Travel Warning and Tips on traveling safely in Puerto Morelos, Mexico from catriona brown

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In today’s episode, I chat with Catroina Brown, who is originally from Australia and now resides in Puerto Morelos. Catroina worked in the film production industry for many years; she met a fellow who was going to be producing the Olympics in Sydney. Catroina worked with him on managing major productions, including Sydney’s New Year’s Celebrations and the Olympics. She visited the Yucatan region in Mexico to explore the archeological ridge. On January 2, 2002, while in Puerto Morelos, Catroina read “Travel Warning! Be careful you may never leave” on a pamphlet. She thought to herself “yeah right, I am going back to my high-society living in Australia”. Long story short, it’s now 14 years and she is still in Puerto Morelos. Catroina built properties from scratch and owned a dive shop at one time. She started a cooking school after the recession hit, by way of one of her duplexes she had owned, called the Little Mexican Cooking School. Catroina is also the administrator for the town charity and she loves to play polo in her spare time.

The Little Mexican Cooking School

The school is designed for adults, with a plethora of information packed in these classes such as the history, culture, and geography. The school’s capacity is about 16 people, so you need to call in for reservations two weeks in advance during the high season.

The chef runs the whole class; he demonstrates, and then you get to work making delicious salsas and snacks. The chef takes you into the kitchen where you will learn how to make a three-course meal, there are seven different menus, so you can attend more than one cooking class and get a variety of choices, including his brand new menu called The Mexican Seafood Fiesta.

Catriona’s Favorite Dish

Chiles en nogada is usually made on Independence Day because it is the color of the Mexican Flag. This tasty meal consists of poblano chillis (green) stuffed with meat and veggies and covered in a walnut almond cream sauce (white), sprinkled with pomegranate seeds (red).

Where is Catriona’s Favorite Place?

After working full days during high season, Catriona likes to go to El Rey Polo Club, hop on a horse and lose herself in the jungle with only the sounds of the birds singing in the background.

What changes have happened since Puerto Morelos became its own municipality?

Catroina works at promoting tourism; she works hard to keep the sense of the community. People who live there want to keep it small, low level, and getting rid of the greedy. The town spits out the ones that don’t belong there. The city council is made up of the people that have been in that area all their lives.

On Valentine’s Day, they had a free event in the town square right in front of the ocean where anyone who wanted to get married could, whether same-sex marriage or not; the town provided the music and good eats.

What are some of the tips tourist should know about when visiting Puerto Morelos?

It is pertinent that you wear biodegradable sunscreen, don’t swim in the cenotes with any creams on, the water is connected to people’s homes in the area. Also don’t support the Dolphinarium; those are prisons for dolphins and by going to see them, you are supporting this tragedy.

After Hurricane Wilma, it took the town at least a year for most of the city to recover. However, there are still areas that need people’s help. A tourist could help out the El Mundo para, which is a charity that helps schools, hospitals, clinics, fire stations, etc. with rebuilding.

Tune into the podcast to learn more about Puerto Morelos and Catriona’s story.

Puerto Morelos
el Rey Polo Country Club
Chiles en nogada

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