If you want to learn more about us, about México and how is gay life here, you’re in the right place.
Ricardo Contreras Godoy
HOST AND TRAVEL EXPERIENCE DESIGNER
In a constant journey to discover the hidden and most authentic places in the Yucatán Peninsula. Ricardo has been named official Yucatán Ambassador by the Yucatan Tourist Bureau (SEFOTUR), he also works in campaigns with the Mr. Gay World Yucatán Association. Ricardo was the first Yucatàn Content Creator in English aimed for the Gay Segment, consolidating him as a benchmark for the Gay Travelers in Yucatán and within the most exclusive hotels in Yucatán, Services and Experience Providers.
WRITER AND HOST
David combines his hobby of writing blogs and touring Yucatan with his professional careers in construction and petroleum engineers. He was raised in Campeche in the Yucatan Peninsula and his passion is to share the incredible and enormous amount of tourist offer that the land of Yucatan offers. There is no place like Yucatán.
We believe in Tourism as a force for good, capable of change people’s life. Every time we travel, for whatever reason, we are all a part of a global force; a force that has the power to drive inclusive development, create jobs, reduce inequalities and increase awareness in the fragility of our ecosystems.
Our commitment is to the LGBTQ+ community by increasing visibility. When people are able to see something represented, they are better able to understand and grasp who those people are, and this creates an important shift in the social consciousness to include people from a range of different backgrounds.
Our commitment is to the Maya communities. For our tours to cenotes, we always prefer those one operated by Mayan communities (Cooperativas) rather than business men cenotes. The cooperatives manage the operation and benefit directly from it.
Our commitment is to the environment. We are living at the edge of a time where sustainability actions are a must. As in every part of the world, Yucatan has its own specific environmental challenges. It’s our responsibility to pass this knowledge to our customers to reduce impact on nature while still enjoying it.
We would like to share a collaboration with our friends of Gayly Planet, where we did a nice interview with them telling our story.
How was Merida Gay Tours born? Can you tell me more about your business?
We moved to Merida, Mexico about 4 years ago, from Campeche (west of Yucatán Peninsula). We saw an opportunity since Merida (Yucatan State) is a very touristic destination, but options for gays were little, regardless of bars at night, there was no offer. We constantly received friends visiting and we enjoyed getting on tour with them, then, with friends of friends, and Ricardo saw the opportunity to create something fun for gays to explore and to get to know the culture and natural places of the region, that’s how Merida Gay Tours was Born.
Yucatan State is expected to be the next best thing of Mexico (talking about tourism), it closeness to Riviera Maya is a key factor since it facilitates the tourist flow from Cancun to Merida. But unlike Riviera Maya, Merida and Yucatan are a 100% Mexican experience, with no massive tourism, and also important to say Merida, is the safest city in México.
The great thing of Yucatan is that there are literally hundreds of attractions to go outside the city. We are talking about Natural Caves and crystalline water sinkholes (cenotes), turquoise water beaches, under water caves to diving, Ancient Mayan Cities, Mayan Pyramids, Mayan Villages (Mayan culture & language still alive in small villages), Colonial Mexican Towns, Haciendas (last century country mansions). Besides Yucatan cuisine is one of the tops of Mexico (fusion of Mayan, Spanish and Caribbean flavors). Even for Mexicans, Yucatan is whole new land to explore.
In MGT Mérida Gay Tours we created experiences focusing on what the gay want, mixing nature, culture, fun and a selection of hot spots that we know are of the interest for the gay traveler.
How is living in Mexico for a gay couple? Is Mexico a Gay Friendly country?
We are living great times for the gay community in Mexico. The law is on our side now. In 2015 the Supreme Court of Mexico established as unconstitutional to deny marriage to same sex couples. Since then, the different states of Mexico have been changing their state constitution to get in line with the supreme court. Nowadays most of Mexican states allow same sex marriage, and we believe Yucatán will do it soon finally.
Regardless Mexico is a very catholic country, there is now a respect awareness for the gay community. Cities as Mexico City are even part of the Rainbow Cities of the world.
In Mérida, Yucatan, people is very gay friendly, we haven’t had a single issue with our openly gay business, in the opposite, we have received lot of support from everyone. As a gay couple we are very happy living in Merida, we think greater times are ahead.
Because your work you have met so many different people. What’s the best memory of México travelers bring back home?
What a nice question. We actually had to ask to our clients about that and the answer we got was amazing to hear. The most valuable memory is the friendship they were able to make with local people, with other travelers and with us. After all, making a bond with a destination in a trip works on many levels, but being able to make a real bond with locals and to forge lifetime friendships is the most amazing outcome in a trip.
How was start working on a gay project back then?
It was a challenge, we could say we are pioneers in the region, but everything flowed very good. Riviera Maya is also very gay friendly destination, and there is a lot to do for gays there, so everyone in Merida were kind of expecting something here as well. We even participated in a government entrepreneur competition and MGT Merida Gay Project was selected to receive mentor support. It has been amazing meeting enthusiastic new people, that were exited to work with us.