Health and Safety
From what we have seen, the Yucatan is as safe a travel destination as you can find. We have heard
from friends there that while your personal safety is assured, you should not leave items unattended or
they may disappear. This is fairly common throughout the world, and shouldn't detract from your
enjoyment of the area. From personal experience, when we left an ipod in an internet cafe a teenager
on a neighboring computer spotted it and ran into the street to return it to us.
Regarding diet and food-borne illness, a house rental in Mexico is the most certain way to assure you
will not suffer the unpleasant effects of "Montezuma's Revenge". It was a concern of ours, travelling with
children, that enough care could be taken to prevent any ill-effects from unsafe water and diet. The
perfect solution is doing your own shopping, cooking and dishwashing. An ounce of chlorine bleach in
the soapy dishwater and rinse sink kills most bacteria in the tap water. The large water dispenser on
the kitchen counter contains an abundance of inexpensive drinking water to use for washing fruits and
vegetables and cooking pasta and potatoes. When dining out, we ate freely in Mérida, including salads
and ice cubes, but exercised more care in the smaller communities of Progreso and Chicxulub, avoiding
raw or room temperature foods. Using these precautions we were able to enjoy the most wonderful
dishes and produce with absolutely no ill-effects. One of our favourite things? Guacamole from the
most perfect and inexpensive avocadoes ever, and in Mexico the grocery stores and markets have
mountains of them, and gorgeous limes too. Here's the recipe:
2 or 3 ripe avocadoes (they should yield slightly when squeezed)
1 tsp salt
the juice of one lime
3 tablespoons salsa
Mash with a fork, then scoop with tortilla chips.
In the unfortunate event of illness or emergency, there is an excellent hospital in
Merida, as well as a clinic catering to tourists in downtown Progreso, just off the
The locations will be provided to you in your rental confirmation package, as well as a number to
telephone for an ambulance.
Guests at our house over the Christmas holiday, 2011/12, needed to hospitalise a family member who
was diagnosed with pneumonia. Their elderly mother was seen in Progreso, where the doctor advised
her to travel to the hospital in Merida. She and her family were very happy with the care she received,
and she said the hospital and staff were lovely.