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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Puerto Penasco, Mexico

Jul 27, 2018
Submitted by mexicanbeachbum


Puerto Penasco, Mexico

An expat in Puerto Penasco, Mexico appreciates the lower priced food and rent. She loves seeing the fishermen repair their nets on her street preparing for the next day of fishing. She advises newcomers to use your Spanish, even if you make mistakes, and eat the delicious street food.

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Puerto Penasco

Did you receive any cross-cultural training for your move abroad? If yes, was it before or after the move?

No. Just immersed myself in my town with new friends.

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If they speak another language in your new country, do you speak the language? If yes, did you learn the language before you moved or while abroad? If no, are you planning to learn the language?

I immersed myself and found new friends, and also found that the majority of locals I met, do speak English, so Puerto Penasco was easy to ease in to. I practice Spanish daily.

Were you worried or concerned about culture shock before you moved abroad?

No, because we're so close to the U.S., we are similar to the U.S., even though we are not a border town.

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How significant was the culture shock you experienced when you moved abroad?

Not at all.

Expats often talk about going through the "stages of culture shock." Examples include the honeymoon phase, the irritation-to-anger stage, the rejection of the culture stage, and the cultural adjustment phase. Do you feel like you went through these or any other stages as you settled into the new culture?

I never went through this, everyone was welcoming.

What, if any, were some of the changes you noticed in yourself that might have been caused by culture shock? These might include things such as anger, depression, anxiety, increased eating or drinking, frustration, homesickness, etc.

Nothing at all. Easy to blend in for me.

What are some things you appreciate most about the new culture?

Simpler lifestyle, fresher food, lower priced food, lower price utilities and rent, ocean breezes. Fisherman live on my streets, seeing them repair their nets, getting boats ready. Love fresh shrimp and fish. So many to list here.

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

I had no challenges, easily fit right in.

Did you "commit" any embarrassing or humorous cultural blunders? If you did and you'd like to share them, please do tell!

First time purchasing toilet paper, I was with a bilingual girlfriend, She couldn't believe her ears. I asked where it was, Now I know it's "Papel para baño" or "papel hygenico", but I originally asked where I could find "papel por culo" (paper for the butt (hole)) my friend freaked out. To this day I am never afraid to try Spanish, plenty of people will correct my errors, I'm OK with that, it's how we learn.

Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?

Dive in, don't be afraid to try the language. We didn't have Google translate on smartphones in those days so use an app. Try the food too! Street food is awesome, no you most likely will NOT get sick, don't be a worry wart, you will miss out on fun things. Smile.

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Get a quote for expat health insurance in Mexico from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

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If you're moving to Mexico or an expat living in Mexico, understanding the Mexican healthcare system is essential. We offer an overview of the public and private healthcare systems in Mexico, health insurance for expats in Mexico, hospitals and prescription drugs.

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We've compiled a list of the 9 best places to live on the Pacific Coast of Mexico based upon expats' recommendations and security information from the US State Department. From Ensenada in Baja Norte all the way down to Puerto Escondido, these cities and towns boast beautiful beaches, warm weather and more.

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