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Mexican Immersion: Living With a Mexican Family

By Jane Oxenforth 3 years ago
Categories Yucatan

I arrived in Mexico at Hotel Colorado, being the first time I have travelled on my own I was feeling a mixture of nerves and excitement. I met two great girls on the morning of our induction. It was so reassuring and inspiring to meet two girls I could relate to, we started sharing our reason for joining the GVI project and traveling, and I immediately I felt at ease.


A staff member from GVI joined us at the hotel and gave us an outline of our day and the program ahead. Later that day they took me to meet Gloria, my host while staying in Mexico, to see what was to be my new home for the next 2 weeks on the Cultural Immersion Program. The GVI staff gave me a tour of the area I would live in, which really helped me make the most of the great location, being just a 15 minute walk from the Center of Playa.


Gloria is a warm hearted Mexican lady, I spent two weeks of my stay here with her, her family and other travelers. Gloria is a wonderful cook and prepares traditional Mexican food for meal times. Living in and around Gloria’s family helped me experience Mexican culture, family values and improve my Spanish.


There is just one rule in Gloria’s house; at meal times we must speak in Spanish. Being a beginner in Spanish this filled me with dread! Initially I did a lot of listening, this in itself proved to be invaluable. By the end of week one, I was joining in with the conversations. Yes, I made mistakes but they helped out with corrections and never made to feel silly, more encouraged for having a go!


I grew in confidence and became less self-conscious when speaking Spanish which would help me when I support and present lessons at the Ludoteca. I went to PlayaLingua, which I found to be a professional Spanish school with patient and entertaining Spanish tutors. There was homework to do which may sound drab, however I felt inspired and actually wanted to put the hours of study in. Gloria even helped me with my homework… thankyou Gloria!


I would recommend the Cultural Immersion part of the program in setting you up for any GVI project in Playa Del Carmen. It taught me so much, and was an experience I will not forget in a hurry.