Tag Archives: environment

Relax and Hug A Tree

29 Jan

The commitment of a weekly blog brings on a certain amount of pressure. While there’s no one with a gun to my head, I feel an internal pull to produce. It’s also been a habit I’ve established for over four years. So here goes…

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The pyramids of Dzibanché selfie with US visitor Harper, Lisa, her mom Alice and me.

Nope, I’ve got nothing this week. I’ve been happy and the weather’s been beautiful. Absolutely nothing interesting bubbled up this week in my middle-of-the-night musings, what do I blog about?

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Giant palms. Note the human in bottom right corner.

Given the state of the U.S., it’s almost embarrassing to be filled with joy and gratitude for each day as it presents itself.

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Majesty growing on a pyramid.

So I’ve decided to share the recent photos of amazing trees we saw while visiting local Mayan ruins with our friend and visitor, Harper. I admit it was her astute eye that grabbed my interest.

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Trees have stories to tell if we take time to listen. These certainly are beautiful. I love the way their roots adapt to barriers. No fuss, just go around and in some cases, go through.

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So if you’re feeling afraid, hopeless or disconnected, or happy and grateful, go hug a tree. They ask nothing of us, except maybe that we don’t destroy the planet.

DOS TORTAS

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Mexican Expat Life

18 Dec

Sometimes adventure is not WHAT you visit, pyramids, churches, mercados, etc. but WHO you meet along the way. Join the TORTAS as we venture out from our home in Bacalar along the Costa Maya to explore parts unknown (at least to us).

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To celebrate a Torta birthday this week, we visited the pueblo of Puerto Morelos nestled between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Little did we know that this cozy fishing village is an exploding tourist town and expatriate destination.

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Guatemalan boys walking the beach looking for tourist pesos.

Something lacking in the far reaches of southern Mexico that we call home, is an English language bookstore. What a surprise to find Alma Libre Bookstore. 

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Rob and Joanne Birce

Not only are Rob and Joanne long time residents of this sleepy little town, Rob went to school with our friend and fellow Bacalar resident, Mitch! We were immediately family and Joanne told us all the best places to eat in Puerto Morelos.

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Visit their website for all things Puerto Morelos.

At Joanne’s recommendation we dined at La Sirena and met the owner Anthony Chalas from my home state of New Jersey. Greek food in Mexico, yum!

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Great artwork for a photo op.

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Caribbean sea turtle mural.

On our two day tour of Puerto Morelos, we got to visit the local mercado and meet Ann Trépanier, French Canadian and artist extraordinaire.

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Making art from recycled plastic. My kinda gal!

Ann makes “fabric” from heating together layered plastic bags. She is passionate about the environment and the changes she sees in her precious little town due to unregulated tourism.

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I wish I’d bought all her bags. Contact her at welovepuertomorelos@yahoo.com

There was one more astonishing encounter with a restaurant manager, but that is a story for another day. Travel in Mexico is full of opportunities. Do venture out of the all-inclusive hotel compounds. Not only will you meet lovely Mexican people and fellow fearless travelers but expats from around the world who live, love and fight to protect Mexico’s resources. Do tell them “hello” from

DOS TORTAS

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A Mural As Political Statement

2 Oct

The murals in Mexico and specifically Bacalar bring art to the streets and into every day life. (The Artistry of Bacalar). The newest mural graces the wall of restaurant El Manatí, owned by our friends Isa and Abram. You may remember them from a previous post (The Artist Next Door).

Danae Brissonnet,  a visiting muralist captures the political tension of the developing Bacalar and the ramifications for people and environment. Families are being pushed from their homes to make way for hotels, restaurants and stores selling to tourists. The fragile ecosystem of the Laguna is threatened by motor boats, pesticides and fertilizers all used to support growth.

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Meting Dannae and hearing her talk about her amazing mural was a real treat.

The giant piñata is swallowing up the people and spitting them out into new housing.

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The scary face of development swallowing the poor.

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People displaced from their homes.

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I loved the colors and detail.

The giant piñata rests on the fragile stromatolites that are Bacalar’s equivalent to coral reefs and are a Mexican national treasure. While the piñata is big and scary, it is itself fragile. The choices of the people of Bacalar, the tourist industry and the visitors to this Pueblo Majico will determine its future. DOS TORTAS

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Dia de la Tierra

21 Apr

This week we celebrate Earth Day 2013. I remember the first Earth Day in 1970, the year I graduated from high school. I was surprised that my father would join a group of students picking up trash in Ken Lockwood Gorge near my childhood home in New Jersey. I thought only young people cared about the environment…LOL!!

In researching the Pueblo de Bacalar, I was curious about the town and what it would be like to live there. Austin is a green city and people are very conscious about the environment. I know from our travels that the rest of the world isn’t always as committed. One thing I discovered about Bacalar was an Earth Day Celebration from 2011 that I wish I could have attended. People coming together to celebrate the earth, the laguna and their comunidad. In a declaration of intent, residents committed to protecting the earth, the inclusion of all people through non-descrimination, and the education of children to continue the work. The faces in the pictures are mixed in ethnicity, race, age and resource. During our visit to Bacalar in December 2012, I noticed blue recycling barrels everywhere. There were bi-lingual notices asking people to protect the lake by picking up trash.

Seemed like my kind of town.

Celebration!

Celebration!

People Coming Together

People Coming Together

Ritual to Bless the Earth.

Ritual to Bless the Earth.

Earth Day photos by Jacqui McGrath

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