Edition 133

Page 1

B i mont h l y . Year 0 5 · Num ber 1 33 · 20,000 copies · 20 Pages · M ay 1 6 - Ju n e 5, 2 0 1 8


w w w.t h e p l a y a t i m e s .c o m

Water World >> Aquatic Adventures in the

Mexican Caribbean


Local Seafood Restaurants

>P. 15


Wellness in the Water

Photo: Denisse Pohls

>P. 18


CANCUN EL CRUCE SWIMMING EVENT There’s still time to register for El Cruce, the biggest, annual, openwater swimming event in Mexico taking place on May 26 -27

Salvaguarda: Ritmos de Quintana Roo is an exhibition touring the state which looks at the many rhythms and styles of music in Quintana Roo

Photo: Alejandra Campo

>P. 8

Photo: Andrés Mendoza Del Valle III

>P. 14

May 16 - june 5


Looking for something to do? Check out our What’s On section online at www.theplayatimes.com for a list of things to do including live music and dancing, yoga, markets and special events.

MAY 16 - JUNE 5, 2018




Save Our Seas

Rebecca Page

General Manager edition@meridianmedia.mx

Siobhán Gallagher

By Siobhán Gallagher

Editor theplayatimeseditor@gmail.com


t’s about time we dedicated an edition to one of the things that attracts so many of us to this part of the world - that beautiful, turquoise Caribbean Sea. Whether we simply admire it from afar, perhaps watching the sun rise over it in the morning, or we travel to its depths with tanks on our backs, it deserves to be honored for all it provides us. As this edition demonstrates, the waters that frame our shores are a fundamental feature of life in Playa del Carmen. No matter how we choose to engage with the sea, it’s always there for us. We nourish ourselves with its food; it cleanses, soothes, tones and strengthens our bodies; it provides employment; it transports us; it delights our eyes with

Ian MacKenzie

Copy Editor copyeditor@meridianmedia.mx

Efrén Velázquez

Art & Design efrenmmedia@gmail.com

Ana Martínez

Brand Manager Cell: 984 169 1637 marketing@meridianmedia.mx

Erika Serra

Public Relations Cell: 984 119 1586 publicrelations@meridianmedia.mx

hidden marine treasures; and it speaks to our souls and clears our minds with its ever-dependable, unconditional, meditative ebb and flow. Could it say the same for us? Are we always there for it? What do we contribute to our waters? Sadly, we’re not as generous. Our contribution to the waters of this world is fuel emissions, oil spills, overfishing, chemical waste, and according to oceanconservancy.com, 8,000,000 metric tons of plastic every year - the equivalent of a dump truck load per minute. In anticipation of World Oceans Day (June 8), let’s start giving back. As the slogan for Playa’s long-awaited new municipal recycling programme says, “Está en tus manos” - “It’s in your hands”. The future of our oceans, and our continued

enjoyment of the Caribbean Sea are indeed in our hands. According to Nicholas Mallos, Director of Trash Free Seas, “The tide of plastics entering the ocean can, indeed, be reversed.” So, what are we waiting for? Enjoy this edition, recycle it, and then take action. Collectively, intentionally, we can make every day an Ocean Day in Playa. Thank you to Denisse Pohls for the beautiful cover and editorial photos. If you´re in Cozumel, please join Denisse at her photo exhibition ¨Ojos de Mar¨ (Sea Eyes) Thursday, May 17 at 8:00 p.m. at El Palomar Restaurant. Source: https://oceanconservancy.org/trashfree-seas/plastics-in-the-ocean/


Cell: 984 -147 5597 & 147 5571 info@meridianmedia.mx

Omar Coral

Distribution distribution@meridianmedia.mx

CONTACT US AT: 984 -147 5597 & 147 5571 info@meridianmedia.mx /theplayatimes @ThePlayaTimes playatimes theplayatimes Photo: Denisse Pohls

The Playa Times


Número de Certificado de Reserva otorgado por el Instituto Nacional de Derechos de Autor: (PENDIENTE). Número de Certificado de Licitud de Título: (en trámite). Número de Certificado de Licitud de Contenido: (en trámite). Domicilio de la publicación: Calle 2 entre 45 y Carretera Federal, Mza. 088 lote 003-1. Impreso en talleres Grupo Megamedia Prolongación de Montejo número 301, entre 40 y 42, fraccionamiento Campestre, Mérida, Yucatán. Distribuidor: Meridian Media, S.A. de C.V., Calle 2 entre 45 y Carretera Federal, Mza. 088 lote 003-1, Playa del Carmen, Solidaridad, Quintana Roo C.P. 77710.

T P T 1 0 DAY W E AT H E R WED 16

THU 17

FRI 18

SAT 19

80 ° / 74 ° F

88°/79° F

86°/78° F

85°/77° F

SUN 20

MON 21

TUE 22

WED 23

THU 24

FRI 25

86°/77° F

86°/75° F

88°/77° F

83°/80° F

84°/79° F

83° /80°F



MAY 16 - JUNE 5, 2018 Photo: Unsplash.com/Jeremy Bishop

Ask Allan:

Why Live in Playa? By Allan Lockhart Hi, Allan I am thinking of moving to Playa del Carmen with my husband. How do you like living there? Megan Hi, Megan

The Importance of Nature Reserves in the Riviera Maya

Thanks for your question. I love living here. It’s sunny and warm most of the year. The locals and expats who live here tend to be interesting and friendly. The cost of living is relatively low compared to the US or Canada. It’s a short flight back home to the US. Depending on your lifestyle, you need between $1,500 - $3,000 USD per month of income - more or less. It depends on your needs. You do need to be patient and flexible. Things may not operate as quickly or efficiently as in your home country. Playa is a city with a growing population, so you need to be prepared to live around people and occasional noise. I would say Playa is a fantastic place to live. Although there is not as much culture as you may find in other areas of Mexico, Playa is growing in that area. You should also like the heat and humidity. That’s a must. And a sense of adventure is a great asset. Why move to another country and sit at home all day? You will find lots of kindred souls looking for excitement.

Many areas of Quintana Roo are protected under preservation orders, but they are still at risk from pollution and insistent developers By Thomas Lloyd, Founder of Top Mexico Real Estate


exico is the fifth most bio-diverse country in the world. Its territory has 176 nature reserves, covering more than 25 million hectares of land, equivalent to 12.93% of Mexico’s territory. According to CONAMP, Quintana Roo has 10 state reserves and 17 federal reserves with a total area of 312,864,672 hectares. There are also international agencies working to preserve natural areas such as Sian Ka’an and Banco Chinchorro (UNESCO), and 13 wetland areas protected by RAMSAR. The importance of natural preservation areas is to protect endangered species and unique bio-diverse zones. These efforts cover a great diversity of habitats: coastal lagoons, reefs, coastal dunes and the jungle. The Riviera Maya’s exponential growth is putting a lot of pressure on the environment and its former inhabitants. The jungle is being replaced with concrete, while the underground rivers and the reefs are being affected by contaminants. Conservation areas are vital for our community. The jungle allows animals to have a home and to recharge our aqui-

fers. The aquifer feeds cenotes and creates the amazing colors of our beaches. If we destroy them, we are in fact destroying our livelihood. Many of these nature reserves are endangered. It seems that having decrees on paper is not enough. Developers keep trying to build on these reserves, while authorities give the green light, forgetting the importance of preserving these areas. Our community and NGOs have been able to stop projects like Tajamar (Cancun), Punta Laguna and Yum Balam (Holbox). Lately, another reserve has been endangered by a tourist project, Xcacel-Xcacelito, a conservation area that covers 362 hectares. This beach is a nesting site for two different species of turtles: green sea turtles and loggerhead turtles. Xcacel is also a place of recreation for locals and visitors alike, one of the best-preserved beaches in the Riviera. It is important to be part of the efforts to preserve all of our nature reserves, to be part of the change. Learn, share and participate as much as you can. We live here, and it is up to us to keep the Riviera Maya beautiful. If you want to learn more about the Riviera Maya, download our free guide about this subject: https:// topmre.com/kitlivinginmexico

Photo: The Playa Times

Allan and Moli / Photo: Allan Lockhart

Best, Allan Allan Lockhart Co-owner, North American Standards



MAY 16 - JUNE 5, 2018

Photos: Travel Beatz

What They Want Is To Dance “Lo que Ellas Quieren Es Bailar”, a fundraising dance with heart and passion By Crystal Mitchell

Lo que Ellas Quieren Es Bailar”, (“What They Want Is to Dance”) was a charity and dance event that took place on Saturday, May 12 at The Gym to raise awareness and funds to support urban dance for young girls in Cuba. Even with the torrential downpours, people found the passion to dance and drive to the event Saturday evening. The combination of the venue, the teachers (Muevete con Frank-

lin, Ekaterina Petrashkevich, Motha Funk Girls Crew, Belem Franco, and Andrea Franco) who “shined as dancing stars” and the passion of the students who weathered the rain to attend created an atmosphere of happiness and support. This is such a positive attribute of Playa del Carmen; it always has had citizens with big hearts. Thirty-five dancers in total showed up to dance and sweat to help give an opportunity to The B Girls of Artemisa, Cuba. In June,

Andrea Franco will fly to Artemisa, Cuba to prepare the girls there for a competition called BBoy Es Vida to be held between August 16 and 19 this year. In total the amount raised was $150 USD. Barbara Martin-Daniel said “We are really happy about that: the dancers and the Playa del Carmen community helped us so much! We will do more next time for sure!” The next event is planned in July to help the first B Girls crew of Playa del Carmen (The Mtha Funk Girls

The combination of the venue, the teachers who “shined as dancing stars”, and the passion of the students who weathered the rain to attend created an atmosphere of happiness and support. Crew) to compete in this BBoy Es Vida in August. This will give them the ability to teach, train and share information with our Cuban sisters.

Thank you so much once again to all the sponsors and teachers who helped to make this event possible and successful.



MAY 16 - JUNE 5, 2018

Photo: Alejandra Campo

Maya Celebrations in Felipe Carrillo Puerto On May 3 of each year, Maya-Catholic celebrations are held in honor of the Santa <kns IZkeZgm^% lrf[he h_ ma^ FZrZ Û`am Z`Zbglm hiik^llbhg ]nkbg` ma^ <Zlm^ PZkl By Alejandra Campo


n accordance with the Catholic church, Santa Cruz is celebrated on May 3. This year the municipality of Felipe Carrillo Puerto held celebrations in honor

of Santa Cruz, or Noj Kaaj Santa Cruz X Balam Naj Kampokolché (Great Village of the Small Holy Cross, Home of the Tiger*). The celebration is performed under the Maya Catholic liturgy, undertaken by Maya priests. At the end

of the prayers, they give food to all of the attendees, usually chilmole or relleno negro accompanied by handmade tortillas. They also drink balché, a Maya ritual drink, atole and a cold chocolate beverage in water, which in this heat is very refreshing. After mass on May 3, the congregation danced the traditional Cabeza de Cochino (Pig’s Head) dance to music played by a group of charanguero musicians, in traditional Yucateca attire - the huipil. Some special events and a fair also took place. In the ceremonial centres of the Maya, such as Felipe Carrillo Puerto, where they are followers of the Maya-Catholic religion, they celebrate the Santa Cruz Parlante each year. This is the symbol under which the Maya united and fought for their freedom, for their land and for their dignity against the Mexicans, Creoles and Yucatan oppressors during the Caste Wars of the mid-19th century. On May 3 in Cozumel, they also commemorate the arrival of Spanish explorer Juan de Grijalva 500 years ago in 1518. He and others that would arrive later initiated the invasion of what is today the Yucatan and Mexico, with all of the terrible consequences that we now know - death, looting and the imposition of their religion. *Source: Radio XHNKA, CDI. Taken from website May 6 2018. http://www.cdi.gob.mx/ecosgobmx/xenka.php

Photo: Alejandra Campo

Protect the Rhythms of Quintana Roo By Alejandra Campo I’m currently working on an anthropological research project on music in Quintana Roo, with the support of a grant from PACMyC, a program that supports culture in municipalities and communities. Perhaps you have asked yourself as I have - what rhythms do people play, dance, and listen to in this state? When I first arrived in Playa I expected to hear Caribbean flavours and see bars on the beach with tropical music to dance to. I found out that it was not so, or rather that it may have been like this when Playa was a small village. Reggae is the music that most identified this destination, attracting European travelers, backpackers and

people from the nation’s interior. As time went by, the population and music began changing to what we listen to today - electronic music, jazz, grupero, and salsa for foreigners. This applies to the tourist areas, but in the central and southern parts of the state, things change quite a bit. To begin, we must consider the historical circumstances and sociocultural particulars. The south zone is where the capital Chetumal is located, in close proximity to the Caribbean islands and Belize, an old English colony. Its culture tends to be more Caribbean with musical rhythms such as punta, scam calypso, punta rock, ska and of course, reggae. Chetumal is considered the doorway for reggae’s entry into Mexico. Mexican youth have formed their own bands following the same rhythms, but with a modern touch. One example is the band Korto Circuito (Short Circuit). In the Central Zone, we also find the Maya Pax, the music of the Maya, which forms part of their rituals. This developed after the Caste Wars in the Yucatan Peninsula midway through the 19th century. Since the year 2000, there has been a movement to revive the Maya language through music. Through rap reggae and fusions of other rhythms, artists such as Pat Boy, ADN Maya and Chan Santa Roots are keeping it alive. The Maya Museum of Felipe Carrillo Puerto is currently showing an exhibition on my project. It will make its way to Chetumal, Bacalar and finally to Playa! Hopefully you can check it out and learn more about the cultures of the state in which we live. I’ll keep you posted on the dates.

MAY 16 - JUNE 5, 2018



Discover the Mysteries of a Sacred Cacao Ceremony By Jen Phillips April

Caribbean electric ray in Akumal / Photo: Florencia Cerutti

Cool Facts: Sharks and Rays

As we sat blindfolded in the jungle temple, the sounds of drumming, heartfelt singing and bird flute swelled around us. The tastes of chocolate and cinnamon danced on our tongues and every so often, we’d feel the breeze from a large fan. It later turned out to be wings on the dancer’s body fanning us. When I said “Yes” to the invitation to accompany friends to a cacao ceremony, I had no expectations other than it would be a memorable night, and it did not disappoint. We started our magical evening in Sacbe community on the outskirts of Playa del Carmen with a dip in a private cenote. Others were already participating in a temazcal (sweat lodge) to prepare for the experience ahead. Within Sacbe, five healers live and grow the cacao beans right on the property of Portal Xibalba, which is the name of the temple. They take special care with the cacao beans, growing and harvesting them by hand. They then prepare the ceremonial cacao drink in the traditional manner using spices and local honey – no milk or sugar – to maintain the healing properties of the chocolate. As you may know, cacao – from which cocoa comes – is considered a superfood filled with antioxidants like magnesium, vitamin C and anandamide, which is a natural mood booster. The ancient Mayans and Aztecs valued cacao as both medicine and currency, and used it in ceremonial events because of its ability to provide energy, focus, love, and pleasure.

Photo: La Casita del Cacao

For the past six years, this group of healers has taken its cue from these ancient traditions and they consider themselves “channelers” of the cacao medicine. They lead special ceremonies on or near the full moon at the beautiful temple of Portal Xibalba. According to Michelle Solis, “Our vision is to get our guests to connect with themselves and reach the healing through a sensor where you can experience sensations of water, wind, smells of medicinal plants and flavors with blindfolds.” If you’d like to join in a future ceremony, you can send a Facebook message to Ceremonias de Cacao or WhatsApp 5510032639 for more information. Jen Phillips April specializes in wellness, travel, and pet health. You can discover more at jenphillipsapril.com

This edition, Florencia introduces us to Caribbean rays with electric muscle power By Florencia Cerutti


here are over 600 different species of rays distributed over all our oceans - from the giant manta that reaches up to 7 m of width, to a little electric ray of only 15 cm of width. Rays (scientifically called batoids) are related to sharks and share characteristics like a cartilaginous skeleton or internal fertilization. They differentiate from sharks mainly in that rays have a disc formed by the joining of the head and the pectoral fins (those on the side) during embryo development, and their gills are located in the ventral side of the body.

There are about

69 species

of electric rays that can generate from 8 to 220 volts depending on the species!

All animals have developed ways to defend themselves from predation, so nature is always a race between eat

and avoid being eaten. Rays have a wide range of defense mechanisms: some have a sting or a set of stings on the tail, some are big enough to scare off predators, others have lines of thorns on their bodies, and some have organs that produce electricity. The Caribbean electric ray also known as the lesser electric ray, is a small brownish ray with a circular body, a short tail and only about 20 cm of width. It is commonly found in the western Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean and northern areas of South America. They like shallow waters and are often found in surf zones near beaches or sandbars. These rays can be spotted while snorkeling in Cozumel, Akumal or Mahahual. Although they are not targeted by fisheries, they get caught in the shrimp-trawling fishery and their populations have decreased. The cool thing about these rays is that they have two kidney-shaped electric organs that have been modified from the gill musculature, located behind the eyes to the end of the body. These organs have cells called electrocytes usually arranged in columns within the electric organ like a row of batteries. There are about 69 species of electric rays that can generate from 8 to 220 volts depending on the species! This small Caribbean electric ray can generate a voltage of 14-37 volts which they use to stun prey and as a defense from predators. So, if you find one while snorkeling, take pictures and admire it, but, as the rule of thumb with any other wild animal, do not touch.

Photo: Coral Dental Center

Technology in Dentistry By Coral Dental Center The technological advances that have recently entered the dental field have generated benefits such as greater efficiency, more accuracy, faster treatments, simplification of procedures, comfort for the patients and for the doctor. The use of these tools has become increasingly common in professional practice. Among the most relevant examples, we can mention: • Digital x-ray: a sensor that registers the beam and the structures and transmits the information immediately to the computer, thus obtaining a dental x-ray in a few seconds and considerably reducing radiation exposure for the patient. • Dental microscope: this tool has made the quality and accuracy of the

procedures, among which, root canals and apical surgery, operative. • Tomography: this device allows to plan implant placement treatments with accuracy and close to the actual anatomy of the patient. • Milling machine: this machine is used for the development of zirconia crowns, allowing for faster and more aesthetic results, and they are metal-free. • Intraoral camera: this special camera, the size of a toothbrush, is a very useful instrument for taking pictures of teeth, enabling one to show the patient the details of the case on the screen. Nowadays, you cannot think about dental practice without the use of technology, as these tools allow us to offer a service with greater quality and comfort for patients. Doctors are continuously updated in the management and implementation of technology. Ask your dentist about the available technologies for better care. info@coraldentalcenter.com



kþÏå Ş±Ïå üŅų ±Ĭå Ņų åĹƋ× åĹƋų±ĬĬƼěĬŅϱƋåÚØ ĵŅÚåųĹØ ŅŞåĹ āŅŅų ŞĬ±Ĺ ŅþÏå ŸŞ±Ïå üŅų Ÿ±Ĭå Ņų ųåĹƋ Ĭ域 ƋʱŠ± ĵĜĹƚƋå üųŅĵ ƋĘå ĵ±ĜĹ ĘĜčĘƵ±Ƽ ±ĹÚ Ƶ±ĬĩĜĹč ÚĜŸƋ±ĹÏå ƋŅ 8ĜüƋĘ eƴåĹƚå ±ĹÚ ƋĘå ŅDŽƚĵåĬ üåųųƼţ XŅϱƋåÚ ģƚŸƋ ŅƚƋŸĜÚå Ņü {Ĭ±Ƽ±Ï±ų ĜĹ {±ŸåŅ ŅÆ±Ø ƋĘå ÆƚĜĬÚĜĹč ʱŸ č±ų±čå Ş±ųĩĜĹč ±ƴ±ĜĬ±ÆĬå üŅų åĵŞĬŅƼååŸ ±ĹÚ čƚåŸƋŸţ 8Ņų ĵŅųå ĜĹüŅųĵ±ƋĜŅĹ ƴĜŸĜƋ×




Photo: Florencia Cerutti

Environmental Education in Remote Locations If coastal communities live from marine k^lhnk\^l% lahne]g m ^gobkhgf^gmZe education be a priority here? By Florencia Cerutti


have worked in marine science and conservation for over a decade, and science is still my favorite thing to do. However, as time goes by and I work more and more with nonprofits and the community, I realize how very important environmental education is for both children and adults. Often, I’ve seen that no matter how much information science can produce or how important it may be for management, if the community, in all its levels, isn’t aware of the issues and reasons behind the research, then it may not be that useful. Some time ago my colleague and I joined a project monitoring sharks and rays in a remote marine protected area of Quintana Roo, run by Colectividad Razonatura A.C., a nonprofit conservation organization. A large component of this project is environmental education with children at primary and secondary schools in remote towns near the protected area, where the community can have a major impact on the reefs nearby. So, we set out to visit two beautiful small towns Mahahual and Xcalak to do classes and activities with children from 4th to 8th grade. The aim of these talks was to share basic information about sharks and rays and their importance in our marine ecosystems and our economy. We aimed to raise awareness within the younger generations that sharks and rays are worth far more alive than fished and eaten in empanadas. We were positively surprised to see that a few kids had a lot of information about the marine ecosystem, as they were children of fishers and divers. However, even though they live right on the coast and these communities thrive due to ‘beach and diving’ tourism, most did not know the most basic concepts of biology, environment, or reefs. We loved the experience, but we also saw firsthand the huge gaps in the education system and the huge need for investing and supporting basic environmental education in these remote localities. We were happy we got to do this, but we can’t help wonder: if coastal communities live from marine resources, shouldn’t environmental education be a priority here?



MAY 16 - JUNE 5, 2018

El Cruce: A Historical Swimming Event in Cancun Ma^k^ l lmbee mbf^ mh k^`blm^k _hk >e <kn\^% ma^ [b``^lm ZggnZe hi^g&pZm^k lpbffbg` ^o^gm bg F^qb\h By Andrés Mendoza Del Valle III


wimming is the best cardio, we all know that. Long before Iron Man or any major swimming competition in our state, Isla Mujeres began a little swimming event around the island only for locals. El Cruce (The Crossing), as we know it now, had many different names after its popularity took off in the 90s, when it became the full 10 kilometers Cancun – Isla Mujeres crossing. Latest editions have been supported by the Global Swim Series (GSS) which made it more professional. According to the World Open Water Association (WOWSA) it as the biggest open-water swimming event in Mexico, and among the top 15 worldwide. Registration is still open for everyone in the three categories. The event will last two days, Sat-

Photo: Andrés Mendoza Del Valle III

urday May 26 and Sunday 27. The first day will have two shorter distance competitions called Cancun Mile and Cancun Iron Swim (3.8k). These races will start from anchored boats in front of the coast and will finish in Playa Tortugas. These two swims are great for amateur swimmers looking to increase their skills in international tournaments. The next day the main 10k race will depart from Playa Caracol and will end at the island’s south point. This year only 1,000 swimmers will be allowed for the Complete Crossing, 450 for 3.8k and 450 for Cancun Mile. Better hurry up, this is the last week for booking your place in El Cruce to get the chance to swim alongside turtles, colorful fish and GSS superstars. This is a serious clash; among this year’s favorites are

many renowned Olympic athletes, including American Rebecca Soni, winner of three Olympic gold medals and Caroline Burckle (Bronze winner in 2008). The Mexican favorite is last year’s winner Luis Escobar (also an Olympic contestant), who will be defending his championship against another 999 competitors. For registration, complete information, tips and private coaching from the experts visit: elcruce.mx

Best Pizza in Cancun? Photo: Andrés Mendoza Del Valle III

By Andrés Mendoza Del Valle III A few weeks ago a reader requested an article on the best pizza in town. To be honest, I don’t think there is actually just one place with THE BEST pizza in Cancun. There are plenty of options: some are classic and traditional, some have a modern or local game-changing addition (like avocado or lobster!). I don’t even have enough space to write about them all! Let’s see just a mixed bunch of my favorites from all over town, in no particular order: Pizza Casa Jaguar: Great pizza, great prices and a green garden that gives it a jungle vibe. Vegetarian options are awesome and if I ever do another article on burgers, I will for sure include them again. Favorites: Jaguar de la Casa & Vegetariana Plus. Two locations in town (main one in Bonampak Avenue). El Tigre y El Toro: Thin, crunchy Mexiterranean pizza at two locations (I recommend their Nader Ave. garden pizzeria), and a serious selection of wine. My favorite pizza is the one and only La del Tigre. Mr. Lasaña: More than just a piz-

zeria, Mr Lasaña is Italian cuisine for real. Pasta, salads, pizza - everything they do is awesome. The lasagna is out of this continent and the prices are unbelievable for the quality and effort they put into it. My favorite? Just go and see for yourself! They are at Calle Luciérnaga SM 503 (you might want to Google that). Rino’s Pizza Time: Spacious, classy and considered by many (including Tripadvisor) as the best pizza in town. Rino’s has it all: aesthetics, food and on point mixology. I just can’t decide which pizza of theirs is my favorite, so better just pay them a visit at their only location in Bonampak Avenue. They also have a large panini menu worth trying! Special shout out to Piola’s smoked salmon pizza; I think it is called Rimini. This croccante specialty keeps me coming back all the time! Finally, if you want to take your children out for pizza and fun, Peter Piper’s Pizza will rule until the end of time, right? Those were my favorite Cancun pizzerias. Did I miss any? @theplayatimes eramoselfuturo@gmail.com

MAY 16 - JUNE 5, 2018



Frozen Orange Margaritas Pah ]h^lg m eho^ fZk`ZkbmZl8 : k^\bi^ _hk Z ]^eb\bhnl Zgmb]hm^ mh ma^ ahm p^Zma^k pbma _k^la hkZg`^ ÜZohkl By Lily Espinosa


ola amigos! Yesterday a very dear friend came to visit me. The days have been very hot, so we needed no more excuse than that to prepare frozen orange margaritas with chile. It’s our favorite refreshing drink! After preparing a jar and some appetizers (check playatimes.com for our Mexican appetizer recipes), we spent all afternoon chatting and watching movies.

It was wonderful! I would like to share with you the recipe for the margaritas! Let´s do this! First, fill a small bowl with 2-3 tablespoons of lime-chile powder (I use Tajin brand). Moisten very well the rim of two glasses with a lime. Now dip the moistened rim of the glass in Tajin or your favorite chile powder and set aside. In the blender, add 1.5 cups of orange juice (if is freshly squeezed, even better),

60 ml of lime juice, 60 ml of your favorite syrup (sugar or agave), ice, and blend. Pour 30 ml of tequila and half of the orange juice mixture into each glass, and add a pinch of Tajin or chile powder and stir gently to mix. Ready to enjoy! Any questions, please let me know at riverakitchentulum@ gmail.com Mezcal + Tacos Tour, Lily Espinosa, Rivera Kitchen Tulum, Mexican Cooking Classes and Culinary Tours

Photo: Lily Espinosa

of the time in this area, and I decided to come back about one year after that and work in Paamul where I did my instructor course. I worked there for a couple years. In 1997, I opened the Abyss Dive Center because I did not really want to go back to Canada and work in a sawmill for the rest of my life.

The Sea Hath Fish For Every Man*

What are the best places that Abyss recommends for diving? The best places to dive are the cenotes: Dos Ojos, Pit, Dream Gate, Angelita, and a few secret ones that not a lot of people know about. In the ocean, Tortuga is a very good one, as is Barracuda. I also enjoy Islote and Punta Venado, as the coral there is simply amazing.

Photo: Pixabay.com/congerdesign

By Catherine Pawelek I just returned from Canada where I had my first fishing experience with rod and reel in hand. A profusion of available fresh seafood in Quintana Roo and consequently of seafood restaurants makes it easy for us to leave it to the professionals; from small, discreet holes-in-the-wall to mega-restaurants, here is just a handful to check out. No list would be complete without mention of the cash-only El Pirata (Calle 40/a block from La Quinta), recognizable by its blue awning and overflow of hungry seafood lovers. Check out the cooler, choose your fish, it gets weighed, you receive a number. It is prepared the way you like it and you will behold deliciousness on a plate. We spent a weekend at Hotel Amarte, and wondered what the large stone-painted peacock on Rte 307 meant. We discovered Pavo Real by the Sea, a short walk down a sandy road. Bring your appetite for lobster tail with cardamom. It is a bit expensive by Playa standards, but with jump in your mouth flavors, well worth the pesos. Try the glazed salmon or seafood risotto along with

a view that impresses. When Nau Cocina opened, it brought a new hipster-cool and visually appealing corner restaurant to Playa. Located at Ave 15/Calle 8, you will find a stunningly-plated octopus, trio of tartares, and order the red snapper, when available. Check out the salmon with baby vegetables, reminiscent of a Mondrian painting. Unless you take the parallel road on the northside of Rte 307, you might miss longtime mainstay El Oasis (also in Cancun). Venture here with a few friends and order an array of items to share. Dig into the seafood tacos, empanadas, ceviches and cocteles “con abundancia”. We remember when Las Hijas de La Tostada’s tiny corner spot, blocks from the action, had us clamoring for all its fresh seafood. Standing on the curb, shrimp tacos in hand, chipotle sauce dripping down our wrists - what could have been better? Their larger locations on La Quinta/Calle 36 or Constituyentes are now magnets when it comes to ceviches and tostadas, made with tuna, salmon, shrimp or pulpo. *William Camden

Photo: Dave Tomlinson

Meet Dave Tomlinson from Abyss Dive Centre By Erika Serra In this edition I share with you Dave Tomlinson’s story; he’s a Canadian scuba diving instructor with more than 15 years’ experience exploring the subaquatic world of the Riviera Maya. Dave: I came to Mexico for the first time in 1989-90, backpacking for four months from Cancun down through Central America, where I received my dive master certification. Then after that, I did trips to Baja California the next couple years for about a month at a time. I then took an eight-month trip in my van spending most

What recommendations do you have for people that want to dive? Personally, I recommend diving with a smaller shop; that way you will receive a more personalized service and will have a better chance to see the best sites with no crowded boats or reefs. I also recommend not touching or harassing the marine life just look. With World Ocean Day approaching, I always recommend that when diving, pick up any trash that you see. We also regularly go out and hunt the invasive lionfish and cook and eat them. Let us know if you want to join us on June 8 to clean up one of the beaches that do not get the attention that is needed, as it is difficult to get to. If you are coming to the Riviera Maya, don’t hesitate to get in touch: Tel: (984) 986.32.85 http://www.abyssdivecenter.com/ https://www.facebook.com/Abyss.PlayadelCarmen/



MAY 16 - JUNE 5, 2018

(984) 183 3244 or Facebook/Pippin

MAY 16 - JUNE 5


WORKSHOP ON ASSERTIVE COMMUNICATION, Friday, May 18 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. AMPI Playa del Carmen, Med Playa Building, third floor, Federal highway and Calle 28, Playa del Carmen. Facebook/AssertiveCommunication SATURDAY FLEA MARKET, Saturday, May 19 from 11:00 a.m. Enjoy a day at the park full of vendors, shows and workshops. Check their page for more details on this month’s flea market. Parque La Ceiba, Calle 1 South and Avenue Diagonal 60, Ejido. Facebook/SaturdayFleaMarketParqueLaCeiba

SPECIAL EVENTS By Crystal Mitchell

PLAYA DEL CARMEN LIBREARTE INAUGARATION, Thursday, May 17 at 7:00 p.m. An art exhibition for Playa Pride to commemorate the International Day Against Homofobia. Contact Naiara Porras for more information naiaraprvc@ gmail.com Inti Beach on the beach between Calle 4 and 5. PIPPIN PLAYA DEL CARMEN 2018, Thursday, May 17- 20 7:30 p.m. each day. A musical theater play with lots of energy, magic, fun, color, a message about the meaning of life. Presale $170 pesos and the day of the event $200 pesos. Teatro de la Ciudad, Circuito Chinchorro between Avenues 115 and 120 across from WalMart de la Cruz. Contact info:

A TRIP TRHOUG MEXICO VIA ITS MUSIC by XUUXNE, Saturday, May 19 from 2:00 p.m. to 3 p.m. Enjoy a small concert of traditional songs from Mexico. The classes of violin, guitar and singing bring together the teachers and children of Xuuxnë to show you a precious part of Mexico, its music and its people. In this presentation the students and professors of Xuuxnë are going to take you on a small trip through different regions of Mexico. At the main stage next to the Grandmother tree. Parque La Ceiba, Calle 1 South and Avenue Diagonal 60, Ejido. Facebook/XuuxneConcert CENOTE CONFERENCE, Friday, May 25 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Hosted by Amigos de Si’an Ka’an. $300 pesos for AMPI associates, $500 pesos general public. AMPI Playa del Carmen, Med Playa Building, third floor, Federal highway and Calle 28, Playa del Carmen. Facebook/CenoteConference PSYCHOTHERAPY COURSE, Saturday,

May 26 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sanacion Pranica Quintana Roo Paseo Tulum, Edificio Bugambilias, Playacar Fase II. Contact Facebook/HealingPranawithCrystalsCourse for details. LATIN FLAVOR, Saturday, May 26 9:00p.m. Enjoy Latin dance classes with Tonny starting at 9pm. Cover $100 pesos and $80 pesos presale. Fiesta Inn, Avenue 10 with Calle 26. Contact 984-135-5480 for details. HEALING PRANA WITH CRYSTAL COURSE, Sunday, May 27 9:00 a.m.to Monday 8:00 p.m. Sanacion Pranica Quintana Roo Paseo Tulum, Edificio Bugambilias, Playacar Fase II. Contact Facebook/HealingPranawithCrystalsCourse for details. EMBRACING SUCCESS CONFERENCE WITH ADRIANA MACIAS, Thursday May 31 6:30 p.m. Find the inspiration to strive, face the challenges that life presents and always show the best attitude. Adriana Macías will tell you about her own life experience and how she could achieve success. $450 pesos Mezzanine, $550 pesos general and $650 premium. Teatro de la Ciudad, Circuito Chinchorro between Avenues 115 and 120 across from WalMart de la Cruz. Contact info: (984) 183 3244 or Facebook/Pippin

MAYAKOBA YUCATAN BITES (kibis and Poc Chuc tacos) AND LIME SOUP, Thursday, May 17 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. $60usd. Federal highway Chetumal-Puerto Juarez km. 298, 984 873 4900. Facebook/El Pueblito at Mayakoba FARMERS MARKET, Sunday, May 20 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. A wide variety of gour-

met products and handcraft from the community plus activities for kids. Free entry to the public. Federal Highway Chetumal-Puerto Juarez km. 298, 984 873 4900. Facebook/El Pueblito at Mayakoba MEXICAN TOSTADAS, Wednesday, May 23 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. $60usd. Federal highway Chetumal-Puerto Juarez km. 298, 984 873 4900. Facebook/El Pueblito at Mayakoba POZOLE AND SOPECITOS, Thursday, May 24 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.. Federal Highway Chetumal-Puerto Juarez km. 298, 984 873 4900. Facebook/El Pueblito at Mayakoba STREET STYLE TACOSWITH HANDMADE TORTILLAS AND MOCAJETE SAUCES, Friday, May 25 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Federal Highway Chetumal-Puerto Juarez km. 298, 984 873 4900. Facebook/El Pueblito at Mayakoba FARMERS MARKET, Sunday, May 27 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. A wide variety of gourmet products and handcraft from the community plus activities for kids. Free entry to the public. Federal Highway Chetumal-Puerto Juarez km. 298, 984 873 4900. Facebook/El Pueblito at Mayakoba TAMALES AND AZTEC CAKE, Tuesday, May 29 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Federal Highway Chetumal-Puerto Juarez km. 298, 984 873 4900. Facebook/El Pueblito at Mayakoba BEANS WITH PORK AND CHEESE STUFFED POBLANOS, Wednesday, May 30 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Federal Highway Chetumal-Puerto Juarez km. 298, 984 873 4900. Facebook/El Pueblito at Mayakoba

For more information visit: www.theplayati m es.com /ca len da r/

Véronique Gironne (left) / Photo: Ginger M.

LGBT in the Community:

Canadian Tour Guide Meet Véronique, a tour guide from Quebec building a life and making plans for the tour industry in Playa del Carmen By Ginger M. It is my pleasure to present to you an amazing woman named Véronique Gironne. This 31-year-old woman from Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Quebec, Canada, recently celebrated her second anniversary living in Playa

del Carmen. She had been living in Montreal for nine years before deciding to follow the woman of her life here. Moving out of the country for the first time and mostly to the unknown, was a big step for Véronique. Sincerely, she has had no regrets since. When she first got to Mexico, she didn’t speak any Spanish. Her adaptation was a little bit difficult due to the language barrier. Slowly but surely, she learnt it. French is her mother tongue, English her second language, now she has added Spanish to the list. Vero finds it important moving to a new country to learn how to properly communicate with its residents. Working as a tour guide, she enjoys the beauty of our paradise on a daily basis. She gets to do activities with new people from around the globe every day. They go to cenotes, lagoons, swim with the turtles, and visit the ruins. She is currently doing her federal guide course in order to go to all the ruins sites of the Yucatan Peninsula specifically. Keep your eyes open for her because she will soon start her own private and friendly tours under Somos Travel. Véronique studied archeology and anthropology at university, and history has always been one of her favorite subjects. She is looking forward to expanding not only her knowledge, but the quality of the tours she is doing and others she is currently developing. Miss Gironne is also involved in Playa del Carmen’s LGBT community, working by my side. She supports our cause, participates in every event and I really appreciate everything she does because her efforts directly benefit the LGBT community. If you are looking for an excellent tour guide in Playa with great and valuable customer service, contact her through Véronique Gironne on Facebook.

Avengers: Infinity War By Michael Renouf Avengers: Infinity War, directed by the Russo brothers, is the 19th film in the Marvel cinematic universe that started back in May 2008 with Iron Man. The premise of this tale is that the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy must unite to stop Thanos (Josh Brolin) in his quest to gain all the infinity stones to add to his infinity gauntlet, giving him the power to do whatever he wants. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Captain America (Chris Evans) and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) are just a few of the characters that try to stop Thanos. What is a strength for Marvel fans seeing so many of their beloved characters in one place - is a weakness for the casual moviegoer, as it feels that the filmmakers have squeezed in as many characters as possible. If you do not already know the superheroes, you do not get a real feel for them during the 150-minute runtime, as there is not time for any real character development for most of the stars of the show. A little while ago I criticised Ready Player One for making the baddies too one-dimensional and having nothing interesting about them except their evil streak. Thankfully, Infinity War does not fall into the same trap, by giving us some depth to Thanos. Even if we do not agree with him,

Photo: Agency

we can see he truly believes what he is doing is for the right reason. It is important you sit through the lengthy credits to catch the after-credit scene that sets up the next instalment. Another strength of the film is that there is plenty of humour. Although this week’s star of the show is the ever-watchable Chris Hemsworth, who has some decent scenes with Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), in fact it is Tom Holland as Spider-Man who consistently has the funniest lines. If you are a Marvel fan I am sure you will absolutely love this, but if you just fancy a night at the cinema you will see an OK action film that will not provoke a great deal of thought or discussion once you have returned home. 6.5 out of 10.



MAY 16 - JUNE 5, 2018

Wellness in the Water By Sara Jones We are so lucky to live next to the beautiful Caribbean Sea. I’m sure for many of us that was part of the draw to visit or move to Playa del Carmen. While the water is not always calm and crystal clear, there are still many benefits to living by the ocean. Water Wellness Activities Swimming An early morning or evening swim is the perfect way to start or end your day. Swimming enhances your breathing capacity and uses nearly all the muscles in your body without any impact on your joints.

Photo: Global Wellness Day

Annual Wellness Event Returns to Playa del Carmen The event promoting wellness around the world will be celebrated in Playa del Carmen this year on June 9 By Sara Jones


lobal Wellness Day was first started in 2012 and has grown year by year since then. It is now celebrated in over 100 countries and Saturday, June 9, 2018 and will mark the seventh annual GWD celebration. Celebrate in Playa del Carmen with a fun-packed day of events for all ages and activity levels, completely free and open to public. Remember the Global Wellness Day mantra: “One Day Can Change Your Whole Life”. The founder of Global Wellness Day, Belgin Aksoy Berkin, believes this holds true for everyone and that starting on Saturday June 9, anyone with the will and intention really can change their life for the better and live well! 7 Steps of Wellness: 1. Walk for an hour 2. Drink more water 3. Don’t use plastic bottles 4. Eat healthy food 5. Do a good deed

6. 7.

Have a family dinner with your loved ones Sleep at 10:00 pm

Complimentary wellness activities will be organized across the globe helping millions realize the difference one day can make. Global Wellness Day’s simple message, “I SAY YES” is announced effectively on bright pink paddles and spreads the message of wellness through social media in pictures and on video. Follow #GlobalWellnessDay to see the celebrations and activities around the world on June 9. Can you help? Do you have a wellness-related activity you can offer to the community on June 9? Get in touch with me at sara@spawellnessmexico.com Sara Jones Spa, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert, Spa Consultant, Speaker and Founder of Spa & Wellness MexiCaribe magazine www.spawellnessmexicaribe.com

Diving Megan Banka of Diversity Diving shares her thoughts on the benefits of this much loved Playa activity: “Diving burns a lot of calories and increases your heart rate without stress on your joints. Diving feels almost meditative; you can really focus on your breath. Being immersed in nature is restorative for your mental health.”

Photo: Pixabay.com/skeeze

the salt also naturally treats any infections or acne-causing bacteria. Muscle and joint relief Magnesium in seawater helps to regulate muscle and nerve function providing relief from sore muscles and joint pain.

Paddle Boarding A full body workout that strengthens the core and improves balance, paddle boarding is a great way to enjoy the ocean and get your workout in.

Improve your mood Who doesn’t feel better after a day at the beach? Breathing in the negative ions that fill the air and grounding with the earth promote a sense of calm and awe in the brain, relaxing the nervous system and lowering stress.

Benefits of Seawater Healthy skin Full of minerals like magnesium, calcium and potassium, seawater can actually relieve many skin conditions while

Sara Jones Spa, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert, Spa Consultant, Speaker and Founder of Spa & Wellness MexiCaribe magazine www.spawellnessmexicaribe.com

MAY 16 - JUNE 5, 2018

Photo: Pixabay.com/christels

The Calasero Horses of Cozumel Susan, a concerned visitor to Cozumel, emailed us calling for attention to the treatment of the horses drawing carriages there By Gail Collins


he Playa Times office recently received an email from Susan, a concerned visitor to Cozumel, who was upset by the horse-drawn carriages awaiting tourists from the cruise ships. She wrote “Most tourists are shocked and appalled by these thin, mangy, older, unhealthy horses who stand all afternoon in the sun.”.

In 2012 there were rumors that the carriages would be banned. This didn’t happen, and they have continued to tout their business, although nowadays there are fewer with only 12 calaseros currently in use. The majority are owned by one person, who rents them by the day to the drivers who are supposed to take full responsibility for the horses’ welfare. I spoke to Lisa Anne Ramirez, President of the Humane Society of

Cozumel and long-term resident of the island. The society is dedicated to helping stray and abandoned animals in the community with a focus on prevention through neutering, spaying and an educational program that creates healthy and responsible animal-human relationships. Lisa told me that they had been campaigning for over 15 years to end the calaseros on the streets of Cozumel, and told me heartbreaking stories of horses collapsing in the street. Lisa stated, “It is a stain on the island of Cozumel”. At the beginning of May, Victor Caballero Duran, who is running as one of the major party candidates for mayor in Yucatan’s capital Merida, launched a campaign to free the carriage horses there, and replace them with horseless carriages propelled by electric. There is always the question of what will happen to the horses and the drivers if it does stop. Lisa informed us that for the past 10 years, a plan has been in place for rescuing the horses should the need arise, with land near the Humane Society of Cozumel available to rent. A donation of $5000 USD from a private donor has also been set aside for initial preparation of the land, feed and vet care. Maybe Cozumel could also look at electric carriages, but with many job opportunities currently on the island the drivers would be able to find alternative work. Responsible tourism needs to use its voice and if people do not endorse the use of animals they can see are suffering, the suffering can stop.



The Spiny Tailed Iguana of Mexico By Gail Collins If you’ve spent time wandering around the Riviera Maya, you’ve probably seen the spiny tailed iguana or black iguana as it is also known. Native to hot and dry areas of southern Mexico and Central America, they are recognizable by their large size, rough spiny scales on the tail and tall dorsal crest. When born, they are bright green and only change color to the adult gray after about a year. Youngsters eat meat, but when they reach adulthood feed mainly on leaves, fruit and flowers, although adults have been known to enjoy crabs, birds, small mammals and eggs, should the opportunity arise. They often eat plants that contain a lot of salt which is stored in sacs inside their noses. Eventually the sacs fill up and the iguana sneezes it out. I had a strange encounter during a visit to Tulum ruins where they flourish. I sat on a rock enjoying a moment out of the midday sun with a bottle of water and a banana, when I noticed several smaller iguanas gradually nosing their way over to me. I stretched out my legs hoping to discourage them from coming any closer and started eating the banana faster than I would have done normally. Then the “Godfather” of the family appeared. It was huge and staring

Photo: Pixabay.com/skeeze

at me with real purpose in its eyes. It swished its tail to get the younger ones out of the way. At the same moment, a group of Japanese tourists came around the corner and started snapping wildly with their cameras at the scene. Not wanting to curtail their obvious enjoyment, I stood (or rather sat) my ground and didn’t even flinch when two strong clawed legs started scrabbling up mine to get to the banana. On this occasion I gave in to all my inner beliefs about not feeding wild animals and threw the last of my banana on the floor next to it. Its size ensured no challengers. I was free, and basked in the knowledge that I may have sparked a conversation or two over dinner in a few Japanese households! Sadly, although there are laws protecting them, black iguana numbers are declining in the wild due to hunting, poaching and the pet trade.

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.