Today we all hopped back in the van and headed to Playa Del Carmen. From there, we took an hour long ferry ride to the beautiful but touristy Cozumel. After we arrived, we had a little bit of free time to grab some lunch and go to a few stores. Then we all met up again and jumped on a glass bottom boat to go snorkeling! While snorkeling we were able to see many different and colorful fish along with more colorful coral compared to what we have seen already. Included in this assortment were; a spotlight parrotfish, sergeant majors, rock beauty, trumpet fish, sea fans, brain coral, squirrelfish, bluestripe grunts, and a green moray eel. There were a few notable differences between snorkeling in Cozumel vs. Akumal. One of the main differences was that at or day or time, you can find sea turtles hanging out in Akumal. The coral in Cozumel is also much more bright and vivid and we went to deeper parts in Cozumel, upwards of 40 feet in some areas. This made visibility seem much better than it is in Akumal. After about two and a half hours, we went back to the island where we were set free to explore all that Cozumel has to offer.
While exploring, we were heckled by every vendor in sight. "Come over here,""Buy this," "Are you hungry," "eat here." It was so overwhelming that it was impossible to enjoy shopping anywhere! The vendors even followed a group of us to a restaurant; where we were heckled numerous times while trying to enjoy dinner. As much as we wanted to say "no," it can be tough sometimes, especially when you see a woman struggling to make a living with her four children at her side.
Through this experience, I have seen what poor, hungry, and desperate looks like. It upsets me to see how much harder these vendors lives are than mine and how differently we live. This was a huge difference compared to the lives of people in the states. I have seen how far someone will go to provide for their family and I am left with two questions; "How did this person get in this situation," and "how can they get out of it?"