Isla Mujeres Mystery ~ Lynda L. Lock

A surprise birthday gift becomes a life-changing event

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Isla Mujeres 

Pondering where to take her husband Mark for a surprise celebration of his 50thbirthday Donna Caffo remembered a sleepy little island located in the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Mexico: Isla Mujeres. 

It was an island she had visited as a teenager in 1980 on a very brief day-trip from Cancun.

Fishing boats and birds

When she and Mark arrived on Isla for his birthday celebration in 2004, it was love at first sight. Small family-owned restaurants littered the sandy beaches, fishing boats were pulled up above the tide line, nets and lobster pots were stacked amongst the boats. 

Island life had a slow easy rhythm. It felt authentic, comfortable, without the big-resort all-inclusive separation between local and tourist.

Views from Ixchel condos

Every year from then onward Donna and Mark vacationed on Isla Mujeres, eventually deciding they wanted something more permanent. 

Late in 2007 they purchased a penthouse unit, at the IxChel Two development, overlooking the white sand of north beach and the aquamarine water of the Caribbean Sea.

Mark Caffo at Artists’ Fair 2011

It was bliss, until 2010, when life tossed them a curve ball. Mark was laid off from his systems designer/integrator positionand the only work opportunities that were available to him entailed traveling 90% of the time. That did not fit with their lifestyle or goals. They brainstormed for alternative career ideas, deciding that combining Mark’s passion for photography and love of the island might just be the answer. Donna and Mark launched Caribe on Canvas in October of 2011, turning beautiful photographs into affordable artwork.

Lawrie purchased a print from Mark – 2011

To make this unique product Mark (and occasionally Donna) uses a number of software programs creating prints that have the look and feel of oil paintings. The resulting artwork is printed on a canvas with a Stylus Pro Printer, then sprayed with an ultraviolet protection finish and finally the fabric is stretched onto a custom-made wooden frame. If a customer prefers the prints can be purchased unframed. Several of our friends have arranged with Mark and Donna to have photographs that are personally meaningful to them turned into colourful and eye-catching artwork. It’s a great way to display your favourite images.

Mark Caffo and Abby Fox at Artists’ Fair

Participants in the very first Isla Artists’ Fair held in November of 2011, Donna and Mark are regular exhibitors at the monthly event. 

A recent addition to their creations included a calendar for 2014. They will also be selling prints and posters from the new Jenny Penny Beach Boutique on Matamoros beside Bobo’s Bar & Grill, as well as the new Barlito’s Rapido when it opens later in the year.

Next time you are on Isla look them up or if you aren’t coming to Isla near future check these two websites for more information:

Hasta Luego
Lynda & Lawrie


2 Replies to “A surprise birthday gift becomes a life-changing event”

  1. Great post! I have a few of Caribe on Canvas prints in my house–I sent them some of my photos and had them done–my favorite is a large print of a sunrise–I love looking at it when we aren't on Isla!


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