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Loco Gringo Mexico

LocoGringo Mexico gives you local insights, vacation tips and stories from people who live and work in the Riviera Maya and Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Our host Kay Walten, will introduce you to people in Mexico who tell of their journey to the Yucatan, their local scoop on the people, the Mexico and Mayan culture, places not to miss on your next vacation, food and more. LocoGringo gives you travel info that you won’t find in a travel guidebook. Discover Mexico for your next vacation on a more intimate level than a typical tourist. As an expat, Kay has been working in vacation and tourism in Mexico since 1992. She is also co-founder of the vacation rental site LocoGringo.com.
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Now displaying: November, 2016
Nov 29, 2016

My guest on the podcast today is a writer and local Cancun expert for USA Today’s “10 Best,” a salsa dancer who will work for tips and tequila, and a mom of a 7-year-old Cuban boy, who is learning to snorkel.

Who is this multi-faceted woman, you ask. Kristin Busse is the voice behind the new parenting blog turned culture and community-based information center, What Am I Still Doing in Cancun. Kristin’s blog started as a verbalization of the things she didn’t like about living in Mexico. After only three posts, she realized there were ONLY three things she didn’t like about it and decided it was time to embrace the driving and the unfriendly customer service.

Kristin had been vacationing in Mexico, with friends, for years. She caught herself feeling sad every time the vacation was over and it was time to go back home. So it was natural for her to turn to Cancun when, in 2001, she decided to move to Mexico for a year. She carried with her a radio, a cat and a suitcase full of shoes.

She spent her first year working at Harmon Hall teaching English. And, then a restaurant asked her if she wanted to teach salsa lessons. It was like a dream come true, she says. When her year of living in Mexico was up, Kristin was supposed to go home and get a career but Cancun kept calling her back.

Kristin has found her passion working in tourism at an all-inclusive eco-resort. And, even though she visits a lot of cool places, Isla Holbox and Sian Ka’an are still on her bucket list.

 

Kristin’s Secret Spots:

Xpu Ha Beach — Laid-back atmosphere and fresh fish.

Isla Mujeres — There’s no place like its North beach.

Rio Lagartos — Thousands of flamingos, a pink beach, and Mayan culture.

Temozon — A town known for their smoked meats.

 

Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:

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Email Kay: Askkay@locogringo.com

@locogringocom on Twitter

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What Am I Still Doing in Cancun Blog

What Am I Still Doing in Cancun on Facebook

@KCBusse on Twitter

Nov 15, 2016

I absolutely adore my guest today, Marianne Volkmer. Marianne is originally from Cuidad Victoria, Tamaupilas, but is currently living in the Riviera Maya. She is a self-proclaimed child of the world, who loves packing a bag and moving about the planet. In 2007, Marianne decided she wanted to live on the beach. So, when a co-worker invited her to Akumal, she didn’t hesitate. She has lived there for seven years, because she loves the community. She muses that when she first arrived in Akumal, there were only 30 people living in the area, and now there are over 100.

Marianne believes progress is something everybody needs, especially when the area is growing in an organic way. She says it’s ok for people to disconnect while they are here. She thinks it makes people better. You can often find her connecting to nature, and watching the sky and the stars.

Marianne is a reservation specialist for Loco Gringo, and she loves the thought of making people’s vacations better. She enjoys many parts of Mexico, and she knows all the amazing spots.

Her favorite spot in Mexico, besides the Riviera Maya, is an abandoned mining town in Central Mexico, called Real de Catorce. It’s a road trip from Akumal, but well worth the trip. If you like remote areas that are full of culture, Marianne says you must visit. The colonial town includes a cemetery and a cathedral, and is home to the local Huichol people. The Quemado (the burn) is a long walk through the desert, where you can get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Although Marianne loves many places in Mexico she prefers to live in the Riviera Maya because of its authenticity and beauty, and that it caters to many different kinds of people.

 

Marianne’s Hidden Gems:

Patio Ocho - Playa del Carmen - For Food and Music

Chamicos- Tulum - For Hermit Crab Hunting

Sian Ka'an - To See the Stars

Taqueria La Eufemia - Tulum - The Best Tacos on the Coast

Antojitos La Chiapaneca - Tulum - Authentic Street Food

 

Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:

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Email Kay: Askkay@locogringo.com

@locogringocom on Twitter

@locogringo_mexico on Instagram

Email Marianne: Reservations@locogringo.com

Marianne Volkmer on Facebook

Marianne Volkmer on Instagram

Call Marianne 1-800-478-0081

Nov 8, 2016

A few years back, the team at Loco Gringo published an article about the various community projects active in the Riviera Maya. A subscriber to the newsletters read the article and then created a corporate initiative to help fund a much-needed maintenance project at a local school. The organizer, Gayle Collins, lives in Playa del Carmen, and loves it.

Gayle was a Minnesota High School teacher for 36 years. Upon retiring, Gayle knew she didn’t want to face another cold, Minnesota winter. So, she started taking trips south, to find a warm climate that suited her. She searched the southern U.S., and even went as far as Hawaii, but couldn’t find the perfect place — until she visited Playa del Carmen. She found herself fascinated by the area. She has since received permanent residency, so she can live in the Riviera Maya full time. 

Gayle was immediately welcomed by expats in the area, and together they explored much of the Yucatan Peninsula. While exploring, Gayle noticed a lot of school-aged children who were not in school. She enlisted the expat group, Christmas Dreams, to help raise funds and collect school supplies for local children who may not have had the economic means to make it to school. The group ended up supplying the entire school with enough crayons, notebooks, pens, and paper to empower every child with the tools they needed to succeed.

Her current project, KKIS (Keeping Kids in School), is in its sixth year, and has been listed as a non-profit in Mexico and in the U.S. The project focuses on kids who are already enrolled in school, and is designed to keep them in school. If the children stay in school, they can receive a scholarship to help with their high school expenses.

Gayle is also serving the Playa del Carmen community, as a member of the Rotary Club. When she is not donating her time and resources, Gayle enjoys walking, reading, and quilting.

 

Gayle’s Secret Spots:

El Hongo - The Owners Feed Kids Who Have Nothing to Eat

Lajam Tacos Arabes- Lebanese Tacos in Playa del Carmen

Paamul - A Quiet Community with Wonderful Snorkeling, Diving and a Great Restaurant

 

Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:

Loco Gringo

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Loco Gringo on Facebook

Email Kay: askkay@locogringo.com

@locogringocom on Twitter

@locogringocom on Instagram

KKIS Project

KKIS Project Make A Donation

Nov 1, 2016

Norma Pancorbo is a dive instructor at the Mahahual Dive Center, who is originally from the North of Spain. She had never been to Mexico before the job of dive instructor was offered to her. But, after researching Costa Maya on the internet, she knew fate was leading her in the right direction. When Norma learned she could dive and work in paradise, she moved from a sizable city in Spain, to the small, isolated town of Mahahual.

“The diving is amazing,” she says. “The variety of reef and coral, in a place with so few people, is like no other diving spot in the world.”

Mahahual may be small, but it has basic services, good restaurants, and great diving. Banco Chinchorro is only a short boat ride from the Mahahual coast, and is comprised of a reef about the same size as Cozumel. Norma has been diving all over the world, and says she has never experienced the beauty and solitude of Banco Chinchorro.  The area also has a 16th-century shipwreck, where divers get a glimpse of 40 sea-encrusted brass cannons on the bow of the sunken ship.

When Norma isn’t underwater, she spends her time mountain biking through the jungle. She loves taking biking groups to see ruins, and having lunch with the Mayan families of the Chacchoben Ruins. She also loves the Palenque Ruins and Laguna Bacalar, which is known for its seven hues of freshwater blue.

 

Norma’s Secret Spots:

Nacional Beach Club - For a Tamarindo Margarita

Cafe Colonial - For a Traditional Mexican Breakfast of Chilaquiles

Pizza Papi - For an Excellent Pizza with a Local Flair

 

Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:

Loco Gringo

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Email Kay: askkay@locogringo.com

Loco Gringo Mexico Vacation Free E-books

Loco Gringo Valladolid E-books Available on Amazon

Mahahual Dive Centre

Mahahual Dive Center on Facebook

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