When people ask about life in Valladolid, it is easy to focus on the most visible: tranquility, security, closeness to cities like Cancun, Playa del Carmen, or Merida.
But we also always mention the people of Valladolid: their joy of living, their strong family ties, and their spirituality. Although this is much more intangible for people who do not live here.
How do you explain to people what it is like to live in Valladolid? We have been thinking about writing this blog, but we couldn’t think of how to explain it, so we decided to share some of our experiences with our readers.
My neighbor from the San Juan neighborhood: Appearances are deceiving
When I came to live in San Juan, we settled in a very spacious house on Calle 40. On the day of the move, I briefly met my neighbors, and that night I closed the doors and windows because I was scared: my neighbors seemed a bit off.
Over time, our neighbors became the best thing about living in San Juan. Despite their problems, they proved to be excellent people. There was not a day when they did not greet me, had a kind word, or were willing to help our family.
One of our neighbors suffered from alcoholism. Still, he was always respectful, and he frequently shared with us gestures of generosity: Yucatecan food, fruit from his garden, etc.
One day there was a knock on the door: it was my neighbor with my three-year-old boy.
My son had escaped through the gate without us noticing. And whoa! He scolded us for not being aware of the Nené (Yucatecan for baby), and we were in a lot of trouble!
I moved from that house a couple of years ago, but I have never forgotten the warmth and friendliness of my San Juan neighbors.
It started as a favor, it ended as a friendship.
My sister lives in another neighborhood.
When we started building her house, we asked the front door neighbors to allow us to keep materials and tools in their house.
They accepted and were always aware of the progress of the house, reporting if the construction workers were doing enough or not, etc. In the end, they even helped us with some elements for the construction of the house.
Over time, the neighbors have proven time and time again to be excellent people: they support my sister, they keep an eye on her, share their family meals, etc.
For her, these neighbors have become the best part of living in Valladolid: they are sweet, caring… and fun!
One day they offered a baby shower for their dog (!), and they invited my sister to eat tacos to celebrate.
They are always making her try local dishes and stews that she would never have eaten otherwise (pigs brains, tripe, etc.). It just comes natural to share their meals, which makes it clear that we do not need much here in Valladolid, other than the joy of sharing.
But for me, the best story happened one night when my sister heard a noise outside and was afraid to go out and investigate. She sent a message to the neighbor asking for reinforcements, and in less than 2 minutes, the whole family was out, armed with sticks, flashlights, and ready to face danger.
It didn’t take long for them to discover that the noise was not a threat but rather a rabbit that had escaped from the neighbors garden. Laughter ensued.
They all went hunting for the rabbit while laughing their heads off. The neighbor scampering a rabbit heavily armed with his fishing net is an example of the joy and simplicity of the people of Valladolid.
Unlike larger cities, in Valladolid, there is no indifference to others. The neighbors do not think ‘oh, that is not my problem, she should call the police’. They do not think twice to go out and help those who need it.
Solidarity, fraternity, joy, generosity … over and over again, the Vallisoletano shares his heart with us even if they do not know us.
And we are not the only ones who feel this way about Valladolid and its people.
A few months ago, we interviewed Carolina Carrillo, an artist from Valladolid and author of the new Valladolid decorated letters in Sisal Park. In addition to the details of her work, we ask her what she likes the most about living in Valladolid.
Among other things, she mentions that once the Vallisoletano adopts you, he takes care of you and protects you. And we cannot agree more with her.
Watch the interview here: