Yucatan Peninsula EXPAT MEMOIR

Do Yucatan Peninsula Expats enjoy living out of the U.S.? How do Americans living in Yucatan fare? Kristine Ellingson describes 21 delightful, but challenging, years in a Mayan village married to a Mayan man in her book Tales from the Yucatan Jungle. In this video, she explains some of what she’s learned about the Mayan people from personal experience.

In her book, Tales from the Yucatan Jungle: Life in a Mayan Village, Kristine allows readers to glimpse a world seldom seen by tourists. Some of the experiences she shares are:

  • Yucatan Peninsula Expat

    Carmen, Kristine’s Mayan mother-in-law, makes tortillas. Photo courtesy and copyright 2010 Sheila Clark, used with permission

    Being brought back from the brink of blood poisoning death with the help of a “curandero” (a traditional healer)

  • Learning how to care for dying family members where there are no hospitals or funeral homes
  • Buying a daughter for 10,000 pesos
  • Living in a rural Mayan family complex that includes two houses
  • Using childhood horseback riding skills at the annual village rodeo or “corrida”
  • Giving appropriate Mayan weddings gifts–not a blender or dinnerware
  • Understanding how her upbringing in an Oregon lumber camp prepared her to live in a small Mayan village
  • Being fingerprinted when getting married
  • Surviving the harsh Mexican motoring laws after a traffic accident
  • Getting lost in Merida, the capital of the State of Yucatan, before knowing Spanish
  • Participating in a shamanic ceremony to heal the land

Below, please find the timeline of this “Yucatan Peninsula EXPAT MEMOIR” video:

00:04 “This is home.” So, I don’t go back.

00:15 “Why am I here?”

00:25 I was enchanted with Uxmal

01:00 And, people will ask, “Do you like it?”

01:11 most peaceful places in the entire world

01:21 They’re very good to their women

01:51 The Sleeping Hut

02:12 all of my junk was all the way around

02:25 Carmen was just a saint

02:40 People ask, “Why are you in the village?”

02:55 It’s the real people

03:02 During a hurricane . . .

03:08 And nobody’s really asking for money

03:17 They’re very open, friendly, warm, giving people

03:29 they don’t hold grudges.

03:47 because they forgive . . .

04:13 It’s not a gift-giving society

04:58 The whole idea of getting together is

05:06 nothing to do with the stack of presents

05:09 These people are genuinely happy.

Video details:

Music: Sony Creative Software, Cinescore Con Ritmo “Latin Twister” composed by James Johnson Royalty Free

Photographs: Copyright 2000 Kristine Ellingson, used with Permission except for:

  • Uxmal Pyramid, Temple of the Magician, Medium Shot and Close Up: Copyright 2008 John J Chapman, Used with Permission
  • Uxmal Pyramid Long Shot, copyright 2008 Carol Chapman, Used with Permission
  • Carmen making Tortillas, Photo courtesy of and Copyright 2010 Sheila Clark, Used with Permission
  • Kristine in front of village houses, Mayan village woman with fruit cart, Mayan women making tortillas: Photo courtesy of and Copyright 2000 Santiago Dominguez, Used with Permission


Carol Chapman

Hi, I'm Carol Chapman. I first traveled to Yucatan to find images of my Atlantis past life memories in Mayan ruins. I've continued to visit this wonderful land and it's amazing people because I love the place.

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