From my friend Ana Paula, who is French-Portuguese.

  1. How long have you been in Puebla?

I have been living in Puebla since June 2007.

2. Why did you decide to move here?

The first time I came to Puebla was for a student exchange program with the university UPAEP (Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla). It was my first time in Mexico. I decided to study in Puebla because it was well located and I could move and travel very easily throughout the country. I met a lot of people, among them my current boyfriend. Long distance relationships are difficult, therefore one year following the student exchange program I came back to Puebla and decided to stay.

3. What are you doing now?

I am a French teacher at a private high school in Puebla

 4. What do you find difficult about living here?

Although you live for a long time in a foreign country, you always feel that there are cultural differences between your culture and the culture of the new country. I think I am well adapted to Mexico, but there are still some difficult things about living here such as: machismo, the lack of entrepreneurship or initiative, the fear to express their ideas or opinions, the lack of solidarity at work, the importance of the appearances and overwhelming superficiality (overall in the “Poblana” society), the slowness of administrative processes and in the day to day life style.

 5. What do you really like about it?

I love Mexicans for their happiness and their great generosity (“mi casa es tu casa”= “my home is your home). They have strong bonds with their family. They do not feel as stressed as European people. They enjoy their life fully. I love the Mexican folklore and admire the pride they feel to be Mexicans. I think Puebla is a wonderful city for its colonial and colorful architecture and its perfect climate.

6. What advice would you give to someone wanting to move here?

Prepare your arrival:

– Get contacts (for a job,to find a place to live, etc)

– Gather information on Mexican culture and lifestyle

– Be open-minded and patient to understand Mexican culture

 7. Favorite food here?

Tacos, ‘esquites’ (Mexican snack of grains of corn which are boiled in salted water. It is served in small cups and topped with lime juice, chile powder, salt and mayonnaise) and ‘chiles rellenos’ (green chiles stuffed with cheese).

 8. Favorite drink?

Mezcal (beverage made from the maguey plant or ‘Agave’)

 9. Favorite activity?

I love walking in the colonial downtown and through several parks of the city.

 10. Favorite place?

In Puebla: Puebla, Atlixco, Cuetzalan

In Mexico: Mazunte, Oaxaca, Mayan Riviera, Chiapas

 11. Favorite holiday?

I love the syncretism of the Day of Dead between Spanish and pre-Hispanic cultures and Mexican traditions for Christmas holiday.