Published On: Thu, Mar 31st, 2016

Expat left pistol behind when he moved to Merida from New Orleans in 1991

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Veteran expat Scott Wormwood spoke recently to The Yucatan Times as part of its “Expat Avenue” series of interviews. 
Scott Wormwood decided to move to Merida in 1991 when he found himself carrying a .22 caliber pistol on his bus and walking commute to his job in New Orleans’ French Quarter.
“In 1990, 362 people were killed in New Orleans with guns or knives,” Wormwood recalled. “I was carrying a .22 pistol but I still felt unsafe. That’s when I decided to move to Merida.”
Wormwood, a New Hampshire native whose family moved to Miami and then New Orleans when he was young, had bought a house in Merida in 1986 after learning about the city from friends who were living here. After several years of regular visits and managing house renovations long-distance, Wormwood and his partner moved to Yucatan.
“After I bought my first house here in Merida, I set the goal (to move) in five years or the age of fifty,” said Wormwood, 73. “I made the move in four years. But I came to Mexico debit free. I paid off all my credit cards and cut up all but one. I have been debit free ever since.”
Once in Merida, Wormwood began working for a small company that conducted tours of Mayan sites in Yucatan, Chiapas and Honduras. “I became a self-made Mayan specialist,” said Wormwood, who also worked on his own as a tour host for many years.
About three years ago, after leading 44 visits to Chichen Itza and Uxmal, Wormwood decided to stop conducting tours and focus on working as a real estate agent. He has been helping people relocate to Yucatan for seven years, most recently as associate with White City Properties.
Scott Wormwod. (PHOTO: Robert Adams)

Scott Wormwod. (PHOTO: Robert Adams)


During his 25 years in Merida, Wormwood has observed many positive changes. “There’s now a much larger assortment of products to buy here than when we first came. Back then you had to shop from U.S. catalogs.”

Health care has improved, Wormwood said. Three years ago, he joined IMSS (Mexico’s Social Security program), which provides health coverage in public hospitals and clinics. “I still need to go to a private doctor here occasionally. Hospitals take credit cards in an emergency, but it’s still substantially less (cost) than a U.S. hospital charges.”
Besides his occupation, over his years in Merida, Wormwood has been involved with several charitable groups and organizations, including the Merida English Library. But he said he has scaled back both his volunteer and job activities.
When asked by friends and acquaintances, Wormwood recommends Merida as a place to live — and “not only because it’s part of my business.”
 “It’s a safe, secure, affordable city, and the people are very nice. My advice is to enjoy the moments and the people here. It makes things more pleasureable if you enjoy people. It’s a different culture. We (Americans) don’t need to change it.”
By Robert Adams for TYT
The opinions expressed in this article reflect those of the interviewee and not necessarily those of The Yucatan Times.

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