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Jessica Winkler

YL: When did you move to the Yucatan and from where did you move?

Jessica: I arrived here August of 2011 from Nicaragua, where I had been living for a year. I’m from Canada originally.

YL: Why did you move?

Jessica: My cousin was living in Merida and I came to visit him.

YL: Why did you choose the city you now live in over other places in the world?

Jessica: When I found out there was wind in Progreso 10 months a year, I was sold.

YL: Did you buy a house right away or rent first? Do you think you made the right decision?

Jessica: I rent right now. Hopefully one day I will be able to afford a house.

YL: Are you doing now what you intended to do when you moved here? If not, why not?

Jessica: Yes!

YL: What are the most interesting things about living here for you?

Jessica: I have met so many interesting people.

YL: What do you absolutely love about living here?

Jessica: I love that you are so close to a “North American” style city and yet, still have the culture of a Mexican beach town.

YL: What do you miss from your “former life”?

Jessica: I miss my family and my friends.

YL: What don’t you miss from your “former life”?

Jessica: I don’t miss the cold!

YL: What is your favorite local food?

Jessica: The fruit called pitaya.

YL:What is your favorite time of year here and why?

Jessica Winkler giving kiteboarding instruction in Progreso Yucatan MexicoJessica: The warm and windiest season. That is when my business is busy and my career is at its peak.

YL:Where do you take guests who visit you here to show them something really special?

Jessica: I usually tell my guests to visit Uxmal because I think it is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.

YL: The last time you went out to dinner, where did you go and why?

Jessica: I go out to dinner all the time. Last night was Flamingos, here in Progreso, because it’s cheap and the food is always consistent.

YL:How is the city where you live different for residents than it is for tourists?

Jessica: My world is a little different because 90% of the people I know are kiteboarders and they are all wonderful. The kiteboarding community is full of people who share a similar passion, so we are all united in that.

YL: Do you have friends from the local community or do you pretty much hang with the expat crowd?

Jessica: No all my friends are from Merida. I love the expat crowd, but I spend my time with kiteboarders.

YL: If you are working or own a business, what is it like owning and running a business here or working here? How is it different from doing the same thing in your country of origin?

Jessica: Owning a business here is fun. My life is amazing, as I work on a beach in the warm ocean. That can’t compare that to Canada :)

YL: Do you find it more or less difficult to make a living here than in your country of origin?

Jessica: I don’t find it any more difficult than trying to start a business in Canada. I actually think a lot of things are easier here.

YL:Are your work habits different here?

Jessica: Yes. I’m VERY relaxed with everything and I find that I can take the time I want to enjoy my life.

YL: Did you speak Spanish when you moved here? Where did you learn Spanish (if you did)? Is the language barrier a problem for you in your daily life?

Jessica: I still speak terrible Spanish. I understand it well, but they speak such a different version of Spanish here in the Yucatan than they did in Nicaragua, so I have found that it’s really hard for me to pick it up. Part of it might be because all my friends speak in very rich slang, which takes some getting used to.

YL: Why did you choose the city you now live in over other places in the world?

Jessica: There are more days of wind a year here than in any other place I have been so far. That, coupled with the fact that it is close to a major city (Merida) makes Progreso perfect for me.

YL: What interesting Spanish word or saying have you learned lately? What does it mean and how did you learn it?

Jessica: It is a Mayan word….. and I can’t tell you! LOL :-)

YL: Are you a Mexican citizen? Do you plan to become one?

Jessica: I have my FM3 visa for now.

YL: Have you traveled much within Mexico? If so, where and what has been your favorite location to visit? What did you see there that you liked so much?

Jessica: I went to Puerta Vallarta for a kite competition and flew into Guadalajara. I have travelled all over the Mayan Riviera. I really like Playa del Carmen. I have wonderful friends there and always have a good time when I go there.

YL: How are you treated by Mexicans? Do you feel resented or welcome?

Jessica: Mexicans are the nicest and most welcoming people I have met. They make me feel like I’m not a gringa.

YL: How do you feel about the economic prospects of Mexico? Of the Yucatan?

Jessica: In my business, I feel it is very good as I have the only kite school operating in the area. I bring in lots of tourists who would never normally not come or know about Progreso. Also, since I have been living here i’ve accomplished some major things. I won:

  • 3rd in Mexico for women’s freestyle (kiteboarding)
  • 1st in the Yucatan for women’s freestyle (kiteboarding)
  • 3rd in the world for women’s speed (kiteboarding)

I’ve also been featured in numerous magazines around the world, which is good for me and good for Yucatan. So I feel prospects are really good right now!

YL: What are some changes you are hoping for in the city in which you live? Do you see any progress towards these changes?

Jessica: I think the biggest problem is garbage. It’s disgusting and all the glass on the beach is also so dangerous for myself and my students.

YL: What are your plans for the future here?

Jessica: I plan on developing my kite school into a big successful company. I also plan to market merchandise that is associated with my sport.

YL: What is the one most important piece of advice you would give someone buying property and/or planning a move to the Yucatan?

Jessica: Try it first. I think it is a good idea to spend some time here and see if you like it before you make any decisions.

YL: If you could say something to all the people of Mexico, what would you say?

Jessica: Respect what you have, and stop destroying it.

YL: Is there anything else you would like to add for our readers?

Jessica: Yes, if you are interested in kiteboarding lessons please visit my websites! www.kitebeachyucatan.com and www.jessicawinkler.net. I look forward to meeting you!


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4 Responses to “Jessica Winkler”

  1. I have met Jessica and she is a wonderful representative of Canada and her sport.
    Progreso is fortunate to have her as a business woman and resident.

    John Green orangeville Ontario Canada.

  2. Thank you John :) I appreciate the compliment.

  3. When navigating to your webpages, all I get is a blank screen. Have you changed your websites? I am planning to more to Merida in the next few months and would like to get more info on kiteboarding.

  4. Stephen, we were able to get to the websites okay… you might try again. Sometimes, there’s a glitch in the internet :-)

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