Salsa making has never been so much fun!

Posts tagged “Mexico


There is so much going on around me, so many people and places and different customs, signs I can’t read, I go to places only to find out I shouldn’t be there.

Living in Mexico has its challenges but nowadays its funny to hear myself at the bank or grocery store and in perfect Spanish ask for something while the clerk answers in English or asks for assistance.I encourage their willingness.

Some people are afraid to speak Spanish or even try to understand when someone converses with them.

When I need to call a hotel or a Mexican friend  I usually find that I am speaking much louder on the telephone.

maybe I think they will understand better. They don’t!

Either way communication is probably the single most problematic issue for those living in a foreign country.

I have friends that have actually lived in Mexico for years and still don’t speak the language, then when they call and get flustered or feel taken advantage of I wonder to myself why don’t they just learn to communicate , then they wouldn’t feel so out of sorts.

The problem I see with communication is that people are afraid to use the right or wrong word.

For many years when I introduced someone, I used the word introducir, which I thought in Spanish meant introduce. Not so. The proper word is present( presentar) the other word actually insinuates, well , lets just say ,don’t use it lol.

I admit I use the same word for many things, this, that, those, they are all one word for me, and I am wrong all the time. But I do a lot of pointing and laughing and everyone seems to understand me,because joy is universal.

Forget the traffic signs , no one reads them or follows them anyway and as far as bill boards, you only have to know the difference between banks and beers and condoms to understand what they are selling.

I think the best remedy for poor communication is laughter. When someone knows your trying, people are usually happy to help.

So throw your frustrations out the window, put-on a smile and try today to communicate with those around you in a new and loving hand waving way.

Express and connect with a joyful eye and people will exchange with a wink of approval everytime.

Ole- Leonique


Island Bliss or Blast?

Ah, the island life,palm trees swaying in the warm breezes. Gentle waves washing ashore over coral covered reefs. The quiet! Laying under palapa covered huts ,shaded from the sun while thinking of nothing other than the waiters return with our cool drinks.

Stop the press! Not so fast lazy one,open those weary travelers eyes, what about 700 taxis lined up in a procession along the waters edge waiting for one ride from 30 thousand anxious passengers crowded around the nearest Sr. Frogs. Riding down escalators to find hundreds of vendors  prepared to make the deal of the day. So what amigo!

Welcome to Cozumel,Mexico my new favorite spot on earth or should I say in the sea?

Its easy to find the bliss here, only minutes in any direction and a few steps into a turquoise colored sea, the quiet under water is compelling. I took my snorkel and headed out around the rocks. I happen to know that all fish hang out around the rocks. Most divers will tell you its because of all the food, but my conversation with a baby squid was other wise.
They hide there,they know we are coming. And that we do! in droves and boats with tanks, fins and all kinds of funny looking equipment.
What a strange site we divers must be.

I remember once on the island of St.John,also in the Caribbean, we took a ride to a national park where the novice snorkelers could read signs planted underwater. We saw large brain coral and read about it while swimming to the next sign. At times it was hard to read with all the flapping fins of fellow snorkelers around us stirring up the sand. But once you venture out away from the crowds, the beauty of the underworld  brings about a peacefulness unlike any other.
Cozumel offers that peace to those able to grasp the moment. The manta rays peeking out from under the sand, the stag horn coral and abundance of brightly colored,spotted and odd shaped fish, make for some of the best diving in the world. Yes ,now this is island bliss!

Now for the island Blast!

Whether your sitting with your feet dug in the sand or salsa dancing, your going to have a blast either way.
Its true there are hundreds of taxis and thousands of cruise ship passengers coming down 3 enormous piers. But one hardly notices them as the music and beauty on the island hide this intrusion.
Along with the hundreds of taxis there were also hundreds of poinsettias lining the streets. The main boulevard is so clean and painted a crisp white with built in benches that stretch for miles along the ocean front. The main square is loaded with ornaments and the holiday spirit in Cozumel is found in the islanders themselves rather than in the bottom of a margarita glass.

Wow what a place, what a wonderful adventure to see what paradise actually looks like. Both above and under the water.
Cozumel has everything for everybody.

The tour companies, impressive restaurants, the shops are modern and well appointed. You might think for a moment that you’re walking on Rodeo Blvd or 5th Ave. Every designer on the planet has a presence there and the stores are packed with eager shoppers, buying up the most modern Rolex watches to carved coconut heads.
The restaurants we tried like Kinta, offer distinct European flavors while a few steps away you can feast on yummy tacos in the street. Starbucks and Planet Hollywood,Mayan ruins and rare birds all welcome the island travelers.

What a pleasure to see a place that has everything and what a blast people have when they visit. We sure did.

Now I understand why our Salsa and Salsa Tour at the Hotel Cozumel Resort is going to be the highlight of a visit to Cozumel for anyone arriving in paradise. The food and dancing,the underwater experience,don’t forget about the largest pool on the island.
This is the bliss and blast all in one, the makings of lifelong memories..

Happy Holidays or should I saw Holidaze?



The Dancing Chef

Survival International gets a hand from Mazatlan

September has always been famous for being a quite season in Mazatlan.  If you take a walk through the city streets, you’ll see restaurants shut down for the month, or hotels under renovation.  The heat keeps locals indoors, sheltered from the burning (yet humid) weather that is the September Heat in Mazatlan.

Mexican Nationals have all returned back to their homes from “Summer Vacations” and Mazatlan goes under a slow, but steady facelift for the upcoming “Snowbird Season”, where all the Canadians and Americans fly south to escape the winter blues.

Our guests have felt the heat this season – jump onto our facebook page to see some fun photos of our Dancing Chefs making the most of the Mazatlan heat!  Being a slow month, little Lela’s contribution this month was lower than any other month, but we were still pleasantly surprised at her strength.  Even with only 8 shows, she managed to raise $195USD, all of which, has found its way to Survival International.

Next month’s cause has been chosen.  The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) will be Lela’s cause for the month of October. JDRF was started back in 1970 by a group of parents of children with type 1 diabetes.  Their mission is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research.  Since their inception they have funded $1.4 billion to research around the world.  They are also the world’s leading charitable funders of diabetes research.  If you have or know someone with diabetes, please post the link to this blog entry on your Facebook, Twitter or MySpace, and share the knowledge with others.  The more donations we raise, the closer we get to finding a cure.

Until JDRF contacted us, I had never really known the seriousness of diabetes…you always hear of someone with diabetes, or read food labels and magazine articles, but it shocked me to see how many people suffer from the complications that come with having diabetes.  I wanted to share with you some interesting facts regarding diabetes :

The Scope of Diabetes

• Nearly 24 million Americans have diabetes (7.8 percent of the population):

• Diagnosed: 17.9 million

• Undiagnosed: 5.7 million

• As many as three million Americans may have type 1 diabetes.

• Diabetes currently affects 285 million people worldwide and is expected to affect 435 million by 2030.

• In the U.S., a new case of diabetes is diagnosed every 30 seconds; more than 1.6 million people are diagnosed each year.

We look forward to the cooler weather in October!  A big big thanks to all that donated in September.  Your Lela photos are viewable via our Facebook Fan Page! Don’t forget to click and tag 🙂


Pamela Hormazabal


Well tomorrow is officially Mexican Independence Day (Sept 16th).  We have a lot of fun with this holiday in Mazatlan.  From festivities to parades, our little city has it all.  The parties and music begin tonight, with Mexico’s famous “Cry of Independence”, held every year in most mayor cities in Mexico where there is a Plaza or Municipality.

The country celebrates what is called “El Grito”, which translated, is “The Yell”.

Extracted from Wikipedia,

“This event has since assumed an almost mythic status.[4][5] Since the late 20th century, Hidalgo y Costilla’s “cry of independence” has become emblematic of Mexican independence. Each year on the night of September 15, the President of Mexico rings the bell of the National Palace in Mexico City. He repeats a cry of patriotism (a Grito Mexicano) based upon the “Grito de Dolores” from the balcony of the palace to the assembled crowd in the Plaza de la Constitución, or Zócalo, one of the largest public plazas in the world. This event draws up to half a million spectators. On the dawn of September 16, or Independence Day, the national military parade starts in the Zócalo, passes the Hidalgo Memorial and ends on the Paseo de la Reforma, Mexico City’s main boulevard.

A similar celebration occurs in cities and towns all over Mexico. The mayor (or governor, in the case of state capitals), rings a bell and gives the traditional words. In the 19th century, it became common practice for Mexican presidents in their final year in office to re-enact the Grito in Dolores Hidalgo, rather than in the National Palace. President Calderón is expected to officiate the Grito in Dolores Hidalgo as part of the bicentennial celebrations in 2010.

The following day, September 16 is Independence Day in Mexico and is considered a patriotic holiday, or fiesta patria (literally, holiday of the Fatherland).”

Today and tomorrow, we have Mexican Flags and fun Mexican colors decorating our tables at Salsa and Salsa.  We will have fun pics to share later in the week.  We’re really getting into the spirit of it all…and hope you will too!  OLE!  Enjoy the You Tube video which gave me chills when I saw it, HOW FUN!!  Hope you enjoy it 🙂


Being patriotic to Mexico means a lot to all the girls from Salsa and Salsa!  Leonique and Maaike are from Holland, Pamela from Chile and Australia and Stephanie is  born and raised in Mazatlan, so celebrating this holiday is a time of happiness!!  We’re sharing the fun of this patriotic holiday with you and send you all happy vibes 🙂



Hands on Nashville receives Lela check

We are pleased to announce that Lela’s donation made it to Nashville!  For the month of May, we collected donations for victims of the Nashville Floods.  We chose ‘Hands on Nashville’ as the charity that received the donation.

Our contact in Nashville was the lovely and very helpful Shannon Finnegan Scott, who as we had mentioned on the tour, works at Cannon Productions (Production Coordinator).  When we chose Nashville, we didn’t know where to start…we thought of Kenny Chesney (lol) and eventually found our way to Shannon.  We told her about Lela, and she was more than happy to help and be our person in Nashville 🙂

‘Hands on Nashville’ is an organization that Shannon supports and so we looked at it and they do wonderful things, so Shannon was sent the check and she arranged a meet with Brian Williams, the Executive Director at Hands On Nashville.  Brian was delighted to hear about Lela and the kindness you all showed with your donations.

Miss Shannon F. Scott and Head of HON Brian Williams

We thank everyone for their generosity!  We raised $457USD for Nashville, so give yourselves all a big round of applause!! We have reconstructed our Lela Page, so be sure to have a quick look!  Also, all Lela photos from June onwards will be posted on the Salsa and Salsa Business Listing Page, so if you haven’t added it to your ‘LIKES’ on Facebook, be sure to click on it so view the pictures and tag yourselves.

June has been a busssssssssy month for us, with Father’s Day, my trip to the WSOP in Las Vegas and the growing crowds at the Salsa Tour, we are getting more photos than ever (which we absolutely LOVE!), we have lots to share with you.  Look forward to a few more blog posts this week with some guests photos and some exciting news we have that we are waiting to announce 😉

Stay tuned,


MSN.COM names Salsa and Salsa one of the world’s best tours!

It’s official – has named Salsa and Salsa one of the world’s top ten shore excursions! In an article that was published today, (well,, an affiliate of listed the world’s top 14 shore excursions, and Salsa and Salsa is number 3!,+Mexico&FORM=RQTRAV
Named one of the best tours in the world

We’ve been pushing for the top ranking on since Nov 2009, and only last week, reached #2, but with today’s announcement, we’re sure to secure our place on top (where we belong hahaha).

We’d like to thank all our guests, past, present and future, for their support and encouragement.  Being voted in the top ten is a humbling experience, but it makes us realize that we are a part of something much  bigger than just having a good time.  From our newsletter to our facebook page, we hear from guests who have salsa parties at home, to guests who never had cooked before the tour and now are enjoying the art of cooking with their partner, their children and other family and friends.

That’s what we aim for at Salsa and Salsa, we want you to leave us with not only the urge to cook when you get back home, but to experiment and try new things in the kitchen.

Well, just wanted to share the fantastic news with you all, keep on sending in your photos and comments – we love receiving them!

Good times!   Pamela

It really is a small world!

I am fascinated by numbers. Not so much the nerdy math side of numbers (sorry nerds), like Algebra, or 4 pie squared, the intriguing “what are the odds of that happening ?’ side of math – the odds…  For some of you, mainly those I have had the pleasure in chatting with personally, know I like to dabble a little in Texas Hold’em Poker.  Odds play a HUGE part in my game, and as in my game, odds play a huge role in my life.

Ever wondered how small the world is?  I do, as a matter of fact, I do ALL THE TIME!

Take, for example, the two girls on the Salsa tour today…  both from Australia and both from Melbourne (my hometown).  Okay, so not that far fetched I hear you say. You probably ran into a good dozen people from your home state on your last vacation, right?

Okay, how about the girl (again from Melbourne) who works around the corner from the Shopping Mall that I spent countless of weekends prancing around with my teenage friends and actually worked in for 3 years,  back in 1996?  I mean, that’s narrowing in, isn’t it?

Still not convinced?  Ok, how’s this one?!  What about the girl who showed up at Salsa and Salsa with her fiancee, who we soon discovered was my classmate in high school!

Now what are the odds of THAT?!

Funny Australian Map

Well, let’s break it down a little – so we can get some perspective here : I’m all about fun facts 😉

195 countries in the world, right? (according to and I’m counting Taiwan – coz I’m cool like that  lol)

6,838,128,000 people in the world…and counting (according to

22,222,934 of those people are in Australia (according to

and of those 22,222,934,  just over 4 million are in Melbourne.

I mean, I can go on and on with numbers here… of all the cruises in the world…of all the shore excursions in the world… (now I’m starting to sound like Humphrey Bogart “…of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine.“) but my point is that if this happens to me, then I know it’s happening to you!

I like to think I’m a magnet of energy, good energy of course, so fingers crossed, in 5, 10, 15 or even 20 years from now, be assured that our paths will cross again.  Who knows?  Your TWO DANCING CHEFS might end up in Greece, or Croatia, or even Australia, so when you take your next cruise – guess who’ll be standing there with their little chef hats?!  hehehe

I hope you take from this a little fresh perspective.  The world is small, there isn’t THAT many people on it…get out there and meet more people!  What have you got to lose?!  Making new friends may be just that pick me up you need 🙂

Making Friends is easy!

Try it, just say hello to a stranger!



Spring is here!

This week marks the beginning of Easter week. For us living here it means crowded beaches, lots and lots of families from the US and Mexico, everyone sharing in the spring spirit and of course the glorious weather.
In spring time our lives blossom, friendships bloom in celebration of life. It’s a time to come from within out, a time for gratitude, replenishing our thoughts with new creative ideas.
Spring time is also about color, everywhere the bougainvilleas are bursting in bright reds, oranges and yellows. The magnificent jacarandas, hibiscus flowers are peering out from the winter months, expressing growth in the light of day.

What I love about Mexico is the happiness people have in their lives. Eternal springtime!
The family unit alive and well,grandfathers to little siblings caring for each other.

Mexican people are so rich in spirit and this light exudes from them whether shopping or waiting at a street light or simply walking down the boulevard, people truly enjoy their lives. They live in the moment, relaxing, celebrating,and eating which is a huge part of any festivity.

At Salsa and Salsa we teach people how to open up to new ideas, try new foods and share in the joy of eating together. Like our Mexican hosts, eating should be the most important time of the day. Everyone comes together,sharing thoughts and feelings about school, or work.
Next time you feel like running through a meal or flying past the drive-thru stop for one second the think about how important food really is to our lives.
Like spring time, food colors inspire us to eat healthy.
Think about what your eating, take a moment to fill your mind with gratitude that you have food on your plate or lap or in your hands and remember that spring time is the time of renewal.
Be grateful for everything you think about, ideas you have and people who make you smile.

Have a party, use your molcajete and dream up your own spring salsas! Or just go by our store and flip through our spring time recipes in our Salsas For All Seasons cookbook!

Salsa for all Seasons

Fill your life with one new color this Easter and share your eternal springtime with others!

What a great life…

Ole,  Leonique

Not everyone loves their jobs…

When we decided to write a blog for Salsa and Salsa, we sat down and story boarded ideas, concepts and themes.  We weren’t sure we wanted to keep a day to day log of every ship, people’s names and funny events/situations that occurred during shows.  We see a lot of people each week and keeping track of everyone seemed like a daunting task.  But what we have come to see, is that people, their stories and their personalities speak for themselves.

Salsa and Salsa Promo 1

Salsa and Salsa Video

For example, today we had Mariner of the Seas and the Sapphire Princess docked in port.  Both fun cruises, both with a good mix of ages and origins.  We had some Cowboy fans, as well as gals from Chicago (CHI-TOWN!), boys from Brisbane  and a couple from Alaska…to name a few.  Not to mention the family of 6, traveling together, enjoying each others company! (Tom the dad, Tyler and his partner, and Tony aka Cody and his respective other also).  We had another two couples from Brissy, who btw, did not know the boys from Brisbane! (lol).

It’s amazing to think so many nationalities, let alone ages, and walks of life, can come together and share such fun times in such a small amount of time!  Leonique and I get so fired up every morning, with the excitement of seeing those first passengers arrive through the doors…we always love the fact that they have no idea how much fun they are about to embark on, and we feel honored to be able to provide you guys with awesome memories, great photos, fantastic recipes and unforgettable moments!  Not everyone loves their jobs as much as we do…we love getting up in the morning, picking up our morning coffee from Starbucks and heading over to the Hotel Las Flores to help set up for the tour.  How many people can say their job is located in a 4 star hotel, with beach views, sunny weather, where you get to cook, dance, laugh and sometimes (if you’re lucky) sing!  We are truly blessed, and best of all, your TWO DANCING CHEFS are best friends, so we joke around A LOT and make fun of each other at any given opportunity!  A real recipe for greatness is working and surrounding yourself with people that make you feel special, and we were both lucky enough to find each other.  🙂

I’ve been playing around with the Salsa Camera the last few weeks, with the intention of putting together a fun You Tube video to share with you all.  It’ll be made up of snippets of clips from the show.  I plan to start on it as soon as I finish this entry, so fingers crossed I don’t get angry at my Windows Movie Maker (what is it with that thing?!  How has Microsoft NOT come up with a solution to fix the annoying bug that program has?!)  In the process of getting all the IT stuff for Salsa and Salsa up and running, we started our own Salsa Channel on You Tube <CLICK HERE to subscribe> !  or simply click on the photo above to see the Salsa video.

As I mentioned in our first post, we will be sharing video, recipes and more, but we would like to hear from you…Have you been to our tour?  What did you think of it?  Got any cool pics you would like to share?  What recipe would you just kill for?!

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Pamela Hormazabal

(Dancing Chef)