Families in Boca – #2

Sundays in Boca are the busiest days of the week. No one works so the beach is filled with locals looking to spend all day with their families. I find this bizarre, the fact that businesses are closed on the busiest day of the week. I guess in America it is very uncommon to put family before money, because we tend to see money as a source of strengthening family. This Sunday I met with some other interns and a local family for lunch at a restaurant called Los Mangos. I was not expecting to be adopted so quickly into the local families, but they treat me as if I have been a part of their family forever. They greet me with the same kind hugs they greet their own children with and it makes me feel welcome. I also wasn’t expecting for everyone to know I live in Boca so quickly, but all of the residents know this is where I will call home until August. I guess news travels fast in such a small town. The locals no longer try to sell me tourist trinkets or offer me taxis, but instead ask me what I am doing here and offer to take my roommate and I fishing or snorkeling for free. All of the locals alike are simply curious about Katie(my roommate) and I. Some ask us where we are from, others ask how old we are, a few just yell that they are in love with us from a far, and everyone asks us what we are doing in Mexico which is my favorite question to answer. Katie and I are working at a national reserve called Los Arcos where we do transects and count fish to help warrant for heavier regulation on illegal fishing. After we say that to anyone, they immediately become softer in the face and have a pleasant gratitude for us that was absent before. It is that appreciation from the locals that makes the work so fulfilling, because while we are saving fish, we are also protecting local livelihoods from future issues due to overfishing or overuse of the environment. It is that conversation that has made me many friends down here, and I hope to make more in the future. 


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