Friday, May 16, 2008


I have teased you a few times by mentioning that I have been deported from Mexico twice. Well no more cold showers for you, the teasing is over, here's the long story short.

I first came to Mexico October 10th, 2003 for a vacation to recover from my divorce. In retrospect, I'm not sure if I ever really believed I was just going on vacation, I (we) had sold our home in Toronto, I had gotten rid of a lot of stuff and put the important stuff in storage in my parent's basement and found temporary (permanent) homes for my kitties. The plan was to come down for a month to Cozumel, then head south and see where the wind took me through Central America until the money ran out. So much for plans. Two weeks into my trip I met Hubby on the beach and things changed. I kept delaying leaving Cozumel to stay with him. One December morning I woke up in the B & B to someone opening the door to my room, a MAN, eek! This was one tequila soaked morning too, so it all seemed quite surreal. The Man told me to get up and get dressed, I was going to be late for work. Ummm, work? And, errrr, who are you?

The Man had met me in a bar the previous night and had told me he could get me a job as a bartender (though in those days I was really a professional bar fly). I started working at a little cantina for an curmudgeonly old American man. A few weeks passed, working in the day, partying all night and sleeping very little. I started to get sick, really sick and ended up in the hospital with pneumonia. Yeah, I know, how do you get pneumonia in the tropics? Being so sick, I couldn't work and had to take a week off. When I returned to work, there was a change, a big change and it was just not cool.

Now, in the meantime, I knew nothing about immigration. It was not my plan to live here, I had no idea about anything! The bar manager said he was "taking care of it", he was dealing with the papers with his friends in immigration. Ok, cool dude, whatever, I'm just cruising here and having fun.

Back to the change. Whilst I was coughing up a lung, the bar owner had hired a woman who was known to be a prostitute. Now, if you were to ask her, she would deny it, but she had no visible means of support, and her bills were paid for by her tourist "friends" who would come and take her out every night, buy her clothes and jewelry then go back to her apartment. She would hook these guys in with her sob stories and they would send her money from the States for her "sick mother" or "I was robbed" tales. Some of them actually fell in love with her and were saddened to discover that they were the treat of week for her, vacation relations with dollar signs. So, here I am being told that we were to share the bartending responsibilities. Uh oh. It wasn't long before there were problems and it all came to a head when she accused me of stealing tips (way not true). The bar owner confronted me, we had a fight and I got to have a magical movie moment. I frantically untied the bartender's apron and threw it with mighty force at the bar owner and screamed "I quit!" and stormed off. Man that felt good.

I happily went back to doing nothing, there was still money in the bank and all was good in "la la" land. Except for immigration. I received a letter that I couldn't read and took it to Hubby (then named "Studmuffin"). He told me that I was being kicked out of Mexico. Hmm, that's not good is it? What will they do if I don't go within their 15 days? Not much but I should go to Belize? Ok.

And so go to Belize I did, though it was three months later and Hubby and I had moved to Cancun. The outgoing border agent told me I had to be gone for 48 hours and could
then return to Mexico with a new tourist visa. Groovy, I'm off to Belize but I don't know where! (Insert long Belize story here).

On my return six days later (I really liked Belize), I had to fill in the tourist visa to re-enter Mexico. Easy right? Can't screw that up, can you? Uh huh. In the line that asks for an occupation, I entered "bartender", thinking it was my last job and I would probably be able to get another one more easily if it was on my visa. Such a simple little thing had repercussions a few months later.

When I returned to Cancun, I played around for a little while longer until the money was gone, gone, gone. Time to get a job! I ended up getting a position at the English school (I'm still at the same one) and started the application process for the FM3 again. Now I've got the support of the school, a lot more information and shouldn't have any problems. Except for that pesky little tourist visa that said I was a "bartender". According to immigration, "bartenders" do not qualify for teaching jobs in Mexico. Ohhhh, so the resume, diplomas, letters of recommendation, test scores and job offer from a well known school all meant nothing? Application DENIED, you have 15 days to leave the country. Sigh. At this point, I am about a month pregnant with the yet to be named "Fetus" so hormones were raging, I wasn't drinking and I freaked out. Back to Belize again, to come back with a new tourist visa and try again. This time all was good and I haven't been deported since (yet, haha).

And there you have it, the skeleton of the story, some fun (and not so fun) details omitted so you wouldn't have to read a novela. I've learned a lot since my first year here, I'm on top of things now! To be honest though, I wouldn't change the way things went down, everything happens for a reason and heck, now I've got some stories to tell!


Anonymous said...

I should have know our how-you-came-to-live-in-Cancun stories would be similar!! I too had no real idea I'd end up living the "dream" lol!
I haven't been deported (yet) and man am I jealous! Maybe this time's the charm- I'm in tramite right now- wish me luck! *wink*

Anonymous said...

Just got home and poured a glass of wine and fired up the laptop. I have about five favorite Mexico blogs that I read everynight.

Ok wow. What you have gone through just to stay in your home is amazing. I think you should write a book about moving from the states to Mexico. My husband and I talk about moving to Mexico all the time. We have NO IDEA about the "politics" of living there. No idea.

We've talked about buying a place on Isla Mujeres - our favorite place. I'm always slowing him down saying ... there is more to this than plunking down money.

I love your writing and enjoy keeping up with you. Odd, I know since I DON'T KNOW YOU right? Thank you so much for sharing.

Trina in Idaho

Anonymous said...

Be very glad you weren't given a five year or ten year expulsion. You were simply asked to leave with no long-term repercussions. You were lucky.

Being kicked out for five or ten years would be a whole nother problem.

Anonymous said...

Constant fear of immigration/deportation is one of the downsides to living in paradise, no?

Thanks for sharing your harrowing tale. It will be fun trying to get to sleep tonight.

Manolo said...

Somehow I think you should write "el corrido de la Canucka" telling the adventures, fortunes and misfortunes of your encounters with "la migra" on that side of the border. Yeehaw!

CancunCanuck said...

Lisa- Ok, we must hang out and exchange stories (and other enjoyments). And hey, if you try really really hard, maybe you can be deported too!

Trina- Hi and welcome and thanks for commenting! I'm glad I moved here "by mistake", I don't know if I ever would have had the courage to do it if I knew what it really entailed, lol. It's all worth it in the end though, believe me. I'm torn between telling you to read all you can or telling you to not read anything and just come down! My best advice is to try it for six months, come with enough money to survive for that amount of time and a back up return plan in case you find you just don't "dig it". (Oh, and I came from Canada, not the States, not that it's a big deal to me, but it is to US Immigration, teehee).

Rivergirl- Ech, I was just naive and uninformed, I wasn't doing anything horribly wrong, but yes, I am fortunate!

Heather- How are the nightmares? Yes, having the INM over your head can be a bit disconcerting to say the least, especially now that I've got a Mexican kid, I can't imagine being kicked out and not being able to take him with me.

Manolo- If you write the music, I'll write the words! :)

Alex said...

wow! Quite an adventure!! No doubt you are really brave. I think everything happens for a reason and life give us lovely gifts. You've got something/someone wonderful there, your cute boy!

Heather said...

Nice! Funny how one little word of us trying to be cute can screw up the entire process for yrs to come. Been there done that, and trying to avoid it again.
again thanks for sharing, i am learning so much today catching up on the month i missed, lol!

Anonymous said...

OH MY. What a crazy story. Glad to see I am not the only one who was going to be threatened with deporation... and making the regular visits to Belize!!! ahahahah

D is for Dengue, Depression and Dread

I'm currently sitting in my Cancun apartment, staving off the Covid 19 panic and using all my Jungle Kelly powers to maintain my cal...