The Blue Tarp School

By David Simmonds

The Kids

It was the summer of 1980 when David Lynch, a special-ed teacher from Long Island, New York, traveled to Tijuana with some others to volunteer in a colonia by the municipal dump. As David tells the story, the kids in the colonia were the children of the “trash pickers”, or pepenadores. That is how they made a meager living, by recycling other people’s trash. He quickly noticed that they had no school to attend, so he spread a blue tarp on the ground and asked the kids to join him there. Every day more kids would show up and David would do what he does – teach. Now, 31 years have passed and David is still there. Over 6,000 kids have attended the school and have had their lives forever changed because one man decided to do something bigger than himself.

Illustrated by Hernan Sosa

Thanks to word-of-mouth and media coverage there is now a two-story school built on the original blue tarp site, built with donations (including Susan Sarandon) and a lot of hard work. Felipe Gonzales was one of David’s first students, one of the dump worker’s sons. He is now a teacher at the school, one who knows how important it is to be given an education – a chance at a better life. Many other students have gone on to lead equally productive lives as professionals, shop owners, factory workers and on and on.

 

I met David Lynch when my son, Tanner, a high school junior (who has just been elected ASB President), was looking for a community service project in which to be involved. His research led him to call David Lynch and ask what he could do to help out. Since I have years of driving in Mexico experience, I offered to join Tanner in driving the school’s large van on field trips, which we have done on several occasions. And then more recently, Tanner spearheaded a Santa’s Gift project at his high school in San Diego, collecting over 200 Christmas gifts for the kids at the Tijuana school. The kids were amazed and so grateful, but what struck me more than anything else was how genuine, curious and well-mannered they are. They expect nothing and appreciate everything, seemingly forgotten traits by many kids north of the border. I think Tanner has learned more than he thought possible by his interaction with the Tijuana kids, about humility, perspective and acceptance.

Tanner with some of Santa’s Gifts

There is a children’s book about all of this called Armando and the Blue Tarp School http://www.bluetarpschool.com/, and David Lynch’s web site is here http://www.responsibilityonline.org/

 

Disclosure:  I am being compensated for my work in creating and managing content as a Contributor for the México Today Program.  All stories, opinions and passion for all things México shared here are completely my own. Mexico Today is a joint public and private sector initiative designed to help promote Mexico as a global business partner and an unrivaled tourist destination.

Having a Whale of a Time in Mexico

By Lisa Coleman

“What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility. This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism” ~ Albert Einstien

Christmas is over but it’s almost time for another kind of season… whale watching season. Mexico and marine life have a very specific bond, and there are few places where it is felt more strongly than along the coasts of the Baja Peninsula. With the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Sea of Cortés on the other, this is one of the best locations anywhere to witness nature’s magnificent wonders. The Sea of Cortés is one of the world’s unique ocean environments, and is considered by some to be the most biologically rich body of water on earth. In late December through early March, it also happens to be one of the premiere whale watching destinations in the world.

The sparkling seaside resorts of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo (better known as Los Cabos or simply “Cabo”) are the ultimate location on the Baja Peninsula for whale watching. Each year an estimated 12,000 of the world’s 21,000 Gray whales make a 6,000-mile journey to bear their calves in the warm waters of the Pacific lagoons to the north of Los Cabos. From there, many continue south, veering around the tip of the Baja into the crystal waters of the Sea of Cortés. Here they find peace and freedom and provide whale-watchers with incredible thrills.

At birth, the Pacific Gray whale is approximately 15 feet long. As adults, their average length can be from 40 to 46 feet (about the same as a Greyhound bus!), and they can weigh up to 35 tons. They spend their summers northwest of Alaska in the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas before making their way toward Mexico for the winter. The journey to Mexican waters is a lengthy trip for the gray whales that travel in pods as small as three whales and as large as sixteen members. Though they only swim at about five miles per hour, they are extremely agile. Diving as deep as 500 feet, they can stay under water for up to 30 minutes. Since they are mammals and surface to breathe, they have two blowholes near the top of their heads. You can hear them spouting from nearly a half a mile away and the stream of water shooting from their blowhole can rise 10-13 feet above the surface.

In Cabo, at the height of the migration, these amazing creatures are so close they can easily be seen from shore. Several hotels and cafes also have patios overlooking prime whale viewing areas. Many local tour companies also offer whale-watching trips. There are two-and-a-half hour boat tours in the bays around Los Cabos, either by the catamaran or powerboat.

In the sheltered lagoons of the Baja, the calves learn survival skills and gain strength by swimming against the ocean currents flowing into the calmer waters. The calves weigh around 3,000 pounds and are about 19 feet long when they are ready to leave. Magdalena Bay is one of the most famous breeding lagoons in the area and it’s not uncommon for the “friendlies,” as they’re called, to approach the small boats (“pangas”) of whale watchers. The sweet-tempered leviathans often approach the boats and welcome a gentle rub from humans… truly extraordinary. You can reach “Mag” Bay by plane or bus. There are countless tours available through your hotel in Los Cabos or you can book online before you go. The excursions from Los Cabos usually include snacks on board the boat and lunch at a local restaurant. It’s an encounter with nature not easily duplicated.


In Los Cabos, there’s more than great golf and beautiful beaches, there’s a chance to be involved with some of the most unbelievable creatures on the planet. Check it out if you can, it will be one of the most memorable experiences you’ve ever had.

 
Disclosure: I am being compensated for my work in creating and managing content as a Community Manager for the Mexico Today Program. All stories, opinions and passion for all things Mexico shared here are completely my own. Mexico Today is a joint public and private sector initiative designed to help promote Mexico as a global business partner and an unrivaled tourist destination.

 

Taking Home Mexico’s Treasures

By: Lisa Coleman

According to recently announced estimates by Mexico’s Secretary of Tourism, Gloria Guevara Manzo, approximately 10.4 million tourists are expected to visit Mexico during the last two weeks of 2011.  Not only does that mean a lot hotel business, but a lot of shopping too! For those of us who take our shopping seriously, Mexico can offer plenty of treasures. Known for its small markets, local crafts and unique shops, it’s easy to get hooked. But just like any other foreign country, keep your eyes open and know that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Here are a few of Mexico’s “best buys” and how to shop for them.

Silver is always one of the most popular items for tourists. Mexico has long been the leading producer of silver in the world so you can usually find some very special pieces. Mexican sterling silver will always be stamped “.925.” This means the alloy content contains 925 grams of silver per 1000 grams and this mark will authenticate the item. (The other 75 grams are copper.) Look very carefully for this on any silver item you purchase because if the imprint isn’t there, the silver isn’t solid or considered pure.

If you are looking for something exceptional, keep in mind that Mexico is one of only two countries in the Americas that has amber. Found only in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas (yet sold throughout the county), amber is the only semiprecious stone derived from plants. Amber is the fossilized resin of coniferous trees and four characteristics will affect its price: size (large pieces are usually used for sculpture), clarity, color (red is the cheapest, pale yellow the finest, and stones with green veins the rarest), and any fossilized bees, ants or other insects trapped in the stone.


Be sure not to pass up Mexican textiles. Everything from thick sweaters and colorful serapes to intricate rugs, sturdy napkins, place mats, and gorgeous tablecloths can be found throughout the country. The small towns in the countryside still handloom most everything lending a particularly enduring quality to the work. If you want to double check the authenticity of something, remember that while wool and cotton burn and become ash, synthetic fibers melt. If you pull out a few small fibers and test them with a match, you should have your answer. Also, synthetic colors tend to be brighter than natural fibers. Finely woven pieces also take longer and use more yarn so they will inevitably be heavier. And, some of these folkloric garments may not be colorfast. It’s best to dry clean them or wash them separately in cold water to avoid bleeding and fading.


If you’re like me, you’ll go crazy for the exquisite colors of the pots, jugs and dishes. Vibrant blues, yellows, reds and greens symbolize the very essence of everything Mexican. While it may be difficult to resist, don’t used your new glazed pottery for preparing or serving food, especially food with a high acidic content. The majority of this pottery is fired at a low temperature and therefore more porous and lighter in weight than pottery fired at high temperatures like stoneware or porcelain. Low temperature fired pottery is common source of lead poisoning. To test it, flick an empty piece with your fingernail. If it rings like a bell it is most likely high temperature and safe. If it sounds like you’re tapping on wood, it’s probably low temperature and may contain lead.


As for customs and bringing your treasures home, it’s pretty simple stuff. You are exempt from paying duty on items totaling $800 or less that are acquired for your personal household use. (That means gifts you buy for people too.) They never get too sticky on this unless you are bringing in alcohol or cigars. You are allowed one liter per person and no Cuban cigars, If you did go a bit crazy, the duty on most items is well under 10 percent of their value. In addition, duty only applies to articles you bring with you at the time of your return to the U.S. and does not apply to items shipped at a later date.

The information below can be found on the US Customs and Border Protection website.  The site also provides this note and information:  Be sure and read “Know Before You Go” – don’t rely on advice from friends and shopkeepers on what items “will clear Customs.” You may request a print copy of the brochure by ordering from the online Ordering Publications form

Here is another list that you will find published on the site with 10 tips for traveling over the holidays:

10. This holiday season, many travelers may be looking for good deals on items from electronics to toys and apparel. However, keep in mind that items bought from street vendors may not only be counterfeit but could also pose safety risks.
9. Declare “duty-free goods,” even if purchased in “duty-free” stores.
8. Do not attempt to bring unauthorized fruits, meats, and dairy products into the United States without first checking whether they are permitted. **Oranges, Grapefruit, Tangerines, Sour Oranges, Sweet Limes, Guavas, Mangoes, Peaches, Pomegranates from Mexico are prohibited. Most fruit from outside the U.S. is restricted or prohibited, but if fruit is from Canada with proof of origin, it is generally admissible.
7. Know the difference between goods for personal use vs. commercial use.
6. Know the difference between prohibited merchandise (such as ivory, tortoise shell products, and counterfeit items) and restricted merchandise.
5. Be aware that many foreign manufactured medications are not FDA-approved and, consequently, cannot be brought into the U.S. Also, when traveling abroad, bring only the amount of medication you’ll need during the trip.
4. Do not attempt to return with Cuban cigars, no matter where they were purchased.
3. Know the rules governing the $800 exemption on goods brought back from abroad.
2. Understand that, CBP officers have the authority to conduct enforcement examinations without a warrant, ranging from a single luggage examination up to and possibly including a personal search.
1. Seasonal greenery, such as holly, mistletoe, and Christmas trees, are regulated for various pests and diseases.

In addition:

Gift Baskets: Gift baskets are inspected by the FDA, CBP, and the U.S. Postal Service (if mailed) to ensure products included meet the entry requirements. Please see Importing Gift Packs for further information.

Baked Goods: Baked goods (including bread, cereal, granola bars, crackers, and cakes) are generally admissible. For pies with regional fruits and vegetables contact the POE you plan to enter.

Candy, chocolate, and cured cheese are generally admissible.

Canned goods and goods in vacuum packed jars (other than those containing meat or poultry products) are also generally admissible if being imported for personal use.

Disclosure: I am being compensated for my work in creating and managing content as a Community Manager for the Mexico Today Program. All stories, opinions and passion for all things Mexico shared here are completely my own. Mexico Today is a joint public and private sector initiative designed to help promote Mexico as a global business partner and an unrivaled tourist destination

 

 

Hotel Victoria – One of Merida’s Precious Gems

By: Lisa Coleman

One of the great things about a city like Merida is there is truly something for everyone…especially when it comes to hotels. You’ll find the gamut here with everything from intimate, high-end boutique hotels and refurbished haciendas to cozy inns and big chain properties.  But in the end, it simply boils down to what is important to you in a hotel stay. For me, it’s about service, attitude and amenities. It’s also about location, convenience and quality. (And, personally, I really need that internet connection to work!)


After my recent trip to Merida, I can tell you the new Hotel Victoria fit the bill for me.  Opened in July of 2011, this slick, 91-room property gets it all done at a very, very affordable price. Located in a prime spot at the beginning of the famous Paseo de Montejo, Victoria is undeniably European. Crafted in the architectural style of many of the famous French-inspired buildings that line the avenue, this hotel is the ideal place to launch your exploration of the city.

The formula for success here is:  keep it simple and keep it good. The outside of the building  and lobby look and feel like a sleek little hotel that might be found off the Champs Elysees in Paris. The front desk staff is bilingual and helpful, and everything is neat as a pin. The double rooms are small (so if you need more space opt for a Junior Suite), but the 32” flat screen television hung on the wall, comfy beds (with awesome pillows and sheets), and lightning fast high-speed wireless internet bring it all together.

Popular with the business crowd, the Hotel Victoria boasts an intimate boardroom (that accommodates 10 people) as well as meeting and event space for up to 120.  And, the latest addition to the property is the rooftop terrace with great views of the Paseo de Montejo – perfect for the most elegant gathering.


The café-style Verona restaurant (complete with a cozy outdoor patio) has excellent food and is always buzzing.  Breakfast and lunch feature an optional buffet and dinner is served a la carte. Room service is right off the menu and is equally as good.

There’s a lot to like at the Hotel Victoria, and with prices starting at around $65 USD a night, you really can’t go wrong. I have no doubt you’ll be out exploring a lot while in Merida, but trust me when I tell you this is the perfect place to call home while you’re there. For more information visit www.hotelvictoriamerida.com
Disclosure: I am being compensated for my work in creating and managing content as a Community Manager for the Mexico Today Program. All stories, opinions and passion for all things Mexico shared here are completely my own. Mexico Today is a joint public and private sector initiative designed to help promote Mexico as a global business partner and an unrivaled tourist destination.

Celebrity Style Weddings Come to Life in Cancun

Cancun, Mexico December 19, 2011: – The Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau welcomes Colin Cowie, celebrity wedding planner, to Cancun thanks to an unprecedented travel industry partnership with Palace Resorts.

Cowie will bring his style and elegance – along with his own signature collections – to the Mexican Caribbean; helping brides from all over the world plan their ultimate dream wedding.

“Palace Resorts is the best in the business and always goes above and beyond for their customers, just like I do,” said Colin Cowie. “I was totally blown away by their properties, and there was an immediate affinity between our two brands. We have designed eighteen over the top, fabulous customized packages to give the bride and groom a high dose of Colin Cowie style. Every aspect of the design is thought out to make the planning process effortless for the couple.  The programs speak to a broad range of design sensibilities so that there is something for everyone, allowing brides to express themselves and their style without having to get bogged down in the planning details.”

There will be over a dozen theme options available, from beach weddings to vibrant color themes or a more traditional style. Each collection will include the help of a dedicated and experienced wedding planner who will help couples make their dream day a reality, assisting with details from chair covers and plates to the flowers and cake.

Having worked with Oprah Winfrey, Jerry Seinfeld, Eddie Murphy, Jennifer Lopez, Tom Cruise, Sugar Ray Leonard, Hugh Hefner, Jennifer Aniston and so many more, Collin Cowie and Palace Resorts are ready to make every brides’ destination wedding dream come to in Cancun.

With seven resorts in the Palace portfolio in the Cancun area, the Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau looks forward to the beautiful weddings that will be taking place with a backdrop of the beautiful turquoise waters of Cancun and the treasures of the Caribbean.

 

One Town At a Time

By David Simmonds

“Is the rich world aware of how four billion of the six billion live? If we were aware, we would want to help out; we’d want to get involved.” — Bill Gates, rich guy.

About fifteen years ago I started a non-profit called The Sea of Cortez International Preservation Foundation. We raised some money and were able to do some good things for several years, including donating $10,000 to help in the creation of an artificial reef off the coast of La Paz in Baja California Sur. It has become a very popular dive site, helping tourism as well as the fish population. But then the horror of 9/11 happened and, understandably, it became very difficult to raise money, so I regrettably had to shut it down.

As a few years passed I missed doing something larger than my self-centered endeavors, so two years ago I formed another non-profit, One Town At a Time (www.onetownatatime.com). Then, immediately, I destroyed my ankle after decades of extreme activity, and had to back-burner everything until I could become reasonably mobile again. Today, thanks to a great orthopedic doctor, the ankle is mostly fixed.  With the help of Susie Albin-Najera  (founder of the excellent blog “The Mexico Report”), we have fired up One Town again. I don’t think  Susie ever sleeps. My friend and partner in Mexico Premiere, Lisa Coleman, has also joined the Board of Directors.

Here is the Mission Statement, to give you an overview of our purpose:

The mission of One Town At A Time is to address the living conditions of poor villages in Mexico by providing families in these areas with tools for achieving sustainability. This is the ideal way to ameliorate the immigration pattern in the United States which currently encourages villagers to cross the border to earn money to send back to their families. By providing villagers with tools for addressing their poverty, they can remain in their villages, sustain a sense of family and community structure, and cultivate pride in their way of life. One Town At A Time shares and provides the technology that enhances the ability of villagers in Mexico to improve and expand their current farming, trade, and communication practices in a way that honors their rich cultural heritage and brings them closer to the global socioeconomic realm.

Our present project is Apples For Classrooms. With monetary donations we will purchase Apple computers, iPads, etc. to give to rural schools in Cabo Corrientes, an area just a little south of Puerto Vallarta in the state of Jalisco. Some of the villages include Chacala, Mascotita, Refugio and Guasimas. They will need ongoing support to pay for satellite internet connection, but the benefit the kids will derive will be life-changing. A new world of possibility will open up to them that will positively impact each child as well as their community. I can think of no single thing that could be more beneficial than the knowledge gained by these curious and open minds. For the first time in their lives they will have access to all of the world’s information.

Our goal is to be able to present the Apple devices to the schools in the latter part of March, 2012 in coordination with Tianguis, the huge travel trade show that will be held in Puerto Vallarta March 25 – 28. Please consider helping us out. There is a Donation button on the web site www.onetownatatime.com, and/or forward this article to other people that you know. We are a registered 501(c)3 and all donations are tax-deductible.

 

Disclosure:  I am being compensated for my work in creating and managing content as a Contributor for the México Today Program.  All stories, opinions and passion for all things México shared here are completely my own. Mexico Today is a joint public and private sector initiative designed to help promote Mexico as a global business partner and an unrivaled tourist destination.

 

 

Mystical, Magical, Marvelous…Mérida

By: Lisa Coleman
Webster’s Online Dictionary defines magical as “being enchanting, captivating, fascinating, ravishing or alluring.” With that in mind, Mérida is a definitive fit. Each place I discover in Mexico certainly has its own personality, its own style and its own unique offerings. But once in a while I stumble upon a place that is so incredibly special that it almost takes my breath away. Mérida is one of those places.

With the help and support of the Yucatán Tourism Office, airline tickets arranged by the excellent agents at Victory Travel in Los Angeles, and the unprecedented and absolutely perfect itinerary created by our  hostess Ana Argaez of the Hotel Victoria,  this was without question one of the best trips I have ever taken to Mexico. And, after 20+ years of traveling the country, that’s saying a lot!

The Yucatán Peninsula is comprised of three states: Campeche, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo (the last being home to Cancun and the famous beaches of the Riviera Maya). The Caribbean beaches are fine for the tourist crowd, but the travelers who want to be moved by history, awed by beauty, and overwhelmed with soul, may want to look further inland to the Mexican state of Yucatán and its tropical colonial capital city of Mérida.

Museum of Anthropology
Paseo de Montejo

Once the center of the Maya empire, Mérida is the perfect base for discovering some of the world’s most intriguing and well-preserved archeological sites. The city itself is a real charmer – European in design, yet undeniably Maya. Horse drawn carriages carry visitors down tree-lined boulevards past a fascinating mixture of Spanish and French colonial architecture. Founded in 1542, Mérida holds tightly to its roots. Elaborate turn-of-the-century mansions still stand as a reminder of the wealth that began in the 16th century with the area’s henequen boom. (Also known as sisal, the fibers from the henequen plant are used for rope products.) The main avenue, Paseo de Montejo, has been likened to the Champs Elysees and is one of the most impressive streets in all of Mexico. It’s worth a stroll from end to the other and be sure to stop by the small, yet rather remarkable, Museum of Anthropology.

More along the Paseo de Montejo

The main plaza downtown is framed by huge laurel trees, colorful shops, and lies adjacent to the cathedral (a layout that’s customary throughout Mexico). On Sunday, streets are closed to automobile traffic and the entire area comes to life. Music rings through the plaza as the locals sell traditional handicrafts, intricately embroidered huipils (the regional dress for women), and an enormous selection of handmade hammocks and hats. Try to catch a performance at the Teatro Peón Contreras, a splendid neoclassic style theater that was built in 1908. There is usually a full docket of folkloric dance and music and it’s certainly worth taking in this part of the culture. (Check with your hotel or visit http://www.yucatantoday.com to find events.)

 

Catedral de San Ildefonso

Another cornerstone of Mérida’s cultural experience is, of course, the food! Yucatecan cooking is an extraordinary blend of Mayan, European and Mexican flavors. Try the queso relleno ( a whole Edam cheese (brought by the Dutch) hollowed out and stuffed with the spiced ground meat called picadillo),  the Pollo or Cochinita Pibil (chicken or pork marinated with achiote paste, sour orange juice and other spices then wrapped in a banana leaf and baked), and my favorite: Poc Chuc (pork marinated in sour orange juice, grilled to perfection and served with pickled onions and a tangy tomato sauce.) The restaurant choices are almost endless, but I really enjoyed Pancho’s.  Our hostess brought us here for some traditional favorites. This busy and popular spot has outdoor dining and great atmosphere. For a yummy and affordable lunch, Los Trompos is a good bet, and La Chaya Maya is also great for some authentic dishes.

Working with Henequen

To completely understand Mérida and the Yucatán, it’s important to explore one of local haciendas to learn the history of the production of henequen (often called “green gold”). The Hacienda Sotuta de Péon is the only henequen hacienda in the area that still works to produce the fiber the same way it did 100 years ago.

Processing henequen

The fascinating guided tour lasts about two hours and takes you through the hacienda itself, and then demonstrates how the fiber is processed. The highlight (for me anyway!) is that the tour ends at a private cenote on the property where you can swim in one of the area’s most picturesque underground sinkholes.

Outside the city, the history of the Maya is at its most prolific. The Mayas were one of the greatest civilizations the world has ever known, and it is here, near Mérida, that you can immerse yourself in this absolutely remarkable culture. Chichén Itzá (80 miles east of Mérida) is the most famous of the Mayan ruins, but I personally feel that it pales in comparison to the intimate treasures a bit closer to the city. Uxmal (58 miles south of Mérida), while significantly smaller than Chichén architecturally speaking, is said to be one of the most significant in the ancient world. Founded around 600 A.D., Uxmal (meaning “three times built”) was created in various stages of complex façades and arches, majestic columns, and massive terraces facing broad plazas. (Watch for my upcoming blog that will focus mainly on Uxmal.)

Uxmal

Izamal (eehs-ah-MAHL) is a “must” for a side trip from the city. Located east of Mérida and known as “the yellow city,” this charming town is highlighted by its bright mustard-yellow 16th century Franciscan convent (San Antonio de Padua) and is home to its own intriguing Mayan ruins. The pyramid of Kinich Kakmo is worth a climb just to take in the view. The convent itself (completed in 1562) is built atop the base of a destroyed Mayan temple and boasts the largest enclosed atrium in Mexico. Pope John Paul visited in 1993 and has been commemorated by a statue of the Pope in the convent courtyard.

The Convent of San Antonio de Padua
Statue of Pope John Paul

Be sure to have lunch at Kinich. The classic Yucatecan cuisine is fantastic! Owner, Miriam Azcorra, welcomes you into her open-air palapa restaurant (and kitchen!) with a big smile, generous portions, and always a memorable meal.

The open kitchen at Kinich restaurant

If the beach is in your plans… a day trip to Progreso should fit the bill. Don’t expect the dazzling waters of the Caribbean, but you will find clean, sandy beaches that bustle on holiday weekends. An attractive malecón (seaside walk) is dotted with plenty of seafood restaurants. Drop into Eladio’s for lunch and have a sampling of the botanas (appetizers). The pulpo (octopus) and ceviche are some of the best I’ve had in Mexico! Ask for suggestions from your waiter for a full meal of noshes and a fun afternoon on the beach. If you feel inspired to stay the night and dive into the local color, check out the charming Hotel Yakunah .

Progreso

Mérida’s energy is relaxed and the locals are warm and welcoming. The influence of their indigenous ancestors is unmistakable. This only scratches the surface of Mérida’s possibilities: it would take far more pages than I have here to even begin to convey the magnitude of what this part of Mexico is all about. It’s another world here…. a magical world you shouldn’t miss!
Where to stay:
There are hundreds of hotels and haciendas in just about every price range. We stayed at the Hacienda Xcanatun (a member or Mexico Boutique Hotels) and the slick, new Hotel Victoria. We also dropped by the famous Rosas y Xocolate for a property tour. There is something for everyone here so my recommendation is that you go through the full listing of hotels on the Yucatan Today and read Merida hotel reviews at http://www.tripadvisor.com.

 
Disclosure: I am being compensated for my work in creating and managing content as a Community Manager for the México Today Program. All stories, opinions and passion for all things México shared here are completely my own. Mexico Today is a joint public and private sector initiative designed to help promote Mexico as a global business partner and an unrivaled tourist destination.