Is Mexican Street Food Dangerous?

Over the last 7 years of living Mexico I often see comments on social media from Americans or Europeans saying that Mexican street food is dangerous, unsanitary, and unhealthy but the reality is this couldn’t be farther from the truth. As 1st world countries stuff fast food in their mouths I find it odd how they could attack real homemade street food especially considering most fast food has proven to be fake, nasty, and terrible for your health. On the contrary Mexican street food is always fresh, unique, and delicious.
 
During my time here I have eaten from thousands of street vendors, thousands of random foods vendors selling out of a triciclo, or just neighbors offering me a free meal. In my entire time here I have never gotten sick, I’ve never had food poisoning, and I’ve certainly enjoyed it every single time. To be honest I don’t even know where all this negativity comes from concerning Mexican street food but there seems to be a great deal of propaganda and fear mongering to keep Americans out of Mexico. Eating from the likes of Taco Bell and McDonalds while criticizing others just seems comical.
 
With all the class action lawsuits over the years against large corporation chains and fast food restaurants it’s a bit mind blowing someone could talk down on Mexican street food while eating a Subway sandwich with rubber in the bread. Even going back to my time in the USA I had tons of health issues, stomach problems, and lack of energy from the terrible sources of food in the USA. The meat is injected, vaccinated, and fed terrible diets, refrigerators and preservatives to move it across the country, chemicals coating every vegetable or fruit… yet here in Mexico fresh food is hated on by Americans and Europeans.
 
The funny part is if you actually do want some real fresh food in the USA you’re going to pay a hefty price tag to get it. Sushi orders going for $50 USD just for a one bite meal when in Mexico I can order a 3 person plate of fresh ceviche for less than $10 USD. I can buy just about any fresh food I want with no chemicals, preservatives, or vaccines at a fraction of the price yet Americans still talk nonsense about Mexican street food. Eating just one cheeseburger at McDonalds would leave me with a painful stomach ache for the rest of the day yet here I feel energized and happy eating some fresh Mexican street sushi. (Ceviche)
 
All in all you’ll find some of the best food you’ve ever had in your life on just about any street corner in Mexico. Heck most of the time they sell it from a bicycle right at your front door having tamales, homemade coconut water with corn, or cacao (real chocolate) with corn, iced fruit treats, or even some homemade bread with ham and real sugar on the spot. With all the regulations and government permits in the USA you still have unsanitary restaurants, food poisonings, and fake foods being sold as healthy.
 
I’m not saying food poisoning can’t happen here, but it’s far more unlikely than places like the USA where they have to cut corners and lie to maintain their business in the pile of rubbish known as government regulations and bureaucracy. There is one little tip I can offer though if you ever do feel sick or perhaps your food wasn’t cooked to perfection and that is a glass of water and lime. Lime juice will kill most bacteria and worms you’d find in undercooked foods and just a couple glasses could help save you from a few days of the squirts. A pretty common custom here in Mexico is eating limes with salt while you drink beers or eat dinner and this is the best way to keep any sort of bad actors from getting into your body.

Traveling by Combi in Chetumal Mexico

When it comes to traveling Mexico many people think they need to rent expensive cars or fly from place to place but the reality is combi travel in Mexico is extremely easy and very cheap. It can be intimidating your first time because of the confusion in trying to find the correct routes, drop offs, pick ups, and pricing. Creating a map of combi routes gets quite difficult as the routes change quite frequently making it near impossible to stay up to date. The thing to remember however is most combi drivers and locals are more than willing to help you out even if you need to use a translator app or maps on your phone.
 
Most places in Mexico the locations and stops are all written directly on the combi bus to make it easy to figure out where you are going. You’ll pay anywhere from 7 to 12 pesos unless you are going a longer distance to another city or location. Here in Chetumal there is the main hub downtown right outside Mercado Viejo where you’ll find buses going in all directions whether you’re headed for Calderitas, the mall, or another part of Chetumal. Worst case just ask someone or show them where you are trying to go and they will point you in the right direction.
 
There is another hub located by the old ADO station near the police station that goes to other places such as Bacalar, Mahahual, or even Cancun. When it comes to longer distance travels I prefer going with the larger autobuses for comfort even if it is a little bit more expensive. The plus side to the ADO autobus stations is most of them have free WiFi if you need to do any research or get some work done. Often times traveling by the larger autobuses you’ll have people get on the bus selling delicious food and snacks along the way which can make the travel experience a bit less grueling.
 
Autobus Cancun Chetumal
 
When it comes to local travel, combi buses will save you a lot of money in the long run and it’s a great way to learn Spanish, chat with locals, and find unique places to explore. One thing to keep in mind though is sometimes you get packed into the bus like sardines which some people might not like. For me personally it’s part of the experience and often times you’ll find yourself laughing and smiling with the locals as you’re packed in. Usually I find myself sitting there in peace listening to other conversations, picking up on their words and communication to improve my own Spanish.
 
If you’re still a bit nervous about traveling by combi in Mexico turn it into a personal challenge for yourself and over coming it will lead to higher travel confidence, opening up new doors and experiences along the way. If you’ve got some time in a certain city spend the day just riding around on random combis, exploring, trying new food, drinks, or anything else you find interesting. Worst case you can always take the combi back to your original location or a taxi if you truly get lost. You’ll quickly find the people of Mexico are very welcoming and helpful if you get into a sticky situation, just reach out and ask someone for help.
 
At the end of the day combi travel in Mexico is very reliable, safe, affordable, and I highly recommend it for your overall experience here in Mexico. It might take a few minutes longer to get where you’re going but when traveling the journey tends to be more fun than the destination. Don’t be scared of a new experience no matter how challenging, at the end of the day you’ll be rewarded with a boost of confidence.

Dance Party Gets Wild in Calderitas

I missed out on this event and after seeing Mapola rip up the dance floor I was quite disappointed I wasn’t there to witness it myself but at least someone was there to record his sexy dance moves.
 

Mapola with Sexy Dancing in Calderitas México

Baile en calderitas / los Traviesos de Chetumal/ #cumbia #tropical #caribe #surestemexicano

Traveling from Cancun to Chetumal

Often times when people come to Mexico they stick around tourist areas like Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, Tulum ect. Whether they are scared from all the media fear mongering on the television or don’t have confidence in their Spanish skills they limit their vacation to an expensive cliche tourist visit. Most don’t realize how much Mexico truly has to offer along the lines of culture, fun, and experiences outside the tourist zones.
 
I can’t remember the last time I even read about a murder or killing, kidnapping, or attack in Chetumal. Compared to places like Cancun, which has killings weekly. There is much less crime in Chetumal as compared to the average city in the USA. Dangerous Capital cities are a reality all over the world. When it comes to Chetumal, it’s one of a kind with its safety and quality of life. It is known for being family-friendly and a shopping city, right on the border with Belize and along the bay.
 
With just a few sentences in Spanish, you can acquire a rental car or autobus from Cancun to Chetumal. It takes roughly 6 hours from departure to arrival in Chetumal. You’ll find unique crafts, food, and drinks along the way. If you rent a car, be sure you have all your paperwork ready at the checkpoints along the highway, avoid driving at night, and top off the gas tank frequently. Three big reasons I prefer to travel by autobus. I don’t have to worry about anything but catching some ZZZs or checking out the scenery on the way. At most stops, people hop on the bus and offer drinks, snacks, and snack foods, so you don’t have the hassle of packing food or trying to find something while on the road.
 
Travel everywhere for less
 
That’s all there is to it. I think sometimes people over-exaggerate the challenge and dangers of traveling even if you aren’t fluent in the language. You’ll soon realize the people of Mexico aren’t like Americans or Europeans and are more than willing to help you out even if you must use a translator. The key to Mexico and its people is respect breeds respect. If you have respect and show it, they will too.
 
It really is that easy… once at the autobus station just say “uno por Chetumal por favor.” Or if you want you can just book online so you know exactly when you’ll be leaving and have a few minutes to ask the security guys to help you get on the right bus. You can skip all the tourist traps, the expensive hotels, the loud party atmosphere and hit the parts of Mexico that have authentic and unique activities without the deep price tag. I promise you’ll have more fun down here in Calderitas and Chetumal and the truth is for the same money you’d spend in Cancun in a week you could live out here for a month or two quite easily. Something to consider when pondering your next adventure!

7 Quick Tips for Traveling in Mexico

After traveling all over Mexico and living in a few different places I learned quite a lot along the way. Some of these tips are common sense and others are things you would never think of coming from the USA. The media sells Mexico as a cartel ridden danger zone but the reality is, it’s very safe. It’s more a “show” of force rather than a real gun battle in the streets. Being in some of the most “dangerous” parts of Mexico I really never had a single problem. Actually the opposite, shady looking guys on the side of the highway outside Matamoros gave me a huge container of chicken and a large cola for me and my dog.
 
Here are 7 tips for traveling in Mexico:
 
1) Never carry a lot of money in your wallet. If you do happen to get robbed or need to bribe an officer you don’t want them to know how much money you really have. Look like the stupid tourist, pull out your near empty wallet with a few hundred pesos and let them snatch what you have. Keep your valuable cards and cash tucked away in a safe place or another pocket.
 
2) Never use your phone in a public area without being aware of your surroundings. Losing your phone isn’t the end of the world but it can wreck a good vacation losing all your travel info and GPS. If you are using your phone out in public not paying attention it’s easy for anyone to run by and snatch it.
 
3) Always make eye contact and greet people that pass you within 2 arms length. It’s very common to greet everyone here and making eye contact and a greeting helps thwart any could be robbery. Most times they light up with a smile and reply with a hardy BUEN DIA!
 
Travel everywhere for less
 
4) Never walk behind or near a sleeping street dog. The dogs in Mexico have a culture of their own. They travel and eat on their own schedule and often times offer a friendly face. Sometimes they’ll follow you to OXXO in hopes of a treat. They meet up on street corners at random times of the day. I have seen 10-15 randomly on one corner just sniffing and wagging tails. Never seen a dog fight. However, there are exceptions. Always be ready and I do not recommend wearing flip flops for this reason. I have had to use my foot as a weapon and shield a couple times. One, a crazy dog got lose. Second time, I was actually thinking about writing this article and thought this was a good tip. On that same walk home I did exactly that while lost in thought. Two dogs jumped up and starting coming at me. Normally they are friendly but I startled them real bad. Hence this rule!
 
5) Don’t be afraid to be yourself and practice your crappy Spanish skills. Most people here are genuinely friendly and welcoming. They are glad to help and usually don’t expect much if anything in return. The people here have a general curiosity about your story and enjoy good conversation. Instead of hitting up the hostels and Dominoes; venture out and meet some locals and try the local foods. It’s all good!
 
6) Take advantage of quality bus transportation. ADO and other bus companies like the combis offer great travel prices to go anywhere in Mexico. No ID, no passports, nothing is required and it’s very cheap! You stop in random places and people will get on and offer snacks and drink from the jungle. You can take full advantage of your trip to Mexico by using these buses to get around anywhere rather quickly and affordably.
 
7) Haggling is a key skill when purchasing tourist packages or boat tours or anything like this. You can usually get away with 20% off the price but don’t over due it. These people are hard working and make great products and tours are authentic and fun. I purchased a hammock years ago that was hand made and very nice quality. I ended up paying full price but didn’t mind because of the quality and I knew it was hand made. I sleep in it every night and foresee myself having it for a long time. Haggle firmly but be fair!
 

13 Negatives of Living in Mexico That No One Talks About

Musicians, Artists, and DJ’s

Since the construction on the beach has been completed it has left Calderitas with a unique opportunity to promote local artists and musicians. Currently every Sunday Calderitas is packed with families and friends from all over but mostly Chetumal and Belize. We are currently looking for some artists, musicians, and / or DJ’s to collab with to bring a fresh vibe on the beach front here in Calderitas. What better way to promote yourself and your work than with some beautiful videos along the ocean with large crowds gathered to listen.
 

Mapola with Sexy Dancing in Calderitas México