At The Yucatan Times we believe in providing all our readers with the ability to speak their mind, to challenge, discuss or respond any article, editorial or news released on our online publication, we provide all the parties involved with the opportunity to present their story, no editing from us, as long as this response is signed by the author.
Two articles recently published on TYT have been bringing up different reactions from people:
Our Editorial Board received a letter from a resident of Mahahual, Quintana Roo, and we are proceeding to publish as requested by the author.
By Sarah Ross
I would just like to say that I was not very pleased to see this article in your newspaper. I am a resident of Mahahual and would like to clear up a few facts.
Not all Canadian and Americans here are selling real estate as stated in the article. There are many excellent “gringo” real estate agents working here. Some have been here for 20 years and yes a few even go north in the winter. With email, skype, Whats app and even telephones I can contact my realtor “up north” 24 hours a day! Our real estate market is sluggish to say the least. In my opinion many properties and houses in this area are overpriced. So to state that “carpetbaggers” are coming here and buying everything is quite strange. I purchased land here 4 years ago from a “gringo” and had no problems at all.
I was very disappointed that a resident of Mahahual chose his debute in your publication, to write an extremely negative article about our town. He is “gringo” real estate agent and chose to go on personal rant about his competitors. Did he not realize he is also making himself look bad? Did he think that maybe this will help him sell more real estate? I am not sure what the intention of this article was other than to insult the other real estate agents in our town. I am positive this not going to help residents sell their places here. I am not too familiar with “southern gentlemen” but do not think that most gentlemen would berate people publicly and use the words “pissed off” in an article. There are many different ways to express feelings without using vulgar terms.
I would have much rather read a positive article about Mahahual as it is an incredibly beautiful place to live. Something like the attached that I wrote. I am not a writer or a journalist, but always thought that journalists must have concrete facts. I was suprised to see the words, “I heard” in the article. Maybe the author sees Mahahual as a negative place. But I know most of the people that live here do so because they love our little town on the sea.
Disappointed in Paradise.
Letter attachement by Mrs. Sarah Ross.
Living in Mahahual
For me, Life in the Mahahual has been a dream come true. Every day people ask me why I settled here after having lived in Wales, Canada, Spain and the USA. I had travelled the world for 5 years to search for a new place to settle down. I knew when I found the right place, I would know it and when I arrived here, my search was over.
My main criteria for a new home was the following: an inexpensive cost of living, affordable property prices, culture, community, safety, and a relaxed way of life. I have lived outside of Mahahual for four years and would not want to be anywhere else! In this small community everyone is friendly and helps each other out. I put up a thatched roof palapa on a pretty stretch of beach and now I am home.
I live up the coast from Mahahual, which is the nearest town. This beautiful town is approximately 4 hours drive south of Cancun and 90 or so miles north of the Belize border.
The year round population is approximately 2,000. The town has many amenities: grocery stores, fresh fruit and vegetable stands, pharmacies, hardware stores, hotels, restaurants and bars. There are two medical clinics, a dentist and a drinking water company. If you can’t find what you need in town, the state capital Chetumal is south of here near the Belize border. Shopping and entertainment abound there.
Near the town of Mahahual the warm aquamarine waters of the Carribean Sea are skirted with soft white sand as fine as sugar. The mesa-americano reef that runs from Mexico to Honduras is second only to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. In addition, just east of Mahahual there is a marine reserve. A few fishermen live on the small atoll and it is a fantastic place to dive, snorkel or just relax for a day. As an avid fisher, diver and snorkeler these underwater worlds are paradise. There are spectacular colorful fish in and around the beautiful coral. And dinner is in the front yard! Also nearby, is the 1.3 million acre Sian Kaan Biosphere Preserve. The Preserve is not only teeming with birds and wildlife, it is also the site of more than 25 Mayans ruins.
Take a trip to the Laguna, where you can kayak out to mangrove islands full of nesting birds. Tri-colored heron and roseate spoonbills are common. If you are lucky, you might even see a jaguar or monkey, which are known to inhabit the park. After paddling around the lagoon, you can float down the crystal clear river and into the sea. Mild mannered manatees are sometimes spotted near here.
Nature surrounds you in Costa Maya. Just a few hours away is Lake Bacalar, Mexico’s second largest freshwater lake. Almost 50 kilometers long, it is sometimes called the Lake of Seven colors, because it’s clear waters range in color from aqua near the pale sandy beaches, to azure and deep navy blue as the water grows deeper. The lake is actually a lagoon fed by underground cenotes and a series of connected waterways that eventually lead to the ocean. It is surrounded by lush tropical rainforest.
This has become a haven for expat retirees and is one of Mexico’s best kept secrets.
If you are tired of nature and want to go back in time, Costa Maya is dotted with archeological sites. The best known are Tulum and Coba, a two hour drive away. Tulum is the third most visited archeological site in Mexico after Teotihuacan and Chichen Itza. After hiking through the Coba ruins, you can go deepwater jumping into the nearby cenotes. These are underground caves with pools of cool fresh water where stalactites and stalagmites surround you.
I like to keep busy and there are so many activities in and around Mahahual. Hiking, four-wheeling, fly fishing, paddle boarding, jet skiing, diving, snorkelling, sea fishing, kayaking, bird watching and beachcombing are just some of the activities you can enjoy when you live on the Costa Maya.
Finally, the other question that people ask me about Mexico, is whether or not it is safe. I can only speak to my own experiences here. I have travelled extensively through this beautiful country, with only my dog, for three years. I have never had a problem here. There are safety concerns in parts of Mexico, but if you use common sense you will be fine. One thing I advise people not to do, is drive at night in Mexico. Hotels are abundant and inexpensive and it’s safest to pull over before dark. Quintana Roo is one of the safest states in the country and the people here are amazingly helpful and friendly.
I live by myself and lived in a canvas tent under a palapa, on the beach for the first 2 years I lived here. I never had a problem with anyone during that time. I now have an enclosed bedroom made of beautiful local wood.
I can honestly say this is one of the best places I have ever lived. The weather is great, the people are fantastic, and my life could not be more complete. There is always something to do, plenty of places to explore, but the best part is if you want to you can just sit on the beach and watch the magnificent Caribbean Sea. Now its time to go and relax!
Resident of Mahaual Quintana Roo for four years
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