“You’re not black here. The locals won’t call you black“.
These were some of the first words uttered to me by a (white, European, male) island inhabitant when I arrived on Big Corn Island.
“You’s a white gyal,” another friend who was born and raised on the island his whole life, told me on the bleach-white sands, one blisteringly hot day.
I remember looking at all the other people, similar in shade to me and I felt… un poco confuso (a little confused).
Why could I not be black here?!
Part of the beauty of Big Corn island is that its reputation is almost totally eclipsed by its more famous neighbour, Little Corn island.
This allows the larger, more overlooked of the two locations to retain a feeling of true remoteness — this, despite the fact more than 10,000 people live there.
But because most of them are locals and because most tourists head straight to Little Corn, for the visitors who really give the bigger island a chance, they’ll feel as if they’ve discovered their own little slice of paradise.
When considering where to book a Spanish home stay in Central America a couple of weeks back, I found myself really spoilt for choice, which is only a good thing when it comes to travel plans, I reckon.
I’d heard from friends and other backpackers, that Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua were all great places to learn the language and stay with locals, but I couldn’t decide where to fly to.
To me, throwing myself into a stranger’s house to learn a language wasn’t a scary prospect, so that part would be the same, where-ever I chose to go. If it was going to be awkward, or isolating I was prepared for that to happen in any country.
But I love travelling local and I love travelling authentic so with the money and the fear factored out, I had to look at other elements to help me decide where I wanted to learn.