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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: August, 2017
Aug 29, 2017

Today’s  guest, Ilse Diamant, is in the business of love. As a Luxury Romance Ambassador, Ilse has perfected the romance industry by providing couples with magical, destination weddings in the Riviera Maya and beyond.

Born in Merida, Ilse realized 99% of the economy in the area was driven by tourism. Both her mother and father worked in the hotel and tourism industry, and helped to make the resorts in Cancun successful. Isle studied hotel and restaurant management in Mexico, and went to Spain on a scholarship. She fell in love with weddings, and made the decision to return to the Riviera Maya to start her career in the romance industry.

In 2005, Ilse started contacting hotels with the new concept of releasing butterflies during a wedding, and as her reputation grew, more and more people were asking her what other services she could provide them. After earning her wedding planner certification, she went on to become certified in LGBT, Jewish, and Green wedding services.

Ilse currently has a network of top-quality vendors, or ‘friend-ors’ as she refers to them, and wows people with her inspirational ideas and high-quality wedding planning services. Ilse understands that it’s the people involved in the process that makes the Riviera Maya such a sought-after location for destination weddings.

In an effort to give back to an industry that has given so much to her, Ilse started the Signature Love Wedding Foundation. The foundation assists couples to have a wedding they may not have otherwise been able to have.

 

Ilse’s Favorite Places:

● Puerto Morelos — A fisherman’s town which offers visitors the ability to eat fresh ceviche on a boat in the middle of the ocean.

● Chichen Itza — In December, there is a grand fiesta near the main pyramid.

● Merida — A culturally rich colonial town with a Sacred Art museum.

 

Thank you to Buy Playa for sponsoring this episode. They are buyer’s agents, and only sell titled properties. They are truly experts in their field!

 

Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:

Loco Gringo

Loco Gringo on Facebook

Concierge@locogringo.com — Ask Paulina

Email Kay: Askkay@locogringo.com

@locogringocom on Twitter

@locogringo_mexico on Instagram

Luxury Romance Ambassador

Diamant Events and Weddings on Facebook

@Diamantevents on Instagram

Aug 22, 2017

My guest this week, Jorie Maloney, finds the family-friendly atmosphere in Puerto Morelos a great place to live and raise her son. Jorie’s art, entrepreneurial spirit, and big heart have also been major factors in building a fulfilling life in the local community.

As a child, Jorie lived in the dramatically different landscape of Baja on Mexico’s western coast. When she came to the Riviera Maya, she was pregnant with her first child, and uncertain of how her new life would play out.  After only four short years of living in Puerto Morelos, she created the thriving Puerto Morelos Market, which includes 60 vendors who sell their food and designs to visitors who want to buy custom made crafts, a prosperous art business, Xuperb Designs, and has become the Acting Director of Riviera Rescue, an animal sanctuary dedicated to rehabilitating dogs in distress.

 

To make the most out of your trip to the Riviera Maya Jorie recommends:

● Visiting one of the 40 accessible dive sites that are a part of the Marine Parks in Puerto Morelos. There are many opportunities for first time, and experienced, divers to discover a sunken military ship, and to become surrounded by eagle rays that frequently swarm the area. Jorie says it’s also incredibly easy to hire a panga (a small boat), and snorkel spot for the day.

● Visiting the Cenotes where you can swim in a magical, fresh water pool in a hidden spot in the jungle. Jorie’s favorite is at Kin-Ha, which is part of the Ruta de Cenotes route near Puerto Morelos.

● Eating breakfast at El Nicho. El Nicho is one of the only restaurants in the area to offer Eggs Benedict. Jorie attributes the meal as being a driving factor in her moving to Puerto Morelos. The owners also support local artists by displaying art on the walls inside.

● Visiting the family friendly town and beaches of Puerto Morelos. The reef along the coast keeps the waves small for swimming with youngsters, and the playgrounds surrounding town square make the day enjoyable for the entire family.

Thank you to Buy Playa for sponsoring this episode. They are buyer’s agents, and only sell titled properties. They are truly experts in their field!

 

Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:

Loco Gringo

Loco Gringo on Facebook

Concierge@locogringo.com — Ask Paulina

Email Kay: Askkay@locogringo.com

@locogringocom on Twitter

@locogringo_mexico on Instagram

Xuperb Design

Puerto Morelos Market on Facebook

Riviera Rescue on Facebook

Moms de Puerto Morelos on Facebook

Aug 15, 2017

My guest this week is Rebecca Page. Rebecca is the General Director and Editor of the newspaper, The Playa Times. Based out of Playa del Carmen, Rebecca describes The Playa Times as a local conversation tourists are welcome to listen in on.

Originally from New England, Rebecca visited the Riviera Maya for the first time on vacation, and immediately fell in love with the area. After moving here permanently, Rebecca started looking for work teaching English but never imagined she would be the head of the local English-language newspaper.

Rebecca is dedicated to including stories about the local community, the local projects and debunking myths foreigners may have about the Riviera Maya. She says her goal is to educate people without preaching.

Some of the myths Rebecca would like to abolish include the common belief that there is a stereotypical Mexican person, and that crime runs rampant in the area. She enjoys telling readers about ‘real’ Mexicans and of the important community projects such as the work of Blue Corps, KKIS, and Reforest Playa del Carmen.

Rebecca feels a deep connection with Mexico and its people. She has made her experience richer by speaking Spanish, knowing you can’t force things here, and that everything always works out in the end. Working for The Playa Times affords Rebecca the opportunity to travel throughout the region, including frequent visits to Yucatan, Rio Lagartos, Valladolid and the many of the magic towns.

Rebecca truly enjoys tasting and preparing the many different foods which make up traditional Mexican cuisine. Mexican food varies by region so visiting a new part of Mexico also means a new menu of flavors to try.

 

Rebecca Recommends:

1. El Castillo for Pozole soup with meat, hominy and more, in Playa del Carmen.

2. Rivera Kitchen Tulum, to learn to make authentic tortillas with Lily in her home in Tulum.

 

And, if you want a more authentic experience when traveling to the Riviera Maya, Rebecca recommends:

 

1. Renting a car and driving down the highway (with proper insurance!).

2. Sign up for a community-based tour in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.

3. Taking a Mayan Village Eco-tour.

 

Thank you to Buy Playa for sponsoring this episode. They are buyer’s agents, and only sell titled properties. They are truly experts in their field!

 

Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:

Loco Gringo

Loco Gringo on Facebook

Concierge@locogringo.com

Email Kay: Askkay@locogringo.com

@locogringocom on Twitter

@locogringo_mexico on Instagram

Playa Times 

Playa Times on Facebook 

Blue Core A.C. 

KKIS

 

Aug 8, 2017

My guest this week is credited with a long list of accomplishments, including being a Fellow of the Explorer’s Club, a National Geographic Society Grantee, National Geographic Adventure Magazine’s Best of Adventure Honoree, a NASA Space Grant Fellow, a PADI & GUE Cave Technical Diver. He has appeared in numerous documentaries filmed by the BBC, PBS, National Geographic and CNN International. But what I like the most about
Sam Meacham, is that he is a great person and a long-time, close friend of mine.

Sam arrived in the Riviera Maya in 1994, and started diving in the underwater caves beneath the cenotes. He wanted to be sure the immense cave system and pure water was preserved and appreciated,  so he started the nonprofit, CINDAQ, to raise awareness about the aquifer and the cultural and natural resources associated with it, through exploration, science, and education.

Sam is still fascinated by the cave diving in the area and calls it a complex jigsaw puzzle. His and other organizations are putting the puzzle together piece by piece. He would love to complete the puzzle in his lifetime. Sam understands that by providing core samples and continuing to explore the area he is helping science move forward and has a direct impact on conserving the area.

Sam recommends going off the beaten path to find a cenote. He says you have to just get a car and drive. There is magic in finding a secluded cenote. 

He appreciates the area around Valladolid and the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve.

 

Thank you to Buy Playa for sponsoring this episode. They are buyer’s agents, and only sell titled properties. They are truly experts in their field!

 

Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:

Loco Gringo

Loco Gringo on Facebook

Concierge@locogringo.com

Email Kay: Askkay@locogringo.com

@locogringocom on Twitter

@locogringo_mexico on Instagram

Meacham Diving

CINDAQ.org

Meacham on Facebook

info@CINDAQ.org

 

Aug 1, 2017

My guest this week is the Founder of Ah Cacao in Playa Del Carmen, Monica Tello. Monica’s passion for chocolate led her to the Riviera Maya from Mexico City. Since starting Ah Cacao, the business has grown to three stores and an online international marketplace. Monica shares the history of the cacao tree, the value of cacao within the Mayan culture, and some of the delectable chocolate products she produces today.

During a tour of a cacao plantation, Monica discovered that there is so much more to chocolate than she previously thought. The Mayan people who lived in the Riviera Maya long ago were some of the first to use cacao. The Mayan Royals planted the sacred cacao trees next to cenotes and used them as currency because, at the time, everybody wanted some.

The cacao used by Ah Cacao is still harvested in the traditional way hand-picked, fermented, and dried in the sun to preserve its healthy components, and for the flavor and aroma. And in addition to the much-loved chocolate mousse, the cacao bar, and the warmed Maya chocolate drink with chili, Ah Cacao provides beauty products made from cacao butter, which is a byproduct created during the chocolate making process.

Monica says she loves the multi-cultural community in Playa del Carmen. When she travels, she visits the cacao plantation and museum in Merida, she loves the natural Mexican beauty of Palenque in Chiapas, and the great food and chocolate-making in Oaxaca.

 

Thank you to Buy Playa for sponsoring this episode. They are buyer’s agents, and only sell titled properties. They are truly experts in their field!

 

Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:

Loco Gringo

Loco Gringo on Facebook

Concierge@locogringo.com

Email Kay: Askkay@locogringo.com

@locogringocom on Twitter

@locogringo_mexico on Instagram

History of Cacao

Ah Cacao

Ah Cacao Stores

Ah Cacao Online Store

Ah Cacao on Facebook

 

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