="p1">Loco Gringo welcomes Craig Zabransky, the writer and photographer behind the Stay Adventurous travel blog. Craig was working as a consultant on Wall Street, back in 2004, when he yearned to see the world. Mexico wasn’t one of the first places he visited on his sabbatical but, after being lured to Mexico City for a consulting gig, his passion for exploring the country began.</p> <p class="p1">Mexico City is one of the world’s most populated cities, with over 20 million people living in it. Craig notes that it can be an intimidating place to visit for the first time, but the experience is a must. Craig has chosen it as one of his favorite places in the world and calls it the heartbeat of the country. Craig takes an annual trip to his favorite place, with a group tour he facilitates, called <a href= "http://www.stayadventurous.com/stay-adventours-mexico-city/"><span class="s1"> Stay AdvenTours Mexico City</span></a>. He tries to catch the <a href= "http://www.stayadventurous.com/2015/03/monarch-butterfly-michoacan-mexico/"> <span class="s1">Michoacán Monarch Migration</span></a>, which he calls the most amazing thing he has ever seen.</p> <p class="p1">When Craig explores other parts of the country, he relishes the ruins and cenotes. His favorite ruin is Coba, because he loves the sense of discovery, walking through the jungle to climb an ancient pyramid. He loves ease of traveling to and through Cancun, and visiting the <a href= "http://www.stayadventurous.com/2014/10/soliman-bay-casa-de-corazon-mx/"> <span class="s1">Casa de Corazón</span></a> at Soliman Bay.</p> <p class="p1">Catch up with Craig and all things Mexico on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/mexchat_mx?lang=en"><span class= "s1">#mexchat</span></a>.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Craig’s Secret Spots:</strong></p> <p><span class="s3">● <a href= "http://www.stayadventurous.com/2016/02/find-your-beach-xpu-ha-riviera-maya-mx/"> <span class="s4">Xpu-ha</span></a></span> <strong>—</strong> The Perfect Beach Off the Beaten Path.</p> <p><span class="s3">● <a href= "http://www.stayadventurous.com/2010/09/the-breathtaking-beauty-of-cenote-multun-ha/"> <span class="s4">Cenote Multun-ha</span></a></span> <strong>—</strong> Where the water is clear as gin.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "http://www.locogringodirectory.com/">Loco Gringo Directory</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s6">Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com"><span class= "s5">Askkay@locogringo.com</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "https://twitter.com/locogringocom">@locogringocom on Twitter</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico">@locogringo_mexico on Instagram</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "http://www.stayadventurous.com/">http://www.stayadventurous.com/</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/staying-adventurous-craig/id992568316?mt=2"> <em>Staying Adventurous</em> Podcast</a></span></p> <p><span class="s6">Email:</span> <span class="s7"><a href= "mailto:craig@stayadventuorus.com"><span class= "s1">craig@stayadventuorus.com</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s6">Instagram:</span> <span class="s7"><a href= "https://www.instagram.com/stayadventurous/"><span class= "s1">@StayAdventurous</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s6">Twitter: <a href= "https://twitter.com/stayadventurous?lang=en"><span class= "s5">@stayadventurous</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/stayadventurous/">Stay Adventurous on Facebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/MexChat/">Mexchat on Facebook</a></span></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Staying Adventurous Podcasts:</strong></p> <p><span class="s7">EP02 -</span> T<a href= "http://www.stayadventurous.com/2015/04/podcast-state-of-yucatan-mexico/"><span class="s5">he State of Yucatan</span></a></p> <p><span class="s7">EP15 - <a href= "http://www.stayadventurous.com/2016/06/playing-in-playa-del-carmen-riv-maya-mx/"> <span class="s1">Playing in Playa del Carmen</span></a></span></p>
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043: Matt Adcock — Life Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This
<p class="p1">Today’s Loco Gringo guest, Matt Adcock, is an innovative, award-winning photojournalist, who picked up the love of photography from watching his grandfather take photos. American Photo magazine calls him one of the top-10 wedding photographers in the world, and the Huffington Post calls him a trailblazer for his innovations in the trash-the-dress theme. Listening to Matt’s love and enthusiasm for the Riviera Maya is pure gold. It will bring a smile to your heart.</p> <p class="p1">Matt came to Mexico from Atlanta, Georgia in 2005, after a friend recommended he visit. He has since co-founded Del Sol Photography with <span class="s1"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/sol-tamargo-adventures-world-del-sol-photography/"> <span class="s2">Sol Tamargo</span></a></span>. Matt loves to travel, but frequently finds himself missing the Riviera Maya while he is away. He says, as a photographer he lets his eyes guide him, and the area pushes his senses into hyperdrive.</p> <p class="p1">Matt likes to adventure off the beaten track. He is in awe of the kindness and likeability of the Mayan people and their legends of ancient civilizations. One of his favorite lores is the relationship of the ancient Mayans with the cenotes and the Ceiba trees.</p> <p class="p1">One of Matt’s escapes is free driving in the cenotes. He has found a treasure trove of goodies at the bottom of the water, including a GoPro camera with a family’s entire vacation recorded in it. He is using every opportunity to find the owners who lost their camera on January 4th, 2013. Watch the <a href= "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NGsa_ZIDx8"><span class= "s3">video</span></a> and see if you know the owner so they can reclaim their vacation footage.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Matt’s Favorite Spots:</strong></p> <p><span class="s4">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/palenque-ruins/"> <span class="s5"><strong>Chiapas</strong></span></a></span> <strong>—</strong> The colonial town of San Miguel de Allende; you can spend an entire month, and still not take it all in.</p> <p><span class="s4">● <a href= "http://www.locogringodirectory.com/cenotes-route-puerto-morelos-mayan-underworld/"> <span class="s5"><strong>Ruta de Cenotes</strong></span></a></span> — Kin Ha in Puerto Morelos; it’s also known as the Mayan underworld.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p><span class="s2"><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p><span class="s2"><a href= "http://www.locogringodirectory.com/">Loco Gringo Directory</a></span></p> <p><span class="s2"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s7">Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com"><span class= "s2">Askkay@locogringo.com</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s2"><a href= "https://twitter.com/locogringocom">@locogringocom on Twitter</a></span></p> <p><span class="s2"><a href= "https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico">@locogringo_mexico on Instagram</a></span></p> <p><span class="s2"><a href="http://delsolphotography.com/">Del Sol Photography</a></span></p> <p><span class="s2"><a href= "http://www.mattonproductions.com/">Matton Productions</a></span></p> <p><span class="s2"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/matt.adcock">Matt Adcock on Facebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s2"><a href= "https://plus.google.com/+MattAdcock">Matt Adcock on Google +</a></span></p> <p><span class="s2"><a href= "https://www.instagram.com/matt.adcock/">Matt Adcock on Instagram</a></span></p> <p><span class="s2"><a href= "https://www.youtube.com/user/mattsirena">Matt Adcock on Youtube</a></span></p> <p><span class="s2"><a href= "https://twitter.com/cleric20?lang=en">@cleric20 on Twitter</a></span></p> <p><span class="s2"><a href= "http://delsolphotography.com/riviera-maya-lost-gopro/">Find the Owner of the GoPro</a></span> and on <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/DelSolPhoto/posts/1205451496197585"><span class="s2"> Facebook</span></a> and the video on <a href= "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NGsa_ZIDx8"><span class= "s2">Youtube</span></a></p>
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042: Michael Stewart— All This From A Little Yoga Studio in Akumal
<p class="p1">Today’s guest, Michael Stewart, is a friend of mine from the Akumal yoga community. Michael, who is originally from Chicago, shares his journey, as well as his parent’s special journey, from the windy North to the sunny Caribbean beaches of the Riviera Maya.</p> <p class="p1">Michael has always loved traveling the world, but in 2005, while he was in Laos, he realized how long it would take him to respond to his aging parents, should they need him. He knew he had to find a place for them that had top-notch medical care, as well as an environment that promoted well-being. He resorted to googling yoga + Caribbean. He found a job offer to be a yoga teacher in Akumal, and even though it wasn’t a good fit, it did place him in contact with a different, better-fit opportunity.</p> <p class="p1">Shortly after arriving, Hurricane Emily hit. He was amazed at the bonding that occurred within the community after such a devastating natural disaster. He knew he wanted this to be his home, and after researching the patient care available to his parents, he brought them to live in Akumal, also.</p> <p class="p1">Michael says he appreciates that physicians take the time to talk with people as individuals in Mexico, and that the cost of similar services is much less. And, with most doctors and nurses speaking both English and Spanish, bringing his parents to live in Mexico seemed the obvious choice.</p> <p class="p1">Michael has a passion for yoga. He has celebrated his 20th year teaching his own style of yoga, Shanta Vira. He also practices Kirtan devotional chants. His Mantrika album features vibrational music designed to wake up qualities within humans, which may uncover deep spiritual questions, as well as assist in resolving physical issues.</p> <p class="p1">Michael’s love of Mexico is vast. He enjoys visiting beaches of the Pacific, which are still untouched by most people, and the low mountainous regions near Mexico City. He says travelers or locals can always just get on a bus and find a place to stay, good food, and nice people.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Michael’s Secret Spots:</strong></p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/muyil-ruins/"> <span class="s2">Muyil Mayan Ruins</span></a></span> — A Ritual Spot Still Used Today.</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/riviera-maya-beaches/xcacel/"> <span class="s2">X'cacel</span></a></span> — Cenote on the Beach by a Turtle Sanctuary.</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/riviera-maya/puerto-morelos/"> <span class="s2">Puerto Morelos</span></a></span> — A Beautiful Mix of Mexicans and North Americans.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "http://www.locogringodirectory.com/">Loco Gringo Directory</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s6">Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com"><span class= "s4">Askkay@locogringo.com</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://twitter.com/locogringocom">@locogringocom on Twitter</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico">@locogringo_mexico on Instagram</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href="http://shantavirayoga.org/">Shanta Vira Yoga</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.amazon.com/Mantrika-Michael-Stewart-Alica-Khan/dp/B01BVXBREC"> Mantrika Album</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/YogaEnAkumal/">Yoga en Akumal</a></span></p>
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041: Iaax Page — Under the Spell of Mexico’s Caribbean Coast
<p class="p1">My guest on the today’s podcast is a dear friend whom I have known for almost 10 years. Iaax Page grew up in Western Mexico, but his heart is in Cancun and the Riviera Maya.</p> <p class="p1">Iaax first came to Cancun to visit his father when he was just four-years-old. He says it was mostly jungle at the time. He would take long rides with his father, mesmerized by the lagoon. Something drew him to this area. He says it was like he was under a spell. At 14, he moved to the area, and has been here ever since. After going to college to become a civil engineer, he started working as a receptionist at a hotel. He found sharing the information about the area with tourists very fulfilling. He made sure to give them the experience they wanted, by asking them what they wanted from their visit.</p> <p class="p1">He likes people to see real Mexico. Places like Playa del Carmen and Isla Mujeres give travelers unforgettable, inexpensive experiences. Iaax says Cancun’s quality of customer service is underrated. Going out of your way to take care of tourists has become part of the local culture.</p> <p class="p1">His second favorite place is Mexico’s Silicon Valley, Guadalajara. The second largest city in Mexico is, in Iaax’s opinion, as Mexican as it gets.</p> <p class="p1"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Iaax’s Secret Spots:</strong></p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "http://www.isla-mujeres.net/"><span class="s2">Isla Mujeres</span></a></span><span class= "Apple-converted-space"> </span> — For a relaxing day trip.</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "http://www.isla-mujeres.net/waterfun.html"><span class="s2">Playa Norte</span></a></span><span class= "Apple-converted-space"> </span> — On Isla Mujeres. Perfect for playing in the ocean.</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/cancun-nature-travel-tip-isla-blanca-all-natural-all-beautiful/"> <span class="s2">Isla Blanca</span></a></span> — On Isla Mujeres. A great place to see the stars.</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/riviera-maya/puerto-morelos/"> <span class="s2">Puerto Morelos</span></a></span> — For an incredible Argentinian restaurant and beautiful houses.</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/riviera-maya/akumal/"> <span class="s2">Akumal</span></a></span> — A great place to see the turtles.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p><span class="s3"><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p><span class="s3"><a href= "http://www.locogringodirectory.com/">Loco Gringo Directory</a></span></p> <p><span class="s3"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5">Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com"><span class= "s3">Askkay@locogringo.com</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s3"><a href= "https://twitter.com/locogringocom">@locogringocom on Twitter</a></span></p> <p><span class="s3"><a href= "https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico">@locogringo_mexico on Instagram</a></span></p> <p><span class="s3"><a href="http://iaaxpage.com/">Iaax Page Website</a></span></p> <p><span class="s3"><a href="https://facebook.com/iaaxpage">Iaax Page on Facebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s3"><a href= "https://twitter.com/iaaxpage">@Iaaxpage on Twitter</a></span></p>
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040: Pam Acosta — The Magical Towns in Mexico Are Her Favorite
<p class="p1">My guest on the today’s podcast, Pam Acosta, is originally from Chihuahua Mexico. Pam traveled to Arkansas to get her college degree in Journalism, and then returned to her home state. Shortly after returning, she found little work available to her. She made the decision to move to the Riviera Maya, where she could make the most of her excellent English speaking skills.</p> <p class="p1">She did find opportunity in Cancun. Her first job was in a call center, which she remembers as being hard work. She certainly didn’t like it as much as she likes her current position working in social media and tourism. She says digital marketing has closed the gaps that previously existed in the travel sector.</p> <p class="p1">Her job gives her the ability to have many adventures, such as swimming with sea turtles and whale sharks. Pam loves that she is able to explore more of the Riviera Maya as part of her job. Some of her favorite places to visit are the magical towns of Mexico, of which Valladolid is one.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Pam’s Secret Spots:</strong></p> <p><span class="s1">●</span> Playa Langosta — A nice beach with upgrades planned.</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "http://www.xenotes.com/"><span class="s2">Xenotes Park</span></a></span> — Four amazing cenotes.</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "http://www.xcaret.com.mx/"><span class="s2">Xcaret Park</span></a></span> — A park with underground rivers.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p><span class="s3"><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p><span class="s3"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/podcasts/"><em>Loco Gringo</em> Podcasts</a></span></p> <p><span class="s3"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5">Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com"><span class= "s3">Askkay@locogringo.com</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s3"><a href= "https://twitter.com/locogringocom">@locogringocom on Twitter</a></span></p> <p><span class="s3"><a href= "https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico">@locogringo_mexico on Instagram</a></span></p> <p><span class="s3"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/Pamela.Acosta.Ruiz?fref=ts">Pam Acosta on Facebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s3"><a href= "https://twitter.com/pamnotspam">@pamnotspam on Twitter</a></span></p> <p><span class="s3"><a href= "http://www.pictaram.com/user/pamnotspam/50372635/1308408385771467660_50372635"> @pamnotspam on Instagram</a></span></p>
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039: Jim Wehrle - 29 Years in Cancun with No Regrets
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">My guest on the today’s podcast is a longtime resident of Cancun, Jim Wehrle. Jim moved from Fort Worth, Texas, 29 years ago, and still enjoys each day here on the Riviera Maya. When he first decided to visit a sunny place for his vacation, a travel agent tried to steer him towards Acapulco. He was young, and she thought he might enjoy the clubs and  budding nightlife there, but when Jim heard about laid back, quiet place called Cancun on the Yucatan Peninsula, something just felt right to him.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jim’s history in the area dates back to when the Riviera Maya was called the tourist corridor. Everything has grown for the better, Jim says. The concern for the ecology, protecting the cenotes and mangroves; everything has been taken care of, even as the area has grown.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After teaching English and then selling for the Palace Resorts, Jim finally found a company he enjoyed working for, Sunset World. He started in administration and during his 23 years with the company, has worked  in every department. His current position is taking care of the organization’s Reputation Management, Social Media, and Internet divisions. He enjoys working in social media because it provides a real-time, two-way conversation between the supplier and the customer.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">During his free time, Jim enjoys growing exotic fruits and vegetables on his little piece of dirt, just outside of Cancun. He wishes more people would leave the hotels, when they come on vacation, so they could see the amazing little towns and ruins such as</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">Tizimin and Ek Balam. Plus, people from all over the world open up restaurants in Cancun, which feature traditional foods of their home country.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you are planning to visit the area, the Hacienda Tres Rios hotel is an eco-minded hotel with some amazing things to do, such as kayaking through the mangroves, a sensory tour, and tequila tasting. This comes highly recommended from the Loco Gringo staff.</span></p> <div> </div> <p><strong>Jim’s Hidden Gems:</strong></p> <p> </p> <ul> <li><strong><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/riviera-maya/puerto-morelos/"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Puerto Morelos</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">— A seaport with great food.</span></strong></li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/LaQuintaenPlayaProduccion/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Quinta Avenida</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">— A cool metropolitan area to grab a beverage and people watch.</span></li> </ul> <p> </p> <div> </div> <p><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/"><em><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Loco Gringo</span></em></a></p> <p><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/podcasts/"><em><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Loco Gringo</span></em> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">Podcasts</span></a></p> <p><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/"><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Loco Gringo on</span> <em><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Facebook</span></em></a></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Email Kay:</span> <a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Askkay@</span><em><span style= "font-weight: 400;">locogringo.com</span></em></a></p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/locogringocom"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@locogringocom on</span> <em><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Twitter</span></em></a></p> <p><a href="https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@locogringo_mexico on</span> <em><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Instagram</span></em></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.sunsetworld.net/"><em><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Sunset World</span></em></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.haciendatresrios.com/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Hacienda Tres Rios</span></a></p> <p><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/HaciendaTresRios.Resort/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Hacienda Tres Rios on</span> <em><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Facebook</span></em></a></p> <p><a href="mailto:jimincancun@gmail.com"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">jimincancun@</span><em><span style= "font-weight: 400;">gmail.com</span></em></a></p>
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038: Kristin Busse Knows Exactly What She Is Still Doing In Cancun
<p class="p1">My guest on the podcast today is a writer and local Cancun expert for <em>USA Today</em>’s “10 Best,” a salsa dancer who will work for tips and tequila, and a mom of a 7-year-old Cuban boy, who is learning to snorkel.</p> <p class="p1">Who is this multi-faceted woman, you ask. Kristin Busse is the voice behind the new parenting blog turned culture and community-based information center, <em>What Am I Still Doing in Cancun</em>. Kristin’s blog started as a verbalization of the things she didn’t like about living in Mexico. After only three posts, she realized there were ONLY three things she didn’t like about it and decided it was time to embrace the driving and the unfriendly customer service.</p> <p class="p1">Kristin had been vacationing in Mexico, with friends, for years. She caught herself feeling sad every time the vacation was over and it was time to go back home. So it was natural for her to turn to Cancun when, in 2001, she decided to move to Mexico for a year. She carried with her a radio, a cat and a suitcase full of shoes.</p> <p class="p1">She spent her first year working at Harmon Hall teaching English. And, then a restaurant asked her if she wanted to teach salsa lessons. It was like a dream come true, she says. When her year of living in Mexico was up, Kristin was supposed to go home and get a career but Cancun kept calling her back.</p> <p class="p1">Kristin has found her passion working in tourism at an all-inclusive eco-resort. And, even though she visits a lot of cool places, Isla Holbox and Sian Ka’an are still on her bucket list.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Kristin’s Secret Spots:</strong></p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/riviera-maya-beaches/xpu-ha/"> <span class="s2">Xpu Ha Beach</span></a></span> — Laid-back atmosphere and fresh fish.</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "http://www.isla-mujeres.net/"><span class="s2">Isla Mujeres</span></a></span> — There’s no place like its North beach.</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/yucatan/rio-lagartos/"> <span class="s2">Rio Lagartos</span></a></span> — Thousands of flamingos, a pink beach, and Mayan culture.</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/local-smoke-great-smoked-meats-riviera-maya"> <span class="s2">Temozon</span></a></span> — A town known for their smoked meats.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/"><em>Loco Gringo</em></a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/podcasts/"><em>Loco Gringo</em> Podcasts</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on <span class="s5"><em>Facebook</em></span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s6">Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com"><span class= "s4">Askkay@locogringo.com</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://twitter.com/locogringocom">@locogringocom on <span class= "s5"><em>Twitter</em></span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico">@locogringo_mexico on <span class="s5"><em>Instagram</em></span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "http://whatamistilldoingincancun.com/"><em>What Am I Still Doing in Cancun</em> <span class="s5">Blog</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/WhatamIstilldoinginCancun/">What Am I Still Doing in Cancun on <span class= "s5"><em>Facebook</em></span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://twitter.com/kcbusse?lang=en">@KCBusse on <span class= "s5"><em>Twitter</em></span></a></span></p>
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037: Marianne Volkmer — Reservations Without Hesitations
<p class="p1">I absolutely adore my guest today, Marianne Volkmer. Marianne is originally from Cuidad Victoria, Tamaupilas, but is currently living in the Riviera Maya. She is a self-proclaimed child of the world, who loves packing a bag and moving about the planet. In 2007, Marianne decided she wanted to live on the beach. So, when a co-worker invited her to Akumal, she didn’t hesitate. She has lived there for seven years, because she loves the community. She muses that when she first arrived in Akumal, there were only 30 people living in the area, and now there are over 100.</p> <p class="p1">Marianne believes progress is something everybody needs, especially when the area is growing in an organic way. She says it’s ok for people to disconnect while they are here. She thinks it makes people better. You can often find her connecting to nature, and watching the sky and the stars.</p> <p class="p1">Marianne is a reservation specialist for Loco Gringo, and she loves the thought of making people’s vacations better. She enjoys many parts of Mexico, and she knows all the amazing spots.</p> <p class="p1">Her favorite spot in Mexico, besides the Riviera Maya, is an abandoned mining town in Central Mexico, called Real de Catorce. It’s a road trip from Akumal, but well worth the trip. If you like remote areas that are full of culture, Marianne says you must visit. The colonial town includes a cemetery and a cathedral, and is home to the local Huichol people. The Quemado (the burn) is a long walk through the desert, where you can get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.</p> <p class="p1">Although Marianne loves many places in Mexico she prefers to live in the Riviera Maya because of its authenticity and beauty, and that it caters to many different kinds of people.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Marianne’s Hidden Gems:</strong></p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/patio8/"><span class="s2">Patio Ocho</span></a></span> <span class="s3">-</span> Playa del Carmen - For Food and Music</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/Chamicos-Tulum-1526447341019132/?fref=ts"> <span class="s2">Chamicos</span></a></span><span class= "s4">-</span> Tulum - For Hermit Crab Hunting</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/riviera-maya-beaches/sian-kaan/"> <span class="s2">Sian Ka'an</span></a></span> <span class= "s4">-</span> To See the Stars</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/TaqueriaEufemia/"><span class= "s2">Taqueria La Eufemia</span></a></span> - Tulum - The Best Tacos on the Coast</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/pages/Antojitos-la-Chiapaneca-Tulum/262599727128499"> <span class="s2">Antojitos La Chiapaneca</span></a></span> - Tulum - Authentic Street Food</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/"><em>Loco Gringo</em></a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/podcasts/"><em>Loco Gringo</em> Podcasts</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on <span class="s6"><em>Facebook</em></span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s7">Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com"><span class= "s5">Askkay@locogringo.com</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "https://twitter.com/locogringocom">@locogringocom on <span class= "s6"><em>Twitter</em></span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico">@locogringo_mexico on <span class="s6"><em>Instagram</em></span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s7">Email Marianne:</span> <a href= "mailto:Reservations@locogringo.com"><span class= "s5">Reservations@<em>locogringo.com</em></span></a></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/mariannevolkmer">Marianne Volkmer on <span class="s6"><em>Facebook</em></span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "https://www.instagram.com/mariannevolkmer/">Marianne Volkmer on <span class="s6"><em>Instagram</em></span></a></span></p> <p>Call Marianne 1-800-478-0081</p>
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036: Gayle Collins — Empowering Kids Through KKIS (Keeping Kids In School)
<p class="p1">A few years back, the team at Loco Gringo published an article about the various community projects active in the Riviera Maya. A subscriber to the newsletters read the article and then created a corporate initiative to help fund a much-needed maintenance project at a local school. The organizer, Gayle Collins, lives in Playa del Carmen, and loves it.</p> <p class="p1">Gayle was a Minnesota High School teacher for 36 years. Upon retiring, Gayle knew she didn’t want to face another cold, Minnesota winter. So, she started taking trips south, to find a warm climate that suited her. She searched the southern U.S., and even went as far as Hawaii, but couldn’t find the perfect place — until she visited Playa del Carmen. She found herself fascinated by the area. She has since received permanent residency, so she can live in the Riviera Maya full time. </p> <p class="p1">Gayle was immediately welcomed by expats in the area, and together they explored much of the Yucatan Peninsula. While exploring, Gayle noticed a lot of school-aged children who were not in school. She enlisted the expat group, Christmas Dreams, to help raise funds and collect school supplies for local children who may not have had the economic means to make it to school. The group ended up supplying the entire school with enough crayons, notebooks, pens, and paper to empower every child with the tools they needed to succeed.</p> <p class="p1">Her current project, KKIS (Keeping Kids in School), is in its sixth year, and has been listed as a non-profit in Mexico and in the U.S. The project focuses on kids who are already enrolled in school, and is designed to keep them in school. If the children stay in school, they can receive a scholarship to help with their high school expenses.</p> <p class="p1">Gayle is also serving the Playa del Carmen community, as a member of the Rotary Club. When she is not donating her time and resources, Gayle enjoys walking, reading, and quilting.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Gayle’s Secret Spots:</strong></p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "http://www.el-hongo.com/info.html"><span class="s2">El Hongo</span></a></span> <span class="s3">-</span> The Owners Feed Kids Who Have Nothing to Eat</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/Lajam-Tacos-Arabes-Playa-del-Carmen-360977014070107/"> <span class="s2">Lajam Tacos Arabes</span></a></span><span class= "s4">-</span> Lebanese Tacos in Playa del Carmen</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/riviera-maya-beaches/paamul/"> <span class="s2">Paamul</span></a></span> <span class="s4">-</span> A Quiet Community with Wonderful Snorkeling, Diving and a Great Restaurant</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/"><em>Loco Gringo</em></a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/podcasts/"><em>Loco Gringo</em> Podcasts</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on <span class="s6"><em>Facebook</em></span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s7">Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com"><span class= "s5">askkay@<em>locogringo.com</em></span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "https://twitter.com/locogringocom">@locogringocom on <span class= "s6"><em>Twitter</em></span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "https://instagram.com/locogringo_mexico">@locogringocom on <span class="s6"><em>Instagram</em></span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href="http://kkisproject.org/"><em>KKIS Project</em></a></span></p> <p><span class="s5"><a href= "http://kkisproject.org/donate/"><em>KKIS Project</em> <span class= "s6">Make A Donation</span></a></span></p>
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035: Norma Pancorbo on Mahahual - A Little Town with a Lot to Offer
<p class="p1">Norma Pancorbo is a dive instructor at the Mahahual Dive Center, who is originally from the North of Spain. She had never been to Mexico before the job of dive instructor was offered to her. But, after researching Costa Maya on the internet, she knew fate was leading her in the right direction. When Norma learned she could dive and work in paradise, she moved from a sizable city in Spain, to the small, isolated town of Mahahual.</p> <p class="p1">“The diving is amazing,” she says. “The variety of reef and coral, in a place with so few people, is like no other diving spot in the world.”</p> <p class="p1">Mahahual may be small, but it has basic services, good restaurants, and great diving. Banco Chinchorro is only a short boat ride from the Mahahual coast, and is comprised of a reef about the same size as Cozumel. Norma has been diving all over the world, and says she has never experienced the beauty and solitude of Banco Chinchorro.<span class= "Apple-converted-space"> </span> The area also has a 16th-century shipwreck, where divers get a glimpse of 40 sea-encrusted brass cannons on the bow of the sunken ship.</p> <p class="p1">When Norma isn’t underwater, she spends her time mountain biking through the jungle. She loves taking biking groups to see ruins, and having lunch with the Mayan families of the <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/chaccohoben-ruins/"> <span class="s1">Chacchoben Ruins</span></a>. She also loves the <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/palenque-ruins"> <span class="s1">Palenque Ruins</span></a> and <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/costa-maya/bacalar/"> <span class="s1">Laguna Bacalar</span></a>, which is known for its seven hues of freshwater blue.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Norma’s Secret Spots:</strong></p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "http://www.nacionalbeachclub.com/"><span class="s3">Nacional Beach Club</span></a></span> <span class="s4">-</span> <span class= "s5">For a</span> <span class="s4"><a href= "http://www.rsvlts.com/2012/02/22/tamarindo-margarita-how-to-make-the-worlds-greatest-margarita/"> <span class="s1">Tamarindo Margarita</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s6">● <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/cafecolonialsacramento/"><span class= "s3">Cafe Colonial</span></a></span> <span class="s4">-</span> For a Traditional Mexican Breakfast of Chilaquiles</p> <p><span class="s6">● <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/Pizza-Papi-Mahahual-189556474427770/"><span class="s3"> Pizza Papi</span></a></span> <span class="s4">-</span> For an Excellent Pizza with a Local Flair</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p><span class="s7"><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p><span class="s7"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/podcasts/">Loco Gringo Podcasts</a></span></p> <p><span class="s7"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5">Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com"><span class= "s7">askkay@locogringo.com</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s7"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/ebooks-mexico-vacation">Loco Gringo Mexico Vacation Free E-books</a></span></p> <p><span class="s7"><a href= "https://www.amazon.com/Valladolid-City-Travel-Guide-Adventures-ebook/dp/B01FRKLMCC"> Loco Gringo Valladolid E-books Available on Amazon</a></span></p> <p><span class="s7"><a href= "http://www.mahahualdivecentre.com/">Mahahual Dive Centre</a></span></p> <p><span class="s7"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/Mahahual-Dive-Centre-201601303217634/">Mahahual Dive Center on Facebook</a></span></p>
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034: Lia Evans — An Island Girl, Cavern Diver and Foodie, Who Is In Love with Tulum
<p class="p1">My guest on today’s podcast, Lia Evans, has a passport full of stamps, is a self-proclaimed foodie and loves her new home of Tulum.</p> <p class="p1">Lia and her husband managed a diving resort in Belize, shortly before arriving in the Riviera Maya in 2015. They found Belize to be expensive, so they decided to travel around a bit. Playa del Carmen wasn’t exactly what they were looking for, so they made their way to Tulum. Lia says, “It immediately felt like home.” So, they rented a cheap room in the center of town, and found a dive shop that needed an experienced diver.</p> <p class="p1">Lia’s big plan is to have her own company one day, but she realizes there is a lot of competition in the area. Many of her previous diving students are contacting her, now that she lives in the Riviera Maya -- or what she calls one of the most amazing places to cavern dive, in the world. The cenotes are so big, her clients don’t need to be certified cavern divers to enjoy them.</p> <p class="p1">During her free time, Lia takes long walks through the jungle and into the Sian Ka’an reserve. She enjoys watching monkeys in the trees, large bird migrations, and the colorful parrots.</p> <p class="p1">She and her husband make the most of the dining scene in Tulum, by finding restaurants that specialize in the foods they love to eat. Her husband believes that great service is just as important as great food, making all of the secret spots she shares, must-visits.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Lia’s Secret Spots:</strong></p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "http://www.dosojoslodge.com/"><span class="s2">Dos Ojos Lodge</span></a></span> <span class="s3"><strong>-</strong></span> For Amazing Cenote Diving</p> <p><span class="s4">● <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/TaqueriaEufemia/"><span class="s5">La Eufemia Taqueria</span></a></span> - For Really, Really Good Tacos</p> <p><span class="s4">● <a href= "http://www.lasiestatulum.com/"><span class="s5">La Siesta Tulum</span></a></span> - Italian Food with Great Service and Delivery</p> <p><span class="s4">● <a href= "http://www.azafrantulum.com"><span class= "s5">Azafran</span></a></span> - For a Proper English Breakfast</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p><span class="s6"><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p><span class="s6"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/podcasts/">Loco Gringo Podcasts</a></span></p> <p><span class="s6"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s3">Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com"><span class= "s6">askkay@locogringo.com</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s6"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/ebooks-mexico-vacation">Loco Gringo Mexico Vacation Free E-books</a></span></p> <p><span class="s6"><a href= "https://www.amazon.com/Valladolid-City-Travel-Guide-Adventures-ebook/dp/B01FRKLMCC"> Loco Gringo Valladolid E-books Available on Amazon</a></span></p>
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033: Laura and Perry McFarlin — Discovering the Yucatan with Friends
<p class="p1">My longtime friends, Laura and Perry, are calling in from Iowa to join me as my guests on today’s podcast. They are the couple responsible for Cancun Map and MapChick maps, and travel guides of the Yucatan Peninsula.</p> <p class="p1">Perry shares the amusing story of how a waiter friend had won an obstacle course contest for a free trip to a little-known place called Cancun, Mexico. When he returned from the trip he told Laura and Perry, they must visit. This was in the 80’s when hotels were so far apart it was a 2-3 minute plane ride between them. The couple loved the area so much they would visit over and over even though they didn’t have it in their budget. They would sleep on the beach in a tent, and buy a loaf of bread with some butter, and rough it for a couple of weeks. </p> <p class="p1">They knew they had to share the information they were collecting with others. This is when they started their map projects. In the early days, they would pay someone to show them local swimming spots, local life events, and remnants of the ancient people. Perry also used a bicycle equipped with a compass and an odometer and pinpointed every last turn through small towns. And, all with little to no Spanish. </p> <p class="p1">The couple muses about writing a book about their experiences over the last 20 years but with the annual updates to their seven sets of maps, they may not find the time.</p> <p class="p1">Be sure to catch the story of the night time fish dinner!</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Laura and Perry’s Secret Spots:</strong></p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/Chamicos-Tulum-1526447341019132/?fref=ts"> <span class="s2">Chamikos</span></a></span> - Always the Best Food</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/elgaleondelcaribe/?hc_ref=SEARCH&fref=nf"> <span class="s2">El Galeon del Caribe</span></a></span> <span class="s3">-</span> Fresh Fish Over Hot Coals</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s6">Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com"><span class= "s4">askkay@locogringo.com</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/ebooks-mexico-vacation">LocoGringo Mexico Vacation Free E-books</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.amazon.com/Valladolid-City-Travel-Guide-Adventures-ebook/dp/B01FRKLMCC"> Loco Gringo Valladolid E-books Available on Amazon</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "http://www.cancunmap.com/cancun-hotels.html">Cancun Map</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href="http://www.mapchick.com/">Map Chick</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "mailto:Laura@cancunmap.com">Laura@cancunmap.com</a></span></p>
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032: Yasmin Vera — Fun Fitness Vacations at the Beach
<p class="p1">My guest, Yasmin Vera, and I only recently met. We were both at the airport in Houston, Texas, waiting for our flight to Cancun. It turns out she has lived in Playa del Carmen for two years. She owns the luxury fitness based vacation company, Fun Fitness Globetrotters.</p> <p class="p1">Yasmin is a licensed attorney, and worked as an in-house security litigator for ten years. Why would an attorney from California found a fitness vacation company in the Riviera Maya? Yasmin says she has a couple of professional athletes in her family, and has always been interested in fitness. When she decided to make it her full-time career, she knew Mexico would be where it would start.</p> <p class="p1">Yasmin’s client signs up for the complete curriculum of fitness plus vacation fun. Classes include high-intensity cardio in the mornings, yoga and beach time. Her packages even include a staff masseuse, a physical therapist and electro muscle stimulation. Yasmin says her clients may sign up to tone a specific part of their body, but healing their bodies is the main focus.</p> <p class="p1">There is also a nutritional component to the vacation, and Yasmin says that is where Mexico really shines. Fish, fresh unprocessed foods and amazing flavors make it easy for clients to learn lifelong eating habits they can take back home with them.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Yasmin’s Secret Spots:</strong></p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/riviera-maya-beaches/playacar/"> <span class="s2">Playacar Beach</span></a></span> - Beautiful Clear Water</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "http://en.vivaplaya.net/viva/get-to-know-punta-esmeralda/"><span class="s2"> Playa Punta Esmeralda</span></a></span> - Cenote at the Beach</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "http://www.locogringodirectory.com/places/playa-del-carmen/restaurants/el-fogon-taqueria/"> <span class="s2">El Fogon</span></a></span> - Best Tacos Ever</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s6">Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com"><span class= "s4">askkay@locogringo.com</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/ebooks-mexico-vacation">LocoGringo Mexico Vacation Free E-books</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.amazon.com/Valladolid-City-Travel-Guide-Adventures-ebook/dp/B01FRKLMCC"> Loco Gringo Valladolid E-books Available on Amazon</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "http://www.funfitnessglobetrotters.com/">Fun Fitness Globetrotters</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/funfitnessglobe/">Fun Fitness Globetrotters on Facebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.instagram.com/funfitnessglobetrotters/">Fun Fitness Globetrotters on Instagram</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.yelp.com/biz/fun-fitness-globetrotters-playa-del-carmen"> Fun Fitness Globetrotters on Yelp</a></span></p>
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031: Gerardo Dominguez — Get A Better Lifestyle for Less Money in the Riviera Maya
<p class="p1">Gerardo and I have been friends for well over a decade. Originally from Argentina near Patagonia, Gerardo arrived in the Riviera Maya to work in the hotel business. The job offer he received was to work at a large hotel in Playa del Carmen. Gerardo says working for big corporations didn’t suit him because he didn’t feel he was able to express himself fully. Then, he met the owners of the local Lol-Ha restaurant. They asked him to join them in changing the face of their establishment. He was finally able to express himself creatively and he loved the town of Akumal. After a walk to the Caribbean on his very first day in town, he called his family in Argentina and told them to sell all of his belongings because he wouldn’t be returning.</p> <p class="p1">Gerardo knew he wanted to become part of the real estate market in Mexico. He became a Mexican citizen and learned everything he could about the area. He says, the real estate environment in the Riviera Maya has very mature markets to the North in Cancun and developing markets near Tulum. Tulum is a wonderful place to invest because the atmosphere is laid back and relaxed. You can have a better lifestyle for less money. </p> <p class="p1">Gerardo’s favorite places in Mexico, in addition to the Riviera Maya, are Chiapas, Zacatecas and the bustling, Mexico City. He visits annually to visit the museums and great restaurants, all of which are easy to get to from the new larger airport and improved roads.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Gerardo’s Secret Spots:</strong></p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "http://www.laflorestabrea.com/"><span class="s2">La Floresta</span></a></span> — It’s a surprise for everyone who goes there</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/Das-Brot-1375295549349912/info/?tab=overview"> <span class="s2">Dos Brot German Bakery</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/DAC-Playa-del-Carmen-481196885389732/?hc_ref=SEARCH&fref=nf"> <span class="s2">DAC</span></a></span> — Fresh Fruits and Vegetables</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "http://www.naotulum.com"><span class="s2">NAO</span></a></span> — Portuguese Cuisine with an International Flair</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "http://www.hotelakumalcaribe.com/en-us/dining/lol-ha-restaurants.htm"> <span class="s2">Lol-Ha</span></a></span> — Re-designed by Gerardo</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "http://www.hotelelpunto.com/"><span class="s2">La Azotea en El Punto Hotel</span></a></span> — Rooftop Views for Evening Drinks</p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q67phgHWcfg"><span class="s2">La Lunita</span></a></span> — A Quiet Dinner with a Great Wine Selection</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p><span class="s3"><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p><span class="s3"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/locogringomexico/">Loco Gringo on Facebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5">Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com"><span class= "s3">askkay@locogringo.com</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s3"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/ebooks-mexico-vacation">LocoGringo Mexico Vacation Free E-books</a></span></p> <p><span class="s3"><a href="http://www.buyplaya.com/">Buy Playa</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5">Email Gerardo: <a href= "mailto:Gerardo@Buyplaya.com"><span class= "s3">Gerardo@Buyplaya.com</span></a></span></p>
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030: Niki Allen — Finding Serenity in the Permit Capital of the World
<p class="p1">How did a baby photographer from Clarkston, Michigan end up running a hotel on a Caribbean island, just offshore from the Sian Ka’an protected biosphere in the Riviera Maya? My friend Niki Allen, the owner of Serenidad Shardon, tells us exactly how she did it.</p> <p class="p1">Punta Allen is a World Class destination for saltwater fishing and is sometimes called the Permit Capital of the World. Niki and others on the island created a fishing tournament to provide funding for the families and children who inhabit the area. Niki and her husband bought their property with the intention of having an eco-retreat for people who don’t want to be in the middle of Margaritaville while on vacation. Though her husband has since passed, Niki and her son are working together to keep the dream alive.</p> <p class="p1">Niki says the ecosystem is thriving in the area thanks to the education of the local guides and children. Even the area’s 48-year-old lobster cooperative has rules about which lobsters can be harvested, allowing the lobsters a rest and recuperation period. There is no diving in the nearby biosphere and there is no swimming with the abundant dolphin pods. These conservation techniques are what maintain the natural world pristine.</p> <p class="p1">Niki keeps her passion alive by investing her time in the island children’s lives. She shares information with guests and educates the local kids not to throw things on the ground. These kids are the future caretakers of the area and rather than being stuck in a phone or video game, they go outside and gain knowledge about the real world. Young people are also staying in the area and working in ecotourism.</p> <p class="p1">Niki says if travelers want to contribute when they visit Punta Allen, they can contribute monetarily or by donating school and art supplies.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Niki’s Favorite Places:</strong></p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "http://www.bacalar-miscasas.com/"><span class="s2">Bacalar - Mis Casas</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/locogringo-adventures-tulum-sian-ka%27an-punta-allen"> <span class="s2">Punta Allen</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s1">○</span> A Jungle Walk to the Black Lagoon</p> <p><span class="s1">○</span> Temple Ruins in the Surrounding Jungle</p> <p><span class="s1">○</span> The Ultra Blue Water of Blankisal</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5">Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com"><span class= "s4">askkay@locogringo.com</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/ebooks-mexico-vacation">LocoGringo Mexico Vacation Free E-books</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href="http://shardon.com/">Serenidad Shardon</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/niki.allen2">Niki Allen Facebook Page</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/Punta-Allen-Community-Information-174104405979490/"> Punta Allen Community Page</a></span></p>
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029: Ken Schmidt ‒ The Geek Who Does It All
<p class="p1">Today I am speaking with my friend Ken Schmidt, who is originally from Florida, where he started his own software company. His one software client in Mexico, Condo Hotels, told him he needed a career change and he was to be their new General Manager and CIO. Ken likes to wow people so he said he would give it a shot. He now lives in Playa del Carmen with his beautiful new wife and travels back and forth to the U.S. for business and vacations.</p> <p class="p1">Ken spends most of his days managing 5 upscale hotels, but has now added much more to his personal portfolio. He is a partner in the only 5-star restaurant in the Riviera Maya called Plank, produces aerial and ground videography for his own production company, is the owner of his own software company in the U.S, and provides content for his wife’s PR and Marketing firm. </p> <p class="p1">One of his favorite places in Mexico is Isla Pasion, a small island on the north side of Cozumel, where he and his wife were married. Ken says the next place he visits in Mexico will be Copper Canyon. </p> <p class="p1">A self-professed tequila guy, Ken has an affinity towards mezcal, which he calls the wine of tequilas.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Ken’s Favorite Places:</strong></p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/72-hours-isla-mujeres"><span class= "s2">Isla Mujeres</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/isla-mujeres-photo-of-the-day-birds-eye-view-from-punta-sur/"> <span class="s2">Punta Sur</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/Bio-Org%C3%A1nicos-Playa-del-Carmen-1496627560623160/"> <span class="s2">Bio-Orgánicos</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s1">● <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/Babes-Noodles-Bar-102775971879/"><span class="s2"> Babe's Noodles & Bar</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s4">● <a href="http://www.plank.mx/"><span class= "s5">Plank</span></a></span> (Ken’s restaurant)</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p><span class="s6"><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p><span class="s7">Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com"><span class= "s6">askkay@locogringo.com</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s6"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/ebooks-mexico-vacation">LocoGringo Mexico Vacation Free E-books</a></span></p> <p><span class="s6"><a href="http://www.kenmexproductions.com/">Ken Mex Productions</a></span></p> <p><span class="s6"><a href= "https://www.condohotelsplayadelcarmen.com/">Condo Hotels</a></span> — Receive 10% off your stay if you mention the Loco Gringo podcast!</p> <p><span class="s6"><a href= "https://www.automatedcontacts.com/">Automated Contact</a></span></p> <p><span class="s6"><a href= "https://www.besocialplayadelcarmen.mx/">Be Social Playa del Carmen</a></span></p>
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028: Angel Carrera ‒ Preserving Mayan Culture Through Sustainable Tourism
<p class="p1">Originally from Guadalajara, my guest Angel Carrera came to Playa del Carmen to work in his father’s accounting firm. His passion for the Mayan culture is evident in his side activities. He helps the Mayan communities to sell their art, develop tourism and even gives them financial advice.</p> <p class="p1">His community project, <a href= "http://ojosmayas.com/"><span class="s1">Ojos Mayas</span></a>, connects the tourism community of the northern part of Quintana Roo to the Mayan Zone. His culturally- rich tours of the Mayan Zone include visits to a traditional healer who uses plants as medicine, a trip to the house of the village elder to hear about Mayan traditions which have been passed down for generations, and a stopover to a place of agriculture where Melipona bees are kept. Tourists are able to get a history lesson in the Mayan culture from the Mayan people and then end the day in a refreshing lagoon.</p> <p class="p1">Angel stresses the importance of promoting the social and economic development within the villages. As the big resorts entice the Mayan youth to work along the coast, much of the tradition and culture is being lost in the Mayan Zone. These traditional tours can help bring social development to the villages, keeping them alive and flourishing.</p> <p class="p1">Angel says he loves the Riviera Maya but he frequently visits Chiapas where his wife’s family lives. When tourists ask him where to visit, he recommends the San Juan Chamula Church for a very different experience.<span class= "Apple-converted-space">   </span></p> <p class="p1"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Angel’s Favorite Spots:</strong></p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "http://www.vaqva.com.mx/"><span class="s3">Va q’ Va!</span></a></span> - Seafood Restaurant </p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "https://es-la.facebook.com/benditocafe1/"><span class="s3">Bendito Café</span></a></span> - Caf<span class="s5">é</span> from all over Mexico</p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/riviera-maya-beaches/xpu-ha/"> <span class="s3">Xpu Ha</span></a></span> - Quiet Beach</p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "http://www.caletatankah.com/"><span class="s3">Caleta Tankah</span></a></span> - Beautiful Beach</p> <p><span class="s2">●</span> Noh Bec Ruins - Incredible Ruins</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p><span class="s7"><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p><span class="s8">Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com"><span class= "s7">askkay@locogringo.com</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s7"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/ebooks-mexico-vacation">LocoGringo Mexico Vacation Free E-books</a></span></p> <p>For reservations to Ojos Mayas: <a href= "mailto:Concierge@locogringo.com"><span class= "s1">Concierge@locogringo.com</span></a></p> <p><span class="s7"><a href="http://ojosmayas.com/">Ojos Mayas</a></span></p> <p><span class="s7"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/ojosmayas/">Ojos Mayas on Facebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s7"><a href= "http://www.pictaram.com/user/ojosmayas/2293732569">@ojosmayas on Instagram</a></span></p>
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027: Kelley Morgan Gonzalez ‒ Cozumel’s Visionary Home Finder
<p class="p1">The area around Cozumel grabbed Kelly's heart during her first visit. Flying over the turquoise waters of the Caribbean left a significant imprint on her heart. She returned to the Riviera Maya to work for a summer and once she went diving in the area’s underwater playgrounds, she was hooked. </p> <p class="p1">Later when Hurricane Gilbert smashed into Cozumel, Kelley returned to San Antonio, Texas to finish her Psychology and Business Administration degree, even though she knew it wouldn’t be relevant to her life’s calling.<span class= "Apple-converted-space"> </span> Her passion now revolved around scuba diving. After returning to Cozumel, she became a divemaster and a scuba guide for tourist trips.<span class= "Apple-converted-space"> </span> She and her partner bought a boat, built a dream and had a baby.</p> <p class="p1">Currently, Kelley still scuba dives but a portion of her time also includes finding homes for visitors. She says most people make several visits a year and they want to feel like they have returned home when they arrive. She works with vacation rentals, property management and real estate.</p> <p class="p1">Since her arrival in Cozumel, the island has protected its waters by establishing a marine park. Kelley says this, along with the community of small dive shop members, has helped save the reef. Her dive company, <a href= "https://mantaraya.com"><span class="s1">Manta Raya Divers</span></a>, along with other dive companies work together to take care of Cozumel and the planet.</p> <p class="p1">To this day, Kelley’s favorite photograph is one of her and her daughter snorkeling with the gentle whale sharks on Isla Holbox.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Kelly’s Favorite Spots:</strong></p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "http://www.ventanasalmarcozumel.com/"><span class="s3">Las Ventanas al Mar</span></a></span> for Breathtaking View, Pampering and Food</p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "http://www.cozumelparks.com/eng/punta_sur.cfm"><span class= "s3">Punta Sur</span></a></span> on the South Side of Cozumel for Big Marine Life</p> <p><span class="s2">●</span> El Recoveco is a lesser known dive site on the North of Cozumel</p> <p><span class="s2">●</span> Shirena’s Reef (named after Kelley’s daughter) for sleeping nurse sharks</p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/pages/Caf%C3%A9-Del-Mar/922288554521059?fref=ts"> <span class="s3">Café Del Mar</span></a></span> for Ceviche and Atmosphere</p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/RolandiCozumel/"><span class= "s3">Rolandi’s</span></a></span> for Homemade Pasta, Garlic Bread and Sangria </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5">Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com"><span class= "s4">askkay@locogringo.com</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/ebooks-mexico-vacation">LocoGringo Mexico Vacation Free E-books</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href="https://mantaraya.com">Manta Raya Dive Shop</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href="http://casacozumel.net/">Casa Cozumel</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href="http://www.cozumelhomes.net/">Cozumel Homes</a></span></p>
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026: Ryan Ellnuer ‒ Building Caribbean Luxury
<p class="p1">Originally from Youngstown, Ohio, Ryan headed to the west coast to complete his graduate degree in architecture. He started working with a local sculptor in California, who does art installations, furniture designs and architecture. During Ryan’s initial interview, the sculptor asked him if he would move to Mexico. Ryan ended up in the city of Merida with a team of people. About a year and a half ago, Tulum called to him and Ryan transitioned from life in the city to life on the beach.</p> <p class="p1">After giving himself time to settle in, Ryan started working with local building contractors to get a feel for the area. He saw opportunity in Tulum, which lead him to start his own design and building firm, <a href= "http://www.caribbeanluxurybuilders.com/"><span class= "s1">Caribbean Luxury Builders</span></a>. An aspect he loves about building design in Mexico, is the intricate tile work he has seen in many of the colonial houses. This inspired him to design the concept for the tiles on a computer, then have local craftsmen make the tiles by hand.</p> <p class="p1">Ryan says his business is picking up but its slow, going nature aspect is like everything else in Tulum - you just have to give up planning and go with the flow. You have to network―you just can’t wait for customers to come to you. But in Tulum, it’s easy to get conversations started.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Ryan’s Secret Places:</strong></p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g150813-d650216-r263485033-Uno_Astro_Lodge-Tulum_Yucatan_Peninsula.html"> <span class="s3">Uno Astro Lodge</span></a></span> for Magical Sunsets</p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "http://tulumartclub.com/"><span class="s3">Tulum Art Club</span></a></span> for Coffee and Mexican Art</p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "http://www.papayaplayaproject.com/"><span class="s3">Papaya Playa</span></a></span> for Electronic Music</p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/todosantostulum/"><span class="s3">Todos Santos</span></a></span> for a Good Party</p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "http://www.damajuanatulum.com/"><span class="s3">La Dama Juana</span></a></span> for Mezcla </p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/casajaguartulum/"><span class="s3">Casa Jaguar Tulum</span></a></span><span class= "Apple-converted-space"> </span> to Party ‘Til You Drop</p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/EdenTulum/"><span class="s3">Eden Tulum</span></a></span> for Artsy Entertainment</p> <p><span class="s2">● <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/zinentulum/"><span class= "s3">ZINE</span></a></span> for Dinner and a Movie</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5">Email Kay: <a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com"><span class= "s4">askkay@locogringo.com</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/ebooks-mexico-vacation">LocoGringo Mexico Vacation Free E-books</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "http://www.caribbeanluxurybuilders.com/">Caribbean Luxury Builders</a></span></p> <p><span class="s5">Email Ryan: <a href= "mailto:Ryan@caribbeanluxurybuilders.com"><span class= "s4">Ryan@caribbeanluxurybuilders.com</span></a></span></p> <p><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/caribbeanluxurybuilders/">Caribbean Luxury Builders on Facebook</a></span></p>
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025: Sandra Dayton - Merging Cultures: Mayan Community Tourism
<p class="p1">My guest today, Sandra Dayton, is a huge supporter of the local Mayan community here in the Riviera Maya, specifically Puerto Morelos. She is an icon who embodies a true pioneer spirit. Sandra became enchanted with Mexico when she was only 7. Her family would take her from Texas to Mexico for shopping trips. Her silky blonde hair got her a lot of attention from the local women who said it reminded them of corn silk. She says the women would give her free ice cream and the mariachis would sing songs about the little market princess. She knew then she would one day live in Mexico.</p> <p class="p1">She fell in love with the community of Puerto Morelos and it was there she founded her first business Jungle Tours in the Jungle. A local Mayan family had some land with a cenote in the area so Sandra bought roughly 2.5 acres to build a community tour center there. Sandra’s dream to bring local community tourism to the area became a reality. The success of the project has spawned a weekly Jungle Market complete with a peace ceremony. </p> <p class="p1">In 2008, Sandra was looking for an additional way for the local women to make money. She learned massages had been part of the Mayan culture for ages so she started the Jungle Spa. The women receive 75% of the cost of each massage they perform. At first, there was a bit of a cultural hurdle to jump when Sandra had to explain to the local women that tourists would take their clothes off and get a massage from a stranger because traditional Mayan massage was performed only as a healing exercise. The Jungle Spa is now frequently visited by tourists during the hours of 10 am to 4 pm, Tuesday through Saturday.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Sandra’s Special Spots:</strong></p> <p>1.) <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/yal-kul-lagoon-ins-outs-akumal-snorkel-adventure"> <span class="s1">Yal Ku Lagoon in Akumal</span></a> <span class= "s2"> </span></p> <p>2.) <a href="http://seesanmiguel.com/"><span class="s1">Shopping in San Miguel</span></a></p> <p>3.) <a href= "http://cancun.travel/en/things-to-do/puerto-morelos/cenotes/"><span class="s1"> Central Vallarta on Cenote Road</span></a><span class= "s2"> </span></p> <p>4.) <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/coba-ruins/"> <span class="s1">Cobá Cenote and Ruins</span></a></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p><span class="s1"><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p><span class="s4">Email Kay</span> - <a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com"><span class= "s1">askkay@locogringo.com</span></a></p> <p><span class="s1"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/ebooks-mexico-vacation">LocoGringo Mexico Vacation Free E-books</a></span></p> <p><span class="s1"><a href="http://www.mayaecho.com/">Maya Echo</a></span></p> <p><span class="s1"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/public/Maya-Echo">Maya Echo on Facebook</a></span></p> <p>Email Sandra <span class="s6">- <a href= "mailto:starseed@prodigy.net.mx"><span class= "s7">starseed@prodigy.net.mx</span></a></span></p>
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024: Margo Guenther - Her Feel Good Way
<p class="p1">Originally from a failing tourist town in Washington State, an offhand comment prompted a friend to tell Margo about a management opportunity in Xamach Dos in the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve. In just four days after speaking with the owner of the property, she arrived ready to work. She had no electricity and had to take a 2-hour drive just for groceries, and this was in 2006.</p> <p class="p1">Margo finds the small town of Punta Allen inspiring due to the multi-generational Mayan families and eccentric expats who visit in the winter months. She says it has six really good restaurants, and the <a href="http://shardon.com/"><span class= "s1">Serenidad Shardon</span></a> hotel is nice, especially for sports fishermen who want to pick up a Grand Slam of tarpon, permits and bonefish. During the boat ride to Punta Allen, many of the 350 species of birds of the area can be seen as well.</p> <p class="p1">Margo found herself spending a lot of time on travel blogs, including Loco Gringo, during the day and hanging out listening to local music at night. People started to fall in love with her life and wanted to know more about it. After a forum reader asked her about being a masseuse, she ended up with eight massage appointments within two hours.</p> <p class="p1">Margo’s passion is something she calls <a href= "http://myfeelgoodway.com"><span class="s1">My Feel Good Way</span></a>. A fun and easy way for massage clients to lower chronic pain and stress. She is currently working on a book, online classes, and she also has personal retreats. </p> <p class="p3"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Margo’s Special Secret Places:</strong></p> <p><span class="s2">1.) <a href= "http://www.zamas.com/"><span class="s3">Zamas</span></a></span> for Live Music</p> <p><span class="s4">2.) <a href= "http://cenzontletulum.com/"><span class="s5">Cenzontle Jardin Secreto</span></a></span> <span class="s6">for Great Food</span></p> <p><span class="s2">3.) <a href= "http://www.titatulum.com/"><span class="s3">Tita Tulum</span></a></span> for a History in Local Architecture</p> <p><span class="s2">4.) <a href= "http://www.dosceibas.com/"><span class="s3">Dos Ciebas</span></a></span> for Romantic Dinners</p> <p><span class="s2">5.) <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/bateytulum/"><span class= "s3">Batey</span></a></span> for Mojitos</p> <p><span class="s4">6.) <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/pages/Campanella-Cremerie/1537567426534927"> <span class="s5">Campanella Cremerie</span></a></span> <span class= "s6">for Gelato</span></p> <p><span class="s2">7.) <a href= "http://unicotulum.com/"><span class="s3">Único</span></a></span> and <a href="http://www.gingertulum.com/"><span class= "s7">Ginger</span></a> are great Gourmet Food Restaurants</p> <p><span class="s2">8.) <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/pages/Antojitos-la-Chiapaneca-Tulum/262599727128499"> <span class="s3">Antojitos La Chiapaneca</span></a></span> for Tacos and Great Prices</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p><span class="s8"><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p><span class="s8"><a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com">askkay@locogringo.com</a></span></p> <p><span class="s8"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/ebooks-mexico-vacation">LocoGringo Mexico Vacation Free E-books</a></span></p> <p><span class="s8"><a href="http://myfeelgoodway.com">My Feel Good Way</a></span></p> <p><span class="s8"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/TheFeelGoodWay/">My Feel Good Way on Facebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s8"><a href= "mailto:margoinmexico@hotmail.com">Margoinmexico@hotmail.com</a></span></p>
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023: Claudia Hurtado Valenzuela - Gracias Playa del Carmen
<p class="p1">Originally from Mexico City, Claudia came to the Riviera Maya in 2000 when she was hired by the tourism board to create a hardcover publication called <em>Destination Riviera Maya</em> for hotels. At that time, the Riviera Maya was known as Playa del Carmen, or just Cancun South.</p> <p class="p1">When Claudia’s father passed away she decided to turn her life upside down and start doing what she loved, so she could have more time with her son. She started freelancing for travel writers as a scout and eventually found herself translating for visiting doctors. She then went to the Red Cross to study to become an EMT. It was during the relief efforts after Hurricane Dean that Kay and Claudia met. Today, she spends her days in promoting tourism in the area and translating for doctors. She has even bartered with doctors to get access to behavior modification medical techniques. </p> <p class="p1">Claudia plans to offer these techniques to spas and retreats in the area for tourists who want to truly relax, and for locals who want to modify their behaviors. She believes the Riviera Maya is a healing paradise which has no equal.</p> <p class="p1"><strong>Claudia’s Special Places in Playa del Carmen:</strong></p> <ol class="ol1"> <li class="li1"><span class="s1"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/pages/El-Jard%C3%ADn/643097442501419?fref=ts"> <span class="s2">El Pirata</span></a></span> for Fresh Ceviche </li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/utilpasta/"><span class= "s2">PapaCharly</span></a></span> for Homemade Pasta </li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1"><a href= "http://www.don-chendo.com/"><span class="s2">Don Chendo</span></a></span> for Deep Dish Pizza</li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/Tarraya-299794020091168/"><span class= "s2">La Tarraya</span></a></span> for Great Prices on the Beach</li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/Zenzi-Playa-del-Carmen-67686783816/"><span class="s2"> Zenzi Bar</span></a></span> for a Tuna Burger</li> </ol> <p><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <ol class="ol1"> <li class="li5"><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></li> <li class="li5"><span class="s4"><a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com">askkay@locogringo.com</a></span></li> <li class="li6"><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/ebooks-mexico-vacation">LocoGringo Mexico Vacation Free E-books</a></span></li> <li class="li6"><span class="s4"><a href= "http://braintaptechnology.com/">Brain Tap Technologies</a></span><span class="s6"><span class= "Apple-converted-space">   </span></span></li> <li class="li6"><span class="s4"><a href= "http://graciasplaya.blogspot.com/">GRACIAS PLAYA</a></span></li> </ol>
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022: Arielle Thomas Newman - Yoga by the Sea in Playa del Carmen
<p class="p1">Arielle Thomas Newman moved to Playa del Carmen from Kansas City, Missouri, in 2001. She and her husband knew they wanted to live in a beautiful beach environment, but didn’t want to be more than 2 hours from the US. The Riviera Maya in Mexico was the perfect location.</p> <p class="p1">Arielle is a yoga teacher, a writer and a choreographer. A perfect sequence of events gave her the opportunity to cover yoga classes at a local gym, write healthy living articles for the local paper and then choreograph the Jesus Christ Superstar musical, making her life in Playa complete. She has now been teaching yoga (Hatha) longer than anyone else in the area and she trains other instructors who have their own studios.</p> <p class="p1">Her passion to continue living in the Riviera Maya is fueled by her love of what she does, the modern conveniences which are now available and her ability to meet people from all over the world. She says the area is healing, rejuvenating and healthy for those calling this area home and for the visitors who come to attend her yoga retreats.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Arielle’s Secret Spots</strong></p> <ol class="ol1"> <li class="li1"><span class="s1"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/pages/El-Jard%C3%ADn/643097442501419?fref=ts"> <span class="s2">El Jardin Restaurante</span></a></span> in Playa del Carmen - Friday night cabarets</li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1"><a href= "http://www.thompsonhotels.com/thompson-playa-del-carmen-beach-house"> <span class="s2">Thompson Beach Club</span></a></span> in Playa del Carmen - Weekend brunch</li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1"><a href= "http://www.liveaqua.com/web/lat20-by-live-aqua-playa-del-carmen-all-inclusive-adults-only"> <span class="s2">Latitude 20 by Live Aqua</span></a></span> in Playa del Carmen - Beautiful setting</li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1"><a href= "http://www.cafe-antoinette.com/"><span class="s2">Cafe Antoinette</span></a></span> near the Cozumel Ferry Dock - People watching</li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/Das-Brot-1375295549349912/info/"><span class="s2"> Das Brot</span></a></span> in Playa del Carmen - German Pastries</li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/RolandiCozumel/"><span class= "s2">Rolandi’s</span></a></span> in Cozumel - Fresh fish</li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1"><a href= "http://www.laparrilla.com/"><span class="s2">La Parrilla</span></a></span> in Playa del Carmen - Great prices</li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/riviera-maya/soliman-bay/"> <span class="s2">Soliman Bay</span></a></span> - Sit under a palm tree and relax</li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/valladolid-ebook"><span class= "s2">Valladolid</span></a></span> - Yoga retreat</li> </ol> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p4"><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p class="p5"><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p class="p5"><span class="s4"><a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com">askkay@locogringo.com</a></span></p> <p class="p6"><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/ebooks-mexico-vacation">LocoGringo Mexico Vacation Free E-books</a></span></p> <p class="p6"><span class="s4"><a href= "http://www.morethanyoga.com/">More than Yoga</a></span></p> <p class="p6"><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/Yoga-By-The-Sea-205014590218/">Yoga by the Sea on Facebook</a></span></p> <p class="p6"><span class="s4"><a href= "http://www.alhambrahotel.com/">Alhambra Hotel</a></span></p> <p class="p6"><span class="s4"><a href= "http://www.sohoplayahotel.com/">Soho Playa Hotel</a></span> <span class="s7"> </span></p>
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021: Kendall Inman - Not Afraid to Go It Alone
<p class="p1">Today, it is my pleasure to speak with Kendall Inman. Originally from California, she currently lives in Playa del Carmen and in Dallas, Texas. While living in California, she frequently took trips to Mexico with her Grandmother to get lobster tacos along the water.</p> <p class="p1">She discovered the Riviera Maya when a friend told her about Akumal, in 1998. She says it was so magical she knew she wanted to build a house and a life there. And even though she was nursing a new baby, if<span class= "Apple-converted-space"> </span> there was a problem with the building process, she would grab her Spanish/English dictionary, get up on the roof and teach the workers how to build whatever they needed help with.</p> <p class="p1">Kendall turned to yoga to mentally deal with an unplanned divorce, and she sold the house she had built. She knew she didn’t want to leave the area so she bought a condo in Playa del Carmen. She now brings groups to Mexico and hosts yoga retreats, which she says keep her steady and peaceful.</p> <p class="p1">Kendall has been all over the world and enjoyed many different coastlines, but none she says are as beautiful as the Riviera Maya. She says “here you can be in the heart of everything, yet still get off the beaten path.” She loves Mexican culture and the non-GMO/fresh tasting food, and is planning to start a business making fresh chutneys for the local markets. </p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Kendall’s Secret Spots</strong></p> <ol class="ol1"> <li class="li1"><span class="s1"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/akumal-restaurant-review-la-cueva-del-pescador"> <span class="s2">La Cueva del Pescador</span></a></span> in Akumal - Where the cocktails are real.</li> <li class="li1">Mexico City has great museums.</li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/riviera-maya/sian-kaan/"> <span class="s2">Sian Ka'an</span></a></span> through a secret entrance in Muyil.</li> <li class="li4"><span class="s1"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/Cenote-Jard%C3%ADn-del-Ed%C3%A9n-103475893412/"> <span class="s2">Jardin del Eden</span></a></span> <span class= "s4">cenote. </span></li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1"><a href= "http://www.lazebratulum.com/"><span class="s2">Le Zebra</span></a></span> in Tulum - For Salsa dancing on the beach. </li> </ol> <p class="p5"> </p> <p class="p6"><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p class="p7"><span class="s5"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p class="p7"><span class="s5"><a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com">askkay@locogringo.com</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s5"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/ebooks-mexico-vacation">LocoGringo Mexico Vacation Free E-books</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s5"><a href= "http://www.kendallinman.com/about/">Kendall Inman</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s5"><a href= "mailto:kendallainman@gmail.com">kendallainman@gmail.com</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s5"><a href= "http://www.thebrichotel.com/">BRIC Hotel</a></span><span class= "s8"> </span></p>
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020: Dave Randall - Fly Fishing, Scuba and Beer at Costa de Cocos
<p class="p1">Today it is my pleasure to speak with Dave Randall of Costa de Cocos Resort. Costa de Cocos is the only full service fly fishing and scuba diving resort in Xcalak, Quintana Roo. Dave, who is originally from Minnesota, has been in the Costa Maya area for 33 years.</p> <p class="p1">He started his journey before there was electricity in the area and still doesn’t have cell phone coverage at his home. He remembers using wind and propane generators to build his first few hotel rooms. Hotel rooms which may never have been built if heavy doses of rum had not been involved in a late night chat with friends. Dave has since built a resort like no other, including a restaurant and his own brewery and distillery of which there are only two in the entire state of Quintana Roo.</p> <p class="p1">Dave’s dream of building a business in the middle of the jungle has given him great pleasure and to this day his home along the second largest barrier reef in the world is his favorite place to be. His low-key, 12 boat operation produces Grand Slams for fly fishermen during the prime season of May, June and July and two-for-one specials during October through December. Dave says that even in the low season the area produces fish daily.</p> <p class="p1"><strong>Why Does He Do It?</strong></p> <p class="p1">After 33 years in business, Dave says one of the reasons he keeps going is his staff of 28 people. There are now generations of local families who have made their living from tourism and hospitality. In addition, there are the life-long friendships he has made along the way. He says there are travelers who visit annually and have been for years.</p> <p class="p1"><strong>Dave’s Secret Spots</strong></p> <ol class="ol1"> <li class="li1"><span class="s1"><a href= "http://www.encantado.com/"><span class="s2">Rancho Encantado</span></a></span> in Bacalar - for lunch</li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1"><a href= "http://www.tacoloco.mx/"><span class="s2">Taco Loco</span></a></span> in Chetumal - for blue crab meat tacos</li> <li class="li1">San Pedro - Belize - for American made hardware and tools</li> </ol> <p class="p4"><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p class="p5"><span class="s3"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p class="p5"><span class="s3"><a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com">askkay@locogringo.com</a></span></p> <p class="p6"><span class="s3"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/ebooks-mexico-vacation">LocoGringo Mexico Vacation Free E-books</a></span></p> <p class="p6"><span class="s3"><a href= "http://www.costadecocos.com/">Costa de Cocos</a></span></p> <p class="p6"><span class="s3"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/CostadeCocos/">Costa de Cocos on Facebook</a></span></p> <p class="p6"><span class="s3"><a href= "https://www.amazon.com/Fly-Fishing-Mexico-Taylor-Streit/dp/1892469049"> Fly Fishing Mexico Book</a></span></p>
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019: Paul Sanchez Navarro on How Visitors Can Leave Little to No Environmental Impact
<p class="p1">In today’s episode, I am talking with Paul Sanchez Navarro, a Mexican/American, Cultured, Southern boy who was raised in New Orleans and Texas and now lives in Turtle Town (aka Akumal) and has for the past 12 years.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>Why Did Paul Come to Akumal & What is He Working On?</strong></p> <p class="p1">Paul has worked in Mexico City and Switzerland on environmental policy with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). And, when The Ecological Center in Akumal (CEA) invited him to come and restructure the organization as the Director, he was intrigued because he was interested both in getting out of an office environment and because he loves the mix of the coastal eco-system here in the Riviera Maya. He says the mix of mangroves, wetlands, coral reefs, bays, and cenotes make the area naturally incredible.</p> <p class="p1">He now works for the Mexican Organization of Environmental Conservation (MOEC) on public policy and creating an educational framework to help citizens participate in the sustainability process.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>Is There A Passion for ‘Pride of Place’?</strong></p> <p class="p1">Paul says “yes and no”. The two local communities (Mexican and Expat) understand the value of the environment but are not sure what steps to take to conserve it. There is not a steady waste management infrastructure program in place from the government. However, it is inspiring to see a group of young people coming together who are interested in taking care of their community.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>What Can Visitors Do to Make Sure They Are Protecting the Environment?</strong></p> <p class="p1">The best thing visitors can do to help the environment in the Riviera Maya is to get involved in climate talks in their home country to help reduce the carbon footprint there. Visitors to the Riviera Maya can be conscious of how they are treating the water. For example, using biodegradable sunscreen is IMPORTANT! And, of course, using locally owned businesses.</p> <p class="p1">Treating animals with respect is another important point. Do not sit on turtles and do not take photos with wild animals on the street. Many of the animals on the street are obtained illegally and then are drugged to keep them docile all day and night. </p> <p class="p1"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>What Are the Rules of Fishing in Akumal?</strong></p> <p class="p1">A fishing license is required to fish and visitors should be 250 meters away from where people swim. Akumal has been decreed a “no fish zone”. There is no spear fishing with scuba diving. It’s important for visitors to research the country’s fishing rules before planning their trip. The best option for fishing is to use a guide and do some high seas fishing and practice catch and release.</p> <p class="p4"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>4 Things Travelers Can Do to Have Fun While Leaving a Minimal Environmental Impact When Visiting the Riviera Maya</strong></p> <ol class="ol1"> <li class="li6">Rent a kayak and tour Sian Ka’an </li> <li class="li6">Tour Coba on a bicycle</li> <li class="li6">Zip line in the jungle</li> <li class="li6">Swimming in the cenotes (using biodegradable sunscreen or a swim shirt)</li> </ol> <p class="p4"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p class="p7"><span class="s1"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p class="p7"><span class="s1"><a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com">askkay@locogringo.com</a></span></p> <p class="p7"><span class="s1"><a href= "http://www.omca.org.mx/">OMCA</a></span></p> <p class="p7"><span class="s1"><a href= "http://www.ceakumal.org/">CEA</a></span></p>
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018: Sol Tamargo – Adventures in the World of Del Sol Photography
<p class="p1">Today it is my pleasure to speak with the vibrant and beautiful Sol Tamargo. Sol is an artist with a camera and has a passion for nature and color. She also participates in our local Superwomen's Club, a group of women supporting each other in business and in life. Sol spent her younger years in Cancun then moved with her family to Guadalajara. When life got to be a dull gray, Sol decided to move back to the coast to bring some much needed-color into her life. She says moving to Playa del Carmen in the Riviera Maya, in 2001, made her feel like she was coming home.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>A Snapshot in Time</strong></p> <p class="p1">Sol’s uncle gave her a camera and she started to learn about photography. One night while sleeping, Sol had a dream that she was on the beach taking photos of brides. The next day when she awoke she knew she was going to be a photographer and she went after her dream with everything she could muster. She made a scrapbook with samples of her work and set forth hunting out someone to give her an opportunity. She started out shooting destination weddings for local hotels but due to her huge talent brides-to-be now seek her out.</p> <p class="p1">She has shot wedding related photography in Hong Kong and Thailand, in addition to the multiple beautiful locations in the Riviera Maya. When wedding photography starts to feel repetitive she turns to nature to spice things up. She goes underwater to shoot with sharks and manta rays. </p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Sol’s Favorite Places in Mexico</strong></p> <ol class="ol1"> <li class="li1">San Miguel - <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/elQuitaPenasSanMiguel/?fref=ts"><span class="s1"> El Quita Penas</span></a> (Forget Your Sorrows) - Bar offers a silky smooth singing, sombrero wearing, mustache sporting Mexican, who just happens to be the owner and will put on an amazing show for you.</li> <li class="li1"><span class="s2"><a href= "http://www.cabopulmopark.com/"><span class="s3">Cabo Pulmo National Park</span></a></span> on the Baja Peninsula - A marine park where visitors can see over 100,000 fish.</li> <li class="li1">Panaderia at 101 and 25<sup>th</sup> - Bakery with sweet potato filled pastries. </li> <li class="li1"><span class="s2"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/El-Gran-Taco-De-Playa-294093123959366/?fref=ts"> <span class="s3">El Gran Taco de Playa</span></a></span> - They have 200 different flavors of delicious, healthy food to stuff in your tacos.</li> <li class="li1"><span class="s2"><a href= "http://en.vivaplaya.net/viva/get-to-know-punta-esmeralda/"><span class="s3"> Playa Punta Esmeralda</span></a></span> - Sol’s favorite swimming place. It’s a cenote that mixes with the ocean to create a natural jacuzzi.</li> </ol> <p class="p3"> </p> <p class="p4"><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p class="p5"><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p class="p5"><span class="s4"><a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com">askkay@locogringo.com</a></span></p> <p class="p6"><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/ebooks-mexico-vacation">LocoGringo Mexico Vacation Free E-books</a></span></p> <p class="p6"><span class="s4"><a href= "http://delsolphotography.com/">Del Sol Photography</a></span></p> <p class="p6"><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.instagram.com/soltamargo/?hl=en">@soltamargo on Instagram</a></span></p> <p class="p6"><span class="s4"><a href= "https://twitter.com/soltamargo">@soltamargo on Twitter</a></span></p> <p class="p6"><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.periscope.tv/soltamargo/1YpKkpAMmPrGj">@DondeAndaSol on Periscope</a></span></p>
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017: Regina Puentes - Spiritual Wedding Ceremonies in the Riviera Maya
<p class="p1">Today it is my pleasure to interview a wonderful woman who has traveled all over the world and who now proudly calls Playa del Carmen in the Riviera Maya her home. Years ago, Regina Puentes and I met in a yoga class and have been friends ever since.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>A Passport Full of Stamps</strong></p> <p class="p1">Regina knew from a young age her life’s goal would be to travel the world. She first visited Europe and after living for several years in London she moved to the U.S., where she fell in love with the country. It was in San Francisco that she earned her license in Cosmetology.</p> <p class="p1">After applying for residency in the U.S., Immigration officials told her she must return to Mexico and await their decision. She didn’t know it at the time but fate had brought her back to Mexico for a reason. She says “looking back it was one of the best things which could have happened to me”. A friend’s recommendation led her to Playa del Carmen in the Riviera Maya.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>The Ego Boost</strong></p> <p class="p1">A friend asked Regina to help open the new Bahia Principe resort, in 1999, and then to run the hotel spa. She thoroughly enjoyed her job and eventually said yes to opening three additional spas, including one in the Dominican Republic. A few years later, the resort went through a change in management and Regina decided to go visit her mother in the U.S. It was there she was ordained as a non-denominational minister. </p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Performing Wedding Ceremonies in the Riviera Maya</strong></p> <p class="p1">Regina believes that when two people promise their love for one another it is the most wonderful time in their lives and she enjoys being a part of it. Her spiritual ceremonies are neither legal nor religious and she can perform vows in English, French, Italian and Spanish. Often, she does a renewal of vows for those who have already had a religious or legal marriage in another country. She says sometimes people want to come to the beautiful Riviera Maya to exchange vows with a sand ceremony or near the fascinating natural cenotes of the Yucatan.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Mexico or Cuba</strong></p> <p class="p1">Regina has visited Cuba enough times to be considered an expert on the country. Her Grandmother is Cuban and she fell in love with a Cuban man. She returned to Mexico because she believes that even if the Cuban government assures the people of a better future, things will continue to be the same for those living under the country’s 50-year-old regime.</p> <p class="p1">She prefers Mexico because of its rich culture and diverse population. She says she doesn’t like it when outsiders speak ill of her native country and hopes people will visit the Riviera Maya to see for themselves how safe the area is and how welcoming the people of the Caribbean side of Mexico can be.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Regina’s Favorite Places in Mexico</strong></p> <ol class="ol1"> <li class="li1">Mexico City - A safe city, where there is never a dull moment.</li> <li class="li1">Chiapas - A true gem.</li> <li class="li1">Cenotes - Nature’s magical swimming pools.</li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1"><a href= "http://www.turtlebaycafe.com/www.turtlebaycafe.com/Home.html"><span class="s2"> Turtle Bay</span></a></span> - A home-cooking restaurant in Akumal.</li> <li class="li3"><span class="s3"><a href= "http://www.anayjose.com/"><span class="s4">Ana Y Jos</span><span class="s5">é</span> <span class="s4">Charming Hotel and Spa</span></a></span> <span class="s6">- Tulum.</span></li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/CasaSofiaPlayadelCarmen/"><span class= "s2">Casa Sofia</span></a></span> - Playa del Carmen</li> </ol> <p class="p4"> </p> <p class="p5"><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p class="p6"><span class="s8"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p class="p6"><span class="s8"><a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com">askkay@locogringo.com</a></span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s8"><a href= "http://www.bahia-principe.com/en/resorts-in-riviera-maya/">Bahia Principe in the Riviera Maya</a></span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s8"><a href= "http://www.turtlebaycafe.com/www.turtlebaycafe.com/Home.html">Turtle Bay Cafe and Bakery</a></span></p> <p class="p7"><span class="s8"><a href= "http://www.anayjose.com/">Ana Y José</a></span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s8"><a href= "mailto:Reginainparadise@yahoo.com">Reginainparadise@yahoo.com</a></span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s8"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/CasaSofiaPlayadelCarmen/">Casa Sofia of Playa del Carmen on Facebook</a></span></p>
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016: Steve Gerrard - Cenotes of the Riviera Maya 2016
<p class="p1">Today we welcome a long time friend and fellow cave diver, Steve Gerrard. Steve was the first ever full-time cave diving instructor. He has been cave diving for over 30 years, has been the President of the National Association of Cave Diving (NACD) since 1979, has been featured in magazine articles and television programs and is the author of five books.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>The New Frontier</strong></p> <p class="p1">Steve started out cave diving in the deep caverns of Florida and eventually moved to the Riviera Maya where he could enjoy the underwater beauty of the area. The very first filming of cave diving in the world started at Little Dismal Sink in Tallahassee, Florida and finished in the basement of The Room of Tears in the Riviera Maya. It<span class= "Apple-converted-space"> </span> was filmed by Steve and his friend Parker. Steve is also partially responsible for my moving to the Riviera Maya. He met Gary cave diving and the two have been friends since the 1980’s.</p> <p class="p1">Back in the early 1990’s Steve called the Riviera Maya the new frontier. He is quick to point out that today it is a whole new world. Tiny fishing villages have turned into major tourists destinations and it’s impossible to count the number of dive shops in the area now.</p> <p class="p1">As Steve shares the story of how he ended up as a cave diving instructor in one of the most popular cave diving destinations in the world, he recalls his early days with great respect. He remembers when Highway #307 was only a jungle road with no shoulder and when Tulum was only 4 blocks long. Steve has seen the cenotes and the Riviera Maya’s amazing underwater landscapes in their purest days.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>What Can People Expect to Learn About in His Latest Books?</strong></p> <p class="p1">Steve says his new books <em>Cenotes of the Riviera Maya</em> <em>2016</em> and <em>If You Don’t Go You Won’t Know</em>, which is due out later this year, is for all people who want to visit the cenotes, not just cave divers. He writes about the history of the area and the history of the Mayan land owners. Steve created these books because people should be aware of the natural resources which are deteriorating and to educate visitors on how to appreciate the area responsibly.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Steve’s List of Beautiful Cenotes </strong></p> <ol class="ol1"> <li class="li4"><a href= "http://cenotesmexico.org/cenote-dos-ojos/"><span class="s1">Dos Ojos</span></a></li> <li class="li4"><a href="http://www.grancenote.com"><span class= "s1">Gran Cenote</span></a></li> <li class="li4"><a href= "https://prodivemex.com/dive-site/cenote-chac-mool/"><span class= "s1">Chac Mool</span></a></li> <li class="li4"><span class="s1"><a href= "http://chikinha.com.mx/">Xtaby</a></span></li> </ol> <p>Steve stresses the importance of preserving these naturally beautiful places.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p><span class="s1"><a href="https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p><span class="s1"><a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com">askkay@locogringo.com</a></span></p> <p><span class="s1"><a href= "https://www.amazon.com/Cenotes-Riviera-Maya-2016/dp/1682134016?ie=UTF8&"> Cenotes of the Riviera Maya 2016</a></span></p> <p><span class="s1"><a href= "http://cenotesoftherivieramaya.com/steve-gerrard-books.html">All of Steve Gerrard’s Books</a></span></p> <p><span class="s1"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/steve.gerrard2?fref=ts">Steve on:</a></span></p> <p><span class="s1"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/steve.gerrard2?fref=ts">Facebook</a></span></p> <p><span class="s1"><a href= "https://www.instagram.com/instarivieramaya/">Instagram</a></span></p> <p><span class="s1"><a href= "https://twitter.com/stevepenngerrar">Twitter</a></span></p> <p><span class="s1"><a href= "http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Gerrard/e/B001ILHKUI">Amazon</a></span></p>
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015: Marcia Bales - Owner of the Mayan Beach Garden Inn, Mahahual
<p class="p1">Today my guest is Marcia Bales of the Mayan Beach Garden, a boutique inn located south of the Riviera Maya in Costa Maya. It is approximately 4 ½ hours away from the airport. </p> <p class="p3"><strong>A New Way of Doing Things</strong></p> <p class="p1">Marcia used to work in the software industry in Seattle. She loved her job but she loved traveling more. She and her husband would travel to Mexico whenever the opportunity presented itself. They loved it so much they started planning their next vacation as soon as they would return to the US. Marcia says they preferred the ‘out of the way places’ and when they arrived in Mexico they would make sure to get away from Cancun as quickly as possible.</p> <p class="p1">They started having conversations about getting their own place. They both liked the idea of the quiet, tranquil destination of Mahahual. Her husband had a dream to build a hotel. He came down early and they officially opened the Mayan Beach Garden in 2002.<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span> Marcia recalls those days before the reality of Mexico hit. She says, “like most Americans I thought I would change the world and run my business like an American business”. What she really needed to do was relax and embrace all the beauty Mexico had to offer.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>What Activities are there in Mahahual and the Costa Maya?</strong></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s2"><strong>For Foodies</strong></span> - There are 42 modest restaurants in Mahahual, including the restaurant in the Mayan Beach Garden Inn. The traditional, Caribbean cuisine features dishes that can take all day to achieve the savory flavor. Marcia posts their menu online daily.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><span class="s2"><strong>For Diving and Snorkeling</strong></span> - There are amazing shore snorkels within walking distance of the Mayan Beach Garden and Mahahual the reef is still pristine with living corals. Local dive shops and boats can be arranged. </p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><span class="s2"><strong>For Fishing</strong></span> <span class="s3">-</span> The area is laden with lagoons full of tarpon and snook. Bonefishing is close by in Chetumal. Spearfishing near the border of Sian Ka'an is also available. Local guides can help visitors get their Grand Slam.<span class= "Apple-converted-space"> </span></p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><span class="s2"><strong>For Ruins and Museums</strong></span> - An Indiana Jones jungle type experience can be had at Kohunlich and the Dzibanche ruins, which is a huge and active archeological site. The Cultural Museum in Chetumal is a must see. </p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>Marcia’s 3 Secret Places</strong></p> <ul class="ul1"> <li class="li1">● The shipwreck and beach in Tumpalan</li> <li class="li1">● Rio Indio Fresh Catch Restaurant</li> <li class="li1">● Mayan Garden Beach Restaurant</li> </ul> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p class="p6"><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p class="p6"><span class="s4"><a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com">askkay@locogringo.com</a></span></p> <p class="p6"><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/costa-maya/mahahual/"> Learn More About Mahahual</a></span></p> <p class="p6"><span class="s4"><a href= "http://www.mayanbeachgarden.com/">Mayan Beach Garden Inn</a></span></p> <p class="p6"><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g499450-d616715-Reviews-Mayan_Beach_Garden-Mahahual_Costa_Maya_Yucatan_Peninsula.html"> Mayan Beach Garden - Tripadvisor</a></span></p>
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012: Passion for Protecting the Integrity of the Environment
<p class="p1">In today’s episode, I chat with the dynamic Heather Froeming of Tulum. Heather first visited Akumal in 1998 on a diving trip with a college friend from California. She had plans to explore the world, but after falling in love with the area she let her love of adventure and passion for the environment guide her - so she put down roots. </p> <p class="p1">Her first days were spent volunteering for Centro Ecologico Akumal (CEA), a non-profit organization which focuses on sea turtle protection and beach monitoring. She helped CEA to start their local recycling program through collection and education programs.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>A Less Plastik Lifestyle</strong></p> <p class="p1">Heather spends most of her days in and around the ocean. Over the years, she has seen the trash problem grow and grow.<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span> She feels it’s her duty to maintain the health and integrity of the environment. She doesn’t mind seeing Tulum evolve and develop, as long the efforts are sustainable and protection oriented.</p> <p class="p1">The lack of a recycling infrastructure and the on-again, off-again attempts at recycling programs led Heather to create No Mas Plastik. An organization which hopes to educate people about the problems of plastic and the contamination it causes. <span class="Apple-converted-space">   </span></p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>Go Fly A Kite (in an Extremely Controlled Manner)</strong></p> <p class="p1">Today, Heather works with the Extreme Control Kiteboarding School. After her boyfriend Marco obtained his kiteboarding instructor status he needed somebody to practice his teaching skills on, a task Heather readily accepted.</p> <p class="p1">Tulum is the perfect spot to open the Kiteboarding School even though the trade winds aren’t consistent. It has a spacious beach, warm water, and conditions which give a student a complete course by testing all of their skills. Plus, the surrounding area has ruins, cenotes, and reserves for the entire family to enjoy. </p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>Why the Riviera Maya?</strong></p> <p class="p1">Variety is indeed the spice of life, and for Heather it’s what keeps her here in the Riviera Maya. She says “You meet people from everywhere around the world here. You kind of travel just being here.”</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>Secret Gems Only the Locals Know</strong></p> <p class="p1">Even though Heather loves everywhere she visits in Mexico, she has a soft spot for long weekend trips down to Muyil and Bacalar. She also enjoys exploring the Northern Coast the Yucatan Peninsula, near El Cuyo, because of its great conditions for kiteboarding. When she wants some quiet time she is drawn to the less populated beaches of Sian Ka’an.</p> <p class="p1">For amazing cave diving, Heather appreciates the cenote El Jardin del Eden aka Ponderosa. When she is feeling adventurous she goes to a cenote near the Coba ruins which has a 30 foot tall tower you can jump off of into the water.</p> <p class="p5"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>3 Ways Travelers Can Minimize Their Impact While Visiting the Riviera Maya</strong></p> <ol class="ol1"> <li class="li7">1. Carry your own reusable bags. </li> <li class="li7">2. Ask for your drink without a straw or “sin popote”.</li> <li class="li7">3. Use biodegradable sunscreen or no sunscreen.</li> </ol> <p class="p5"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:</strong></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s1"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/">Loco Gringo</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s1"><a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com">askkay@locogringo.com</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s1"><a href= "http://www.ceakumal.org/">CEA - Centro Ecologico Akumal</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s1"><a href= "http://www.tulumaccommodations.com/en/green-tulum/no-mas-plastik-no-straw"> No Mas Plastik</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s1"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/nomasplastik2015/">No Mas Plastik on Facebook</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s1"><a href= "http://www.extremecontrol.net/">Extreme Control Kiteboarding School</a></span></p>
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011: Jungle John of the Mundo Maya Brewing Company
<p class="p1"><strong>How did a Canadian end up in the Riviera Maya and start brewing beer?</strong></p> <p class="p1">This week I’m happy to interview local business owner, Jungle John of the Mundo Maya Brewing Company. John moved to Playa del Carmen in 1994. Having run a few small startups he eventually decided to move on. But in time, John combined his long-time hobby, the lack of good craft beer in the region, and the now craft brew craze sweeping North America to fuel his return to Playa del Carmen.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Of all the places in Mexico, why did John choose to start brewing beer in Playa del Carmen?</strong></p> <p class="p1">There are a number of markets in Mexico that would be receptive to craft beer. However, the great beaches, amazing weather, and the development of Playa del Carmen made returning to open his microbrewery an easy decision. As one of the pioneering Gringos of the area, John has seen a growth in not only expats and international residents, but an influx of Mexican nationals who appreciate the cultural diversity. This makes for a perfect small market for craft beer.</p> <p class="p1">With now a steady customer base, and expanding locations offering his beers, John went from brewing his first batch in 2012 (the year of the Mayan prophecy), to forming an association of local brewers.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>How easy is it to procure the equipment required to start a microbrewery in Mexico?</strong></p> <p class="p1">When John got his start, there were few resources available to set up a microbrewery. Though there are now companies in Northern Mexico that sell the equipment, ordering and shipping parts is still very much an arduous process. John skirted all of these obstacles when he took it upon himself to drive from Toronto to North Carolina to procure the parts required to get started. Having then assembled his equipment in Canada, he drove everything to Miami for shipment to its final destination of Puerto Morales, Mexico.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>What are the varieties of beer that Mundo Maya is currently brewing?</strong></p> <p class="p1">John is now brewing four styles of beer; Vienna Lager, a malt-forward, sweeter beer, that’s very popular in Mexico, an IPA (Indian Pale Ale), an Oatmeal Stout, and finally an American-style Wheat beer.</p> <p class="p1">Mundo Maya has recently opened a draft bar in Mateo’s Mexican Grill in Tulum. This provides an exciting chance to create small-batch, one-off, seasonal beers. This relationship with Mateo’s enables John the opportunity to showcase his abilities with their latest creation - an infused beer using the local fruit, mamey.</p> <p class="p1">Though John does most of the work himself, he occasionally hires a bottle washer and helper with cleaning and other odd jobs. Aside from Roberta Satangelo, his partner and part owner who initially helped with sales and getting the business going, John is still largely a one-man operation.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>John’s favorite parts of Mexico (other than Playa del Carmen!)</strong></p> <p class="p1">Playa del Carmen is by far John’s #1 place to be. Like his hometown of Toronto, he finds there is plenty of diversity in people, restaurants, and culture. John continues to enjoy simply having a cold beer on the beach and watching the people relax and have fun.</p> <p class="p1">For a quick getaway, it’s easy for him to travel to Chiapas, Oaxaca by truck or plane.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>John’s secret spot.</strong></p> <p class="p1">Chamico’s a great, quiet escape from Playa del Carmen. A rustic, Mayan family-run hut on the beach sporting a few plastic tables and chairs, Chamico’s a great place for some cold beers, ceviche with lobster, open hammocks and a chill vibe that reminds John of the Playa del Carmen, 20 years ago.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Where can you find a Mundo Maya beer?</strong></p> <ul class="ul1"> <li class="li1">● Mahekal beach bar</li> <li class="li1">● Tequila Barrel</li> <li class="li1">● Casa de Agua</li> <li class="li1">● Piola</li> <li class="li1">● Le Zebra</li> <li class="li1">● Mezzanine</li> <li class="li1">● Mateo’s Mexican Grill</li> </ul> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Resources:</strong></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s1"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/riviera-maya/playa-del-carmen/"> Playa del Carmen</a></span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s1"><a href= "http://mundomayabrewingcompany.com/mundomaya/about-us/">Mundo Maya Brewing Company</a></span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s1"><a href= "http://www.mateosmexicangrill.us/">Mateo’s Mexican Grill in Tulum</a></span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s1"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/mundomayabrewing/">Mundo Maya on Facebook</a></span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s3">Kay’s Email:</span><span class= "s4"> <a href= "mailto:concierge@locogringo.com%22%20%5Ct%20%22_blank"><span class="s5">concierge@locogringo.com</span></a></span></p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"><strong>Interview Links:</strong></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s1"><a href= "http://www.locogringo.com">Loco Gringo Website</a></span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s1"><a href= "https://www.youtube.com/user/BobbyFromNJ">Bobby in NJ</a></span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s1"><a href= "http://www.el-hongo.com/info.html">El Hongo</a></span></p>
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010: California Gal - Once an Educator Now Queen of Jerky in Playa del Carmen
<p class="p1">In today’s episode, I chat with Sara Moen, who is originally from Northern California, moved to Seattle in 1990 for school and met her soon to be husband. Steve and Sara were married in 1993. He worked for Microsoft for ten years and in 2001, they took a vacation to Playa del Carmen, as the story goes “Once you arrive there it’s hard to leave.” Steve and Sara ultimately met their business partner during that getaway; within six months, they sold their home and packed up their pets and moved to Playa. Armed with her Bachelor’s in Science for Cognitive Development in Children, Sara’s longtime dream was to start a school in Mexico. Steve and her opened America Maya in Playa del Carmen, with the language barrier and other unforeseen loopholes, unfortunately, the school had to close its doors after two years. As serial entrepreneurs they knew that wasn't going to stop them, so they decided to start the first English newspaper called Playa Maya News; Steve started Virtual Playa, a web design, SEO, e-commerce, and marketing company. Sara needed to find her calling so she went back to school to further her career in education, and unbeknownst to her, Sara ended up opening a jerky business called Ch’arki Jerky.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>What is Ch’arki Jerky and how can I get my hands on one?</strong></p> <p class="p1">The concept of the jerky goes back to the Native South Americans who would preserve the meat for the winter months. The word jerky was named back in 1550 from the Quechua word ch’arki, which means dried, salted meat. It has become a popular snack food among athletes. Located in Playa del Carmen this jerky is high in protein, low in fat, and portable. Ch’arki jerky is made from the finest quality of meat and spices; it is a nutrient-filled delicious treat. Please check out our Facebook page to make your order or to find a place near you.</p> <p class="p4"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>Sara’s Favorite Spots in Mexico</strong></p> <p class="p1">Cuernavaca is one of her favorite special spots to go to in Mexico for a day trip. Located southwest of Mexico City, it is the largest city in the state of Morelos, nicknamed “City of Eternal Springs”. Sara fell in love with this magical spot called Tepoztlan, also located in the state of Morelos, famous for the remains of El Tepozteco a temple built on top of the nearby Tepozteco Mountain. She also enjoys going to Tequesquitengo for water skiing. There are incredible spas, restaurants, and recreational centers there as well.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>Sara’s Favorite Little Gems</strong></p> <p class="p1">Lake Bacalar in Quintana Roo is the kind of place you can relax and read. Also known as the Lagoon of seven colors, it stretches 50 miles from North to South. This turquoise body of water flows right through the jungle.</p> <p class="p4">Isla Holbox also located in Quintana Roo on the North coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. The reason this place is a hidden gem is that there isn’t much tourist action here yet. Hoping to protect the environment, Holbox doesn’t allow vehicles. There are many sites to enjoy while here, including swimming with the whale sharks between June and September - an opportunity of a lifetime.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p5"><strong>Resources:</strong></p> <p class="p1"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vaca">Playa del Carmen</a></p> <p class="p1"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/costa-maya/bacalar/"> Lake Bacalar</a></p> <p class="p1"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/yucatan/isla-holb"> Isla Holbox</a></p> <p class="p1"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/whale-sharks-it">Whale Sharks</a></p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p5"><strong>Interview Links</strong></p> <p class="p1"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/charkijerky/timeline">Ch’arki Jerky Facebook</a></p> <p class="p1"><a href="http://charkijerky@gmail.com">Ch’arki Email Address</a></p> <p class="p1"><a href="http://askkay@locogringo.com">Kay’s Email Address</a></p> <p class="p1"><a href="http://www.locogringo.com">Loco Gringo Website</a></p>
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009: Adventure and Retirement on the Sandy Shore of the Riviera Maya.
<p class="p1">In today’s episode, I chat with Sherwood Anders, who was born and lived in Pittsburg until she was 32 years old. Sherwood lived in San Francisco before she and her husband Bob moved to Akumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico with their three rescue dogs “Beachmutts”. She spends a great chunk of her time volunteering with different organizations in Mexico, helping at spay/neutering clinics, animal welfare and helps find new homes for dogs and cats. Bob and Sherwood retired and sold their home in San Francisco in 2015 and are living in Akumal full-time. Tune in to hear about her volunteer work and where she and Bob’s secret spots are in Mexico.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>What does your day consist of now that you are retired and living in Mexico?</strong></p> <p class="p1">Sherwood doesn’t get bored and finds tons of things to do. She loves hanging out with friends and spends the bulk of her time volunteering for animal welfare - not rescuing because her condo doesn’t have enough room. Sherwood is learning how to relax and take a step back from constantly going all the time.</p> <p class="p4"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>Coco’s Animal Welfare</strong></p> <p class="p1">Coco’s mission is to prevent the birth of unwanted cats and dogs as well as raise awareness of guardianship. Coco’s provides free/low-cost spay/neuter for rescue animals in the local area. The clinic makes sure the dogs and cats are up to date on all their shots and given a health certificate. If you have any questions on how to take a pet home with you to the US, just contact Sherwood and she will gladly help walk you through the very simple process.</p> <p class="p4">The Loco Gringo Nation has generously donated money to Coco’s new clinic, there is going to be a Loco Gringo Lovin’ Lounge in the clinic where you can meet all the pets and take them home with you, but if you can’t bring one of them back please leave a donation. The clinic still needs to raise an additional $30,000 for the completion. Please make your donations at <a href= "http://www.cocosanimalwelfare.org">www.cocosanimalwelfare.org</a>.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>Where is Sherwood’s Favorite Place?</strong></p> <p class="p1">The Sierra Occidental Mountain is a majestic mountain range that runs northwest/southwest through Mexico. She can’t take her eyes off of the Popocatepetl, which is a volcano located in the states of Puebla. Sherwood also loves to go to San Luis Potosi. There is a 50’s drive-in motel with simple rooms, Spanish language old-time TV, and 5-star service at the restaurant out in the middle of nowhere.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>Sherwood’s Secret Spots</strong></p> <p class="p1">Sherwood says living in paradise does have its challenges because she lives in a rental condo where a lot of guests come in and out, and sometimes they just want to escape. Bob and Sherwood find that at the beach clubs in Tulum. She has been to the Chichen Itza probably at least ten times; she feels a special connection to that area since her uncle used to work there.</p> <p class="p4">Paamul, started as a trailer park has now evolved into a very private and secluded community. There is a hotel with a beach that isn’t too crowded, and there is a restaurant with the best fish. If you turn right on the dirt road at the convenience store, take the dirt road that turns east on that path you will see a 3 to 4 story Pyramid. You can also take a boat along the coastline halfway between Paamul and Puerto Ventura there is another small Pyramid.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p5"><strong>Resources:</strong></p> <p class="p1"><a href= "http://cocosanimalwelfare.org/about-us/ou">www.cocosanimalwelfare.org</a></p> <p class="p1"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/chichen-itza/"> www.locogringo.com/chichen-itza/</a></p> <p class="p1"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/local-profile-laura-raikes-cocos-cat">www.locogringo.com/cocosanimalrescue</a></p> <p class="p1"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/riviera-maya-beaches/paamul/"> www.locogringo.com/paamul/</a></p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p5"><strong>Interview Links</strong></p> <p class="p1"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/Beachmutts-International-265431423489677/info/?tab=page_info"> www.facebook.com/Beachmutts</a></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s1"><a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com">askkay@locogringo.com</a></span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s1"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/">www.locogringo.com</a></span></p>
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008: Travel Warning for Puerto Morelos: If You Go You May Never Leave
<p class="p1">In today’s episode, I chat with Catriona Brown, who is originally from Australia and now resides in Puerto Morelos. Catriona worked in the film production industry for many years; she met a fellow who was going to be producing the Olympics in Sydney. Catriona worked with him on managing major productions, including Sydney’s New Year’s Celebrations and the Olympics. She visited the Yucatan region in Mexico to explore the archeological ridge. On January 2, 2002, while in Puerto Morelos, Catriona read “Travel Warning! Be careful you may never leave” on a pamphlet. She thought to herself “yeah right, I am going back to my high-society living in Australia”. Long story short, it’s now 14 years and she is still in Puerto Morelos. Catriona built properties from scratch and owned a dive shop at one time. She started a cooking school after the recession hit, by way of one of her duplexes she had owned, called the Little Mexican Cooking School. Catriona is also the administrator for the town charity and she loves to play polo in her spare time.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>The Little Mexican Cooking School</strong></p> <p class="p1">The school is designed for adults, with a plethora of information packed in these classes such as the history, culture, and geography. The school’s capacity is about 16 people, so you need to call in for reservations two weeks in advance during the high season. </p> <p class="p2">The chef runs the whole class; he demonstrates, and then you get to work making delicious salsas and snacks. The chef takes you into the kitchen where you will learn how to make a three-course meal, there are seven different menus, so you can attend more than one cooking class and get a variety of choices, including his brand new menu called The Mexican Seafood Fiesta.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>Catriona’s Favorite Dish</strong></p> <p class="p1">Chiles en nogada is usually made on Independence Day because it is the color of the Mexican Flag. This tasty meal consists of poblano chillis (green) stuffed with meat and veggies and covered in a walnut almond cream sauce (white), sprinkled with pomegranate seeds (red).</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>Where is Catriona’s Favorite Place?</strong></p> <p class="p1">After working full days during high season, Catriona likes to go to El Rey Polo Club, hop on a horse and lose herself in the jungle with only the sounds of the birds singing in the background.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>What changes have happened since Puerto Morelos became its own municipality?</strong></p> <p class="p1">Catriona works at promoting tourism; she works hard to keep the sense of the community. People who live there want to keep it small, low level, and getting rid of the greedy. The town spits out the ones that don’t belong there. The city council is made up of the people that have been in that area all their lives.</p> <p class="p1">On Valentine’s Day, they had a free event in the town square right in front of the ocean where anyone who wanted to get married could, whether same-sex marriage or not; the town provided the music and good eats.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>What are some of the tips tourist should know about when visiting Puerto Morelos?</strong></p> <p class="p1">It is pertinent that you wear biodegradable sunscreen, don’t swim in the cenotes with any creams on, the water is connected to people's homes in the area. Also don’t support the Dolphinarium; those are prisons for dolphins and by going to see them, you are supporting this tragedy.</p> <p class="p2">After Hurricane Wilma, it took the town at least a year for most of the city to recover. However, there are still areas that need people's help. A tourist could help out the El Mundo para, which is a charity that helps schools, hospitals, clinics, fire stations, etc. with rebuilding.</p> <p class="p2">Tune into the podcast to learn more about Puerto Morelos and Catriona’s story.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p4"><strong>Resources:</strong></p> <p class="p5"><span class="s1"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/riviera-maya/puerto-morelos/"> https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/riviera-maya/puerto-morelos/</a></span></p> <p class="p2"><a href= "http://www.elreypolocountryclub.ne">http://www.elreypolocountryclub.net</a></p> <p class="p2"><a href= "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiles_en_nogada">https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiles_en_nogada</a></p> <p class="p2"><a href= "http://www.emppm.com">http://www.emppm.com</a></p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p4"><strong>Interview Links</strong></p> <p class="p6"><span class="s1"><a href= "http://www.thelittlemexicancookingschool.com">http://www.thelittlemexicancookingschool.com</a></span></p> <p class="p2"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/local-interviews-riviera-maya-catriona-brown"> https://www.locogringo.com/local-interviews-riviera-maya-catriona-brown</a></p> <p class="p2"><a href= "../%22mailto:askkay@locogringo">askkay@locogringo.com</a></p> <p class="p2"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/">https://www.locogringo.com/</a></p>
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007: Kristin Roehmer of Playa del Carmen “Playa del Carmen - The Charms of Being in Playa”
<p class="p1">In today’s episode, I chat with Kristin Roehmer, who is originally from Arizona. She and her husband Marcus made a home in Playa del Carmen. Kristin and Marcus went in on a 50/50 investment with their friend Randy to purchase a condo down in Playa; this was back in 2004 when the real estate market was starting to flourish. Kristin and Marcus never planned on starting a family there or living there for more than a year. 11 years later, they still have their place in Arizona and are residing in Playa del Carmen full-time with their beautiful 8-year-old son. Listen to the intriguing story of how Kristin and Marcus made it to Mexico.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>How did they fall into the property management arena?</strong></p> <p class="p1">Kristin and Marcus kind of fell into it. They had some clients from their businesses in the states and started investing in properties in Playa. Kristin and Marcus became the liaison; one thing led to another, and before they knew it, they had a property management business.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>How did they get involved with the Bric Hotel?</strong></p> <p class="p1">Things just evolved organically. Kristin and Marcus's friends owned the hotel at the time and asked them to run it. It’s a small quaint boutique hotel located on 28<sup>th</sup> St between 5<sup>th</sup>a and 10<sup>th</sup>; it’s in the center of Playa del Carmen. The Bric Hotel offers 15 rooms, each with en-suite bathrooms, breakfast included, air conditioning, WiFi, pool, beautiful gardens, and spa.</p> <p class="p4"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>Can you give us more information about the Spa?</strong></p> <p class="p1">They converted some of their old office space to an Organic Spa in the Bric Hotel. Jacqueline is the General Manager of the Spa. You can sit by the pool and have lunch, massages, manicures, pedicures, and many other treatments.</p> <p class="p4"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>Did you go back to the States to have your son?</strong></p> <p class="p1">Kristin and Marcus couldn't be happier with the care and services they were provided in Cancun. Marcus jokes that life couldn’t be better; he had a glass of red wine, fillet, and his newborn son in his arms.</p> <p class="p4"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>Where do you like to go for long weekends?</strong></p> <p class="p1">Kristin and her family like to go to Uxmal, Punta Laguna, and Isla Holbox. Marcus and Randy are out today experiencing a couple of cenotes.</p> <p class="p4"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>Do you have any secret destinations you would like to share?</strong></p> <p class="p1">Kristin loves Isla Holbox; located an hour and a half from Playa and a quick ferry boat across to an island where the wildlife is spectacular, no cars, it's all dirt roads, tiny hotels, great restaurants, and friendly people. She likes to see the whale sharks, in season from May to September. When they have family or friends visiting for day trips, they like to do yoga on paddleboards down in the lagoon, South of Tulum. Once you get out in nature and stand on a paddleboard on the calm water surrounded by mangroves and bright blue sky, it is a whole different experience than yoga indoors.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p5"><strong>Resources:</strong></p> <p class="p6"><span class="s1"><a href= "https://www.locog">https://www.locogringo.com/punta-laguna-monkey-reserve-what-nature-intended/</a></span></p> <p class="p6"><span class="s1"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/uxmal-ruins/"> https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/uxmal-ruins/</a></span></p> <p class="p6"><span class="s1"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/yucatan/isla-holbox/"> https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/yucatan/isla-holbox/</a></span></p> <p class="p7"> </p> <p class="p5"><strong>Interview Links</strong></p> <p class="p6"><span class="s1"><a href= "http://www.bricrental.com">http://www.bricrental.com</a></span></p> <p class="p6"><span class="s1"><a href= "http://brichotel.com">http://brichotel.com</a></span></p> <p class="p6"><span class="s1"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Bric-Hotel-Playa-Del-Carmen/253315851362523?fref=ts"> https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Bric-Hotel-Playa-Del-Carmen/253315851362523?fref=ts</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com">askkay@locogringo.com</a></p> <p class="p9"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/">https://www.locogringo.com/</a></p>
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006: David Sterling of Merida Yucatan “Merida – Tales & Tips about Mexican Cuisine in Merida Yucatan.”
<p class="p1">In today’s episode I talk with David Sterling, who was born and raised in Oklahoma City, OK. He was always intrigued by art and food even at a young age. David was obsessed with Julia Child. His partner Keith and he moved away from New York City after 9/11. Their place was just 5 blocks from the World Trade Center. David had been to Mexico many times throughout his life and both he and Keith loved it there. They found a place to call home in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. They bought an old ruin complete with trees growing out of the ceiling and floors. It took them 14 months to renovate the whole place to get it up to inhabitable standards. David started the only cooking school in Mexico called Los-Dos in November 2003. He is the author of the cookbook <em>Yucatan: Recipes from a Culinary Expedition.</em> In 2015, David won a few awards: James Beard Foundation for The Best Cookbook of the Year, James Beard Foundation for Best International Cookbook and The Art of Eating Prize for Best Food Book of the Year. He has been on shows with Martha Stewart and Rick Bayless. David’s passion is Yucatecan Food.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p3"> <strong>Cooking Classes at Los-Dos</strong></p> <p class="p1">The cooking classes have a variety of range; anyone from an avid home cook to a gourmet chef. Every class focuses on the Yucatan Peninsula’s Mayan Culinary Culture. Los-Dos offers one day workshops that are a full intensive day of cooking and eating. There are three day and weeklong packages as well, which also include food excursions to different places.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p5"><strong>Tasting Tours at Los-Dos</strong></p> <p class="p1">Los-Dos also has tasting tours that do not involve cooking. The tours are about 3 to 4 hours. One of the tasting tours is a Cantina Crawl, on which you will be taken to a range of different Cantinas, where you pay for the drinks and the food is free. This will give you a great taste of the Yucatan Culture. There is also another tour called the Street Eats Tour.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p5"><strong>What is a Solar?</strong></p> <p class="p1">There are several families in Uxmal who manage what they call a Solar, best described as a kitchen garden. This common practice in the Mayan world is a way of supplementing their regular diets consisting of corn, beans, and squash. These Solars have all kinds of chilies, tomatoes, and things you might not find on the farm like turkeys and pigs just running around. They have edible and medicinal stuffs in these Solars as well, all very fascinating to see. </p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p5"><strong>Where did the idea for your cookbook, <em>Yucatan: Recipes from a Culinary Expedition,</em> stem from?</strong></p> <p class="p1">It resulted from those years back in New York City. He likes stories about food and wants to know where it came from, who made it, and where it originated? He complied many of the stories he came across and started posting them on his website. Finally, in 2009 he received a call from an English lady named Diana Kennedy. She is the authority of Mexican food in the English Language. David and Keith got to know Diana pretty well and she introduced David to her editor Casey Kittrell at University of Texas Press. He then submitted his book proposal to Casey and after 3 years of putting his nose to the grindstone, his cookbook got published.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p5"><strong>Do you have two or three typical foods that people need to try to appreciate the culture?</strong></p> <p class="p1">Go check out the Sigueff in Merida and order the Huevos Motulenos, it is a refried bean smeared tostada with fried eggs, tomato sauce, ham, peas, and grated cheese. While in Valladolid, you need to go to the El Meson del Margues and try the pickled turkey. It’s so delicious, tart, and tangy.</p> <p class="p2">Please tune into the podcast to learn more from Chef David Sterling about his interesting endeavors and to gain more in-depth knowledge on the uniqueness of the Yucatan Cuisine. Also listen in as David discusses being featured on Rick Bayless’s Show called Mexico-One Plate at a Time. The new season starts in September 2016 on PBS.</p> <p class="p6"> </p> <p class="p7"><strong>Resources:</strong></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s5"><a href= "http://www.rickbayless.com/tv-books/mexico-one-plate-at-a-time-season-10/"> http://www.rickbayless.com/tv-books/mexico-one-plate-at-a-time-season-10/</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s5"><a href= "http://www.siqueffrestaurant.com/">http://www.siqueffrestaurant.com</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s5"><a href= "http://www.theyucatantimes.com/2014/09/the-ultimate-guide-to-meridas-cantinas/"> http://www.theyucatantimes.com/2014/09/the-ultimate-guide-to-meridas-cantinas/</a></span></p> <p class="p9"><a href= "http://www.mesondelmarques.com/eng/">http://www.mesondelmarques.com/eng/</a></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s5"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/uxmal-ruins/"> https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/uxmal-ruins/</a></span></p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p7"><strong>Interview Links</strong></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s5"><a href= "http://ww">http://www.los-dos.com</a></span></p> <p class="p9"><span class="s5"><a href= "http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0292735812/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASI..."> http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0292735812/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASI...</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s5"><a href= "mailto:info@los-dos.com">info@los-dos.com</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s5"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/Los-Dos-Cooking-">https://www.facebook.com/Los-Dos-Cooking-School-Mérida-Yucatán-194678851869/?ref=ts</a></span></p> <p class="p10"><span class="s5"><a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com">askkay@locogringo.com</a></span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s5"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/">https://www.locogringo.com/</a></span></p>
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005: Adventure, Diving and Travel with Protec's Adreas Matthes
<p class="p1">Welcome to Loco Gringo Mexico, the place where we transform a tourist into a traveler. Because you deserve to see more of the world than just what is in a guide book. Each week we talk with amazing locals who know the Riviera Maya and Yucatan like only a local can and get them to share their tips and insights on the local scene, culture and cuisine from a locals’ perspective. So pour yourself a Margarita, grab a comfy chair, and let's get the show going. In today's episode I talk to my friend Matt. He is a big German guy with tattoos and some piercings. He might look like an intimidating guy at first, but he is a big teddy bear. People call him Matt Chupa or Uncle Chupa. Matt does not suck he has a heart of gold and I am flattered he took time to be with us today. His passions are photography, sailing, and motorcycles. Matt loves cave diving and even made a business out of it. He is one of the owners of ProTec Dive Centers in Tulum and Playa del Carmen, offering the highest quality of standards with the most complete cave diving, Sidemount diving, and CCR Rebreather diving services.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p4"><strong>Does your company train people to do cavern diving?</strong></p> <p class="p5">They do the full thing, including cavern tours. Matt’s company is certainly qualified to take people into the caverns and explain in-depth about geology, mythology, and the Mayan culture. The cavern training or cavern course itself, most people don't do. Most people want to go to the dark zone, the womb, like mother earth.</p> <p class="p4"> </p> <p class="p4"><strong>What is your favorite place outside of Mexico?</strong></p> <p class="p5">The huge island of Sardinia located off the coast of Italy. It is not highly populated and it has curves everywhere. The motorcycle riding is excellent, weather and food is great. There is cave diving as well.</p> <p class="p4"> </p> <p class="p4"><strong>What is your favorite place in Mexico?</strong></p> <p class="p5">The colonial history in the villages surrounding Mérida. The Yucatán food is some of the best food in Mexico. There are plenty of cenotes there for cave diving. The culture and the history of the state of Yucatán are incredible. It's underappreciated and now it is becoming a little more well-known and popular.</p> <p class="p4"> </p> <p class="p4"><strong>What is your favorite thing to eat? </strong></p> <p class="p5">Cochinita pibil, pork with tomatoes and onions wrapped up in banana leaves and it is slow-roasted in a pib, which is in the ground. They take it out of the banana leaves after hours and it is shredded like pulled pork, you put it in tacos with pickled purple onions.</p> <p class="p4"> </p> <p class="p4"><strong>What are some of your secret places?</strong></p> <p class="p5">Matt’s favorite cenote is Casa Cenote, there is not much diving and caves, but you can dive underneath the mangroves. When Matt wants a change of scenery he goes to Bacalar, which is 3 hours south of Playa. Isla Holbox, Aculo in Yucatán, or Zelan Bravo. He takes his motorcycle there and gets lost in the little villages on the gulf coast. San Felipe and Rio Lagartos are great destinations as well.</p> <p class="p5"> </p> <p class="p5"><strong>Have you gone to Isla Holbox during the whale shark season?</strong></p> <p class="p5">Matt says the best time to go is when the whale sharks are out of season, because nobody is there. Cars are not allowed in the village. There is a food festival in October or early November each year as well.</p> <p class="p6"> </p> <p class="p6"><strong>Resources:</strong></p> <p class="p7"><span class="s4"><a href= "https://www.lonelyplanet.com/italy/sardinia">https://www.lonelyplanet.com/italy/sardinia</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/yucatan/merida/"> https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/yucatan/merida/</a></p> <p class="p8"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/yucatan/isla-holbox/"> https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/yucatan/isla-holbox/</a></p> <p class="p6"> </p> <p class="p6"><strong>Interview Links</strong></p> <p class="p7"><span class="s4"><a href= "http://www.protecdiving.com/">http://www.protecdiving.com/</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><a href= "http://www.protectulum.com/">http://www.protectulum.com/</a></p> <p class="p8"><a href= "mailto:info@protecplaya.com">info@protecplaya.com</a></p> <p class="p8"><a href= "mailto:askkay@locogringo.com">askkay@locogringo.com</a></p>
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004: Life and Times of a Sober Señorita with Kelly Fitzgerald
<p class="p1">Welcome to Loco Gringo Mexico, the place where we transform a tourist into a traveler. Because you deserve to see more of the world than just what is in a guide book. Each week we talk with amazing locals who know the Riviera Maya and Yucatán like only a local can and get them to share their tips and insights on the local scene, culture and cuisine from a locals’ perspective. So let's get the show going. </p> <p class="p1">In today’s installment I talk with Kelly Fitzgerald who shares on how to live sober and still be the life of the party in Mexico. Kelly is a social media manager and a contributor to the Huffington Post Blog. One of her biggest accomplishments and most admirable work is her blog <a href= "https://sobersenorita.com/"><span class="s1"><em>The Sober Seńorita</em></span></a><em>.</em> Kelly wants everyone to know you can lead a fun and adventuresome life while being sober.</p> <p class="p1">Kelly grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and graduated college in 2007. She always wanted to party and was known as the “social butterfly”. She learned of her love for Cancun, when she worked for a spring break company two seasons in a row. They would pay for her flight, meals, room and board. In the last year, Kelly realized she wanted to live in Cancun. She became cognizant of the fact that she was partying too much in the spring of 2013, and has been sober since May 2013. She started her blog in January 2014. Kelly wanted to incorporate her decision to become sober and her new way of life that she was now living. Her sister came up with the name of the blog. Kelly waited a whole year before she wrote anything about being sober on her blog. Kelly wrote a very inspiring blog in May 2014. It was so awe-inspiring that she got an email from the Huffington Post; they wanted to re-publish her blog in the paper.</p> <p class="p3"> </p> <p class="p4"><strong>What are some of the challenges that you have experienced or hear other people experiencing when you are inundated with the party style of Mexico?</strong></p> <p class="p1">She noticed right way that it was hard; everything revolved around drinking. Cancun is a tourist destination and so people on vacation want to let loose. Society in general revolves around drinking. Because of the partying, Kelly never realized all the beautiful things that Mexico had to offer such as history, culture, and food. Kelly did more in the one year sober - she traveled to more places and saw more Mayan archeological sites - than she had in the previous 4 years. </p> <p class="p5"> </p> <p class="p4"><strong>Do you have some favorite areas where you would suggest going to capture the true essence of Mexico?</strong></p> <p class="p1">The <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/chichen-itza/"> <span class="s1">Chichen Itza</span></a> is just breath taking. <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/tulum-ruins/"> <span class="s1">Tulum</span></a> is another place; the cliff overlooking the ocean, where the Mayan archeological site is, seems just like a dream. You need to check out the local restaurants in downtown Cancun. Don't be afraid to explore out of the hotel zone. Some of the best tacos and tortas are in downtown Cancun. There are so much more to Mexican food than the US Mexican chains. There is elote, mole, tostadas...food helps define what a country and its culture has to offer. Coachinita and Agua de Jamaica are both wonderful. If you are coming from the US, you will probably never hear of these delicacies. The beautiful <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/riviera-maya/eco-adventure-parks/xel-ha/"> <span class="s1">Xel-Ha Park</span></a>, which is an all-inclusive water eco park. Go beyond Cancun and explore.</p> <p class="p3">Tulum is a great place to go. Kelly loves the hippy beach town vibe where everyone rides bikes there. It has beautiful palapas and hotels that turn their electricity off at 11pm to save energy. She says it is a great place to visit; however, being technology based, she wouldn’t be able to live there. You need to take a few days and visit the <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/palenque-ruins/"> <span class="s1">Ruins of Palenque in Chiapas</span></a> is absolutely magic.</p> <p class="p6"> </p> <p class="p4"><strong>How can someone keep their strength to stay sober?</strong></p> <p class="p7">The good thing about all-inclusive is they will make you “mocktails”, you still feel like you are included. You can get fresh coconut water right out of the coconut. Always ask what they have to offer, which is very important. Look for English speaking AA meetings in Cancun. There is one every morning at 8am in downtown Cancun and there is even a website <a href= "http://aaenglishmeetingcancun.com/%22%20%5Co%20%22Link:%20http://aaenglishmeetingcancun.com%22%20%5Ct%20%22"> <span class= "s1">http://aaenglishmeetingcancun.com</span></a><span class= "s5">.</span></p> <p class="p4"> </p> <p class="p4"><strong>How to manage spring break and not drink yourself silly. </strong></p> <p class="p1">You have to be careful, because at spring break you can find umpteen parties. Limit yourself or drink in moderation, and just know you don't have to go all out on your first day. Alternate those drinking days with a relaxing day on the beach. If you need a drink in your hand to be part of the crowd, there are other options; you don't have to go to that alcoholic drink. </p> <p class="p3"> </p> <p class="p8"><strong>Resources:</strong></p> <p class="p9"><span class="s6"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/chichen-itza/"> https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/chichen-itza/</a></span></p> <p class="p9"><span class="s6"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/tulum-ruins/"> https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/tulum-ruins/</a></span></p> <p class="p9"><span class="s6"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/riviera-maya/eco-adventure-parks/xel-ha/"> https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/riviera-maya/eco-adventure-parks/xel-ha/</a></span></p> <p class="p9"><span class="s6"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/palenque-ruins/"> https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/palenque-ruins/</a></span></p> <p class="p9"><span class="s6"><a href= "http://aaenglishmeetingcancun.com">http://aaenglishmeetingcancun.com</a></span></p> <p class="p8"> </p> <p class="p8"><strong>Interview Links</strong></p> <p class="p10"><span class="s6"><a href= "https://sobersenorita.com">https://sobersenorita.com</a></span></p> <p class="p10"><span class="s6"><a href= "https://twitter.com/kellyfitz11">@kellyfitz11</a></span> <span class="s4">on Twitter</span></p> <p class="p10"><span class="s6"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/thesobersenorita/">https://www.facebook.com/thesobersenorita/</a></span></p>
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003: Real Estate Tips and Secret Destinations in Mérida, Yucatán with Keith Heitke
<p class="p1">Welcome to Loco Gringo Mexico, the place where we transform a tourist into a traveler. Because you deserve to see more of the world than just what is in a guide book. Each week we talk with amazing locals who know the Riviera Maya and Yucatán like only a local can and get them to share their tips and insights on the local scene, culture and cuisine from a locals’ perspective. So pour yourself a Margarita, grab a comfy chair, and let's get the show going. In today’s episode I chat with Keith Heitke who shares some tips on real estate in Mexico and secret gems he knows of, from being in the Yucatán for 13 years. Keith and his partner David Sterling moved to the Yucatán in 2003 from Manhattan, NYC. The biggest reason for the move was because of 911. They considered living in Spain, however, the real estate was really expensive and the weather wasn’t what they were expecting. They moved to <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/yucatan/merida/"> <span class="s1">Mérida</span></a> with no job and didn’t speak a lick of Spanish. Keith is a senior sales agent for Mexico International Real Estate. He specializes in luxurious homes in Mérida. Keith’s partner David is the founder of Los Dos Cooking School and the author of the James Beard Foundation 2015 Cookbook, the <em>Yucatán: Recipes from a Culinary Expedition</em>.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>Can I own anything in Mexico?</strong></p> <p class="p4">Real estate in Mexico is pretty straight forward, there aren't any tricks. Mexico has a very old law; they basically don't want another Spanish Invasion. If you want to go anywhere in Mexico and buy something from a Mexican and you are a foreigner, you can just go do that. However, if you are 50 km inland from any part of the coast, there is a <a href= "http://www.mdtlaw.com/images/uploads/The_Mexican_Trust_Fideicomiso1.pdf"> <span class="s1">Fideicomiso Trust</span></a>. You are only allowed to buy a certain amount of land, unless you are a corporation. If you don’t pay the fees they collect, the penalty if about $1 a year. So don't worry too much. Before you sell a home, you have to have those fees paid. It can be confusing when your fees are due. Unlike in the US where they tell you every year when your property taxes are due, in Mexico your Fideicomiso is due whenever. That is why the penalties are so low, which they don't remind you of either. Some places will hang a banner to let you know your Fideicomiso is due.</p> <p class="p3"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>What are some of your secret spots?</strong></p> <p class="p1">David wrote a book so they have been traveling more on the book tour. They absolutely love <a href= "http://www.visitmexico.com/en/mexico-city"><span class="s1">Mexico City</span></a>. That isn’t really a secret spot, but it is a place they would visit often. There are really two different Méridas: the one most of the tourist see and a hidden gem. You can get into the car and go to high class restaurants. Keith says the beach there isn’t his favorite, but he is glad it is there. There are museums and galleries. There is an event almost every day. You have to come on Sundays, the town blocks off the streets and they have a big bike ride through town. The main square comes alive with different vendors and things.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>I am a foreigner; how do I meet people?</strong></p> <p class="p4">It is the easiest thing possible. You go to two parties and then you get invited to everything else, and then you get invited to their friends’ parties and then you pick out which ones you like. It is very easy to make friends here.</p> <p class="p3"> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>Funny stories Keith has been privileged to witness:</strong></p> <p class="p1">It is very warm in Mérida, when the temperature drops to 70 degrees you will see the Yucatán people wearing scarves, hoodies and gloves, because they are freezing and not used to the colder temps. Keith said he saw a Canadian lady that same day in a tube top walk by the locals, and she was sweating.</p> <p class="p2">Keith was walking home the other day and saw a broken down Volkswagen. There was a young family standing at the side of the road. They were enjoying themselves waiting for help to arrive. Keith said, just seeing that family having a good time instead of yelling at each other about why their car broke down is one of the sole reasons they moved to the Yucatán.</p> <p class="p5"> </p> <p class="p6"><strong>Resources:</strong></p> <p class="p7"><span class="s2"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/yucatan/merida/"> https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/yucatan/merida/</a></span></p> <p class="p7"><span class="s2"><a href= "http://www.mdtlaw.com/images/uploads/The_Mexican_Trust_Fideicomiso1.pdf%22%20%5Co%20%22Link:%20http://www.mdtlaw.com/images/uploads/The_Mexican_Trust_Fideicomiso1.pdf"> http://www.mdtlaw.com/images/uploads/The_Mexican_Trust_Fideicomiso1.pdf</a></span></p> <p class="p7"><span class="s2"><a href= "http://www.visitmexico.com/en/mexico-city">http://www.visitmexico.com/en/mexico-city</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s2"><a href= "http://yucatantoday.com/?lang=en">http://yucatantoday.com/?lang=en</a></span></p> <p class="p6"> </p> <p class="p6"><strong>Interview Links</strong></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s2"><a href= "http://www.mexintl.com/agents/details/4">http://www.mexintl.com/agents/details/4</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s2"><a href= "http://haciendamexico.com">http://haciendamexico.com</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s2"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/keith.heitke">https://www.facebook.com/keith.heitke</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s2"><a href= "http://www.los-dos.com">http://www.los-dos.com</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s2"><a href= "http://yucatantoday.com/?s=keith&lang=en">http://yucatantoday.com/?s=keith&lang=en</a></span></p>
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002: Captain Quickie’s Secret Destinations in the Riviera Maya with Kay Walten
<p class="p1">Welcome to Loco Gringo Mexico, the place where we transform a tourist into a traveler, because you deserve to see more of the world than just what is in a guide book. Each week we talk with amazing locals who know the Riviera Maya and Yucatan like only a local can and get them to share their tips and insights on the local scene, culture and cuisine from a locals’ perspective. So pour yourself a Margarita, grab a comfy chair, and let's get the show going. In today's installment I talk to</p> <p class="p1">Captain Quickie. He was born in Southern Florida. His family moved to Mexico in 1982. Quickie went back to Mexico for College, where he graduated with an Economics degree. Quickie thought he needed a degree in that field to make the money he wanted to make to afford the big boats he knew one day he would own. Quickie was a stock broker in New York City for a couple of years. Until finally his love of Mexico and boats drew him back. Him and his wife Amy started their own business called <a href= "http://www.localquickies.com"><span class="s1">Local Quickies</span></a>, best tour in Playa Del Carmen Riviera Maya area. You can go sailing, snorkeling, zip lining, check out the turtles, culture, wildlife, local cuisine and more. They want their guests to feel like they are hanging out with friends that happen to be locals.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p4"><strong>What is Quickie’s favorite place on the Peninsula?</strong></p> <p class="p1">He has been to over 70% of the ruins on the peninsula. Quickie’s go to place is <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/ek-balam-ruins/"> <span class="s1">EK Balam</span></a>. It is one of the most untouched, unscathed, and well preserved areas. He says to go 1 km past EK Balam, and there is an actual town called EK Balam. He met a lady there named Telmasa, who chased him down with her bicycle and hopped into his truck, and showed him the best cenote he had ever seen. </p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p4"><strong>Where is a great place to stop for shopping and food?</strong></p> <p class="p1">Quickie says <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/yucatan-secret-smoked-meat"><span class="s1"> Temazon</span></a> is a great place to stop for smoked meats, their pork chops are outstanding. Three-fourths of the town is smoked meats and the other quarter is all about the old Caribbean style furniture.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p4"><strong>What are the best kept secret beaches?</strong></p> <p class="p1">In <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/tulum-ruins/"> <span class="s1">Tulum</span></a> there is a beach bar called the Zazil-Kin. This is the cheapest place to snatch up a beer; they are only charging 25 pesos and also have happy hour from 12 to 2pm. When you walk on the beach you will want to kick your shoes off and get a great pedicure, because this beach is well preserved. The second would be a cenote in Jardin del Eden, in the Yucatan.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p4"><strong>What are some tips and tricks that families traveling to Mexico should be aware of?</strong></p> <p class="p1">You will want to bring a double stroller if you are traveling with multiple children and make sure to bring your own car seats for the kidos. You will want to avoid the big resorts, such as Playa and Cancun. <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/riviera-maya/akumal/"> <span class="s1">Akumal</span></a> and <span class="s1">Puerto Aventuras</span> are the most family oriented resorts. Quickie says this is the place that he would trust his daughter to be safe in.</p> <p class="p5"> </p> <p class="p6"><strong>Resources:</strong></p> <p class="p7"><span class="s5"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/tulum-ruins/"> https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/tulum-ruins/</a></span></p> <p class="p7"><span class="s5"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/ek-balam-ruins/"> https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/ek-balam-ruins/</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s5"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/yucatan-secret-smoked-meat">https://www.locogringo.com/yucatan-secret-smoked-meat</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s5"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/riviera-maya/akumal/"> https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/riviera-maya/akumal/</a></span></p> <p class="p9"><span class="s5"><a href= "%22https">https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/riviera-maya/puerto-aventuras/</a></span></p> <p class="p10"> </p> <p class="p6"><strong>Interview Links</strong></p> <p class="p7"><span class="s5"><a href= "http://www.localquickies.com">www.localquickies.com</a></span></p> <p class="p7"><span class="s5"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/Local-Quickies-157740261010837/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel"> www.facebook.com/Local-Quickies</a></span></p> <p class="p7"><span class="s5"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/riviera-maya-photo-day-catamaran-cruisin/"> www.locogringo.com/riviera-maya-photo-day-catamaran-cruisin</a></span></p> <p class="p7"><span class="s5"><a href= "https://www.instagram.com/localquickies/">www.instagram.com/localquickies</a></span></p> <p class="p7"><span class="s5"><a href= "https://twitter.com/LocalQuickies">twitter.com/LocalQuickies</a></span></p> <p class="p7"><span class="s5"><a href= "https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Revie">www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g150812-d1892524-Reviews-Local_Quickies-Playa_del_Carmen_Yucatan_Peninsula</a></span></p> <p class="p7"><span class="s5"><a href= "https://www.yelp.com/biz/local-quickies-playa-d">www.yelp.com/biz/local-quickies-playa-del-carmen</a></span></p>
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001: Discover the Hidden Gems in Cancun, Mexico with Kay Walten
<p class="p1"><span class="s1">Welcome to Loco Gringo Mexico, the place where we transform a tourist into a traveler. Because you deserve to see more of the world than just what is in a guide book. Each week we talk with amazing locals who know the Riviera Maya and Yucatan like only a local can and get them to share their tips and insights on the local scene, culture and cuisine from a locals’ perspective.</span> So pour yourself a Margarita, grab a comfy chair, and let's get the show going. In today's episode I talk to Kelly McLaughlin. She is a Canadian woman who arrived in Mexico back in 2003 for a two-week vacation, and hasn't left since. She's a writer and social media personality known as Cancun Canuck. Through her blog and social network, she shares her love of Mexico by sharing her unique personal tales. If she is not online she's probably underwater, climbing a pyramid, or getting into some sort of shenanigans with her adventuresome son, Max. Kelly also has five rescue cats, which in no way implies she is single, except she is! </p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p1"> </p> <p class="p4"><strong>What do you find special about Cancun outside of the proverbial hotel zone?</strong></p> <p class="p5"><span class="s5"><a href= "http://www.cancun.com/">Cancun</a></span> is known as the Las Vegas of Mexico. There are many places that are hidden gems within the hotel zone that only locals pretty much know about. <a href= "https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g150807-d2270856-Reviews-Restaurant_Rio_Nizuc-Cancun_Yucatan_Peninsula.html"> <span class="s5">Rio Nizuc</span></a>, which is a little corner of Cancun that has been there forever. The restaurant doesn’t have electricity. This is a rustic place where you can go to have a nice cold one, order some ceviche, and even grab your pole and fish.</p> <p class="p5">The <a href= "http://www.wetnwildcancun.com/"><span class="s5">Wet’n Wild</span></a> is still open and is in the process of partnering with another company. They will be doing expansions and possibly changing their name in the near future.</p> <p class="p4"><strong>Has Punta Sam been developed for the tourists?</strong></p> <p class="p1">There is development there now; however, there are still secret places there as well. <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/whale-sharks-it"><span class="s5">Punta Sam</span></a> is located ten miles north of Cancun’s Hotel Zone. The shore faces <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/72-hours-isla-mujeres"><span class= "s5">Isla Mujeres</span></a> to the north east and the archeological sites of <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/el-meco-ruins/"> <span class="s5">El Meco</span></a> and El Cerrito are on the southwest side. Punta Sam is a tranquil beachfront that offers varieties of food and shopping. You need to check out a restaurant called <strong><em>Les Hiebas</em></strong>, this is another place you can go fishing, get ice cold refreshments, and chow down on some great food.</p> <p class="p3"> </p> <p class="p4"><strong>Do you have any fun spots in the Riviera Maya?</strong></p> <p class="p1">The <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/riviera-maya/"> <span class="s5">Riviera Maya</span></a> extends along the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan Peninsula from Puerto Morelos to the <a href="http://www.visitsiankaan.com/"><span class="s5">Slan Ka’an Biosphere Reserve</span></a>. This place was once home of small fishing villages. The Riviera Maya has been developed into a tourist area now. One of the secret places to check out here is the <a href="https://www.jardindeleden.com/"><span class="s5">Jardin del Eden,</span></a> where there are cliffs you can jump off of. There is also a cavern that has many interesting fish. <a href= "http://www.glamping.com/destinations/north-america/mexico"><span class="s5"> Xpu-Ha</span></a> has some glamping. This place costs about 400 pesos (about $25.00 USD). You don’t need to bring a tent, but make sure to leave your valuables at home.</p> <p class="p3"> </p> <p class="p4"><strong>Have you been to</strong> <a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/ek-balam-ruins/"> <span class="s5"><strong>EK Balam</strong></span></a> <strong>in the Archeological site area? </strong></p> <p class="p5">This place is easily accessible from Cancun and the Riviera Maya. Kelly says you need to hire a local guide. The tour guides have been around for a long time. You are hearing the history from the family members themselves. She says this is nothing short of spectacular. You have to eat the longaniza, the best sausage you will ever sink your teeth into.</p> <p class="p5">Kelly went to a ranch in EK’ Balam and visited a little place called <a href= "http://www.genesisretreat.com/"><span class="s5">Genesis Eco Retreat</span></a>. There, she discovered a Canadian journalist named Lee who was from Kelly’s home town. Lee invited Kelly and Max to her ranch in the jungle. There were cenotes in the ranch and a spiral down cave, which is where the cows were hanging out.</p> <p class="p6"> </p> <p class="p7"><strong>Resources:</strong></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s6"><a href= "http://www.cancun.com/">www.cancun.com</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s6"><a href= "http://www.wetnwildcancun.com/">www.wetnwildcancun.com</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s6"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/riviera-maya/"> www.locogringo.com/mexico/vacation-destinations/riviera-maya</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s6"><a href= "http://www.visitsiankaan.com/">www.visitsiankaan.com</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s6"><a href= "https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g150807-d2270856-Reviews-Restaurant_Rio_Nizuc-Cancun_Yucatan_Peninsula.h"> www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g150807-d2270856-Reviews-Restaurant_Rio_Nizuc-Cancun_Yucatan_Peninsula</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s6"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/72-hours-isla-mujeres">www.locogringo.com/72-hours-isla-mujeres</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s6"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/e"> www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/el-meco-ruins/</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s6"><a href= "https://www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/ek-balam-ruins/"> www.locogringo.com/mexico/ways-to-play/mayan-ruins-archaeological-sites/ek-balam-ruins/</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s6"><a href= "http://www.genesisretreat.com/">www.genesisretreat.com</a></span></p> <p class="p7"><strong>I</strong></p> <p class="p7"><strong>nterview Links</strong></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s6"><a href= "http://www.locogringo.com/">www.locogringo.com</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s6"><a href= "mailto:askkay@logogringo.com">askkay@logogringo.com</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s6"><a href= "http://www.cancuncanuck.com/">http://www.cancuncanuck.com/</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s6"><a href= "https://www.instagram.com/cancuncanuck/">https://www.instagram.com/cancuncanuck/</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s6"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/canuckincancun?ref=ts">https://www.facebook.com/canuckincancun?ref=ts</a></span></p> <p class="p8"><span class="s6"><a href= "https://twitter.com/cancuncanuck">https://twitter.com/cancuncanuck</a></span></p>
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