When the International Women’s Club of Merida (IWC) got started, in many ways, it felt like a lifeline. The international community was far smaller back then, and individuals were spread out all over the city. Before that first meeting, I only knew 4 or 5 women who were not born in Yucatán. They spoke fluent English, and we talked about having a club. And finally on the last Saturday in October of 1984, twenty-two of us attended the first meeting of the IWC.
The IWC is open to women of all nationalities who enjoy a friendly English-speaking environment. The majority of the members are from the USA and Canada, but at different times we have members from other countries in Latin America, Europe, Asia – a few African and Indian women, and even a few from the Lands Down-Under.
Our group provides a setting where English-speaking women of all ages feel comfortable sharing conversation in our own language. You might ask why we have such a need to spend time with women like ourselves. And the answer to that question is complicated.
I am typical of the early members. I was young, but I had traveled quite a bit, and actually lived for a time in Peru. I loved learning about different cultures, seeing the sights and traveling the open road. But when I married Jorge, it did not take long to truly realise that I had made a life-long commitment not only to my husband, but also to a very different way of life. I had not considered how much I would miss my family, my country and my culture. There was no internet, phone calls from Mexico to Canada were terribly expensive, and so my only contact with Canada was through hand written letters, delivered by snail mail.
Within a short time, I felt nearly as close to some of my IWC friends as I feel to my family. We raised our children together and celebrated our holidays with them. These women understood all my little foibles and fears and they shared my joys. Most people know us as a social club, and we definitely are. But we are also very active in community service and in self-improvement.
Our club will soon be 40 years old and we have so much to show for all those years of sisterhood. One of our regular activities is a monthly morning coffee klatch and another is the afternoon tea. We also share a monthly breakfast at a local restaurant, and at our once-a-month general meeting, we have a speaker as well as discuss our different projects and activities. You can read more about the IWC at: https://iwcmerida.com/ If you plan to be in Merida for a visit, for a short stay, or forever, the IWC might become an important resource for you, just as it is for me.
The following photos here were taken at our monthly tea, held yesterday at the brand new home of one of the club’s most vital members. What can I say about the event? “As usual, a wonderful time was held by all.”