Mañana in Mexico,

By Mari Pintkowski

We all, at one time in our lives, dream of leaving our mundane world in search of an exotic paradise. My husband and I had a dream to build a B & B on a gorgeous piece of property we purchased three years ago on Santa Fe Beach in Tulum, just one mile south of the famous Mayan ruins.

When doing business in Mexico everything takes place at a snail’s pace. Often tasks need to be repeated because, for one reason or another, it was not completed properly the first time. “Waiting” becomes a daily part of life in the tropics. These gentle people will never answer a question or request with a NO, and if you ask three different people the same question you will seldom get the same answer. These are some of the difficult, yet important things you have to learn if you are to make the transition from living in the United States to south of the border, and don’t forget to bring your smile!

On a summer day when the tide was full-in and sun stood directly overhead we waited on our property perched 15 feet above the Caribbean for the land surveyor to arrive. When our appointment time had long passed, we placed a call to our Mexican contact who said, “I just talked to him and he said he was with you on your property.” She phoned him again and this time he said that he had experienced an unexpected delay while in route to our meeting. He stopped to buy a soda at a store just a few hundred meters before our property. When he took the first big gulp, he not only got the soda, but a bumblebee along with it. He explained that he was now at the hospital 40 miles away in another town being treated for an allergic reaction to bees; and yes, the work would be done mañana!!

We never were able to get permits to build on this gorgeous piece of paradise, but fate took us instead to Macario Gomez, 20 km from Tulum on the Coba Road, where we built and now operate La Selva Mariposa, a boutique B&B that surpasses our original dream.

Mari wrote a book that describes the process she and her husband went through to buy land in a foreign country and secure permits to build on a very fragile piece of land on the Caribbean coast. It can be found at local book stores and Embarking on the Mariposa Trail by Mari Pintkowski.

moe sept 08