Life here has been full of surprises
~ By Lucy
We’re now a month into living in Villas del Sol, a town near the Quintana Roo tourist destination Playa del Carmen. From day one, life here has been full of surprises, from finding a tarantula in our bedroom our second night here (its species is in question, but it was fuzzy so I’m calling it a tarantula, gosh dang it), to trying to gain steady bearings with things like classroom management.
Most of the people I have had the chance to cross paths with here have been incredibly kind. It’s not uncommon to walk down the street and exchange a friendly “Hola, buenos días,” with anyone who passes by.
Good eats are not hard to find here, either. Our house is located within walking distance of 8-peso empanadas and tacos (the exchange rate is currently about $17.30 per US dollar), and our neighborhood is frequented by bike-riding bread vendors who tend to have an awesome variety of delicious pan dulce for an average of about 4 pesos each.
As someone whose experience with ESL was limited to one-on-one tutoring prior to this program, teaching has been an incredible learning experience so far and I couldn’t be happier to be having that experience in an area like this. I teach from 7:30a to 12:00p at a school called Xcaret where the teachers are helpful and friendly and the students are eager to learn English. I see my adorable students here and there around town on the regular- it’s always a neat reminder of the fact that we are becoming a part of the community here and that VolunQuest touches the lives of a lot of people in our area.
It’s hard not to find happiness in a town where most days involve random group hugs from the youngsters, and foods like empanadas and pan dulce can be found on almost any given street corner.