Gardening in the tropics/ Yucatán, MX

After the rain…

It’s very arid on the north coast of the Yucatán peninsula. Last year there was no rain from February through June at my house. Friday night there was a substantial rain, and by Sunday morning, the garden broke into color.


“Getting to Know Karen”

Episode One, Real Expats of the Yucatán

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New Infotainment series about the life and adventures of American and Canadian expat women and their friends who have retired in the Yucatan, Mexico. They hilariously navigate their new life in the small fishing villages of Chelem and Chuburna on the Gulf Coast of the Yucatan peninsula. From immigration to internet, water and electricity (or lack thereof), spiders, snakes and scorpions, construction and housing, ocean and beach, a food, drink, entertainment and music recommendations, Mexican holidays and fiestas, real cost of living and aging parents and millennial children, new grandchildren, the Expats cover the real truth what daily life is in the Yucatan.

The premiere Episode of The Real Expats of the Yucatan! Learning all about Karen…..Our hippie chill Earth Mother with an EDGE.


Night of the Dead/ Mérida, Yucatán

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Mornings in my backyard/ Chelem, MX

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Sony A65 camera


Best coffee store in the world/ Mérida, MX

Posheria/ Paseo de Montejo, Centro Histórico de Mérida, Yucatán

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dsc04472Julio de la Cruz, owner, Posheria

dsc04478Anybody who follows this blog knows that I have had the pleasure of tasting the finest coffees in the world…in Brazil, in Columbia, Turkish coffee in Istanbul, Cuban coffee in Miami, Arabic brew in Dubai…but recently, the best coffee I’ve had is from the Chiapas Highlands of Mexico. It’s nutty and sweet, and the only coffee that I’ve ever drank that is actually better without cream and sugar. Fortunately, the store that sells it…Posheria…is a short drive from my home in Yucatán, Mexico. But Posheria is much more than just a coffee store…

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Owner Julio de la Cruz opened his first store in 2010 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, and then opened another location on the chic Paseo de Montejo in Mérida in 2015. The store also carries hand-woven tapestries and bags made from maguey (an agave plant), hand-made wood carvings and ceramics (jaguars seem to be a specialty), as well as a huge selection of pox (pronounced: posh), a traditional Maya liquor made from corn. All of his store’s stock is fair trade that benefits the economy of Chiapas’ coffee growers and artisans.

dsc04491-1Bottles of pox, tapestries, maguey bags, ceramics, and hand-carved crafts.

I had never heard of pox before. According to Julio, the Maya considered it a mystic concoction, and used it for celebrations and spiritual occasions, or as he explains it “Pox: Destilado de Maiz. The traditional drink of the indigenous communities of Los Altos de Chiapas. This distillate is considered the bridge between the material and spiritual world and every sip serves a purpose: joy for the holidays, elixir to heal the body and balm for the soul.”  Julio operates a pox distillery in Mérida…the only source of  licensed, tax-stamped pox in existence…it generally coming from rustic distilling in the Chiapas Highlands. Depending upon which flavor you chose, it makes either a great aperitif or digestif…drunk chilled in a small glass like sherry or port.

dsc04477A variety of hand-crafted critters

dsc04485Pox, wood carvings, and tapestries

Posheria is a really interesting store to spend some time browsing…have a coffee…and sample a taste of pox. It’s at Paseo de Montejo #486, Centro Histórico in Mérida…near the end of the street where it loops around. I’ve never been there without buying something. In fact, today I bought that little jaguar in the thumbnail photo at the beginning of this editorial. The Tsotsil indigenous people of the Chiapas Highlands say “bankilal” (brother) in lieu of “cheers.”  So….bankilal!

PS: if you drop in, tell Julio you saw the blog post.


Neuter and spay clinic/ Ek Balam, Mexico

Anyone who is familiar with rural Mexico knows what a problem stray and feral dogs are. They lead short miserable lives and are often killed or crippled by automobile traffic. In addition to the inhumane circumstances of the dogs, there are community health hazards as well. Roving packs of aggressive feral dogs are dangerous. So is the strewn garbage from their rummaging, and the fouled streets where children run barefoot. This past weekend I shot a short documentary to promote the efforts of a group of volunteers who conducted a free neuter and spay clinic for the town of Ek Balam…a small, remote village in the state of Yucatán, Mexico. The clinic was held at the town’s municipal building. In addition to catching some strays, the clinic provided services to family dogs who might sire litters of feral dogs.

I’ll be working on editing the documentary for a while yet, so, this morning I cut this piece to provide a more timely look at the program. This video follows one particular dog, Drego, as he goes through the entire process: arrival, anesthesia, surgery, ear tattoo, recovery, and a tail-wagging return home. Drego is a very big and very sweet family dog. Someone said that he is part mastiff and part pit bull. The father sports a Maya warrior haircut from his role as a re-enactor at the nearby Ek Balam ruins.

Kudos to the many volunteers who spent the day working hard, pro bono, in the heat of the Yucatán interior, and thanks to Lee Christie whose Genesis Eco-Oasis was a beautiful and hospitable place from which the event was staged.

I hope you will watch the video and share to help promote this and other neuter and spay programs.

Note: there are a few scenes of canine surgery that some people might find disturbing.

 

 


Lizard hiding/ Chelem, MX

A lizard disguising itself as foliage on my approach.

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Sony A65 camera in my backyard