|Sunset – looking towards Cancun.|
Luckiest island? Just because we are blessed with amazing beaches, fabulous restaurants, and gracious people?
Yes, but also because this year we dodged a number of natural disasters that devastated our surrounding neighbours. 2017 has been a hyperactive hurricane season in the Caribbean Sea with seventeen named storms including Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harvey, Irma, Jose, Katia, Lee, Maria, Nate, Ophelia, Philippe, and Rina.
Two of the hurricanes, Irma and Nate, were projected to ride right over our little sandbar of an island. Thankfully both storms changed their travel plans leaving us in peace. Our neighbours in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Cuba, Belize, Guatemala and Puerto Rico were unfortunately subjected to the wrath of several big storms this year.
|Earthquakes in September 2017|
In September, Mexico suffered a series of devastating earthquakes on the Pacific coast, and in central Mexico. Hundreds of people died in the huge quakes. The communities are still in recovery mode, with unstable buildings and damaged infrastructure.
Thankfully we don’t seem to be in an earthquake zone here on the Caribbean side of Mexico.
Most of the quakes are concentrated further out where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean, near Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and the Virgin Islands.
|Local policewoman and her daughter|
On the more personal side of living on Isla Mujeres, we have a very low crime rate. Most of the problems are crimes of opportunity. A purse snatched. A pocket picked. A camera or electronic device taken from tourists in a rental property. With sixteen thousand residents and two million visitors a year the opportunities abound for thieves. They prey on people who assume since this is a small island they do not have to worry about any crime. Well, you do have to take precautions. Keep track of your valuables. Use the safes supplied in your accommodation for your passports, extra cash, and electronic devices. Lock your doors when leaving your lodging, even if you are just going out for a few minutes. Don’t leave any small electronic devices out on display. Someone will take them.
|Sunrise on eastern side of the island|
And sadly you should be aware of the possibility of a sexual assault. Twice in recent weeks a young woman has successfully fought off an attacker.
But on the up side of living here the weather is nearly-perfect, the environment healthy, and the municipality tries to provide a variety of cultural experiences for everyone.
There is an abundance of beaches, restaurants and bars of course, plus ethnic activities on most weekends in centro. The Artist Fairs, located at the Casa de Cultura, are back in operation starting this week. The plan is for every second Thursday, but will likely change to weekly as the high season tourist traffic increases.
|Folk Dancers in Centro|
We have a reasonably good police force, and the large comforting presence of the huge navy base across from the passenger ferries.
It’s nice to know those folks live here year around providing extra security, search and rescue for lost boats, and occasionally emergency medical evacuations.
The two navy drug-sniffing dogs and their handlers frequently greet the passenger boats or car ferries, checking for contraband. We enjoy watching the dogs work.
|Navy dogs and handlers at passenger ferry terminal|
So yes, we think Isla Mujeres is the luckiest island in Mexico.
It’s a beautiful island with friendly locals and resident foreigners.
(That’s us! Resident foreigners.)
Cheers from paradise
Lynda & Lawrie
Isla Mujeres Mystery Series
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