As the raining season nears our tropical paradise, at the start of June, male land crabs make their way from the hills around Lo de Marcos down to the beach. At the north end of the beach where the jungle touches the sand, thousands of crabs can be seen making nest holes in the soft sand while awaiting their female counterparts that are suppose to come out of the sea where they have been washing their eggs which they carry on the underbelly.

Female crabs spawn upwards to 700,000 eggs each. Many do not survive and thus is the nature of the creature to produce many so that few may reach maturity. Immature crabs are brown or orange with the mature turning blue. The other noticeable trait is that one claw is larger than the other.

Crabs are said to be vegetarian. Often you will see a claw sitting by itself, which is no problem as crabs can grow new claws. My friend says that crabs are happy as their time is spent eating and procreating.


Black Sapote

Look around at the trees in Lo de Marcos and you might find some interesting fruit.

Diospyros nigra, the black sapote, is a species of persimmon. Common names include chocolate pudding fruit, black soapapple and zapote prieto. The tropical fruit tree is native to Mexico, Central America, and Colombia. The common name sapote refers to any soft, edible fruit. Wikipedia


On any given afternoon you might hear a bicycle horn as a three-wheeled yellow adult bike heads your way. The hand pushed vehicle is adorned with many types of snacks and hand made beverages. Prices range from $5 to $30 pesos. Try, the Tostilocos for a full snack that goes great with an afternoon Netflix.

Tostilocos are a popular Mexican antojito that consists of Tostitos tortilla chips topped with cueritos, cucumber, jícama, lime juice, Valentina hot sauce, chamoy, Tajín chili powder, salt, and “Japanese peanuts”. The dish was first conceived in the late 1990s by street vendors in Mexico. Wikipedia


I’m no doctor, but… after being stung multiple times I have learned a few things about surviving.

  1. Stay calm. Nothing causes more problems that getting excited about a scorpion sting. Adrenalin seems to speed the spread of poisonous venom through your body. Take a breath, tell your self that you are not going to die today and follow the following steps.
  2. Mix Baking Soda and a drop of water to make a paste. Cover the sting with the paste and immediately you will begin to feel better as the acid in the sting is neutralized.
  3. Take a Benadryl tablet, look at the clock and realize that in 20 minutes life will begin to be better. The antihistamine in the tablet can be a life saver.
  4. Call a friend and know that they can help you to remain calm.
  5. An EpiPen can be a next to last resort and then 911 if your tongue swells and breathing becomes labored.

My best lesson was the time I was stung on my back in the middle of the night while house sitting a home up in the mountains. 911 said I would be dead by the time they arrived and it was best to follow the above mentioned steps. My tongue did swell, breathing became labored, however… after I swabbed the sting with baking soda, took the benadryl and calmed down, sleep took over and in the morning a friend got me to a clinic where they gave me an EpiPen like shot and life returned to normal a few hours later.

Be prepared:

a. Learn calming meditation

b. Keep Baking Soda in the fridge

c. Keep Benadryl at the ready.

d. Invest in an EpiPen

Anono / Sweetsop

Anono is found in Lo de Marcos on trees and at local fruit stands. It is a sweet fruit that I think you will enjoy.

The sugar-apple, or sweetsop, is the fruit of Annona squamosa, the most widely grown species of Annona and a native of the tropical Americas and West Indies. The Spanish traders of Manila galleons brought it to Asia, where its old Mexican name ate may still be found in Malayalam and Odia Aata, Bengali aataa, Nepalese aati, Sinhalese mati anoda, Burmese awzar thee, Indonesia “ Srikaya”’ and atis in the Philippines. It is also known as Seetaphal in India and Shareefa Pakistan and in the Philippines and in Australia.[1] The name is also used in Portuguese as ata.

The fruit is spherical-conical, 5–10 cm (2.0–3.9 in) in diameter and 6–10 cm (2.4–3.9 in) long, and weighing 100–240 g (3.5–8.5 oz), with a thick rind composed of knobby segments. The color is typically pale green through blue-green, with a deep pink blush in certain varieties, and typically has a bloom. It is unique among Annona fruits in being segmented, and the segments tend to separate when ripe, exposing the interior.

The flesh is fragrant and sweet, creamy white through light yellow, and resembles and tastes like custard. It is found adhering to 13-to-16-millimetre-long (0.51 to 0.63 in) seeds forming individual segments arranged in a single layer around a conical core. It is soft, slightly grainy, and slippery. The hard, shiny seeds may number 20–40 or more per fruit and have a brown to black coat.

Anono estas plantogenro kiu konsistas el proksimume 100 – 150 specioj de plejgrandparte tropikaj arboj kaj arbustoj kun alternaj unuaraj, ledecaj folioj, el kiuj la plejmulto portas manĝeblajn fruktojn.

Thank you Wikipedia.

La fruktoj estas kunmetfruktoj: ili ekestas el multaj reciproke kuniĝintaj fruktetoj, kiuj ekestas el unu karpelo, sed tamen el la sama floro.

Temas pri la dua plej granda genro el la familio de la Anonacoj. La nomo Anono deriviĝis de “annon” (el la taina lingvo).

La sekva listo indikas kelkajn speciojn.

Tejon / Coati

If you walk the jungles around Lo de Marcos there is a good chance you will see a member of our wildlife known as a Tejon or Coati. Some fear the animal that can harm other animals. Other see it as a food source.

Mammal belonging to the Procyonidae family, native to Central America. It is omnivorous, with a long, pointed snout and tail; It has short ears and a shadow on the face that looks like an eye mask. His body measures half a meter and weighs between 3 and 5 kg. In the north of the country it is grayish brown, while in the south it is darker. It abounds on the coasts and pine forests. It mainly feeds on insects, birds, fruits, lizards, seeds and roots; it is also easily tamed. In rural or indigenous communities they consume it like other wild and hunting animals. In the southern and southeastern states, the meat of young badgers is soft and flavorful, usually eaten roasted or stewed in marinade, while that of adults is somewhat hard and more concentrated in flavor. The Nahuas from the north of Veracruz prepare the roasted and stewed meat in a roasted chili sauce with spices such as cloves, pepper, cumin, garlic and xonacate. In the north of the country badger stew is consumed, in red chile, tatemado or in water.

If the creature has a ringed tail then the local name is Kudamundi. Similar and related.

Momordica Balsamina

 If you are out hiking in March in the tropics, be sure to watch for a vine growing along the trail. There are small green leaves with small yellow flowers. Look closer and you might find a Momordica balsamina. It is a tendril-bearing annual vine native to the tropical regions of Africa, introduced and invasive in Asia, Australia, and Central America, including Mexico. It has pale yellow, deeply veined flowers and round, somewhat warty, bright orange fruits, or “apples”. When ripe, the fruits burst apart, revealing numerous seeds covered with a brilliant scarlet, extremely sticky coating. The balsam apple was introduced into Europe by 1568 and was used medicinally to treat wounds. In 1810, Thomas Jefferson planted this vine in his flower borders at Monticello along with larkspur, poppies, and nutmeg. The outer rind and the seeds of the fruit are said to be poisonous. Momordica balsamina and the related Momordica charantia share some common names: African cucumber, balsam apple, and balsam pear. Other names for M. balsamina are balsamina or southern balsam pear. It is known in Africa under a broad range of names, e.g. in Mozambique as cacana and in South Africa as nkaka.

I have tasted the fatty covering of the seeds and found it to be sweet. I did not die from the poison.

La jaca – Jackfruit

Did you know that the largest fruit in the world is also born in Nayarit? Yes! The Jaca is considered the largest fruit in the world and we have the privilege of having it born in Nayarit. It’s delicious pure and in smoothie and what do you think? It has 7 flavors and is a Natural Viagra!

Jaca is originally from Indonesia; in Bangladesh it is considered the national fruit and was brought to Nayarit in 1985. However, it is little known by the Mexican population, neither its nutritional value nor other ways to take advantage of it. Its exotic appearance is given by its yellow, orange or greenish, highly textured rind. The yaca is a sweet fruit of great size and strange appearance that can weigh up to 35 kilos and have a diameter of up to 25 centimeters. Thank you Tropical Tidbits.

Jackfruit is ripe and ready to harvest when the fruit begins to grow soft and a black ring forms around the stem, indicating that it is preparing to fall from the tree. Grab it before the birds do.

To get the sweet fruit out it is best to dawn rubber gloves or covers your hands with oil. The latex which surrounds the interior fruit is very sticky. The fruit itself easily separates from the covering.

Inside each piece of fruit is a large seed. You can boil the seeds, remove the hard cover and pound the remains into a delicious hummus. Enjoy!

Día de Los Reyes (Three Kings’ Day

In Mexico, Día de Los Reyes (known elsewhere as Epiphany) is celebrated on January 6 to honor the Three Wise Men. This holiday represents the day the Three Wise Men gave gifts to Jesus Christ, and the day closes the Christmas festivities. It’s also the day the people of Mexico exchange gifts!

What is Three Kings’ Day?

During Día de Los Reyes, Mexicans serve Rosca de Reyes, or King’s Cake. “Rosca” means wreath and “reyes” means kings. The Rosca de Reyes has an oval shape to symbolize a crown and has a small doll inside, which represents baby Jesus. The doll figure symbolizes the hiding of the infant Jesus from King Herod’s troops. Traditionally, roscas are adorned with dried and candied fruits to symbolize the many jewels that a crown would have. The person who gets the slice with the doll must host a party on Día de la Candelaria in February.

What happens on Three Kings’ Day?

Christmas might be over, but it doesn’t mean the gift giving (and receiving) is over. Children in Latin America and Spain receive the majority of their gifts from the Three Kings, rather than from Santa Claus at Christmas. Before going to bed, the children place their old shoes with a wish list on top for the Three Kings. In the morning, the shoes are filled with toys and gifts from the Three Kings.

Thank you Tropical Tidbits