When Fran retired from teaching in 2006 she wasn’t quite ready for retirement but she was up for an adventure. She decided to augment her pension by teaching in Dubai and later in Mexico City. Even before taking the position in Mexico, Fran thought she might retire permanently in this Country. “I wanted to live someplace warm and had traveled within Mexico seven or eight times. There was a lot about Mexico that appealed to me.”
One of her colleagues at the American School knew she might make Mexico her home, and suggested she visit Huatuco. “As soon as I took the taxi from the airport, I knew that this place had the feel I was looking for, it reminded me of cottage country in Ontario. There is so much natural beauty, both the forest and the coast.” In 2011 Fran bought a small house in Huatulco and Huatulco became her permanent home.
She began working on her Spanish in Mexico City, but when she arrived in Huatulco, Fran admits that it was limited and she continues to working on it. “I really thought I’d become fluent a lot faster.” In addition to Spanish lessons, she does yoga and Pilates classes and she enjoys puttering in her small garden.
Fran also enjoys waking, since she has a dog and she frequently fosters other dogs in need. “Canela puts up with a lot of ‘house guests’ rescued through Palmas Unidas and I help with their regular neutering clinics
When asked what she likes best about Huatulco she said, “The people, they’re warm and charming. I find Oaxacans have a humble gentle manner, they’re just lovely.”
She is satisfied with the basic Mexican medical insurance referred to as IMMS which she has had since she arrived in Mexico in 2009. She admits that it moves slowly and requires a lot of patients and waiting, but it works for her. Regarding medical insurance, she would advise newcomers, “If you have a serious illness, and I have, you may want a backup or alternative. If time is an issue, Medi-Vac insurance is important. Huatulco is isolated and this can be a bit daunting.”
She suggests that potential new residents visit during different seasons because there are misconceptions about the rainy season. “It doesn’t rain all the time, mostly at night, everything is green and beautiful and after the rain it cools down so nicely. It is hard to beat and I think it’s too bad that a lot of part time residents never experience this.”