Thursday, May 7, 2009

Swine Flu/H1N1- Cancun Trying to Return to "Normal"

A quick update for today, Thursday May 7, 2009 on swine flu/H1N1 in Cancun and the Riviera Maya....

1. Archaelogical zones reopened yesterday, all ruins in the area are open, though some with restricted hours due to lack of visitors (no evening or night hours for example).

2. Bars and restaurants are reopening, under the condition that they function at a 50% level to try to restrict the amount of contact between people. For example, I took my son to McDonald's yesterday in an effort to entertain him (he's out of his mind with boredom). Every other table had a "closed" sign on it and the play area was closed (much to our dismay). In cinemas they are trying to enforce an "every other seat" rule to ensure that there is no close contact between patrons.

3. Hotels are consolidating their guests. Several large hotel chains that are suffering from extremely low occupancy have closed the doors to some of their resorts and placing all their guests in one location. Funjet has a list of hotels that are closing and where they are transferring their guests, please click here.

4. The media is backing off the whole H1N1 story, acknowledging that they may have overreacted and caused a frenzy (and a lot of xenophobia). Mexico is doing its utmost to reassure travelers that it is safe to visit in an effort to rebuild the tourism industry that at this moment has practically been destroyed. The Pan American Health Organization says that it is safe to travel to Mexico and authorities are seeking official word from the World Health Organization to certify that the country is taking all necessary sanitary precautions. Officials in Quintana Roo are stating that the situation is "stable", with 11 confirmed cases and several more awaiting test results.

5. The financial situation for Cancunenses and Quintanrooenses is dire. The people of this area live and die by the "occupancy" numbers, we all know that if the numbers are low, that people are suffering. Currently the occupancy (number of filled hotel rooms) is hovering around 20%, a dangerously low number that is forcing employers to lay off thousands of employees, cut hours of others to less than fifty percent or simply cut wages or fire people outright. With lost jobs and wages, we're sure to see a rise in crime, alcoholism and suicide in the region.

On a personal note, this crisis is certainly affecting our family as well as thousands of others. My pay for the last couple of weeks will be dramatically less than normal and Hubby's company has cut his salary by 30% for at least a month. Our future is uncertain, there is no guarantee that I will have as many hours of teaching in the coming months and we do not know when Hubby's full salary will be reinstated. And yet, everything still costs the same, rent is the same, electricity, food, school costs, we really don't know how we can make ends meet. Our belts are already tight, we live pay cheque to pay cheque, so we are definitely concerned about how we will meet all our obligations. We're trying to remain upbeat and positive, we survived Hurricane Wilma, but some days it's just too much to think about. Having my son stuck at home for the last two weeks has taken its toll as well, we are suffering from cabin fever and his behaviour has been, well, "out of character" (that's putting it nicely, he's been a whole handful of trouble the last couple of days).

To those of you who have sent emails with questions, I hope some of them have been answered in this post. I must apologize for not being able to respond to you all, I'm just one woman and I've got hundreds of emails in my box, I need an assistant! For all of you looking for restaurant or hotel advice, I'm really not the best person to ask as we don't get out very often and we rarely visit the hotels. I would like to direct you to the Cancun forums at CancunCare and TripAdvisor where tourists who actually have experienced the establishments can give you first hand accounts and advice about where to eat and stay. I'm definitely more of an "off the beaten track" kind of girl, taco stands with no names and bargain rooms in hotels I can never find again if we do stay out of town, I would hate to claim to be an expert in what tourists are enjoying in terms of accommodations and food. Yes, I'm passing the buck, but I would hate to steer you wrong, just being honest! My friend Steve who runs the CancunCare forum also has some really great Cancun information pages, check them out for general ideas of things to do and see in the area.

And on that note, I'm off to the beach, must get out of the house!

(this is old news now folks, here's the link for the latest updates on H1N1 in Cancun)


NorthNJDavid said...

Thank you for all of your information! I was a bit concerned with taking my trip on May 9th. However,thanks to your site and information, I am certain I am going! I hope that the local economy can recover from this mess. One week, so much to do...what shall I do first? :)

Melissa said...

Figure I'll just post this since I imagine it'd take some time for you to sift through all your emails to the one I sent. But I sent a link for a blogging job that would be perfect for already fit all the qualifications and have the sample posts they want to see. And the pay rate is quite good for a blogging job. So check it out and APPLY!!!!!!

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the update. I needed positive news.

Maybe you can add a link where we could send donations/tips for your priceless information. Someway we could you. Send you money electronically.

Jorge said...

I can give you my paypal account

Love you.

Married to a Mexican said...

I've been thinking about your current situation. If you really do get hundreds of emails a day, you may want to consider finding some advertisers outside of google. I'm not sure if you are familar with "Dooce" but she make 40,000 plus a month from advertisers on her blog. So if you really do have that many people reading you may want to consider checking into some bigger companies that cater to the market you are dealing with. Just a thought. I think you have something really great going on here. For all of the info you are offering I think there may be some extra income out there for you. Also, Laura at is a great resource to chat with about ways to generate money from your blog. If you do get in touch with her make sure you tell her Tina from sent you. I met her through my website she is a follower. Hope this helps! You have too much talent to be doing this for free.

caddie79 said...

quite a suprise youre still on the functioning side of things today. hope you feel a million pesos better.

KfromMichigan said...

I hope things work out for you and hubby. Keep your chin up and remember - things happen for a reason. Who knows, you could get a pay raise! Enjoy the beach!

bham4ever said...

Thank you again "Canuck in Cancun"for all of your information! You have been so helpful in deciding to keep our reservations for the end of the month and I wish the best for the people there and hope everything will get back to normal real soon. I love the region there and the sunshine so will be happy to return and spend my money while I'm there. Miss swimming in the wonderful blue waters!

Kelly said...

Yes, please let us know if there is anything we can do! Not to be some creepy internet stranger, but your blog is a bright spot on the internet.

We were one of the people affected by a hotel closing on Cozumel and have since switched to one on the mainland (Iberostar Paraiso Lindo...I think it's near Puerto Morelos?). In case anyone asks you, not everyone affected is necessarily being transferred to the same place. For example, Funjet is consolodating people to different hotels than Apple.

My heart aches for the people who rely on the tourist industry, and I intend to spend as much money as I can afford while I'm there - 6 days!

Thanks for all you do, keep up the great work!

Kelly said...

Make that, "6 days from NOW"...I won't be there 6 days : (

CancunCanuck said...

Oh, I have a moment and there are only 10 comments, I think I can reply individually at last!

David- Choosing what to do in only a week is a tough task, if it were me, the first thing would be a snorkeling trip, but that's my passion. :) Have a fantastic holiday!

Melissa- Got your mail, thanks, you weren't the only one to send it to me, haha. I'll check it out again (let's chat soon please!)

Bosplaya- Wow, that's such a kind offer. I've been hemming and hawing about putting up the ole Paypal button, wasn't sure if it would come across as begging (or "blegging", blogging and begging combined). Since you mentioned it though, perhaps I'll put a "donate" button up temporarily on the sidebar. Thanks so much!

Jorge- Got my own, thanks Hubby, love you too. :)

Married to a Mexican- I just counted up the emails, 197 from the last week. That is way out of whack from normal though, it's just the swine flu flood. I really had never thought about the blog being a money maker, the google ads were just a "why the heck not" kind of thing, I haven't made much in the last year and a half of blogging. I'm checking out that link, thanks kindly. I WISH I could be like Dooce, lol, I just don't consider myself anywhere near her league! I know once the flu panic has passed, my numbers will drop again, though I've been happy with what I've been getting for a personal blog. You are good for my ego, lol, thanks and hugs to you!

Danny- I'm still feeling "not so hot", but really needed to get out of the house today. A little sun is always good for the sickies. Thanks. :)

KfromMichigan- Oooh, thinking big on the pay raise, how dreamy that would be! Maybe in oh, I don't know, 10 years? ;-)

bham4ever- Glad I could help! I hope the time flies and you're floating in the amazing blues in no time!

Kelly- Anyone who shares my first name cannot be a stalker, lol! Thanks for the info on hotels, and seriously, I LOVE Puerto Morelos, fantastic beaches! I hope you have a terrific trip. You can still get over to Coz if you want to do some diving, but you can do some good snorkeling and dives right from the main land too. How long are you down for?

Thanks all! (Ok, look for the donate button to the right, I'm trying to be subtle about it, is that subtle?) :)

Islagringo said...

I would be willing to make a major wager that the people who have had their salaries reduced will find themselves working for that same amount for a long time to come. Typical logic down here will say "If you could survive on that 30% reduction, than why should we give you more?"

Rosas Clan in Tulum said...

Hey honey, We should get together and talk about the blog stuff. I am working on getting the Tulum Living blog up for advertisers. We could figure out the sience of it too. I hear a phone call to Kim don't you hehehe.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there. Things have got to improve.

Married to a Mexican said...

Okay, I am a dork here is the real address.

Dream it. Believe it. Achieve it.

I total believe in you!

Stop being so humble and go for it girl! If they can do it. You can do it! Cesar lives by this.

Swanky said...

On the 23rd I'll take my 7 or 8th trip to Cancun and I usually start it off with dinner at Perico's. It's hard to describe the place, but it has the funnest floor show ever. Really sets the mood. Really crazy.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the information!

We will be there a few weeks, and I am looking forward to it.

Gaelyn said...

Sure hope things get back to normal for you soon. The media really does have a way of causing panic.

minshap said...

oh CC it's good to see so many good ideas and best wishes for your economic recovery here in the comments! I second the motion on the professional blogging suggestion. Or for creating a new type of tourguide business - tours for the backpacking tourists! They'd love your guidance! I can hook you up with someone in Mérida who's always had that idea in mind and could be ripe for it now. Meanwhile, just a personal note on the economic slump. We see it here too. At the end of this month, I will receive exactly half of what I can usually make in a month teaching and translating! Dare I wonder what next month will be like?

Diana said...

Hi sweetie!
These are Diana and Greg. We met at Steve and Janet´s a couple weekends ago (we´re the Cuban-Gringo couple with the 3 year old boy).
Are you aware that you´re becoming quite popular? a few days ago a friend from Miami referred me to your blog as a ¨trustworthy Cancun resource¨. Keep up the great work!

Cheers, and hope to see you guys soon!
Diana, Greg and Degory

Teresa said...

CC, I really understand what you have been going thru. It's the same for us in the Yucatan, so much bad publicity and so much less pay! I really think that you are a professional and should look at getting paid for what you do! Keep your chin up and keep blogging, we all count on your wisdom and knowledge. By the way with the loyal following that you have I wouldn't think twice about a paypal button, hugs T

Violette said...

Thanks for all the information! We will be there in one week to do our part to stimulate your economy. Best of luck to your family!

Racheldv said...

I appreciate all that you have posted. My boyfriend and I canceled our hotel in Playa del Carmen about 1 week ago.. then we realized that this whole thing was blown WAYYYY out of proportion. We just re-booked our trip today and are both still going to Cancun, we leave from Miami this Thursday and are very Excited! We are staying on the main Cancun strip. Are any restaurants or clubs open on the Cancun strip??

CancunCanuck said...

Thanks all, going to close comments on this one as it's old news now. I really appreciate everyone's support, wow it's nice to read all the positivity!

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