Mexico North America

The Covid-19 situation in Mahahual

Mahahual is a small town in the province of Quintana Roo, Mexico and our temporary home. My boyfriend and I arrived here 3 weeks ago and our initial plan was to stay here for a couple of weeks. But, as many other people, we unexpectedly had to change our plans, when the Corona virus became a Pandemic. We are stuck in a little paradise, waiting for the Corona storm to be over. The idea of this blog post is to share a little more about the Covid-19 situation in Mahahual and my life in Mexico.

How is the current situation in Mexico and Mahahual?

The situation varies from state to state as Mexico is a very large country. In many places schools have been closed and precautions are being taken against the virus. Unfortunately many people have to keep working, as otherwise they don’t get paid. In the province of Quintana Roo roadblocks have been placed along many roads, only allowing inhabitants to enter specific towns or cities. The same goes for Mahahual. The town has been locked down and most hotels and restaurants have been closed. This leaves Mahahual quite deserted as it’s a small fisherman’s town of about 2.000 residents. Some stores remain open, people try to keep their distance and some wear facial masks. A Ley Seca (a dry law) has been put into practice, prohibiting the purchase and consumption of alcohol (although in many places it is still being sold). People are advised to stay inside, especially at night.

What is Mahahual known for?

Mahahual is known as a snorkeling and diving paradise, with one of the most beautiful reefs around the world. It is part of the Meso-American Barrier Reef / Great Mayan Reef, which is the second largest reef in the world. We managed to buy our own snorkeling set and got started with some under water discovering. I have already seen some amazing coral and very beautiful fish. I must say I was (and still am a little) afraid of the sea. But it’s hard to be scared once you dive under water and get to see tropical fish, stingrays and even some turtles if you are lucky.

Where are we sleeping?

We are staying at the BlueKay hotel where we came to help out as volunteers. At this moment, as Mahahual is closed down, there are not many tourists left in town. The hotel has also officially closed down and is only offering humanitarian help to those in need of a place to stay. This means there isn’t a lot of volunteering left for us to do. Luckily we may camp out here until the situations is over. Which is great, as we have our own beautiful cabin, a balcony and sea view.

What does my day in Mahahual look like?

In general I try to get up early to start my day with some yoga at the beach. I found this situation the right moment to start doing yoga, as I always wanted to but never found the time or made up other excuses. Around 11AM we have our daily meeting with some of the volunteers/colleagues from the hotel. With this team we keep working on several social media topics. We manage the hotel’s accounts and focus on content and branding. We have our meetings at the beach, allowing us to maintain distance from each other, while enjoying some great views (I mean a beach office!!!!). After this meeting I usually try to make it back to the beach for a swim. I bring my e-reader to read a little, my snorkel set to discover the reef or a frisbee to get a little workout.

Another thing keeping me busy are the cat and the dogs we have practically adopted by now. They live on our balcony and follow us around everywhere we go. The cat will soon have kittens, so we are preparing to take care of them as soon as they are born. During the late afternoon I usually work a bit for a Dutch company that hired me to assist them remotely. The internet is not always working as it should, so I have to be flexible with my working hours. When the internet is down, I just have to settle and make my way to the beach.

At night we hang out on our balcony or a spot we found at the roof of our cabin (which allows some serious stargazing) with some guitar music. My boyfriend just bought a guitar and I’m planning to study and become a pro guitar player soon…!

Where do we get our food from?

One of the colleagues from the hotel has a cabin with her very own kitchen. Before everything closed down, she used to cook us amazing meals. Right now she is self-quarantining (because she belongs to a high-risk group). The great thing is that she keeps cooking for us and leaves us the food right outside her doorstep. Thinking about what may come and to prepare ourselves for quarantaine/self-isolation we have ordered a small portable stove, some pots and pans and a mini fridge. We also stocked up on some food, as there are no real supermarkets in this town (only some small shops). In order keep ourselves busy we started our own kitchen garden. We have planted pineapple, avocado, tomato, cucumber, peppers, kiwi and even some herbs!

How are people helping each other?

People are showing great solidarity towards each other. Many people here live from tourism and have no income at the moment. These people have very difficult times ahead. Therefore it is important to keep supporting local shop owners and to do some (food) donations. The BlueKay hotel has closed its doors, but keeps taking in humanitarian cases. In exchange for their assistance people are allowed to stay in one of the cabins of the hotel. I think this is a great initiative as some people are literally stuck in Mexico or Mahahual without money and with their families far away.

Yes, of course the whole Covid-19 situation in Mahahual is quite scary and we are worried. But we are also very grateful to be at this beautiful place, where we have loads of space to ourselves and were we are welcome to stay until things get better. We can still move around freely, but try to limit this to only the highly necessary things. We avoid other people and contact as much as we can. Everyone, please be safe and don’t forget helping out other people in any way you can.

Looking for some travel inspiration while stuck at home? You may want to read about my recent trip to South-Florida.

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