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My lack of language skills

In cooperation with: Visit Mexico
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My lack of language skills

After much forum scouring I booked a weeks stay on Isla Holbox. My wife and I are "over" the mega AI resorts and find ourselves drawn to the laid back vibe Holbox definitely seems to offer.

My main concern with visiting areas like Isla Holbox is being able to communicate with others. I would like to ask those familiar with Isla Holbox how difficult it may be for folks ilke us, with only rudimentary Spanish, to commmunicate. We are experienced travelers but have previously visited areas where English was widely spoken (we are trying to broaden our scope as we get older and wiser). I'm just not quite sure what to expect on Isla Holbox and would appreciate any wisdom offered.


Ontario, Canada
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226 posts
150 reviews
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1. Re: My lack of language skills

Try and use as much your Spanish as possible but overall you will be fine. My wife and I have basic tourist Spanish, and we had no problem. Many people there speak English, especially those involved with tourists, and some better others but you will have no major issues communicating.

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413 posts
71 reviews
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2. Re: My lack of language skills

Don't worry. You will be able to communicate nicely even with little Spanish. I've found that speaking English is common and understanding English is even more common.

Please consider this a BIG NON ISSUE. The only two "real" issues that you have to worry about are the mosquitoes and the rain.

Winston Salem...
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181 posts
45 reviews
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3. Re: My lack of language skills

Thanks to you both. Rain will be rain. I have DEET. dejar que los buenos tiempos!

North Carolina
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359 posts
64 reviews
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4. Re: My lack of language skills

Be prepared for other bugs too besides mosquito's, we found they were not that bad in Feb. but the no-seeums and sand fleas were vicious! We got a lot of bites on our arms and upper backs. There were more people on the Island than I thought that spoke English so that won't be a problem...Have fun.

Rockwell, Iowa
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15 posts
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5. Re: My lack of language skills

My wife and I barely speak tourist Spanish and wish we were better. I did not have any major issues communicating. The people around you seem to help out when there is a problem communicating. The waiters at Costa Nostra started working with me on how to better communicate and I really enjoyed that. They used good incentive as to not give me my drink until I would answer appropriately all in a friendly manner.

Also, we were worried about the bugs and took along much bug spray, but did not need any lucky must have been the been the time of year.

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693 posts
68 reviews
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6. Re: My lack of language skills

It seemed there was always one person at any given resturaunt or store that spoke English... We got by..plus locals are very friendly and helpful! We have 6 words of spanish...

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56 posts
44 reviews
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7. Re: My lack of language skills

Bring a little "Mexican Spanish Phrasebook and Dictionary" with you. Mine is well worn now and has seen me through four trips to Mexico. Including the last visit, on Holbox, where the lovely lady in the convenience store explained to me who the crazy guys with machine guns were (this was minus the phrasebook, but they were coastguards doing routine checks!!). My rudimentary Spanish saw me through.

In my experience, any effort to speak the local language will be met with much appreciation and assistance.


8. Re: My lack of language skills

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