Just Being a Kid on Isla Mujeres Mexico
|Same family another generation - enjoying being a kid.|
Our Isla Mujeres friend, Freddy Medina has many good memories from growing up on Isla in the 1970's.
Freddy's papa, Lucio Medina, built a strong concrete house on the west side of the island near the middle-school where he was employed as a teacher. The house is located just off Rueda Medina, across the street from the school. When Freddy was about five or six years old he remembers attending a wedding in centro at the Catholic church with his mom and dad. After the wedding he became separated from his parents in the large boisterous crowd of people gathered to congratulate the bride and groom. Being the only boy in the family of several girls, Freddy fancied himself as a brave little man. He set off walking home. It was around nine-thirty at night, the only existing road was lit with street lights that worked - infrequently. He started out confidently, but by the time he was half way there he was feeling scared and lonely on the spooky, dark streets.
|120 Kg Wasa caught by a family member - child is not Freddy|
|Sharks caught by fishermen - 1980's|
In the early 1970's island life was very simple. Electronic games, cellphones, and personal computers did not exist. Cameras and televisions were scarce. The television programs that were available were shown in black and white. The boring programming consisted of cooking shows, or politicians talking, so kids invented games to amuse themselves. Freddy enjoyed the company of his many cousins; a number of them were as adventurous and mischievous as he was. They had swimming contests, racing from the beach around a boat anchored thirty meters off-shore, and back to the beach. Every week the boys tested themselves to see if they were ready to swim the longer circuit around the second boat, anchored fifty meters away and back to the beach. In the evenings a group of kids would sit on the anchored boats, fishing with hand lines, discussing really important kid-stuff late into the warm tropical nights.
Close in age, cousins Rafael, Tino and Freddy found a number of ways to amuse themselves. One of their best inventions was to create boats from the thick foam packing discarded when a new outboard motor was uncrated. They jammed five or six kids into the foam ship and bounced around the bay until the foam broke into small pieces. The smaller pieces were then carefully collected and the boys would spend the next two or three weeks creating toy sailboats complete with masts, sails, rigging, and keels. When they tested the seaworthiness of their creations, the boats would either be a failure requiring additional engineering modifications, or a amazing success, sailing away on the ocean never to be seen again.
|Freddy with his beautiful mom, and five gorgeous sisters.|
|This was Cancun in 1970 - imagine how rustic Isla was then.|
And to make money to pay for their supplies Freddy and his cousins created a business - of sorts. The island streets at that time were paved with packed sand, but at the intersection of Matamoros and Medina, the sand was surprizingly soft. Suspiciously soft. A handful of the cousins would casually perch on either side of the street, waiting up to thirty minutes for the rare vehicle to appear. When the vehicle stopped at the stop sign, be it the soft drink truck, or the snack delivery van, or a tourist's vehicle the soft sand would trap the front wheels. One of the older boys would run up to the driver cheerfully offering assistance, telling the driver to remain in the vehicle and to wait for his instructions.
|Yadira and Freddy - at a costume party|
There is a history of pirates such as LaFitte, and Mundaca residing on Isla. It would seem that the boys paid particularly close attention to this part of the island history!
Lynda publishes a weekly blog: Notes From Paradise.