Somehow or other, I ended up an administrator for the Facebook group Foreigners in Rural Mexico although I am not exactly sure I’m the right person for the job. On the other hand, I am a foreigner and I do live in rural Mexico. In my new position as group leader, I’ve met a number of interesting people. Today, I’d like to share my newest blogger find, Denise from Africans to Yucatan.
What brought you to Mexico?
We wanted to live a simpler life.
What was the inspiration for your blog name?
We were part of a great group of friends. Each couple had a nickname and ours was “The Africans” because we were born in South Africa…Since we immigrated to Canada in late 1990’s we thought this would be a fitting name for our new move.
What area of Mexico and topics does your blog primarily focus on?
Our blog focuses on our experiences moving to the Yucatán.
Why do you blog?
As you can imagine we have friends and family all over the world (Oman, South Africa, New Zealand, England, Canada, the US and now Mexico). This was the easiest way I could keep them all updated on our experiences. I also thought if anyone else was interested in moving to Mexico, it would give them an honest perspective of a couple who is semi-retired with very limited funding.
What is your favorite blog post?
It features the south Mérida youth symphony orchestra, which is a local program that helps marginalized youth to expand their horizons and has an immense positive social impact on the youth involved. I enjoy writing factual pieces about initiatives that help local people and we had such a great experience when we attended this event.
What has been the most difficult for you to blog about?
Missing Canada and already loving Mexico. It is difficult to explain the roller coaster of feelings about moving to a new country and not come across as flaky, ungrateful or judgemental.
What has been the best experience you’ve had in Mexico?
We have had several experiences of our neighbors being generous despite their own hardships. There is a definite spirit of caring amongst the Yucatecan people. This generous spirit constantly reminds me that I am so much more fortunate than many and I strive to be more humble.
What has been the worst experience you’ve had in Mexico?
One of the vendors at the Plaza Grande verbally assaulted me when I told him that I did not want a tour of the Cathedral. It was an unusually negative reaction, based on my experience of several visits to the Yucatán and specifically Mérida. It just reminded me that not everyone welcomes foreigners to their country.
What advice do you have for those planning to move or travel to Mexico?
Do your homework. Do not go on what other people say. We all have different expectations and standards. Most of all, know why you want to move here. Mexico is not the same as Canada or the US, do not compare it and don’t try to make it “Little wherever-you-are-from”. If you do, you are the same as the immigrants who went to your country and wanted to change your culture to fit in with their beliefs. Celebrate your own culture, while remaining respectful of those in your new home.
If you are currently in Mexico, how long do you plan on remaining?
We plan to stay here permanently.
Where do you see your blog going?
I am just going to continue my blog in this informal manner for now.
Where can you be found?