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Spicy Travels 3 - Language Learning Adventure
C.J. Gustafson, Freelance Writer and Photographer

While exploring the tide pools in the coral formations on the east side of Cozumel on my last trip to the island, I looked up to find that I was sharing my stretch of beach with two young local men. I waved and they approached and we struck up a conversation in English.

--This is probably a good time to point out that on Cozumel, women, by themselves or in small groups, will undoubtedly be approached by Mexican men. That is just the way it is. It is all very polite and respectful, but completely open to possibilities. If you are married or uninterested, just say so and that will be the end of it. But if you are open to making new friends, you will have plenty of opportunities. I think it is one of the wonderful things about Cozumel. (Sorry I can’t tell you if single men have the same experience. Maybe an Insider visitor can let me know.)--

Anyway, the men, Miguel and Manuel, were brothers who had come over from the mainland to work at one of the resorts on the island. With a day off from work, they had decided to explore the island. They admitted that their English needed improvement and I explained that my Spanish wasn’t exactly flawless. Soon we had agreed to spend the afternoon giving each other language lessons.

We walked the beach pointing to objects and sharing the English and Spanish words for them. I learned or relearned the words for shells, seaweed, sky, waves, sand, coral, etc., and I shared my knowledge as well. We headed down to Punta Morena cantina (excellent fresh fish dinners) where we continued our lesson. The location provided opportunities to learn words for different drinks, foods, surfing, parasailing, and a host of common everyday words that I had not learned or heard spoken. And it gave me the opportunity to practice words I already knew. The language lesson soon turned into a party atmosphere with other cantina visitors joining in.

We were having so much fun with it and learning more than we expected, so Manuel, Miguel and I decided to continue the lesson in town, taking a short tour and pointing to things like shops, churches, and all kinds of items for sale along the streets.

We wound up our day at a local cantina in town where we again drew other people in to our language lesson. It was one of the most enjoyable days I have spent on the island. I admit I learned some words you will never hear in Spanish class, but truthfully, one should really know how to cuss properly in several languages.

My adventure reminded me that there is common ground when it comes to language on Cozumel, with both tourists and locals wanting to learn. Rather than being a barrier, different languages can bring people together and provide wonderful opportunities to make new friends. You just have to be open to new adventures.
Why not take a class during your visit?
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 Cozumel Spanish Learning Educational Classes
Spanish Learning Educational Sessions - Single or Multiple Day Classes. Starting at $20/hour
 Cozumel Spanish Learning & Accommodations Packages
Spanish Learning Packages consisting of multi-day classes and local neighborhood accomodations. What better way to enhance your learning experience than to be able to practice your new found skills at every corner! Starting $ 385/person
Other Interesting Perspectives and Tips by CJ you might Enjoy!
 Spicy Travels - Introduction
Romance, adventure, good food, hot dancing, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences on the island of Cozumel!
 Spicy Travels 1 - The Iguana Adventure
He's little, he's cute, he doesn't bite me, and he eats mosquitoes and other bugs. I'm on a Caribbean island with no worries. Let it go. It is all part of the adventure - but what an experience!
 Spicy Travels 2 - Moonlight Dance Adventure
These are the times in your life where you have to tell yourself that times like these seldom come along in life and you can't let them slip by because you're embarrassed or nervous or afraid.
 Spicy Travels 4 - Barracuda Adventure
Suddenly I saw a large shadow move across the ocean floor and I looked over expecting to see another snorkeler swimming alongside.
 Travel Tip 1 - Cozumel is a State of Mind
There's something about a Caribbean island that is just fundamentally different from the rest of the world. This definitely true of Cozumel!
 Travel Tip 2 - Always Bring Music
I've learned through my travels that music can set the tone and enhance the enjoyment of almost any activity on the island.
 Travel Tip 3 - Learn Spanish
Although many people on the island speak English quite well, there have been numerous instances where I was glad to know some Spanish.
 Travel Tip 4 Ė Explore Cozumelís Underwater World
Donít let fear of the unknown keep you from experiencing Cozumel's beautiful underwater world. This truly is one of the most unforgettable aspects of the island and there is more than one way to experience this!
 Photo Tips - Introduction
The endless supply of subjects, the beautiful lighting, and constant activity make photograhing Cozumel basically effortless
 Photo Tips 1 - Cozumel Sunsets
Cozumel has some of the most beautiful sunsets to be found on earth. Here are some tips on capturing them!
 Photo Tips 2 - Hit the Tourist Spots
Don't avoid the tourist spots completely because they provide some good photo opportunities as well as fun activities - all in one location!
 Photo Tips 3 - Walk Don't Ride (At Least Part of the Way)
It has been my experience that very rarely do you get good Cozumel pictures riding in the back seat of a taxi cab.
 Photo Tips 4 - San Miguel & the West Coast
Taking pictures in town can be a bit of a challenge because there is usually so much activity. But thatís what makes it so interesting!


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