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How to Stay Healthy When Traveling to Mexico

Relaxing under diffused mountain sunlight in this Zapatista cafe in San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico, I am at a crossroads, finding new ways to be healthy in this world. I ponder the paradoxes of life in the first world and the third world.

Indeed, Mexico lacks the luxuries we enjoy in the US. As a health educator, it is glaringly apparent how much our culture enjoys in the realm of healthy eating that isn’t even yet a seed in the minds of the Mexican people. Having talked with a massage therapist friend in Tulum who studied nutrition and raw foods, I learned just how poor the options are here for health food. He told me you can´t even find things like probiotics, a supplement Americans trust will always be available in our health food stores in at least 3 or 4 brands. One might think to just ship supplements and eco products to Mexico, but it´s not so easy. My friend told me that unless you´re a medical doctor, there is a chance your suppliments will be rejected by the Mexican government. He once ordered a colon cleanse from the US and it was denied because he´s not a doctor. He spent his pesos and didn´t get to cleanse.

Mexican Cleaning Supplies

While in Tulum I spent several hours on a goose chase looking for an eco-boutique that sold natural laundry soap. I finally found the place only to discover they didn´t carry the soap anymore because it was too expensive. Evidently there are a few noble Mexican companies are starting to offer these products even though the price is very high. I ended up buying some natural shampoo and using it. It worked!

The Mexicans are a people of ingenuity, and I hope they can rediscover inexpensive ways to go back to nature when it comes to food and chemicals. I shared with my friend a recipe for making an all-purpose cleaner  white vinegar.

Note:  Look for further reports on my health adventures in Mexico and YouTube videos on my website, especially the regarding the Tulum sewage situation.

On to the Paradox…

While I am here, a rich gringa with all her supplements scheming up ways to teach them, the Mexican people continue to laugh and play. This is my third trip to the Corazon (heart) of Mexico, and now I remember why I love this culture so much. My first  trip was a 2 month journey in 1999. It was a political aid trip with a project called Bikes Not Bombs. We brought 80 bicycles in a van and a trailer to the Mayan Zapatistas in Chiapas. This initial trip and a later 3 month trip in 2003 sparked my love affair with passionate and chaotic culture. Now I return, 6 years later, as someone focused on her path as a healer and educator. Someone with lots of important information to share. Again, my heart is melting, and this culture teaches me.

Health is a multi-spoked wheel spinning cycles through all the branches of our lives.
While I laugh and play with the Mexican people , I´m reminded of fruits that were rotting on certain branches of my Arbol de la Vida (Tree of Life.)

Tulum, Mexico

A Confession:
Fear had kept me from returning to Mexico for years. Health challenges kept me scared of sickness that might be found in the food of Mexico. I held tightly to the reigns ofcontrol of my raw food intake. I had found ways to keep the grim reaper at bay as long as I could control every aspect of what went into my mouth and as long as I could stay clear of devilish temptation. As my control grew, my spiritual ego grew, applauding myself for defeating the darkness that had been fermenting inside. Returning to Mexico represented the possibility of loosing control, surrendering to the unknown.

¨Surrender to the all-pervading love and light¨~ Shimshai

This lyric from Shimshai has been a lesson for me for years. Certain abuses to my body temple in the past left me with a strong need to exert control over my environment. I thought to surrender would mean I would fall into a pit of misery. I didn´t realize that the truth was that I would dive into a pool of love and light. The interesting thing with control though is that the energy of control is a constrictive energy that blocks the expression of the powerful elements of a fully-lived life.

Recently, I´ve come to a new level of inner-standing in my health journey.Health is more than what you put into your mouth. My friend Daniel reminded me that food is just one element, the element of earth. We have many ways to invoke the elements that create life. Food is one way. What about water? How much in the flow are you? Do you allow the full expression of your emotional body? How about air? Do you soften your gut and allow the full expansion of your inner vision? Do you release and receive the old and the new with each breath you take? And Fire! Do you live your passion? Is the fire of spirit digesting your life experiences?

Mayan Wool Stuffed Animals

Do you dance, sing, laugh, and play? What are your creations?

The Mexicans have reminded me of the full expression of life. My intention on this journey, and for the new year is to open my heart courageously. How could I not in this one-world full of beauty such as:  the bluest ocean waters; fecund smells of moist jungle earth; colors of the maya all around me; salsa and marimba rhythms; ancient temples of worship to gods, goddesses, animal spirits, mothers, and saviors in a manger; children running wild and free; mothers milk pouring for all to see; and the genuine love twinkle in the eyes from one human being to another.

In La Kech (Mayan for I am another you)

OK, just in case you´re wondering…
Am I staying raw in Mexico? Hardly. Vegetarian? Nope. Healthy? Yes! Happy? Yes!
What did I bring to ensure my health?
Probiotics, Minerals, Chlorophyl, Enzymes, Colustrum, Medicinal Mushrooms, Shilajit, Quercitin, MSM, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Deer Antler Velvet, Zeolite, Stevia, Chia seeds, Ayuruvedic tonic herbs, and a Flower essence!
Better to be loaded with a medicine woman bag than parasites and bacteria!
Surrender to Love. Forget Fear. You will be o.k. Viva la Vida Loca!

Jaya Sat Kriya
*This article was originally written for Philip McCluskey’s Loving Raw website.

Mayan Woman and Baby



  1. colleen / May 20, 2010

    Hi Jaya! You Rock! Thanks!

    • Hey Colleen. Thanks! It takes one to know one!

    • Andrea franchini / August 28, 2010

      you are a beautiful light of inspiration and your site looks great!

      • Aww, thanks honey! I’ve been working really hard and it’s finally paying off! Thanks again for allowing me to photograph our session. Your surrender, relaxation, and beauty is so heartwarming! Love you!

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