HAL 2019 Repositioning – Day 9 Huatulco, Mexico

May 26, 2019 Paul Groves

Today was a late arrival so we didn’t arrive in Huatulco until 2:00pm.  However we’re not leaving until 10:30pm.  

Huatulco is a small tourist town but very beautiful.  We were able to walk into town from the ship in just a couple of minutes.  It was crowded today as a fishing contest had just started with a cash prize of $10,000!  After today’s excursion we still had plenty of time for a little shopping and a meal of nachos before heading back to the ship.  The Amsterdam really looked great all lit up.

Our excursion today was entitled “Rural Communities & Traditions”.  We traveled on dirt roads out into the countryside visiting 4 small rural communities.  Our guide pointed out that each of these and many other small communities had three buildings that defined the center of town:  a church, a school, and, a basketball court(!).  She was right.

Our first stop was a community that specialized in hand-woven palm leaf items e.g. baskets, purses, mats, etc.  We also saw a demonstration of their weaving.

Next stop was at a local cactus farm growing a variety of cactus called “nopales”. We were invited to make tacos with homemade corn tortillas, nopales w/scrambled eggs, and nopales salad.  Very tasty.  The farmer grows hundreds of plants and sells them at the local markets everyday.  And, when a farmer says a salsa is spicy, believe him.

Up next was a visit to the local medicinal plant garden.  Since medical facilities are not readily available, local residents use homegrown remedies to cure their ailments.  We could buy packages of the plants for our own use but not sure we could get them thru Customs in the U.S.  The daughters of the garden owner were happy to show us their pet parrot.  

We moved on to our next stop at a rug weaving shop.  The weaver demonstrated how he made his woolen yarn.  Next the guides explained the local ingredients used to dye the yarn.  One of the ingredients used to make the red dye is actually the cochineal insect which lives on cactus.  His rugs were very beautiful and very reasonably priced as well.  We couldn’t help ourselves so we bought one for home.

Lastly we went to a local cantina where were were treated to homemade tortillas and black bean tamales made by the owner’s grandmother in a mud brick hut and simple kitchen equipment.  Again the food was very tasty.  The owners daughter also sold hand decorated table linens.

A short time later we headed back to Huatulco.  It was satisfying to know that people still exist who can make great handicrafts and are continuing to pass on their knowledge to younger generations.