Living in Isla Mujeres

Our day to day life here in Isla

~ By Elizabeth

lizzie-1It’s hard to believe we have already been in Isla Mujeres for an entire month! Our group of four teachers couldn’t be happier living and working in such a beautiful place. It was a real transition, though, from living in New Jersey, where I grew up, and Montreal, my most recent home town.

The most challenging aspect for me has been the lack of urgency that businesses and people have on the island. My American attitudes and expectations had to be adjusted. On the one hand, yes, it was frustrating that a quick call to the phone company couldn’t restore our internet immediately. On the other, I think being truly immersed in a different country and culture will broaden our horizons and make us more understanding and open minded people. It’s OK that the taqueria I wanted to go to for dinner is randomly closed. I should learn to be more flexible.

I really enjoy our little neighborhood Canotal. We live right alongside the students we are teaching, and receive real warmth from the community. There are also many delicious little restaurants to eat our fill of Mexican food. I highly recommend “the place on the corner” and “that taco place Gloria told us about.” :) I personally go to the panderia up the hill almost every night for a pastry to go with my 6:00 am coffee. Have a mentioned the food is great?

And then the whole island itself is within reach to us either by a 5 minute taxi or a nice bike ride. Playa Norte is gorgeous, and where Isla’s tourism industry is booming. I am definitely a beach bum so I am there every weekend, soaking in the sun and thinking about my friends and family back home currently buried in 2 feet of snow. Hi everyone! Playa Norte and el centro are filled with bars and restaurants to enjoy on the weekend, and my fellow teachers and I have been doing just that.

Out as a group, the four of us are bound to encounter kid after kid shouting “Teacher! Teacher!” VolunQuest is now present in all four of the public primary schools in Isla Mujeres, so if you are on Isla and between the ages of 6 and 12, you know us. It’s funny that we stand out quite so much, but it’s gratifying to see that they do enjoy English class, and we really are doing our jobs.

I look forward to getting to know the island more during my six months here; speaking to our neighbors, making friends, and exploring all that Isla Mujeres has to offer.