¡Feliz Navidad de México!

This year, I spent an unforgettable Christmas in Bacalar, Mexico. Bacalar is a quaint bohemian town perched on the shore of a crystalline lake in the southern reaches of the Yucatán Peninsula. As the result of a slightly sulfuric lakebed and underground water sources the lake is a beautiful, crystal clear blue. It’s called the “Lake of the Seven Colors” because of the magnificent color gradients that occur as the water deepens. Continue reading “¡Feliz Navidad de México!”

Mérida and a Flamboyance of Flamingos

I was extremely excited to arrive in Mérida, Mexico. I am definitely a city person, and having lived in a sleepy seaside town for the last few months I was ready to get back to the hustle and bustle for a few days. This gorgeous colonial town was the perfect foray into urban Mexican culture that I was craving.  Continue reading “Mérida and a Flamboyance of Flamingos”

Cenotes and an Excess of Underwear

My second day in Tulum was both an incredible experience and also a comedy of errors. My friend Ben had gone to Chichen Itza for the day so I set off alone to rent a bicycle and explore some of the cenotes near Tulum. Cenotes are limestone sinkholes that are sprinkled around the entire Yucatán Peninsula. Most of the freshwater in the area is in underground rivers, and when the limestone caves surrounding the rivers collapse it forms large holes in the ground that are filled with crystal clear freshwater. Many of them are excellent spots for swimming, snorkeling, and diving. Continue reading “Cenotes and an Excess of Underwear”

Tulum, Mexico

I had almost ten days free between getting off work for Christmas vacation and flying to Texas to see my mother and brother for New Years. After careful consideration, I decided to spend that time in Mexico exploring the Yucatán Peninsula. This is the first of several posts about the unforgettable experiences I had backpacking the USA’s southern neighbor—Mexico is a country of incredible natural and cultural beauty, amazing (and cheap!) food, and some of the friendliest people I have ever met. Continue reading “Tulum, Mexico”

Garifuna Settlement Day

As I’ve mentioned before, Belize is an incredible melting pot of cultures and people. In the month of November, there are celebrations countrywide to honor one of these cultures: the Garifuna. These culminate on National Garifuna Settlement Day, when people all over the country celebrate the settlement of the Garifunas on the mainland. Garifuna culture originated in the Caribbean Islands, but they arrived on the mainland of Central America when they were banished from St. Vincent and the Grenadines by the British in the late 18th century. Today, they have a strong presence along the shore in Belize and other Central American countries. Continue reading “Garifuna Settlement Day”

This Work Has Perks

With all my exciting weekend travel and cultural discoveries to discuss, I haven’t written much about what I’m doing on the job. The truth is I spend most of my time behind a computer, analyzing satellite imagery and GPS data. Sometimes, though, I go into the field and collect data myself. Fieldwork days always prove to be interesting; over the past few weeks I’ve had some truly amazing experiences while working. Continue reading “This Work Has Perks”

Halloween in Punta Gorda

Halloween isn’t a huge thing in Belize, but there are enough expats in PG to fuel a Halloween party. Asha’s Culture Kitchen hosted an awesome party full of Belizeans and expats alike and boasting spooky decorations, monster-themed treats, and a mummy-wrapping competition. I went as the James Bus, the ubiquitous Belizean bus I described in a previous post. My costume featured the reversible sign that … Continue reading Halloween in Punta Gorda