Thursday, August 14, 2014




     It's easy to find Zumba Classes all over the world, right? You just go to and near the bottom of the Home Page is a box called "FIND A CLASS".  You can enter the name of any city and state in 180 countries and click "SEARCH CLASSES". Even in the smallest cities, you will receive a list of Certified Zumba Instructors (ZIN) and their class locations that are nearby and the class times. You will easily click on "Details" for more information about the Instructor, about the class, and even a map of the class location. You can usually contact the Instructor by clicking "ABOUT" next to the Instructor's name, then "CONTACT", and send a brief message or question through this website. The Instructors almost always respond promptly and in a friendly manner.  

   It wasn't so easy in Playa Huatabampito, near Huatabampo this year..... In some cases, discovering the location where Zumba classes were being held became an experience in itself. What an adventure it was to try to find the class location nearest to Playa Huatabampito where we were camped in an RV Park right on the beach! I searched the Zumba Fitness website for classes near Huatabampo, the larger city in the area. The Zumba Licensed Instructor was Fatima Maria Rodriguez Verduzco and her address was “Zumba Studio in Etchoropo”. She had no phone number or e-mail address listed. We decided to take a drive in our PT Cruiser and explore the area. Using the GPS and our GuiaRoji Mexico Map, we found Ejido Etchoropo at the end of a paved road running through miles of farmland. It was only about 8 miles from Playa Huatabampito, an easy drive if you ignored the GPS which wanted us to turn down every dirt road we came to and head cross country through the farmland. Instead, we turned left at the first paved road we came to, newly paved with yellow guardrails over the bridge. Another left at the end of this new road, a few more miles of farmland, and the pavement ended at a village.
     This was another world, one that many people cannot imagine. An Ejido is a town owned communally by the residents. This one was remote, secluded, and seemed very basic when we first entered it. The roads were dirt, many homes built of adobe, chickens and dogs wandered everywhere, and there were very few cars on the road. We passed a small elementary school, a water purification plant, the Ejido Office, and several Abarrotes (mini-markets). The town was alive with people, and the more we drove the more interesting it seemed. Children were playing soccer in the streets, women were watering their gardens, and people were outside talking to each other! What a 1950’s concept! I loved the contented, community feeling here! The people weren’t sophisticated, but they didn’t look poor either, and they looked healthy. That was what struck me as I thought about it later. The pace of life was slow in this town, the facilities were basic, and the people appeared happy and healthy. The slow pace of life contributes to a healthy life, I believe. That is part of what we have lost in the United States and many other countries in the world where life is too busy with trying to make a buck and “get ahead of the Joneses”.
     As we drove through town, we realized we were being stared at, by children and adults alike. We were strangers in a strange land. We were outsiders, and we stuck out like a sore thumb in our PT Cruiser with a surfboard strapped to the roof. We finally found the central Plaza—every town and village seems to have a Plaza, no matter how small the town is. There were folding chairs set up around the perimeter of the square and three women wearing what was probably their Sunday church dresses, were talking together near a refreshment table. It appeared they were preparing for a school or community ceremony or party. As we approached them to ask for directions to the Zumba Studio, we received wary looks from all three of the women. When we greeted them with the customary “Buenas Tardes (Good Afternoon)”, they replied in kind, but their expressions were not the smiles we were accustomed to receiving in the tourist towns we have visited. We asked if they knew about the Zumba Studio and they shook their heads. I
showed them my paper with the Zumba Instructor’s name and photo. Then, one said in Spanish, “Do you mean Fatima?” I said, “Yes, Fatima Maria”, thinking that if I knew her first and second name, that would give us credibility. Yes, they knew Fatima. Of course—in small villages like this, everyone knows everyone. So, we got the “Go down to the pink house and turn…” version of directions. The closest we could get to an address for the Zumba Studio in Ejido Etchoropo was that from the Plaza, it is past the Water Purification Plant, past the Elementary School, and near Abarrotes Anjelica. I wanted to take photos in this village, but it felt too intrusive. The sun was getting low in the sky, so we had to head for our RV Park before it got dark. On this trip, we discovered Ejido Etchoropo, a very interesting, very Mexican village. Maybe next time we will find the Etchoropo Zumba Studio.
     Or, maybe next time when I look up Zumba Classes on, there will be a new Zumba
teacher at a new Zumba studio near Playa Huatabampito. The one constant in Mexico is that things are always changing. Thank goodness for the “Class Finder” and the internet. I can find current Zumba classes near almost any small town in Mexico!
     Read more about our adventures in Mexico and Zumba Classes we actually found in my upcoming book "Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico: A Search for Sunshine, Sassy Exercise, Savory Food, And a Simpler Life".

COPYRIGHT © 2014 by Terry L Turrell
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