Last week, I entered Mexico for the first time. I hardly ever traveled as a child and only traveled domestically until my Jamaican honeymoon. As my kids are older now (and old enough to appreciate an awesome vacation), we decided to take them to Cancun for spring break.
Now, I know the first thing that comes to mind when Cancun and spring break are used in the same sentence – Señor Frogs, foam parties, lots of alcohol, college students, and rowdiness. Fortunately, my kids’ spring break was after most college spring breaks. We also chose a resort that was more family friendly, trying to avoid any raucous activities.
With passports in hand, we passed through the airport’s immigration area and then navigated through the maze of solicitors trying to sell us activities and services in town. We hopped in our transport van, on our way to the resort, beginning a wonderful family vacation.
Overall, I was very impressed with the friendliness of the people of Cancun. We didn’t travel all over the city, but in the areas we did tour, most were friendly and accommodating for tourists. Even the locals were able to speak some English and did their best to communicate effectively. Obviously, living and/or working in a resort town will expose you to different languages, but so many were mildly proficient. Can we say that about Americans? How many tourist cities in the US can accommodate the various languages of tourists?
The culture of Mexico is a bright and colorful one where family and friends take center stage. People are comfortable around others and don’t seem to care about others’ opinions. The people I encountered were hard workers, helpful, and dedicated to making a difference. Obviously, some may have been doing it for tips, but they did appear to be genuine in their efforts.
In Cancun, there are places of poverty, underdevelopment, and decay, but many of these places stand next to vibrant buildings. Colorful fabrics line marketplaces and murals cover empty walls.
I was very pleased with my time in Cancun. It’s a destination that I would return to – if not for the beautiful beaches and waters, but for the friendly and inviting people of Mexico.