Have You Eaten Yet?

Tulum: The Good, The Bad & The Beautiful Featuring: Nancy Djoric-Kyd

December 23, 2020 Kassata Bollman Episode 9
Have You Eaten Yet?
Tulum: The Good, The Bad & The Beautiful Featuring: Nancy Djoric-Kyd
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Nancy Djoric-Kyd Joins Us From Tulum Mexico.

She Has Been A DJ For Over 20 Years, Playing Sets Of Amazing Old School Deep House Music.

Plus She Owns & Operates Sup Yoga Tulum, The First And Only Specialized Boga Yoga Floating Studio In The Mayan Riviera: https://www.supyogatulum.com/

Nancy Has Lived & Worked In Tulum For Nearly 20 Years.

We Dive Deep Into The Many Issues & The Extreme Beauty & Uniqueness Connected To Tulum.

We Discuss The Following Issues:

✅Art With Me Art & Music Festival & The Recent Covid Spike + the cancellation of The Zamna Festival

✅The Cartel & Their Visible Presence In Every Area Of The Beach & Hotel Zone Tulum

✅How The Local Economy Is Currently Doing

✅How Tulum Has Changed In The Last 10-20 Years

✅The Biggest Infrastructure Issues Facing Tulum’s Beach & Hotel Zone

✅What Life As An Expat Looks Like In Tulum

✅What The Process Of Becoming An Expat & Starting A Business There Is Like

✅The Intense Beauty Of The Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve

✅Tulum’s Music Scene: Rethinking, Developing & Preserving This Unique Program For Future Generations

✅The 2016 Takeover Of 17 Hotels On The Beach By Hundreds Of Men, Some W/Machetes: How These Forced Evictions Affected Business Owners

✅Tulum’s Environment:                               
 ✅ 80% Percent Of The Cenotes In The Yucatán Peninsula Have Some Level Of Contamination.                                          
 ✅Sewer System Issues, Careless Developers, Careless Tourists, Eco Chic Hotels, Music Festivals, Massive Amounts Of Seaweed…There Are Many Contributing Factors To The Decline Of Tulum’s Environment & We Discuss Many Of Them

✅The Start Of This Pandemic Gave Tulum’s Environment A Much Needed Break  




[[MUSIC]]

WELCOME! 

I’M KASSATA BOLLMAN. 

TODAY MY GUEST IS NANCY DJORIC-KYD.

SHE JOINS US FROM TULUM MEXICO.

NANCY HAS BEEN A DJ FOR OVER 20 YEARS…PLAYING SETS OF AMAZING OLD SCHOOL DEEP HOUSE MUSIC… 

PLUS SHE OWNS & OPERATES SUP YOGA TULUM…. THE FIRST AND ONLY SPECIALIZED BOGA YOGA FLOATING STUDIO IN THE MAYAN RIVIERA.

NANCY AND HER TEAM CAREFULLY CURATE UNIQUE PRIVATE EXCURSIONS... ALLOWING VISITORS TO EXPERIENCE THE CARIBBEAN SEA, CENOTES, LAGOONS & THE SIAN KA'AN BIOSPHERE RESERVE IN A BEAUTIFUL WAY.

TODAY WE’RE GOING TO DIVE DEEP INTO MANY ISSUES CONNECTED TO TULUM...SO SIT BACK, RELAX & IMAGINE YOURSELF ON THE BEACH …..

[[NANCY DISCUSSES]]

CURRENT SITUATION:

NANCY YOU HAVE A REALLY INSPIRING STORY SO I’LL START BY TELLING LISTENERS ABOUT YOU & YOUR PATH…

IN YOUR 20’S YOU WERE INVOLVED IN A NEAR DEATH CAR ACCIDENT. 

AFTER THAT ACCIDENT YOU MADE A COMMITMENT TO LIVE YOUR LIFE FILLED WITH PASSION AND PURPOSE

IN 2004, YOU MOVED TO PLAYA DEL CARMEN MEXICO AND CONNECTED WITH ROB GARZA FROM THIEVERY CORPORATION….

YOU BECAME FULL TIME RESIDENT DJ FOR HIS CLUB….

AFTER AWHILE YOU NEEDED A SLIGHT BREAK FROM NIGHTLIFE….. SO YOU MOVED TO TULUM FOR A MORE RELAXED LIFESTYLE….THE COMBINATION OF YOUR LOVE OF WATER, YOGA & WELLNESS CAME TOGETHER & CREATED 

STAND UP PADDLE BOARD YOGA TULUM.

YOU WERE ABLE TO KEEP PASSION & PURPOSE ALIVE BY CONTINUING TO DJ IN TULUM….AND REALLY CREATE AN IDEAL…. BALANCED LIFESTYLE FOR YOURSELF…


FIRST I WANT TO COVER WHAT THE CURRENT SCENE IN TULUM IS RIGHT NOW….I KNOW LAST SPRING TOURISM TOOK A HIT AND I READ THAT AT THAT POINT…. LAID OFF EMPLOYEES RECEIVED A VERY SMALL AMOUNT OF RELIEF MONEY FROM THE GOVERNMENT... BUT HOSPITALITY WORKERS THERE GET THE MAJORITY OF THEIR INCOME FROM TIPS….EVEN MORE SO THAN IN AMERICA…..SO THAT TRANSLATES TO NO REAL SUBSTANTIAL INCOME FOR THEM….

BUT BY FALL IT SEEMED TO BE BACK ON TRACK…

RECENTLY, I’VE READ ARTICLES & HAVE SEEN HEADLINES…

ONE HEADLINE THAT KEEPS POPPING UP….. IS ART WITH ME…..A FOUR-DAY ART AND MUSIC FESTIVAL THAT RAN LAST MONTH IN TULUM…ALLEGEDLY MANY ATTENDEES GOT COVID AT THE EVENT AND BROUGHT IT BACK TO THE U.S…..INTERVIEWS WITH SOME DJ’S FROM THE EVENT AND OF COURSE LOTS OF VIDEOS BACK UP THOSE INTERVIEWS….. AND SHOW TONS OF MASKLESS PEOPLE IN HOTELS, RESTAURANTS, AND CENOTES …..

21 HOTELS ON THE BEACH WERE INVOLVED IN THE EVENT….

I CONNECTED TO EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS HEADLINE IMMEDIATELY…... I’M DEALING WITH THESE ISSUES…. AS A RESTAURANT OWNER….

2020 ARRIVED MADE ME A BOUNCER, A NURSE, A MASK ENFORCEER….. ON TOP OF RUNNING MY RESTAURANT….SO I GET IT...THERE’S A LOT OF FRUSTRATIONS...ON MANY LEVELS…..

IT APPEARED THAT THESE HEADLINES CAME OUT AND THE BLAME GAME STARTED IN TULUM...WHO’S FAULT IS IT? THE EVENT ORGANIZERS, THE PLACES HOSTING THE EVENTS, OR THE CUSTOMERS WHO PAID TO BE THERE…. WHO REFUSE TO WEAR A MASK…... OR KEEP THEIR DISTANCE?

SO NANCY PLEASE GIVE US THE REAL DEAL ABOUT WHAT’S GOING ON THERE? HOW’S BUSINESS BEEN FOR YOU ? 

GENERALLY SPEAKING FROM WHO YOU KNOW THERE….HOW ARE OTHER BUSINESSES DOING? 

HOW’S THE LOCAL ECONOMY?

AND HAS COVID AFFECTED TULUM IN ANY WAY ?


[[NANCY DISCUSSES]]


TULUM: 20 YEARS AGO VS. TODAY:

TULUM IS BEAUTIFUL & HAS A UNIQUE VIBE...I SPENT TIME THERE LAST YEAR AND PLAN ON RETURNING…..BUT IT HAS CHANGED DRAMATICALLY OVER THE LAST DECADE…..

I’VE HEARD STORIES ABOUT HOW...30 YEARS AGO YOU COULD RENT HAMMOCKS ON THE BEACH FOR $10 A NIGHT…..NOW YOU CAN RENT A VILLA ON THE BEACH FOR 8 THOUSAND A NIGHT….TULUM HAS GROWN FAST….AND THE TOWN HASN’T BEEN ABLE TO KEEP UP.

 I’M GOING TO RUN DOWN SOME OF THE BIGGEST INFRASTRUCTURE ISSUES….AND THEY ALL PERTAIN TO THE BEACH & HOTEL ZONE:

  • THERE’S NO ELECTRICITY SO THERE ARE LOTS OF GENERATORS TO RUN ALL THE AIR CONDITIONERS….
  • NO ADEQUATE SEWER SYSTEM…..THAT MEANS WASTE HAS BEEN LEACHING INTO THE WATER SUPPLY UNDER TULUM…. AND OUT TO THE OCEAN….IN TURN…. KILLING THE CORAL REEF. 
  • TRAFFIC IS VERY BUSY ON A SMALL DIRT ROAD…..
  • THERE ARE BARELY ANY TRASH CANS ON BEACHES...SO THAT TRASH ENDS UP IN THE SAND…..
  • AND TULUM’S LANDFILL IS OVERFLOWING…

AND STILL…. IT’S AN INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL PLACE …..THAT I ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO VISIT….IT IS SO UNIQUE…... AND MOST IMPORTANTLY….. IF YOU DO VISIT…..RESPECT & HONOR THIS SPECIAL PLACE….WHILE YOU’RE THERE …. 

YOU’LL NOTICE LOTS OF CONSTRUCTION SITES ALONG THE BEACH AND JUNGLE….SOME STARTED BY INDEPENDENT PEOPLE LOOKING TO RELOCATE & LEAD A NEW LIFE IN TULUM…..OTHERS STARTED BY LARGE DEVELOPERS WHO ARE BANKING ON THE GROWING NUMBER OF TOURISTS….. IN WHAT USED TO BE A QUIET BEACH TOWN….

SO NANCY I’D LOVE FOR YOU TO TELL US WHAT TULUM WAS LIKE WHEN YOU FIRST ARRIVED, HOW IT’S CHANGED & YOUR HOPE FOR ITS FUTURE?

ALSO, WHAT LIFE AS AN EXPAT THERE LOOKS LIKE? 

AND WHAT THE PROCESS WAS LIKE….. ON BECOMING AN EXPAT AND STARTING A BUSINESS THERE?


[[NANCY DISCUSSES]]


TULUM’S MUSIC SCENE:

ONE OF THE BIG ATTRACTIONS IN TULUM…..ARE THE MUSIC FESTIVALS, FULL MOON PARTIES….IT’S A TOTAL VIBE….DJ’S FROM AROUND THE WORLD HOST EVENTS THERE…..

I ATTENDED ONE LAST YEAR….I HAD NO IDEA AT THE TIME OF BOOKING...BUT I STAYED AT HABITAS & THEY HAD A HUGE FESTIVAL ONE NIGHT... DURING MY STAY…. SO WE RECEIVED FREE TICKETS…..AND IT WAS AWESOME…..

THESE FESTIVALS BRING IN A LOT OF MONEY TO THE LOCAL ECONOMY….

OF COURSE WITH MOST MUSIC FESTIVALS…. DRUGS ARE USUALLY INVOLVED….

OUTSIDE MANY CLUBS THERE….THERE’S USUALLY A GUY SAYING “COKE, WEED, MOLLY”....

FROM WHAT I’VE READ, THOSE GUYS ARE CONNECTED TO THE CARTEL…

ROBBERIES & SHOOTINGS HAPPEN ON OCCASION….LIKE IN ANY CITY….WITH THE FAST GROWTH OF TULUM….IT’S REALLY NO SURPRISE……

ALSO THERE HAVE BEEN REPORTS OF THE CARTEL DEMANDING MONTHLY MONEY FROM LOCAL RESTAURANTS & BUSINESSES IN ORDER FOR THEM TO STAY OPEN…..

IT SOUNDS LIKE FOR SOME PEOPLE THERE…... THEY THINK IF THE PARTIES & FESTIVALS LEFT TULUM…... THEN THE DRUGS & CARTELS WOULD ALSO LEAVE….

PERSONALLY I FELT EXTREMELY SAFE THE ENTIRE TIME I WAS THERE……

I’D LOVE TO SEE SOME DISPENSARIES THERE….IF I’M IN THE MOOD TO SMOKE SOME WEED I DON’T WANT TO SUPPORT THE CARTEL….BUT I’D LOVE TO SUPPORT A LOCAL FARMER.

SO NANCY, AS A DJ...THE PERFECT PERSON TO ASK…..…..ARE THERE TOO MANY DJ’S COMING TO TULUM?….ARE THERE TOO MANY PARTIES OR FESTIVALS?

BASICALLY DOES THE TULUM BUBBLE NEED TO BE POPPED…. IN ORDER TO SAVE TULUM FROM CARTELS, DRUGS & BEING JUST ANOTHER STOP ON THE PARTY CIRCUIT ? 
OR PERHAPS ARE THESE HEADLINES MISLEADING…. AND LOCAL BUSINESSES LOVE WHAT TULUM HAS BECOME…. DUE TO ITS THRIVING ECONOMY?

[[NANCY DISCUSSES]]

2016 TAKEOVER:

I WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE 2016  HOTEL TAKE-OVERS THAT HAPPENED ON A STRETCH OF BEACH IN TULUM….

TO ME IT’S FASCINATING….THIS IS SOMETHING THAT HAS BEEN HAPPENING FOR DECADES THERE…..AND I’M SURE IT HAPPENS IN MANY PLACES AROUND THE WORLD….

THE CONTROVERSY IS CONNECTED TO LAND OWNERSHIP…..IT’S AFFECTED MANY…. ALL OVER THE WEST COAST OF MEXICO……

IN THE 70’S, THE MEXICAN GOVERNMENT DISTRIBUTED 25 THOUSAND ACRES OF  LAND AROUND TULUM…... TO LOCAL MAYAN FARMERS WHO DIDN’T OWN ANY PROPERTY…..

AT THE TIME…. THIS LAND WAS A JUNGLE…..

OVER THE YEARS THESE FARMERS... IN SOME CASES….. SOLD THEIR LAND MULTIPLE TIMES TO DIFFERENT BUYERS…...

AS THE YEARS FLEW BY AND MORE TOURISTS ARRIVED IN TULUM….SOME POWERFUL FAMILIES IN MEXICO STARTED TO CLAIM THE LAND……

SO IN SOME CASES HOTEL OWNERS ENDED UP BUYING THEIR PROPERTIES 2 OR 3 TIMES…..OTHERS WHO COULDN’T AFFORD TO PLAY THIS GAME.... LEFT THEIR LAND…..

THEN IN 2016, HUNDREDS OF MEN, SOME WITH MACHETES, WALKED DOWN THE BEACH AND FORCED TOURISTS OUT OF HOTELS…...AND FORCED HOTEL OWNERS TO LEAVE THEIR PROPERTY…. 

17 HOTELS WERE TAKEN OVER THAT DAY…..

OFFICIAL COURT ORDERS WERE USED IN THIS TAKEOVER…..

HOTELS CAN GENERATE A LOT OF MONEY THERE...I READ AN ARTICLE WHERE ONE HOTEL OWNER CLAIMED THAT HE MADE $1.5 MILLION EVERY MONTH….. 

NANCY YOU WERE THERE BACK IN 2016….HOW DID THOSE EVICTIONS AFFECT TULUM BUSINESS OWNERS THEN? AND TODAY AS WE’RE ABOUT TO ENTER 2021... IS ANYONE STILL AFRAID OF LOSING THEIR PROPERTY? 

ALSO, HOW CAN VISITORS SUPPORT GROUPS WHO ARE THE RIGHTFUL OWNERS OF LAND? IS THERE ANYWAY TO KNOW WHEN BOOKING?

[[NANCY DISCUSSES]]


TULUM’S ENVIRONMENT:

NOW WE’RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT….ACCORDING TO OFFICIALS, 80 PERCENT OF THE CENOTES IN THE YUCATÁN PENINSULA HAVE SOME LEVEL OF CONTAMINATION.

RESEARCHERS HAVE FOUND TRACES OF SKIN-CARE PRODUCTS, COCAINE, VIAGRA, AND IBUPROFEN….

I LEARNED ABOUT THIS WHEN TAKING A YOGA CLASS IN TULUM….THEY ENCOURAGED US NOT TO WEAR SUNSCREEN….OR IF NEED BE...WEAR ONE THAT DOES NOT NEGATIVELY AFFECT THE ENVIRONMENT…... 

THIS GOES BACK TO THE SEWER SYSTEM ISSUES THAT WE DISCUSSED BEFORE...THE HOTEL BEACH ZONE IS NOT CONNECTED TO THE CITY OF TULUM’S  SEWER SYSTEM…..THIS LARGE STRETCH OF HOTELS WITH THOUSANDS OF VISITORS RELY ON SEPTIC TANKS….AND THAT LEADS TO A LOT OF WASTE ENDING UP IN THE GROUND…..SEEPING THROUGH THE LIMESTONE…... AND ENTERING THE WATER…... 

 CARELESS DEVELOPERS ALSO HAVE A NEGATIVE IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT…..BUILDING TOO MUCH ON A LOT….OR IN PROTECTED AREAS….

SOME DEVELOPERS PAY BRIBES TO GET AROUND LAWS…….

AND THIS BRINGS US TO ECO CHIC HOTELS IN TULUM…..HOTELS THAT CLAIM THEY OPERATE SUSTAINABLY…..THE PLACE I STAYED WAS ONE OF THOSE….SOME PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT TERM IS OVER USED AND MANY PLACES ARE NOT SUSTAINABLE AT ALL….I’M NOT SURE WHERE MY HOTEL LANDS IN THAT FIGHT...

MUSIC FESTIVALS…..ARE ANOTHER POSSIBLE IMPACT…. THEY’RE LOUD & CREATE A LOT OF SMOKE AND TRASH….THERE’S LASER BEAMS…..SO ONE COULD ARGUE THAT NOISE & LIGHT POLLUTION IS HAPPENING THERE….

I WILL SAY, WHEN I WENT OUTSIDE TO TAKE A SHOWER THE MORNING AFTER THE FESTIVAL AT MY HOTEL...THE AIR WAS NOT FRESH AT ALL….IT WAS A CLOUD OF CIGARETTE SMOKE & YOU COULD EVEN SMELL THE BEER & ALCOHOL….BUT THE CIGARETTE SMOKE WAS THE WORST PART…..SO A FORM OF AIR POLLUTION PERHAPS?

THEN THERE’S THE SEAWEED…..AND NANCY I’VE SEEN YOU POST SOME HILARIOUS YET SAD THINGS ON INSTAGRAM….. FROM ACTUAL TOURISTS….. COMPLAINING ABOUT THE SEAWEED WASHING UP ON THE WHITE SAND BEACHES...AND HOW IT LOOKS UGLY……. AND IT’S MESSING UP THEIR INSTAGRAM POSTS…..

THIS STARTED HAPPENING IN 2015….VERY LARGE AMOUNTS OF BROWN & RED SEAWEED STARTED WASHING UP ON THE BEACHES…..AT THAT POINT HOTELS HAD TO START REMOVING THE SEAWEED EVERYDAY….SIMILAR TO SNOW REMOVAL….AND WHEN I WAS THERE...THEY WERE STILL DOING THIS EVERYDAY….IT’S SIMILAR TO SNOW REMOVAL…..HUGE PILES OF SEAWEED BEING SHOVELED AND BURIED WITH SAND…..

NANCY YOU ARE LOCATED AWAY FROM THE HOTEL ZONE IN THE

SIAN KA'AN BIOSPHERE RESERVE….I WENT THERE….. AND BOY WAS IT COMPLETELY DIFFERENT FROM TULUM…...NATURE WAS ABUNDANT & BREATHTAKING…..

THIS PANDEMIC HAS GIVEN MUCH OF THE PLANET A BREAK WITH MORE PEOPLE AT HOME FOR AN EXTENDED TIME….HAS THE SIAN KA’AN RESERVE AND TULUM BENEFITED FROM THIS BREAK?

ALSO DO YOU REMEMBER WHEN SEAWEED STARTED WASHING UP ON THE BEACHES? WOULD LOVE TO HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS AND ALSO YOUR GENERAL THOUGHTS ON TULUM & THE ENVIRONMENT….. AND WHERE WE GO FROM HERE?

[[NANCY DISCUSSES]]

NANCY & TULUM:

NANCY, WHAT’S THE ONE THING THAT PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT WHEN IT COMES TO TULUM RIGHT NOW? 

AND ALSO ONE THING THAT YOU ARE TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH IN TULUM...

[[NANCY DISCUSSES]]

TAKEAWAY:

NANCY, THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR STORY WITH US …....

I LIKE ENDING…. BY ASKING IF THERE’S ANY TAKEAWAY THAT YOU’D LIKE TO LEAVE WITH LISTENERS…... THAT CAN POSITIVELY INFLUENCE THEIR LIVES….. 

IT COULD BE SOMETHING THAT WE JUST DISCUSSED, A PRO TIP…. OR GENERAL LIFE ADVICE THAT YOU LIVE BY ….……..

[[NANCY DISCUSSES]]

…...NANCY WHERE CAN PEOPLE FOLLOW YOU ?

[[NANCY DISCUSSES]]

THANKS FOR LISTENING….AND IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY….... SUBSCRIBE TO “HAVE YOU EATEN YET?” ….WHEREVER YOU GET YOUR PODCASTS….

[[MUSIC]]


CURRENT SITUATION
TULUM: 20 YEARS AGO VS. TODAY
BECOMING AN EXPAT & STARTING A BUSINESS THERE
TULUM’S MUSIC SCENE
2016 TAKEOVER
TULUM’S ENVIRONMENT
NANCY & TULUM
TAKEAWAY