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Sheryl Novak of SOLutions Mexico Furniture Store – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Table legs make from cactus, Puerto Nayarit, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIn Puerto Vallarta, you can get by just speaking English. You will not have any issues if you only speak English because Puerto Vallarta is a resort and a vacation area. Most of the people here in Puerto Vallarta will speak a some English. That being said, I always like to remind everybody that we’re guests to this beautiful country, and that it’s always a good idea to learn some Spanish, because if you can show the respect to the people who live here and own the country where you recognize you’re a guest, they will treat you like a queen and a king, and they appreciate that you respect them and their culture.
 
I always joke around that I may not speak a ton of Spanish, but I can kick anybody’s butt in charades. That’s very helpful because the locals in Puerto Vallarta have a great sense of humor, and they love that you try to learn their language and their culture. I would say that I have a proficiency of about 60% in Spanish after living here eight years. 
 
In learning Spanish and any other language, you tend to use the same phrases over and over again, so it shouldn’t be daunting. You start asking the same things. If you’re coming to Puerto Vallarta to visit, you need to know about 5 or 6 main phrases, and those phrases will get you by. Once you’re living in Puerto Vallarta, you need to know a little bit more, and everyone is so helpful.
 
I have a cute little story. I was at a store, and I was trying to explain what it was that I was looking for. I’m trying to pull out every Spanish word I can think of, and after trying to explain in Spanish what I was requiring for two minutes, the Mexican lady behind the counter looked at me and said, “Would you rather say it to me in English?” Oftentimes, while I’m practicing my Spanish and doing terribly, they’re practicing their English on me, and they’re apologizing for doing terribly.  
 
(Table legs make from cactus in a furniture store, Puerto Nayarit, Mexico, pictured.)
Audrey Royem of Ai Real Estate Group – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
 (Audrey Royem attending the  International AMPI Summit in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingUnfortunately, yes you can get by just speaking English in Puerto Vallarta.  In this whole area from Puerto Vallarta south and then on to the north and west through Sayulita, San Pancho (formally known as San Francisco), etc.; the whole of Riviera Nayarit, you can get by just speaking English.
 
A lot of English-speaking people have the intention to learn Spanish when they decide to move here and then they just fall back on their English and they don’t make learning Spanish a priority. As a result, they really miss out on a lot of friends that they could make if they spoke some Spanish, and also, they never really understand what’s going on, whether it’s different laws that might impact them or other scenarios that they might have at a grocery store or with a worker; they’re lost because they don’t speak the language.
 
You can get by just speaking English but I think that you should try to learn Spanish.  I see a lot of expats who speak Spanish or are bilingual and their experience is so much richer. They’re able to accomplish so much more. So getting by is one thing, but really flourishing in a new environment is something else and with that you do need to speak Spanish.  
 
(Audrey Royem attending the  International AMPI Summit in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, pictured.)
Michael Keller of Guardian Insurance Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Lindo Mar Resort, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIn Puerto Vallarta, you can get by if you just speak English. A lot of the expats who come down here do. Some of them have lived in Puerto Vallarta for 10 to 30 years and they don't really know any Spanish. Because Puerto Vallarta's one of the biggest tourist locations in Mexico, a lot of the Mexicans have learned to speak English.
 
Even the hotels, resorts, and restaurants will pay for their Mexican workers to take classes for English. I have a friend that lives down the street from me and my Mexican co-worker said, "He definitely lived in Los Angeles. His English is just way too good. There's barely an accent." So I finally asked him. His answer was, "No. I used to work at a timeshare and they paid for my English classes down here at Puerto Vallarta. I just learned English living here in the city." 
 
It's good to be able to speak Spanish. Sometimes when I go to Walmart, all the products are in Spanish. You have to be able to read and understand a bit of Spanish to know what kind of meat you're buying or other similar things. 
 
However, in dealing with the government or for example in getting the cable guy to come out, Spanish is the only language they know. I'm lucky enough because I live a couple of doors down from one of my Mexican co-workers. So if you have a Mexican friend who is always willing to help you, that is definitely helpful. I just had a gas tank delivered so that I would get hot water and gas for my stove to cook with. The delivery guy didn't speak any English whatsoever. I had my Mexican friend who spoke Spanish come so I could make sure I knew that he was installing it right and I knew what I needed to do in case I have a gas leak. 
 
In dealing with government offices in Puerto Vallarta, for example, you need to pay your electric bill or water bill, none of the government staff really speak English. If you go to government-run hospitals, the staff do not really speak English there. 
 
Getting around day-to-day like going down to the boardwalk, buying food, or taking a cab or a bus, you can get by in English; but it is better if you know Spanish.
 
(Lindo Mar Resort, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, pictured.)

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