When traveling in the Yucatan Peninsula there are certain customs, details and ways that are likely to surprise you. Every culture and region have their customs, some surprising.

When you travel through the Yucatan Peninsula You may be surprised by several things, either as a foreigner or if you come from other parts of the country. The Peninsula is a separate world in certain customs, Mexican stamp with deep Yucatecan roots, there you go.

Polyuc, Mayan artisans, Quintana Roo

Curiosities in the Yucatan Peninsula

The umbrella is used to protect from the sun, not for rain. Most times you see someone with an open umbrella, he will be protecting himself from the sun. The rains are so strong and concentrated that the solution is to take shelter somewhere and let the downpour go by. Of course we take out the umbrella for the rain sometimes, but almost always it is for the sun.

They change the name to the second one to meet you: "Hi, I'm Sandra" "Hi Sandrita, how are you doing?" They instantly change it, and it's something that surprised me a lot, even in formal situations like a doctor's visit. It's my turn to be Sandrita or Sandy, that's my name in Mexico 🙂

The yucaterco certainly exists. The Yucatecans have a reputation for being stubborn, I personally attribute it to how extremely traditional they are, I have rarely known such a society of customs: they feel good in what they know, and they repeat and repeat. If you change a letter they are lost, that takes you to funny situations. Do not argue against a wall, you will go bounced, look for yourself around them, they do not come out of their manners: if it was always like that, it is. That's why we call the Yucatecans yucatercos.

Remove your plate before you finishSometimes you are chewing the last bite and they ask you for permission to remove the plate. I do not know where these hurries come from, and more with the generalized pause that we live here.

The volume to everything that gives, whether in a supermarket, the gas station or the shoe store. Personally it is something that surprises me a lot, I explain: the Mayan population, the majority in the Peninsula, is of appearance and quiet habit. When you visit a large or medium-sized population Valladolid o Spigot, you will see the stores that, as a claim of your attention, put the music with the loudspeakers in the street to everything they give. And they do not flinch as they pass in front of the speaker. In the canteens or dens (bars) sometimes it's impossible to listen to the waiter (waiter), they like the high volume. I am going to give you a tip that you will thank me: if you are in a town and are parties, do not stay in a hotel near the plaza where they celebrate the party, it is very likely that the volume of the mobile disk will not let you sleep all night.

They can not say NO to a question, they invent the answer, they will give you an address even if they don't know it to avoid telling you that they don't know it, it's something cultural. And how to deal with this situation? Over time I have read between the lines to know if they invent it or know it. I recommend you pay attention to the "security" with which they give the answer. If they only smile at you or nod, they didn't understand you, even if they answer you "over there." The Mexican in general has a hard time saying no, it's like a rude way of responding, and for me it's a mess. In small towns, they probably won't answer you because they have a hard time understanding you, they're just going to smile at you. A curious note: surprisingly you arrive in the state of Campeche and there they say without problem, "I don't know." Did you also notice this difference?

The hair becomes indomitable, so do not fight much or bring your best methods to combat change because this moisture is going to despair, especially if you have curly hair.

When you sweat, it's cold here. You will arrive at your hotel and with a heat of 25 degrees and you will see a blanket in your bed to cover you. The months of December to March here suffer very cold, we go down from the 25 degrees and we are warm, so do not be surprised to see the premises with coat, hat and turtleneck if necessary. Ah, in the months of December to March we live days of freezing, where temperatures drop below the 12, you're warned.

The unpunctuality is a fact, some do not even appear. Here two things are mixed: between that they don't know how to say no and they are very unpunctual, there are times that they don't even appear, and they don't warn. Informalism sometimes despairs, because the right now never comes. Obviously when it comes to tourist services is something else, there is a professionalism within the tourism area that speaks very well of the Peninsula, but if they leave you waiting, do not feel bad, you are not the first.

Of course you will find trades and brands that you already had forgotten, like the bootblack professions, watch passing vendors selling bread, ice cream or whatever it takes. And brands that were obsolete years ago in your place of origin. For example, the Spaniards see again a Mirinda of orange and there is not one that does not buy it, what of yesteryear remains in the retina of memory.

Orange Mirinda, a classic in Spain that disappeared

The drinker's Sunday, more than the Lord. As I comment, the Mayans are of calm appearance and custom, they are kind and respectful with the foreigner, of humble and educated treatment. If you travel through villages on a Sunday, you will see that it is much easier to talk to men, alcohol gives them a boost and they look for you to talk. On Sundays it is drunk, and sadly the alcoholism among the Mayan population is an Achilles heel. My advice is to respond as they do when they do not understand: smile politely and go your way, do not get in trouble, hold the plate to a drunk is a waste of time. As an anecdote I always remember volunteering in the town of Sabacché, where we arrived on a Monday and a large group of local men began to talk to us on Sunday.

The bathrooms for two, a surprise on the way. It is known about the services of men with urinals in line, what I had not seen are toilets for girls with cups in line, as to talk while you migrate. It is known that many girls go to the bathroom together, but I do not think we have that idea in mind: the offer is interesting, but it's not my thing. There are not many services that you find like this, depending on where you move, but in local environments you will see it.

Not all the surprises that you will see on your way, much less hopefully expand those little details with you. Write a comment of what you are surprised traveling through the Yucatan Peninsula, sure we agree on several things. The cultures and customs we must respect them, the awareness of them is a way to get out of our own and recognize ourselves.

Good way,

Travel hacks
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Sandra Salvadó Training photographer, traveler by vocation and certified tourism guide by the Government of Mexico. We promote natural wonders and contemporary Mayan culture. Great fan of pre-Hispanic history. Author of the blog and co-founder of The Shortest Path Travel, agency that guides you through alternative paths in Mayan lands. Social and sustainable tourism in the Yucatan Peninsula and Chiapas.
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