Since we were in Cozumel in early December, I saw a lot of Christmas decorations at the mall in Puerta Maya. I saw a large Nativity Scene at the center of the mall.
This is part of the Mexican culture. The dominant religion is Catholicism and the people of different religious domination don't have an issue of putting Christmas trees and Nativity sets in public.
Isla Cozumel, Mexico had been devastated tremendously by hurricanes and the worst was in 2005, which was the Hurricane Katrina.
Most of the business establishments in Punta Sur were slammed badly- roofs of retaurants were blown away, walls removed, etc.
Some of the business owners there tried to rebuild their hotels, bars and restaurants and others didn't.
You can still see some of the remnants of the hurricane. Others were resilient and built roofs just made of materials from the local area for cheaper costs.
The Mayans are very friendly and very polite. We have met some of the Mayans at the entrance of the Faro Ceralain Ecopark.
Some of them are well-educated and spoke English very well. They have prominent noses and darker skin and short.
They are very friendly, courteous and polite and are very proud of their culture as shown in the arts and crafts sold in many shops in Cozumel.
For the past few years, Cozumel had been hit by many unforgiving weather. Most of the nice hotels there that were built in cement were all destroyed by typhoons/storms. Some of the business owners were very resilient and they rebuilt their hotels and restaurants back. However, they just built them with roofs made from local roofing materials like the coconut leaves, cogon grasess, etc.
You can see the devatation of the storm from one business to another along the beach.
IT IS OK TO EAT THESE THINGS, really!
Also try out other local flavors. Go to the grocery store and pick something out that you can't get at home.
The ice, on the other hand, may be questionable. You can request drinks without it. This may be an urban myth, but supposedly lime juice squeezed in your drink should kill some bacteria.
Wipe off cans or bottles that have been sitting in ice to chill before putting them to your mouth.
If you go outside your resort or port of call you may be required to pay in order to use the restrooms. I wish I had taken a picture of the sign I found outside a little shop bathroom that said, "Bano (Bathroom)Two Peso".
Picture is a map of an ecological reserve, the Parque Punta Sur. Picture has nothing to do with the tip here.
In highschool, it was part of our school curriculum to take Spanish language classes , required studies. In college, it was also part of our G.E. courses (general education) to take Spanish language courses. I had two years of classes in Spanish in college. I still remember some words in Spanish, but not the conjugation of verbs. With the little Spanish that I still remember and that I used while in Cozumel, I think, I was appreciated by the locals.
It pays to be nice. In The Veranda Restaurant, our being nice to the waiters (I kidded the waiter that he can have his own cooking show ; at another time, when another diner offered to take our pictures, and asked if the waiter cooking my meal should be in the picture too, I said, yes please, because the waiter is the master of the flame. I said it as a joke, but I think they appreciated being given some importance, appreciation and dignity for their work.
In some countries (developing countries) where labor is less expensive than in the US, sometimes, people who engage in "manual labor" is relegated at the bottom rang of the social ladder.
As someone who grew up in a place that always has cold and usually snow for Christmas, it's always very strange for me to see Christmas decorations in warm climates while I'm sweating and walking around in shorts.
And how exactly does Santa Claus get around in his sleigh and doesn't it get awfully hot in that furry red suit? Do images of Santa Claus in Mexico have him arriving on a sailboat?
There are many streets and squares in Mexico named after Benito Juarez, a Zapotec Indian who was President of Mexico from 1861-1863 and from 1867-1872. He is often regarded as Mexico's greatest and most beloved leader.
One of the main streets in Cozumel is named after Juarez and the square features the bust in the accompanying picture.
As many of you know, I like to add one tip of a beer I have along my journey.
Although I do not claim to be a beer expert, I know what I like and do not like.
Superior beer is probably one of my least favorite Mexican beers, although after a long snorkel, it was welcomed.
I would rank it well below:
I guess when your entire livelyhood is based on "performing" for visitors on their holiday, it actually "pays" to be jovial. We noticed that everywhere we went the waiters, hosts, and activity partners were very active in our enjoyment of their city.
Here our waiter was acting sneaky, and as I had Sarah pose for her Virtual Tourist tip pic of Carlos and Charlie's, our waiter actually snuck up behind her and took this pic with her while she had no clue he was there!!
Some of the arts and crafts that were sold in Puerto Maya and Puerto Sur were all depicting the Mayan culture. From masks, paintings, to jewelry boxes, you can see faces of the Mayans.
I love the brightly painted churches that you find in Mexico, we saw this one as we were heading back to the docks.
It's always interesting to watch these guys painting beautiful sceneries with just a few spray bombs & some cardboard cutouts. Some are very talented.