Totally Gorgeous: Here’s Where Hurricane Dean Made Landfall

I’m a bit insulted that CNN is saying the hurricane’s landfall area was ‘a stroke of luck.’ Mostly because I’ve been there, and I don’t think the people I met back in ’04 are feeling very lucky right now. And the coral reef lining the area, well, what do you think happened to it?

(Update: My good friend Jeremy, a newspaper reporter based in Mexico City, wrote about his harrowing experiences racing Hurricane Dean across the Yucatan peninsula. Uncovering Mexico – Racing Hurricane Dean)

I hope it survived — not only is it the main draw to the area, providing an economy, and not only does it protect the villages from massive waves, but also because it and other fragile coral reefs are rapidly dying around the world. Anyway, here’s Mahahual (aka Majahual), pre-Dean:


Photos taken in 2004 in Majahual, Mexico.

Me in Majahual

Perhaps my best memory of Majahual, besides this sunrise photo taken by Brendan, was sharing meals with the owners of the Travel-Inn, a young Dutch couple who pulled up roots and moved to Mexico with their kids. They may have been Dutch, but their attitudes were thouroughly Yucatan. They owned a little red home on the beach. I hope they’re OK. We also stayed at the most luxurious cabana — with hot water, electricity (only at night), and tile floors — at the Kohan Beach Cabanas.

Kohan Beach

10 thoughts on “Totally Gorgeous: Here’s Where Hurricane Dean Made Landfall

  1. Lisa says:

    We were just there May 21st – we did the ‘glass’ kayaking over shallow reefs.

    I hope the people are safe, and damage as minimal as possible from Dean.

  2. Marieke says:

    DJoynmsu, What do you know about Mahajual…I am worried about people we have met…Can’t seem to reach them…Their land is extremely fragile…close to the water…Thanks

  3. joynmsu says:

    I do not have specific information on Mahajual, other than what my friend (a newspaper reporter) and other journalists have been able to report. The little village was hit directly by a Category 5 storm, so many of the fragile structures on the beach were probably severely damaged.

    From what I have read today and yesterday, the Mexican government did an excellent job evacuating coastal residents and so far, there are NO reported deaths. That’s terrific news. That said, many phone lines are down right now and will be for a few days, so it will take time before all of us can find out more.

    Far north of Mahajual, in Tulum, the resorts fared better. Cabanas Copal ( has a note on their web site saying they only received minimal damage.

    But my thoughts are with your friends (and all Yucatan residents) and I hope they are OK.

  4. Diana says:

    Hello, my sister lives in Mahahual, she wasnt there, all the people from the village was evacuated, and we dont know about anybody harm, but in the town its all gone, even they told us that the harbour has severe damages, so the people is desolated, because, no cruises, no a way for living.
    There are no enough cover from the media, we expect news tonight. We dont have official information about the damages in the harbour or the coral rief.
    As far as I know nobody is hurt, but the way they used to live is in critical conditions. No energy, no food, will be difficult to be in touch with the people you know, but if you can, they need some hope right now
    Here is a link from a newspaper I found.


  5. whitney says:

    I cannot begin to thank you all for your good thoughts and prayers for the people of the costa maya.
    i have put together a website, no money goes through me, but there are at least 5 places that you can donate money through.
    All in the Rivera maya and Costa maya. You will be amazed at what a donation of just 5 dollars will do.
    Almost three weeks after this hurricane brought nothing but BAD luck to the beautiful place, not one offical relief org has shown up. hopefull this will change soon, but the need is great, still, for private help
    Please check out and see for yourself, the smiles in the middle of almost total devistation. How would we ever hold up in a situation like this.
    God Bless you,

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