Meet Marcy Essy
by Lydia Linton Pontius
Tell us what first brought you to Akumal and when?
March 1985 I came down to see a friend who was camping at the time in X-Cacel. I stayed for one month.
What was it like being a blond, Midwestern woman in Mexico?
In 1985 it was still rare to see women with Blond hair. To keep the attention away from me I bought a baseball style cap to wear and tucked my long hair underneath the cap which did help.
I remember one time there was a small group of us that rode to Tulum with Chuck Stevens, he later a great cave diver and explorer, but this night we were going to a dance in Tulum which started around 11 pm in the original concha downtown. The children were frightened of me and clung to the legs of their Mother's and the crowd did not like their children crying so it was suggested that we go back to X-Cacel.
Did you live here full time?
Yes, I lived here in Aventuras Akumal from 1993 to 2002 full time. Other years we lived her 6 months out of the year.
What was it like raising children in Akumal?
It was great, there were children, mostly boys my son Lucas' age. They played and created with each other all the time. The locals that worked in the restaurants and the security guards always knew the location of the 'gang of kids'. Schooling was a challenge until a group of parents took the opportunity to create a private, Bi-Lingual, school, Collegio Puerto Aventuras, which gave a wonderful base to meet other families with the same goals. We car pooled together, did fundraising, had parties, and enjoyed our beach days.
Can you give us a typical day?
When I camped, it was swimming in the mornings, trips to Tulum to buy groceries from two choice grocery stores and eating lunch at Dona Tinas, 'the' restaurant in town in those days. We swam in many cenotes throughout the days and washed our car in the carwash cenote, made trips to Felipe Carrillo Puerto to get LP or you had to drive to Cancun and that was way too far to travel.
When I moved to Aventuras Akumal I did a lot of volunteering because the local families, what few we were, wanted a school for their children to attend. We all started out on a new adventure of fundraising and getting to know each other with Friday night happy hours and pizza night, Saturday morning sports, Sunday Schools, Bible studies. Kids were a big part of my life! I taught them Sunday School, Gym Class and played with them. That is my most cherished memories watching all the kids grow up in an area so peaceful and happy.
What changes have you seen?
New Faces. We used to know everyone and they knew us. I still feel the base of Akumal Funk and it is proven by the repeat travelers. Cars, I remember 10 cars on the roads and two of them were the Bimbo truck, Coca Cola truck and one cab that came out of Playa Del Carmen. The change started for me when Chemuyil and Akumal Pueblos opened. When NAFTA came to Mexico and Playa Del Carmen grew up to be a city. The double lane highway is not as romantic as when the trees hitting the side of the truck we always drove.
What are your favorite memories?
Having garage sales in the 80's out of the back of my truck. I would pull in across from the Chomack go to the Luncharia "Economica" and get an orange juice and set up the sale. I drove down and sold everything I owned then flew home to the states to start the whole process again. All the things in my truck, jumper cables, aluminum dishes, everything I used for camping was sold. The camper and truck sold as well. As time went on I had the sale at my campsite in Xcacel because it became so popular. The moment I arrived in XCacel the bidding began for the truck and camper, sold to the highest bidder. Back then I would use my items for the next 6 months and sell it all when it was time for me to depart for awhile. It was easy, there was very little to buy in our coast. It would always amaze me how I could sell everything every year.
What is one of your favorite spots or places to go to and why?
X'Cacel because of its beauty and the feel that it personally gives me.
What was the hardest part of living here?
Availability of items for cars and different parts for repairs. I came here to live simple and not have all the telephones, tv, I wanted to improvise. We had an everything we needed it always seemed.
The language barriers while in office of the municipalities and lawyers, etc. It has all worked out but it is hard to make progress with all the laws, etc.
How do you divide your time between the states and Mexico?
8 months in Mexico and 4 months in Iowa.
What are your hopes for the future?
The national population succeeds in our area. We have superior schooling because we all helped in the process. Our ecology does not get so unbalanced that we ruin our reef completely.
You are the chair-person for the 4th Annual CEA Festival, can you tell us a little about that and what we can expect?
FUN first! And of course to raise awareness about Recycling, how each of us can help to better our local and global world ecology, as well as, to bring positive attention to a worthwhile cause, Centro Ecologico Akumal, CEA. CEA's director and staff will be presenting a ll 6 of the CEA Programs. There will be tours that highlight Ukana's Properties and businesses. School students, as well as visitors will have the opportunity to share in all the events and participate in ecological games.
visitor from the past will be attending , Mary Wooten of the puppet troupe "The Woopets." The Woopets are a fantastic group of people that will do workshops and performances for our local schools, tourists and the locals that live here. Their focus and theme will be Recycling.
Marcy Essy - Please visit me at www.mayansands.com
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