Doesn’t this look like paradise? Where are the people? Celestún is famous for the breeding grounds of flamingos and the area is a bio preserve. This means that Celestún hasn’t developed as much as other places in Yucatan such as Cancun. It was warm but very breezy as you can see from the waves.
After I walked along the beach, I investigated some of the streets close by. First I saw a group of elderly ladies in various stages of ill health that had been to the local clinic. I doubt their medical care was as extensive as mine but they were happily chattering as they walked home. They had probably known each other from childhood and I looked at them in quiet envy.
There were a few restaurants and one was right on the beach. I really needed a clean restroom but ordered a local beer and admired the view. The restrooms were like most in the area – spotlessly clean, smelling of bleach with that fantastic foot pedal to flush the toilet. There was also a clean wastebasket to put your toilet paper in. The pipes are too narrow and the paper pollutes the pristine environment. I thanked my hosts kindly and walked out.
As I rounded the corner, reality struck me in the face. An old sick dog was seizing in the road. Her eyes were sunken and she was just hours or days from death. I immediately went into triage mode. How could I euthanize this dog, likely a stray? I had left my tranquillizers at the hotel which I could have crushed into some tuna. As I stopped and stared, I knew I could do nothing. My rabies vaccinations are long since out of date. The dog was not mine and it might not be culturally acceptable for me to be the angel of death. In Cairo most people disapproved of animal euthanasia as it was God’s decision when we die.
I walked on with the knowledge that as much as I would like to, I couldn’t live in a poor rural country. In Belize I snuck food out of the hotel to feed the starving dogs because there were no shops. When I got back to the car, Angel, my driver, asked me what I thought of the village. I told him truthfully that it was exquisite and charming. Then I told him about the dog in halting Spanish – to my astonishment he seemed to truly understand my dilemma. Ah, the yin and yang of life.