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Sunday, 01 January 2023

The People and Things of Ciudad del Carmen: 'The Pearl of the Gulf'

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A Photo Essay 

Located along the Gulf coast on the Yucatan Peninsula, Ciudad del Carmen, the "The Pearl of the Gulf," was once Mexico's seafood capital – until a fisherman discovered oil off the coast in 1971.

Before that, pirates, from 1558 to 1786, took shelter on the island and used it as a staging ground for raiding and pillaging until they were forcefully evicted by Spanish colonial forces.

(Actually, in recent years, the pirates have returned to rob oil rigs and commercial vessels.)

My wife and I relocated recently to this, the partially-reclaimed-pirate-island-turned-oil-mecca to check out la vida real.

The vibes are industrial and working-class. It's a relatively young-looking and young-feeling city; there is none of the classical architecture that you might find a couple hundred miles down the road in historic Merida, for example.

Most of the inhabitants are migrants from other parts of Mexico, usually coming to work on the oil rigs. So my wife and I aren't the only outsiders, in a sense, although our status as aliens is more obvious at first glance for sure. The people, as they often do elsewhere, stare at the white foreigners, who are somewhat of a rarity here.

Here's what I've seen.

Ciudad Del Carmen 1
La conquistadora pridefully displays the hide of her prize kill, an alligator that wandered onto her property, which she euthanized out of worry for her dogs


 Ciudad Del Carmen 2

Mayan fertility goddess (pre-colonial iconography)


Ciudad Del Carmen 3 

The likeness of Mother Mary, who is revered seemingly more than Jesus (post-colonial iconography)


Ciudad Del Carmen 4 

Fisherman muchachos depicted on a mural


 Ciudad Del Carmen 5

Seabirds on poles

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Last modified on Saturday, 04 February 2023

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