Never ever did I think I would be calling Cozumel my home when I first alighted from the red-eye special “San Francisco to Cozumel” flight back in 1981. I came to spend my measly one week vacation with this super guy (my now husband Dan) I had met earlier that year in S.F. Dan planned to spend 3 months here diving that summer. Well my vacation here turned into a disaster! We went to the eastside and under a full moon Dan proposed to me. Later when we returned to the hotel and turned on the lights, I discovered that my beautiful white “tropical” dress had a big tar patch in the back! Yes, it went down hill after that. Me, with Montezuma’s revenge, sick in bed practically the whole time and Dan who would have rather been diving than playing nursemaid. By the end of the week, I surely thought that was the end of Dan & the end of Cozumel! However, the following Sunday the phone rang ….and it was my honey, calling me from Cozumel once again. In his way of thinking, nothing went wrong during our time together!
Fast forward…we married and decided to live in Cuernavaca for 6 months where I could study Spanish. While there we did road trips and discovered Oaxaca. Fell in love with Oaxaca and lived there for a year. Travelled more and discovered Merida. So lived there for another year for the “mayan experience.” Finally figured we were almost to the east coast of Mexico so why not go back to where it all started…Cozumel! Well that was back in May 1985. And we are still here.
Dan urged me to learn to dive. I did and fell completely in love with diving and island life. It was a perfect place to “raise our dogs and cats”… the cost of living here at that time was quite low … and there was much to explore and many beaches to comb. We decided to build our home here and spent Christmas of ’86 in our new home where we still live now! Our love for diving and the Island rhythm, though much different now, has kept us here.
I’ve always had a passion for helping animals and many a dog I would take to the house to treat and bathe with asuntol. That was before I discover the easier treatment where I could just put ivometrin in hamburger meat and give it on the street. Back in the mid-ninety’s, Monica Velasco, Lisa Ramirez and I signed the documents that legally founded “los Protectores de los Animales” (Humane Society). I spent many hours there helping with the animals and many hours hitting the streets asking businesses for donations and collecting the few coins I’d find in the donation boxes.
It’s been a great life filled with lots of interesting people and deeply rooted friendships throughout the years. We still love travelling the Yucatan peninsula and exploring the beaches here at home. So do Cesar and Katie, our 4-legged kids!
Genevieve Hartman is a long time resident of Cozumel, dedicating her time to diving and the welfare of animals on the island. she had worked in radio as pubic service director & promotion director of KSAN in San Francisco.
This story originally appeared in the weekly Cozumel 4 You NEWS – the island’s number one source of positive information about our island! Be sure and subscribe to the weekly NEWS to find out all the island events!…
Una ex yanqui de Connecticut quien llama hogar a Cozumel desde hace más de 15 años. Laura escapó al Caribe hace años, desplazándose de una isla a otra dando clases de BUCEO. Se dedicó a perder el tiempo en Jamaica y finalmente se detuvo en Cozumel para pasar unas vacaciones de 2 semanas que aún no terminan. Convenciendo a sus padres que pagaran una elegante universidad privada, obtuvo su título en Periodismo y Laura crea semanalmente Cozumel 4You, medios sociales y artículos promocionales sobre la Isla y también es moderadora en el grupo Cozumel 4 You en Facebook que actualmente cuenta con 25,000 miembros. Fabián, s umuy tolerante marido, desde hace mucho tiempo se resignó a no tener vida privada, pues se ha visto implicado en los diversos proyectos y planes que urde Laura. Son orgullosos padres de diversos perros y gatos rescatados. Mientras contempla su paso a través de la vida en el Caribe mexicano,Laura continúa siendo la pesadilla en la existencia de su muy tradicional suegra mexicana.