Elyse Y. Robinson

Black American Woman in Mexico

The Struggle in Antigua, Guatemala | Elyse Y. Robinson

The Struggle in Antigua, Guatemala

August 15, 2018


I knew going in that Antigua would be NOTHING like Mexico City. I just didn’t think it would be too bad of a struggle. I’m so used to walking no more than a few blocks to get what I need, having everything delivered, and having a housekeeper. I was a spoiled, rotten brat in Mexico City and will shout that everywhere I go. Es muy difícil!

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Now I have to hop in a taxi and take my laundry in my luggage to be washed and then go pick them up. I have to walk a mile to the store on dusty, cobblestone roads or to get food on Sundays which can be very dangerous. The water is cold or lukewarm which has been very difficult. This is why I choose to live in big city Mexico, but I will get through it as I have a goal!

First bad sign was that I had to exchange money in the airport. I had to grab money to get a cart to push my own luggage. 1.) I have never had to exchange money before. Charles Schwab Bank just works as long as Visa is accepted. 2.) I had to get a cart to push my luggage. In China and Mexico, there are people to help for a fee. 3.) The cart machine didn’t accept cards. 4.) IF there were people to help, I could have went downstairs to the ATM and got money never having to exchange money that comes with a terrible exchange rate.

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So you’re starting to see my struggle with money and getting help…

Fast forward to yesterday and I needed to pay for this week’s lessons. I told a taxi (tuk tuk) to take me to a bank that I pointed out on a map and gave him the address. Did he take me there? No, of course not because there was traffic and he didn’t feel like going all the way there. I didn’t know that though.

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Fine. He got me to two different ATM machines and neither worked for me. I’m mad because I used my last quetzales on the tuk tuk ride. Now I have to walk all the way back home. Took me almost 45 minutes to walk back with all the cobblestone roads and traffic. Luckily, I made it in the house a few minutes before it started pouring outside.

Since I had not paid for school, the owner shows up to meet me this morning. He tries to get smart and tells me that they do tours every Monday of the city and they also give out a map on arrival. No one told me this. He said it was on the web site…AND!? When I’m paying you money, you should have told me my first day and given me my map! I’m stressed out from traveling, moving to a new city, and not being able to communicate with anyone! There should have been a 2 minute mini orientation on what to expect and what to do.

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You should have laid out:

  1. How to pay each week for school (what are my options to pay...cash, card and where do I go to pay)
  2. There are tours of the city and everything of importantance (hospital, police) every Monday at 2pm
  3. Where to go for any questions or concerns

That should have been the bare minimum…as I’m over here confused.

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He gave me a free, private tour of the city and someone will be picking me up at 9am sharp on Saturday. If you don’t hear from me, I’ve been kidnapped and please send someone! If not, then stay tuned for the pictures…

Outside of having to walk so far to get anywhere, everything else is fine! Can’t say what the future holds as all you can do is take it day by day anyway, but as of now, I’m in Guatemala learning Spanish!

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Elyse Y. Robinson @ BeAForeigner Inc.
Elyse Y. Robinson

Without a plan, Elyse Y. Robinson moved to México City after her mother passed away from blood cancer on November 11, 2016. She never heard of México City nor even visited México before. She just knew she had to escape America to mourn. She had quit her whole life to help her family anyway. She had nothing more to lose. She is going into her fourth year in México and she is there to stay!

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