The Spanish Language
If you are traveling to Mexico, it will help to know some Spanish. At the larger hotels and in the major tourist areas there are plenty of English-speaking natives, so you can get by without speaking Spanish, but if you venture away from these areas in search of the real Mexico, some knowledge of the language would be helpful. Fortunately, the Mexican people tend to be quite patient and will take the time to try to understand what you want and help out when asked. You'd be surprised how far you can get with a few Spanish words, hand gestures, and a smile. Any attempts you make to communicate in their language will be appreciated, so even if all you know is sí and gracias, you should use them.
This section is aimed primarily at those who have had some contact with the spanish language, a course in high school perhaps, but would like to expand on that. I will be adding vocabulary lists organized by subject which can be reviewed and taken along on trips to Mexico. So, for example, when going to a restaurant, take the Food list; if you have to visit the doctor or pharmacy, check the Medical list; if your car breaks down, use the Mechanical list, etc.
¿Quieres Pisar? An anecdote about beginning to converse in Spanish.
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The Pacific Coast of Mexico