Island Life

This passage describes life on a very small island off the coast of Mexico.

Lexile Level: 860L

Categories: People & Places


Just off the east coast of Mexico lies a small island called Isla Mujeres, which in Spanish means "Island of Women." The island can be reached only by ferries or boats. About 15,000 people live there year round, but thousands more from countries around the world visit each year. Tourism is the island's most important industry. Many islanders own or work in restaurants, hotels, or shops. Islanders who own boats take tourists on fishing and diving trips. Some islanders are fishermen and supply restaurants with a fresh daily catch. Most locals live in villages called colonias. Few people have cars. They ride the bus or take taxis downtown. Many locals have mopeds. Sometimes an entire family piles onto one motorbike, even the dog! A few islanders own golf carts, and many tourists rent carts to tour the island. On Sunday nights, families gather in the town square, called the zocalo, for good food and performances by school children.


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