This month I will be doing several book events in the central region of Mexico. I would be so pleased if you could attend one of them. Underneath the title “Magic Made in Mexico”, there are several subjects listed… open up “Coming Events” for information about the one nearest you.
On Saturday January 15th, I spoke with a large group at the Merida English Language Library. It was very interesting for me to find out what everyone had to say about living in Mexico and the challenges of cultural adaptation. As well as reading selected passages from my book, I led a few role-playing activities that those in attendance seemed to get a kick out of!
Merida’s international community is growing a lot. I asked what could be the cause for this.
*** “In Merida I’ve had the chance to attend the symphony and go to art galleries and see wonderful outdoor performances. All this was beyond my budget in the USA.”
*** “Learning Spanish has not been easy for me but at my age, it’s good to be challenged a bit. I feel like I’m shapening my mind.”
*** “People are so kind… Never before have I been in a place where everyone seems to really care about MY happiness.”
Recently, my daughter Maggie and I went to Santa Elena with a group a group of international students who are spending their winter semester at our college. Ten retired Canadians and Americans who live part-time or full.time in this area also came along.
Santa Elena is a contemporary Mayan village about 100 kilometers from Merida. Like most rural areas, there is an extreme shortage of employment and many are forced to relocate to Merida or even to other countries. In order to be able to stay in their community, the residents are developing new ways to earn income.
“Walk the Maya Way” is a tour they have developed that shows visitors the Yucatecan countryside and a glimse into the way of life for the rural residents of Yucatan. As well, there is a group of women who sell the hand crafted items. Both of these activities have made a big difference to the home economy of several families in Santa Elena. It is hoped the project will continue to grow and give more residents the benefit of self-employment.
Returning on the bus to Merida, one of the young students said, “The families we visited look poor when you first see how they live. They don’t have a lot of the nice things we have. But they have a richness we don’t see so much… they seem so happy!”