BootsnAll Travel Network

February Highlight – Oaxaca, Mexico

February 11th, 2008

With this entry, I begin a new series that highlights individual Mexican states…all 31 of them, each with its own culture, history, and TEFL job scene. I will try to bring some of each state’s history and features into focus, as well as to note important contributions made to the world of TEFL by foreign teachers working in the state of the month.

We start with the lovely state of Oaxaca, located in the deep south of Mexico.

Oaxaca, Mexico

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The Mexican Cop on a Diet

February 9th, 2008

Amusing tale from the BBC..


Heavyweight police officers in one Mexican city could soon be offered cash bonuses if they slim down.

A diet of fizzy drinks, tacos and sweets is weighing down crime fighters and leaving criminals on the run.

Authorities in Aguascalientes want to offer 100 pesos ($9) for every kilo shed by their portly policemen.

About a quarter of the city’s 1,600-strong force are reported to be overweight. Doctors would decide how much weight each needed to lose.

“We do have some fat officers. We have been encouraging them for a while to lose weight, to be more agile, to do sport,” a police spokesman told Reuters.

Mexico City once pulled the entire motorcycle cop force of some 700 officers off the roads for diet and exercise, after weeks of ridicule in the media.  These officers used to ride Harley Davidsons, and with the light brown on gold uniforms, they always reminded me of CHiPs (70’s and 80’s American TV show, if you’re unfamiliar).


However, few of these guys bore the trim figure of an Eric Estrada and were frequently featured in city newspapers at local taco stands, or having a hard time staying aloft on the police bike.

fat mexican

Nowadays, Mexico City police have returned to motorcycles, and increasingly, bicycles.  Now there’s a better way to keep in shape.

mexico bike cop

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Thai Cuisine – Rat!

February 6th, 2008

Yes, I should be writing about Mexico, but this story caught my eye.

BBC photo

From the BBC…(and thank you BBC for eliminating my appetite this eve)

Thai fast food sellers are enjoying a boom in rat sales, as people learn to love the taste of the rodent.

While rat has long been eaten in Thailand’s poorer northern regions, a growing number of the country’s roadside vendors are now serving it up.

The rats are drowned and sold uncooked or ready to eat, with happy customers purchasing rat meat for as much as 150 baht ($4.82; £2.30) a kilogram.

“It’s better than chicken,” one customer told the AP news agency.

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Mexico Tourist Visa

November 27th, 2007


Mexican government policy has recently changed on the issuing of  tourist visas to those coming in from the US, Canada, the UK, and many other countries.  All tourists are given the full 180-day visa automatically.  Previously, 90 days was most common, though it was up to the immigration agent you first meet to decide.

This means travelers save the 21 dollar renewal fee when staying more than 90 days, and no more headaches at the airport or immigration office for renewals.

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7 Years Abroad

November 1st, 2007


Today I celebrate seven years abroad in Mexico.  Man, how time flies when you’re having fun.

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English Teaching in Argentina

October 30th, 2007


A foreign teacher over on Dave’s ESL Cafe will be leaving Argentina very soon and has some private classes he would like to pass along.

If you’re interested, you can reach him via Dave’s International Job Forums in the Latin America section or directly by email at

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Dollars, and Pesos, and Euros, oh my

October 29th, 2007


The currency exchange market has been in quite a mood lately, spelling trouble for those traveling around the globe, or working abroad and trying to send home money.

In the last few months, I’ve watched in horror as my home currency, the Canadian dollar, rose up to parity with the US dollar, and is now sitting at 1.05 US.  The Mexican peso, which is the currency my unfortunate salary is denominated in, is pretty much tied to the greenback, so it declines in tandem with the US dollar.

Canadian TEFLers in Japan are unhappy as well as they watch their previously handsome salaries get whittled away as they try to pay back student loans back home.

What’s to blame for all the changes lately?  Let’s ask the experts…

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How to get a job abroad teaching English

October 10th, 2007


So you’ve heard about teaching English abroad and you want to know how to do it…

There are a number of ways to do it.  First, you’ll want to ask yourself a few questions.

1.  Where would you like to go?  Each country and region is different.

2.  How long would you like to stay abroad?

3.  What kind of qualifications, training, and experience do you have?

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TEFL in Ecuador

October 4th, 2007

Ecuador TEFL

There’s a teaching position open in Ecuador, according to a teacher there who is going home and needs someone to replace him. This came in from Dave’s ESL Cafe today.

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Dengue Fever Surges in Latin America

September 30th, 2007


The Associated Press is reporting that dengue fever is on the rise in Latin America, particularly in the southern Mexican states of Chiapas, Oaxaca, and Guerrero.


SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – Dengue fever is spreading across Latin America and the Caribbean in one of the worst outbreaks in decades, causing agonizing joint pain for hundreds of thousands of people and killing nearly 200 so far this year.

The mosquitoes that carry dengue are thriving in expanded urban slums scattered with water-collecting trash and old tires. Experts say dengue is approaching record levels this year as many countries enter their wettest months.

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