A Growing Market

tourism for older adults

Oaxaca has identified itself as a destination for "older adult" tourists. This poster is advertising a course in developing tourist programmes for the members of the "grey-haired" generation.  How very progressive! There are so many opportunities for retirees and those who write, teach or work online to live comfortably in Oaxaca. 

view from my rooftop apartment
Rents are very inexpensive. Many of the single ex-pat women that I have met pay $400-$500US for an apartment. Word-of-mouth keeps these apartments rented and some people sub-let when they return to Canada or the United States.  I have paid more because I have chosen to support the learning centre. Who could wish for a more pleasant classroom than the courtyard downstairs? It hums with activity from about 8:00 am until 8:00pm. 

water is a luxury
Those of us from Canada and the United States take water for granted. The delivery truck is a common sight here. Some of the apartments do not have hot water and drinking water is not included in the rental price. My rental includes both. There are not many washing machines around, landladies frown on tenants using the water for laundry so clothing must be taken to a lavandería where an attendant does your laundry. Many people buy clothing from thrift stores as clothes don't last well.

clothes line on my roof
Fortunately, I am allowed to wash my clothes and there are clothes lines on the roof. There is even an iron and ironing board in the apartment. I have been wearing my "Oaxaca wardrobe" for almost eight weeks. 
a wedding procession
On Saturday, I heard music on the pedestrian street and thought that it was a parade for the 483 birthday of Oaxaca that is being celebrated this week. But no! It was a wedding, complete with giant puppets, dancers and a brass band! Entertainment in Oaxaca is definitely on every street corner. This week, there is a documentary film festival as well as Fiesta Oaxaca.

I have been finding the heat oppressive as this is the hottest part of the year. The rains have not yet come and every afternoon, the temperature hits 90+F.  Yesterday, I was invited to the swimming pool of a lovely hotel where ex-pats pay a modest membership for year-round use. Water shortage or not, if I lived here full-time, I certainly would join.

Today, I have students in the afternoon and I am finding that 13-year-olds don't want to study in the afternoon any more than I want to teach. School starts at 7:00 am. and by 4:00 in the afternoon, they have little interest in learning English.

The heat, finding my way in a very different culture and meeting new people take a lot of energy. I am contemplating taking some Spanish classes during my last two weeks, visiting some favourite locations
and relaxing a bit before I return home.


  1. I am so enjoying reading about your Oaxaca stay, Madame, and it's giving me renewed interest in learning Spanish (already speak French, but gave up on Spanish years ago). Thank you for sharing your adventures with your readers, even those who usually lurk ;-) !

    1. I have neglected my Spanish for French also. The words are still in my head but my speech is not fluent. I'm glad that you are enjoying the Oaxaca experience.

  2. It is so very interesting to read about your experiences in Oaxaca. Retirement can be full and satisfying. I'd enjoy the pool in that heat, too.

    1. Oaxaca is a funny place because I did not know that there were any pools at all because of the water shortage and the poverty. Since I have talked to ex-pats, I have heard of a few places with pools. There are about 2,000 retirees from Canada and the U.S. who live here full-time. They visit the doctors who are U.S. trained and speak English, hire Mexican caregivers and support the local economy in many different ways.

  3. I wonder if the lavanderías are as lovely as they sound. ;)

    1. Isn't that a lovely word! I imagined a lot of washerwomen with scrub boards but here it is usually one woman with a washing machine. The word Lavender supposedly comes from the same root.
      My imagination is always piqued by rue des Lavandières in Paris. It is near Chatelet and I can imagine a street of washerwomen using water from the Seine to wash clothes.

  4. I wonder if the lavanderías are as lovely as they sound. ;)


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