Today it is my pleasure to interview a wonderful woman who has traveled all over the world and who now proudly calls Playa del Carmen in the Riviera Maya her home. Years ago, Regina Puentes and I met in a yoga class and have been friends ever since.
A Passport Full of Stamps
Regina knew from a young age her life’s goal would be to travel the world. She first visited Europe and after living for several years in London she moved to the U.S., where she fell in love with the country. It was in San Francisco that she earned her license in Cosmetology.
After applying for residency in the U.S., Immigration officials told her she must return to Mexico and await their decision. She didn’t know it at the time but fate had brought her back to Mexico for a reason. She says “looking back it was one of the best things which could have happened to me”. A friend’s recommendation led her to Playa del Carmen in the Riviera Maya.
The Ego Boost
A friend asked Regina to help open the new Bahia Principe resort, in 1999, and then to run the hotel spa. She thoroughly enjoyed her job and eventually said yes to opening three additional spas, including one in the Dominican Republic. A few years later, the resort went through a change in management and Regina decided to go visit her mother in the U.S. It was there she was ordained as a non-denominational minister.
Performing Wedding Ceremonies in the Riviera Maya
Regina believes that when two people promise their love for one another it is the most wonderful time in their lives and she enjoys being a part of it. Her spiritual ceremonies are neither legal nor religious and she can perform vows in English, French, Italian and Spanish. Often, she does a renewal of vows for those who have already had a religious or legal marriage in another country. She says sometimes people want to come to the beautiful Riviera Maya to exchange vows with a sand ceremony or near the fascinating natural cenotes of the Yucatan.
Mexico or Cuba
Regina has visited Cuba enough times to be considered an expert on the country. Her Grandmother is Cuban and she fell in love with a Cuban man. She returned to Mexico because she believes that even if the Cuban government assures the people of a better future, things will continue to be the same for those living under the country’s 50-year-old regime.
She prefers Mexico because of its rich culture and diverse population. She says she doesn’t like it when outsiders speak ill of her native country and hopes people will visit the Riviera Maya to see for themselves how safe the area is and how welcoming the people of the Caribbean side of Mexico can be.
Mexico or Cuba