15 March, 2021

I’ve noticed recently that there are a few new YouTubers vlogging about Mazatlán. Generally I think this is great, as I love the city and think people who haven’t had the opportunity to visit Mazatlán yet, or those who can’t visit and miss coming here, will benefit from getting to see the Pearl of the Pacific (that’s Mazatlán, for those who don’t know).

I also think that when giving information that the presenter has an obligation to make their story as factually accurate as possible. Here on my blog, I title my entries with the date I write them. This keeps all the clickbait and misleading attention grabbing out of the picture. While my information is based on my experience, I will rarely state something as a definitive fact unless I’ve researched it AND verified the research. I have opinions, which I try to let you know are opinions when I put them in a post.

Take the buses for example. The other day I said I was taking a bus to the tianguis in Juárez on Sunday. I said I’d been told any of the buses marked Juárez will take you there, but I wasn’t sure – and to ask the driver. I also said I didn’t take any of the buses marked ‘directo’. Well – it’s good that I didn’t because I purposely took a ‘directo’ bus the other day just to see where it went. It BYPASSED the area where the Sunday tianguis is. I also didn’t say which of the buses to take to get back, because I wasn’t sure. I *thought* that seeing the word ‘centro’ in the window of the bus meant it would take me back to centro, but when I got on a bus that said both ‘Parque Bonfil’ AND ‘centro’ its last stop was near a tuna packing plant nowhere near centro. So now I’m going with taking buses that say ‘C.F.E.’ on the window as the C.F.E. offices are two blocks from my apartment … but I’m NOT telling you definitively that they’ll take you where you want – ASK the driver! There really aren’t that many dangerous places in Mazatlán, but there ARE some, and you don’t want to be stranded in one without a way home.

Shrimp Capital of the World. No, I don’t think so. Sounds nice and makes good tourism material, but China and Thailand are the largest producers of shrimp. Followed by a few places that still aren’t México. I will tell you that my source for information on this was google – but several articles provided gave the same results.

Malecón. The length is highly debated and I haven’t made any statements in any of my posts about what the actual length is because it’s not of much concern to me, and I haven’t asked either the tourism office nor the mayors office to explain how they determined the length. What I do, personally, is rely on reputable posters who have done research. Gustavo Osuna from Mazatleco.com has a video about the malecón that seems to be fairly comprehensive; but I haven’t verified his information with a government entity. I can say that I agree with him that the section along Paseo del Centenario is part of the malecón. It even fits the dictionary definition of malecón.

Height of El Faro. Changes all the time. I tell people it’s about 515 feet to the top. I always say ‘about’, or ‘I’ve been told’, because there are so many different claims, but frankly – my feet tell me it’s been at least 515 feet by the time I get up there!

Isla de la Piedra / Stone Island – not an island. Nope. It’s an isthmus. Google map it and see for yourself.

Shrimp Ladies / Las Changueras – Here’s a good post for a little information on this topic from a Trip Advisor post 13 years ago:

“… The shrimp season actually starts in early September, but the boats don’t return for 4-6 weeks depending on the size of the catch. Almost all of the boats will then make a second trip out and return just before Christmas. After that, its up to the owners. Last year most boats didn’t go out after Christmas.

The larger “azul” shrimp – slightly blue in color – are mostly exported to the US and Japan, so prices don’t change that much. Even with the record catches last year, the prices didn’t change all that much. Maybe 10 pesos a kilo for the medium size shrimp. The shrimp boat owners have access to large frozen storage facilities here in Mazatlán and so they can afford to hold the product and distribute it as it is needed which stabilizes the price.

It’s really amazing to see one of these shrimp boats from the inside out. I’ve spent some time on the boats and even though the voyage is relatively short and the pay is good, the work is very difficult. Much like the Alaskan seafood industry.

One of the big myths about shrimp in Mazatlan is that during the season, the shrimp is “fresh” because its not frozen. Sorry, its all frozen as soon as it leaves the water to preserve the quality. During the summer months, much of the shrimp you find comes from the local shrimp farms. Some of this shrimp is not frozen, but there is quite a bit of controversy about the quality of farm shrimp (similar to the issues surrounding farm raised salmon in the US). Two years ago, more than 1200 people (me included) were sickened by a bacterial infection in one of the farms, so I’m quite a bit more careful during the summer months. …”

Crime / Violence. Yes, there is crime and violence here in Mazatlán, and in México in general. There is also crime and violence wherever you originally came from. In México most of the violence is targeted from one cartel to another. In the USA most violence is random. There isn’t much you can do about either.

Those are just a few of the common things I see misreported in blogs and vlogs on the internet. One recent vlogger even called Playa Norte the Hotel Zone – repeatedly.

So please take what you read and hear (even from me) with a grain of salt. Question everything. Ask bus drivers if they’re going where you want to go. Don’t be afraid to ask for directions or help when you need to. And if you’re going to write a blog or produce a vlog, please don’t make crazy statements of fact when they’re just opinion.

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