What’s Up in Puerto Morelos: Quarantine Edition

Date: May 13, 2020

Hola Friends,

Just wanted to let you know that we are thinking of you and wanted to see how you’re holding up?!

Who would’ve thought we would be spending high season on the couch drinking wine and binge-watching Netflix instead of running our butts off showing houses, writing contracts and enjoying the beach? Not us. Not in a million years…

We are feeling very grateful that we have a home to “shelter in place” in and that our families are healthy, but what an absolute curveball we’ve all been thrown.

To be totally honest, we haven’t really known how to show up on the blog lately. There are no “current events” to share. We already covered what to read, what to watch, how to visit Puerto Morelos without leaving your couch… Now what? Should we talk about real estate? Should we host our Moving to Mexico events online? What would be useful?

We decided that what felt right was to reach out to our people. To support our friends and local community in any way that we can. To remain grateful and positive as we go through this together.

So here we are and here’s what’s up in Puerto Morelos!

Puerto Morelos Lockdown

Puerto Morelos Beach May 11, 2020 Image courtesy of Casa de los Viajeros

There are very few officially reported cases of COVID-19 in Puerto Morelos – only two, in fact. This seems unbelievable given our proximity to areas with much higher numbers, i.e., Cancun and Playa del Carmen. But we will see how it plays out — it will be great if our numbers stay low.

We are currently on very strict lock down measures here. It’s like a ghost town. All non-essential businesses (basically anything that is not a gas station, food store or medical facility) have closed. The beach is closed. Restaurants that are open and delivering must be closed by 6 p.m. (this one is strange to me, most folks don’t even start to think about dinner until later here…) You are only supposed to leave your home for food shopping or medical reasons. Apparently you are allowed to walk your dog, but even that was up in the air for a few days. You are supposed to wear a mask anytime you are out of your house. Alcohol sales are limited to specific hours.

But the biggest news is: THERE IS NO BEER

Well…. there are some specialty (read: more expensive) beers on the shelves here and there, but the “go to” beers — Sol, Tecate Light, Dos Equis, etc. are nowhere to be found. Apparently the breweries shut down awhile ago and people panicked. So the grocery shelves are empty and there is now a black market for what used to be cheap beer… go figure!

Local Tip: Our very own Pescadores artisinal brewery still has beer, and they deliver!

Right now, the plan is that the most severe restrictions will be lifted May 30, but of course that can change depending on how the next few weeks go. We are hoping for a form of graduated reopening, but haven’t heard much about plans for that.

In short, we aren’t sure what is going to happen in the future. When will businesses reopen? When will flights resume? When will we start to see tourists and/or snow birds coming back? We would all LOVE to know.

Impact & How to Help

It’s hard to wrap our heads around how much of an impact this pandemic has had on our little beach town, Mexico and the planet.

What we can say is that our economy, which is primarily tourist related, has been stopped in its tracks. Thousands of people suddenly unemployed – most with no job benefits at all, and very little assistance from the government. The situation is dire and it is an emergency.

Whatever economic hit and worry this has caused us personally, it is nothing compared to what these families are going through trying to put food on the table every day. The need is overwhelming.

We are doing a few things to try to continue to support our community as long as we can.

First, although we initially stopped having Rosa (cleaning lady) and Hervey (gardener) work, we have continued to pay and support them. They have been with us for years and are part of the family. We’ve also continued to pay Lucy, who had just starting cleaning our office not long before the shutdown.

Several homeowners have contacted us asking what they should do with their household employees and we can’t answer that. Every situation is different and we aren’t experts on employment law here, but our hearts say if you can afford to continue to pay them, or partially pay them, even if they aren’t working, you’ll probably be making a very big difference in many lives.

Second, we are buying gift certificates from local restaurants and running a weekly giveaway from our Run Away Realty Facebook page. It’s not much, but we are getting cash into the hands of folks whose income has taken a huge hit and promoting their businesses while we do it. YOU CAN DO THIS TOO! You can contact your favorite restaurant or business and buy a gift certificate now to use or give away later.

Finally, we have continued to support our friends at MexiCAN Compassion Project. This charity – led by the unstoppable force of nature, Jorie Maloney – mobilized very quickly and has raised funds and distributed food packages and food “vales” (gift card for groceries) to over 1200 families (a fraction of the number who requested assistance, unfortunately).

They have also supported Casa Hogar – an orphanage in Cancun – with toys and a party for the kids on Die del Ninos (Day of the Child) and with Mother’s Day gifts for the 60 women who care for these children. And on top of all THAT, they’ve collected and distributed much needed clothing, medications and medical supplies and household items to needy families in and around Puerto Morelos.

If you have a few dollars to spare, or items to donate, Jorie and her team can put it to good work and get help where it’s needed very quickly.

That’s about it…

We are fine. Our dogs are happy. We only wear comfy clothes. And I’m finally learning to cook…

Our business is still good. We’ve been able to close 2 transactions in April (virtually” of course) and we should have 2 more close this month (fingers crossed!). We continue to receive inquiries about buying and selling, so in that sense we are still rolling along. It’s actually pretty nice to have a bit more time to spend with each potential buyer and seller (virtually) instead of trying to do everything at once.

If you aren’t already following our Run Away Realty Facebook and Instagram pages, we encourage you to join us! We share lots of info/pictures/important news there, and we have a lot of fun.

Take care, hope to see you back here soon,

Kim & Gabriel