Living in Playa del Carmen since 2013, I’ve seen the demographics of the community drastically change over the years.
When I first moved here, you’d see a lot of snowbirds during the winter months, retired Americans and Canadians that would spend January to April in the Riviera Maya to get away from the brutal winters that they suffer through up north. And then around April or May, the demographics would change, as the snowbirds headed home.
In recent years though, more and more expats with young families are relocating to the area full time, especially with the pandemic changing the work environment and allowing people to work from anywhere.
It’s a big move to relocate your family to a foreign country. One that might seem daunting for a single adult, throw a family into the mix and it can be overwhelming and terrifying. Because you’re not just thinking about yourself, you’re thinking about your kids. You might be worried about damaging your child’s education, slowing their development or maybe even harming their chances of social interaction with peers, when in fact, the living abroad does the opposite for kids.
So what are the benefits for kids growing up outside of their birth country?
1. Integrating with their surroundings
We all know what it feels like to be surrounded by strangers in a new place, whether it was your first day of college or your first day at a new job. Now imagine if you experienced that when you were a child. How much easier would your first day of college been? Moving to a new place, where you don’t know anyone, teaches your child how to communicate, adapt to fit and integrate seamlessly.
2. Learning a new language
Every single day of my life in Playa del Carmen I wish I would have taking Spanish classes seriously when I was in high school. As we get older, it gets harder to learn. Expat children growing up in the Riviera Maya or even spending a year or two living here, will learn Spanish at a rapid pace, you’ll be shocked at how fast they pick it as a second language. Their little brains are like sponges, soaking it all up. The value of learning a second language is immense, helping develop linguistic skills and develop specific areas of their brain. They will understand more about the concept of communication, giving them valuable skills for life.
3. New experiences
I feel like this benefit speaks for itself. Over the last 9 years, there are so many things I’ve done living here that I never would have experienced in the United States. So many people I’ve met from different countries, I’ve grown and learned so much, and pushed myself to try new things. This has helped me change and grow as an adult, just think of this experience for a child. All the wonder and awe and life changing experiences that will help shape and mold your child, there’s too many to count.
If you’re considering a move with your family, Moskito is here to help, we’re living here with our families too!