Cozumelenos are an accepting bunch, but there are a few points you should avoid saying as a foreign guest. As with any community, it is important to be aware of cultural etiquette and prohibited subjects during a vacation on Cozumel. Here is a list of 11 things you should never say on Cozumel.
This is my first time out of North America
Geography observation is of considerable benefit in Mexico, a region that many foreigners believe is in Central or even South America. Mexico is a part of North America, which is why it was included in the North American Free Trade Agreement along with Canada and the United States.
Mexican is a beautiful language
There are 289 individual languages expressed in Mexico. However, none of these languages are designated, Mexican. The term Mexican relates to nationality, not to any language. Spanish is the declared language in the country, with over 99 percent of people speaking it.
How much money do you make
With wealth, Cozumelenos are private, so asking about personal finances is an unthinkable subject. Although this information may be shared between close companions, asking strangers about their salary is a definite no-no.
You might hear this word adopted to describe a Mexico City resident, but avoid employing it yourself. The expression has pejorative overtones, and you’re likely to lose friends in Cozumel if you start using it.
I don’t like Mexican food
Cozumelenos are proud of their culinary culture, and they are not the only individuals to recognize that their cuisine was delicious. Avoid generalizing about Mexican cuisine, which is very diverse, with each province using original ingredients and techniques. There is a lot more to Mexican cuisine than Taco Bell, so it is best to leave narrow-minded opinions of melted cheese and burritos at home.
I’m certain you can think of many more offensive expressions in English than stupid. But the Spanish equivalent, estupido, is much more powerful and shouldn’t be applied. Call no one else estupido and avoid employing it in any context, even when referring to yourself and those stupid little mistakes we all make from time to time.
This verb, which means to take, is used in Spain all the time, in taking the bus or taking the metro. In Mexico and throughout Latin America, the word is certain to trigger giggling, because coger is a synonym for a certain four-letter word in English. Suggest no one coger a taxi.
Blasphemous curse words
Those fun curse words you picked up in Barcelona will not thrill people in Cozumel. Cozumelenos would consider certain blasphemous phrases (that are common and used in Spain) as shameful and offensive. Cozumel remains a religious society. Although Cozumel possesses its own impressive pantheon of swear words, they treat the Virgin Mary with admiration.
Happy Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo, or May 5, observes the Mexican Army’s victory over the French during the Battle of Puebla in 1862 (Mexico lost this war). In the United States, the day is a ceremony of Mexican-American culture, but it carries no such importance in Cozumel. Instead, Independence Day on September 16 is the day observed to the celebration of all things Mexican.
Tu to an older stranger
The formal usted, the civil version of you, is still practiced in Cozumel for communications with a boss, an older stranger, or anyone else you would like to present respect to, rather than suggest familiarity. Mexican society is sensitive to position, and the use of usted is more prevalent than in Spain. As a general rule, tu, the informal form of you, is retained for friends, children, and family.
Patience is a virtue in Cozumel. Don’t take it personally if individuals are late for appointments or visitors appear two to three hours after the party was expected to start. There are many reasons for the lateness: a delayed bus, heaving traffic, but you’ll soon understand that the primary reason is cultural. Time in Cozumel is flexible, and struggling to impose foreign standards of punctuality is a certain path to annoyance.
We can help you make your vacation plans a reality here at Stingray Villa Cozumel.