I have a theory that lovers of Cozumel can instantly recall the exact dates of their first visit. My love affair with the island began January 10 – 17, 1990 – and after my first visit my life was never the same. I went back to Minnesota, and within 6 months I had changed my job, my living situation, and my perspective of the future. As a newly minted airline employee I was fortunate to visit the island often, and my daughter and family enjoyed numerous vacations away from the dark cold Minnesota winters. You know the part in The Wizard of Oz where the film goes from Black and White to vibrant Color? For me, touching down in Cozumel is a lot like that. While the lakes and pinewoods of my youth will always be with me, the natural beauty of the island and her people captivates me as much today as it did 22 years ago.

In 1996 I was married to a relocated Texan and we happily settled into an adorable little apartment. Seven years passed in the blink of an eye. After many months of searching we found a house to buy thanks to my sister who purchased a nice house in the Independencia neighborhood. On our way to take a tour of her place, we passed a cute little place with a beat up “Se Vende” sign tacked up in the corner. That was over 10 years ago. Even though the hubby “va-moosed” a while back, I have thoroughly enjoyed carving out my vision of domestic paradise. For me, a walk on a deserted beach, or a cup of coffee in my garden can be a religious experience. A trip to the phone company can result in lifelong friendships. Only 2 doors down from my big sis, and surrounded on all sides by sweet families, life in Cozumel has proven safe, exciting, happy, and active. My friends and I honor nearly all traditions, foreign and domestic. We welcome our departed on the Day of the Dead, smile across Thanksgiving tables, decorate our houses with all manner of Christmas glitz, find the baby in the Rosca, and blow the doors off the place for Carnaval.  Underneath it all beats a philanthropic heart and community spirit unparalleled in its generosity.  When called upon, Cozumeleños readily show up to support a good cause, help someone in need, offer congratulations, or a consoling embrace.

No matter where one choses to hang a hat, I firmly believe that your life, your happiness, and your regrets are all exactly what you make them. I have found good company in this special place, where the amazing beauty found in nature go hand in hand with the spirit of her citizenry. The beaches, waters, nature preserves, restaurants, music, art, culture, and social whirl ensure that life in Cozumel need never be dull.  I remain humbly captivated by it all.

Kathy Watts and her cohorts in crime created The Trashy Little Group to help remove some of the trash on Cozumel’s beaches.  The group has removed 2,500 bags of garbage, and increased awareness for recycling and environmental causes here on Cozumel.  Once a month, the group gathers together to clean a selected area.  Not only is it a worthy cause and a fun event, but it’s also a great chance to win prizes donated by very generous local sponsers.  To find out more, check out their facebook page.

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!…

Laura Wilkinson

Author at Cozumel 4 You
Laura Wilkinson is the Editor for Cozumel 4 You. An ex-Connecticut Yankee who has called Cozumel home for over 15 years, Laura ran away to the Caribbean years ago, bumped around the islands teaching SCUBA diving, lost some time in Jamaica, and finally stopped in Cozumel for a 2 week vacation that hasn’t ended yet. With a degree in Journalism from a fancy private college she convinced her parents to pay for, Laura writes, edits, and creates the weekly Cozumel 4 You news, promotional articles about the island, and her very own blog, which she finds hilarious. Her long suffering husband, the Fabster, has long since resigned himself to having zero private life, as he’s been involved in her various schemes and plots since his arrival. Proud parents to a variety of rescue dogs and cats, Laura continues to be the bane of her traditional Mexican mother-in-law’s existence, as she muses her way through life in the Mexican Caribbean.

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