True Nature Travels Blog

Happy New Year! With a fresh start to a new year comes a chance to wipe the slate clean and for personal ideals to be acknowledged and possibly realized. It is wonderful when they are, although if we are honest, sometimes resolutions are commonly forgotten — sometimes almost as soon as we are getting used to writing the new years digits on forms. Yet in the coming year of 2020, which is not just a new year but a brand new decade, is a bit more of a big deal for intention setting.

Not only is it a new decade, the astrological weather shows incredibly strong energies to support you setting not just resolutions, but some much more serious intentions that can be sparked, enhanced, and honored as a part of your practice in a powerful way. 

intention setting

JANUARY OF 2020 HAS POTENT ENERGY TO SPARK YOUR NEW YEARS INTENTIONS 

Planets in the sky show the weekend of January 10th to be a wonderful time to devote, or set aside some time for yourself or your spiritual practice to find clarity around what it is your highest self would like you bring into this next phase. Devoting some time for this on this weekend, you can take your New Years Resolutions and have more time to develop them after some recovery time from the holiday hustle and overwhelm.

This weekend would be the best time to go within to see what you would like to bring fourth. Meditation, yoga practice, journaling, self care, and even ritual will all be wonderful tools to help you with intention setting and manifest. Let me share why. 

January 10th’s Full Moon will be a Lunar Eclipse in the sign of Cancer around Noon Eastern Standard Time, so over the weekend you can bathe in the afterglow of this event with very potent energy to work with. The Solar Eclipse on the Eve of December 25th will have ended the previous six-month cycle in 2019. The Lunar Eclipse on the 10th (and 3-day window afterward) will set the new stage for the next six-month cycle to come. This is a perfect time for intention setting for the next six-month cycle, the new year, and the new decade. 

intention setting

POTENT FULL MOON LUNAR ECLIPSE IN THE SIGN OF CANCER ON JANUARY 10TH FOR INTENTION SETTING

The Moon rules Cancer which gives it double potency being in its own sign. Cancer is good energy for turning inwards and attuning to our deepest needs and self-care. Cancer can also be deeply sensitive and incredibly soft and nurturing energy to use to tune in these needs. Possibly even stay home and tend to more self-care than is typical. It is a water sign so it can be guided by emotional pulls, the feminine, and receptivity. It wants a container to feel secure – so holding space, identifying intentions and deeper needs are ideal for this. The water can also help loosen the soil, so the receptivity of the watery Cancer energy is also very fertile soil for new seeds or to be planted as our intentions moving forward. 

On Friday the 10th of January, the Moon aligns with the North Node of the Moon, known as our destiny or something akin to a North star, which makes it extra auspicious and powerful. On Saturday the 11th the Moon will be in a supportive Trine to Neptune in Pisces – which is great energy to dream, and dream big with celestial support. On Sunday the 12th, the Moon will move into Leo to help us move into our heart space, inner fire, and bring courage to step into our dreams as well as have fun with creative energy and inspiration that emerges and wants to come out to play after going within. This will be the bright nurturing sunshine needed to warm the soil and assist with the manifestation through intention setting. 

intention setting

THE LIGHT OF THE SUN GIVES LIFE TO MANIFEST WITH JOY AND FROM OUR HEART 

In addition to this, Jupiter, the planet of positivity and expansion moved in Capricorn on December 2, 2019 for approximately the next year to follow. This is a significant shift in energy that you may have noticed or picked up on. Capricorn energies are very stabilizing for Jupiter’s sometimes ungrounded optimism. Working with these energies gives a chance to ground our dreams in reality more than before. Capricorn is also an Earth sign, which can gift us with more accessible energy to the healing and grounding energy of Mother Earth. 

intention setting

EARTH ENERGIES CAN BE INCREDIBLY HEALING, SUPPORTING, AND GROUNDING 

As for divine Masculine and Feminine energies, these will both be in liberating signs. Even though Jupiter has left Sagittarius, Mars will now be there. The divine masculine energies will bee seeking the bigger picture and greater truth fueled by fire, and we will also have more access to our own inner guru, instinctual and intuitive nature, as well as that which is a bit more light-hearted and free.

Meanwhile, Venus will be transiting the sign of Aquarius. This translates into our inner values are in a really in a great place to be focused on, known, and surrendered to the Universe for new growth. Aquarius is known for individuation, de-conditioning outdated belief structures, and liberation from the known. As Venus, our inner feminine nature is attracting our newly established inner values with new ground, our inner masculine action-oriented Mars is seeking the big picture and greater ultimate way to get there. 

intention setting

OUR INNER MASCULINE IS READY TO EXPLORE NEW TERRITORY IN JANUARY 2020 

Of course, be aware that all the lunar activity is going to be opposing Jupiter, the South Node of The Moon representing the past, Saturn, and Pluto in Capricorn – all major players, so the intensity will be amped up. However, the positive spin here is seeking how to harness the energy of dissolving the old structures that are no longer supporting Soul growth, let them go, and really know and set the new intentions in the fertile soil of our path moving forward. 

We have to exhale and let go stagnant air to be able to take in new breath, a new spark of life, and a new direction moving forward that is alignment with our path. Sometimes we have to clear the old accumulation to make room for the new. The beginning of 2020 is proving to provide incredibly rich energies for intention setting, and accessing our higher selves as well as our inner being simultaneously, for next cycle, next decade, and the New Year ahead. 

intention setting

BREATHE IN NEW LIFE AND INTENTIONS FOR THE NEW YEAR AND NEXT DECADE OF 2020 

 

About the Author

Tracy Rubino, also known as Star Trace, is a native of Denver, Colorado. She is an intuitive, writer, artist, animal advocate, astrologer, tarot reader, and yogi. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design. She completed her 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training with Axis Yoga in 2012, and has specialized in teaching Restorative Yoga for many years. In 2015 she began studying Evolutionary Astrology intensely with The School of Jeffrey Wolf Green. In addition to this, she has also received a Reiki certification specializing in animal healing in late 2017, as well as having worked at an animal shelter and has also been a beloved pet sitter since college. She has her own rescue dog and loves to be in nature or meditating. She is currently a Virtual Assistant at Following the Divine Mystery with Natalie Cutsforth. She can be reached at lightbluehappenings@gmail.com or found at facebook.com/lightbluehappenings via Sagittarius Arrows.

True Nature Travels Blog

A Costa Rica Yoga Retreat

A UNIQUE JOURNEY TO LIBERATION OF THE HIGHEST SELF

When I started to prepare to lead this upcoming Costa Rica yoga retreat in June, I tossed around a million ideas of what I thought would be cool to share with students for a week intensive study. For example, I thought about working towards attaining advanced asanas but I wanted something MORE. Even as a teacher, I want to come away from this retreat feeling fulfilled and recharged.

Attend a Costa Rica Yoga Retreat

I met with a woman who is looking to get into yoga – she started out by telling me that she has had previous back surgeries and for many years has had chronic physical pain. When I asked her what she wanted to get out of our private yoga sessions, she mentioned to “stretch” and “not feel in pain every day”. The more we talked, our conversation got deeper. Because of the injury that led to the surgeries, she was laid off from her job, which then led to months of being contained to the home as she could not get around very well and obviously financial worries became an issue. You can imagine how this eventually led to a very dark place of depression and pain pill dependancy.

I honestly feel that the universe takes care of us and does not let us wallow around in the dark for too long, especially when we are ready and open to make a change. When we finally got to the bottom of things, I mentioned that the reason why I practice yoga personally is to have FREEDOM. Freedom from WHATEVER is keeping me from being happy. Being in chronic pain can feel like a prison, physically and mentally, so we look to open the areas of the body that have been injured and search for freedom from pain. Depression, anxiety and consistent sadness can also feel like shackles around your brain and then we physically manifest these emotions. Allowing yourself to LET GO and BE FREE from these issues is a lot of work but it IS possible to find that freedom.

Or maybe you don’t suffer from these particular matters but know that there is something bigger meant for you…you just haven’t figured it out…yet. I feel like FREEDOM AND LIBERATION is attainable for many different areas of our lives and the ULTIMATE GOAL OF THIS BEAUTIFUL FREEDOM AND LIBERATION IS…..HAPPINESS AND CONNECTION WITH OUR HIGHEST PURPOSE.

There is a reason why each of us are here on this beautiful Earth! I want the students who experience this week with me on a Costa Rica yoga retreat to come away feeling like they have a closer knowledge and are at peace with who they are, why they are here and what they will do once they get home to keep living with this flame lit inside. All I ask is that you show up with an open mind, a ready heart and are willing to experience the unknown. This will be an exhilarating time of physical movement paired with breath, unlocking the barriers to allow the life force within to flow. There will be opportunities to have meditation, reflection, and internal study as well as group support. We will do something that serves our community spirit by a local service project. Plenty of time will be open for you to schedule adventures such as zip lining, lounging by the pool, spa treatments, hiking and so much more! Costa Rica is the perfect backdrop for this rejuvenating retreat aligned with the healing energy of nature. I could not be more honored to share this week with all who attend.

Each person is on their own unique journey and by attending this retreat, I hope to guide you to a place where you understand and connect with your highest Self. You deserve it!!!

Namaste, Kim

Lead A Costa Rica Yoga Retreat

True Nature Travels Blog

This will be Shaktis 3rd year to partner with True Nature Education and lead a retreat in Costa Rica. We are thrilled beyond words to have such a dynamic and vibrant trio of ladies as a part of our family. We are constantly inspired by the community they build with their students! We asked them, what they thought made their yoga collective so strong and present, and their answer was simple, retreats. community1 Retreats are a fantastic opportunity to build bounds, break barriers, and form connections with your fellow yogis. Want to experience this magnetism first hand? Join their retreat today! Click here to learn more and sign-up. Explore more of Kelly, Jennifer, and Lauren’s Costa Rican retreat and how they foster this feeling of togetherness. Lauren was kind enough to share her thoughts and a little preview of the Pura Vida that is in store!

Beach 8 “One thing I know for sure is we all three connect with the ocean and each other. Kelly, Jennifer and I are excited to travel to the beautiful Costa Rica and lead our first retreat all 3 together. The three of us have known each other for over 5 years and we have supported each other in the growth of family, being students, teachers, studio owners, and community leaders. Kelly and I founded Shakti Power Yoga in Nashville in 2012, and a year later Jen founded Glow Yoga in Gulf Shores and just recently opened one in  Mobile, AL. Jen  We all three thrive on creating community and sharing our love of yoga with all we meet. Yoga has shifted each of our lives and it opened us up to something bigger. We want to make a powerful impact in our communities and generate love, power, courage, and awareness. This will be Shaktis 3rd year to partner with True Nature Education and lead a retreat in Costa Rica. The time we spend there is absolutely magical, seriously each moment is special and we have fond memories of the joy and restoration it brings us. We thrive on creating community and partnerships and our yoga retreats allow people to step away and create space for new relationships, for rejuvenation, for fun! Let me share just a little taste of our wonderful experience.2 We stay at a beautiful resort in Santa Teresa Beach. The journey from San Jose is adventurous and a special time to connect with the everyone on the bus and boat. From The moment we arrive we are greeted by the kind staff and taken to our bungalow. The smell and breeze of the ocean is present right when you arrive and you know you are only a few hundred yards from the sand being in your toes, oh bliss. The bungalows have hammocks hanging just outside, perfect place to cozy up with a book or a nice afternoon nap. There is a calm about the place and feel of home. Oh and the practice space, it overlooks the ocean and the sound of the waves remind you to breath deep and free. The warmth on your skin adds the extra heat to the practice allowing you to dive in and let the residue fade away. You are a part of nature, free to play, grow, and explore. 3The Costa Rican fare speak to my heart and body. You can eat clean and fresh and feel nourished everyday. The resort has an amazing restaurant team that cares about the food they are serving and most of all are so kind and welcoming to each one of us. We have created friendships over the years and look forward to returning and connecting with the amazing staff. The community service project we commit to each trip is one of the most memorable experiences. We volunteer at a local school. We play soccer with t4he kids, sing, teach yoga, paint, garden, or anything we can do to be of service for the school. I know we get more out of it than the students. Our hearts are filled when we get to make a real connection with children and the feel of welcome and love from this is inspiring to see.  I feel we left more connected and stronger as a group after this project, we still talk about the amazing kids and look forward to returning next year. Kelly, Jennifer, and I have a strong connection and we do a great job of going with the flow and working together. I  think we all 3 could be sisters! We each have our own unique way to connect with people, how we teach, but we all three are committed to impact and build community and to live an INSPIRED life. We are excited to share our love of the practice in Costa Rica Retreat in 2016. We hope you will join us! Pura Vida! 5

True Nature Travels Blog

Have you ever wanted to “get something more” out of your family vacations? Do you want your vacations to feel more like a transformational journey, not only for you but for your whole clan? Do you want to have an experience that will create lasting positive change for you and those you love the most? Have you ever considered taking a service adventure trip?

1) Take a break from the “Normal” Vacation

Zipline experience

The normal vacation to each family might look slightly different, but it usually consists of going to hotel, usually the same type of hotel you have visited before, sitting by the pool, going shopping, eating at the usual restaurants, etc. When you take a break from the normal vacation and take part in a service/adventure trip you realize the possibilities that are available when traveling together. Your horizons are expanded and fresh memories are etched in your families journal of time, that in the end you remember much more than the “normal” vacation and inspires you to have a new outlook on a new type of vacation

2) Create a deeper appreciation for what you have

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There is nothing like returning home, especially when you have visited a place that is dramatically different than where you live. I remember returning back from a trip to the mountains of India where I had no hot water, still to this day, I have a sense of gratitude when that hot water comes out of my shower at home. On a service and adventure trip you visit places that represent simplicity, quaint beauty, at at times poverty. Sharing in the opportunity to visit places like this bring a sense of perspective on the world and also a sense of deep appreciation often when we come home.

3) There is nothing like being of service as a family

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We do a lot as families, work hard, play hard, laugh hard…But when we take a break from the fun and intimacy of our family unit and participate together in being of service something very meaningful often arises. I remember the feeling of humbleness and appreciation I had when I was young and watched my father serve a homeless person Thanksgiving dinner. When we are service we have a sense of aliveness. When we work to give back as a family we come together for a greater purpose which helps strengthen our family unit and sets a precedent to continue to be of service.

4) Realize a new calling

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When we take a break from our normal lives and delve into a journey abroad new doorways are opened that don’t necessarily close when you return home. We have heard numerous stories of family that have traveled with us, and when returning home have changed the trajectory of their lives. Kids who decided to start service projects at home, teens who decided to shift the college they want to attend, and even adults who decide they want to make a change in their career. When we take a leap, do something new and fresh, and give back to others we often feel a spark within that sheds a new light on life and possibly a new path for us to walk upon.

5) Create a deeper sense of connection of Love in your family

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As humans our greatest need is connection. When we are present with one another we feel connected and often loved. When taking part in a service/adventure trip you will be engaged together as a family, present with new experiences, and most of all connected with one another. Most of the time your technology will be put away or won’t work, the TV won’t be there, your work or school won’t be calling, and you will be immersed in the True Nature of your environment while also nurturing the True Nature of everyone in your family. When leading these trips, after a few days, I begin to see the essence of our guests begin to come forth, the walls and defenses that we often have at home begin to fall away, and their true colors begin to shine. Sometimes these are parts of ourselves our families have not seen in sometime or maybe have never seen. In this space of authentic experience and being we learn to appreciate and love one another in a new way.

True Nature Travels Blog

10006438_10151947045810812_130852963_nYou have done it! You’ve been dreaming about leading students through flowing yoga and mediation practices within the heart of the jungle or along the shore of the ocean.  And, now it is manifesting into reality! You are leading your first retreat in Costa Rica!  First of all – YAY YOU!  Secondly – Now what? Well, here is where we can help.  Now it’s time to not only share and promote your retreat – but also to learn that you will probably be bombarded with many questions that have absolutely nothing to do with how to put your legs behind your head or how to start a mediation practice.  These questions probably have a lot more to do with the logistics of navigating  how to prepare to travel outside of the country (aka outside of a lot of peoples comfort zones!).

We have combined our 10 years of leading retreats in Costa Rica into this Top 10 list of questions you will probably be asked by a student registered for or thinking about attending your retreat.  We’d LOVE to hear your feedback if you think we are missing anything!

CR2010-13441. Who do I ask questions to?

In general if you have questions about the retreat topic, classes, teacher background, etc. it is best to talk directly to the teacher. If you have questions about travel, registration, Costa Rica, dietary needs, excursions, accommodations, etc. please ask TNE.

2. What will be the itinerary? What will we be doing?

Each retreat is unique, each teacher is unique, and each group is unique. Over the past 10 years of leading retreats the formula we have found that works best is to “have a plan and then be ready to modify.” The best teachers can move with the energy of the group and the best retreats are the ones where as many students as possible feel supported, fulfilled, and transformed. Put together a rough layout of the week which we can also help you out with. Let students know, “Yes! You will be doing yoga! (usually two session a day) and… you will also have personal downtime (because we need it so bad in our culture right now), we will have free time to explore, excursions, wonderful group meals, possible morning/evening activities. If you have a group that has the need to know, let them know they will receive a tentative itinerary before they depart. But…if all possible it is best to keep you itinerary private and let them know each day an itinerary will be posted which will reveal the magical plan for each day.

3. How do we get there?

Each trip will have a flight window, which will provide specific windows of time for arrival and departure. Some trips have a group flight option where everyone can fly together. True Nature has a group travel agent that would be happy to help you book your flight within the specific window provided for your retreat. All flight will be met at the airport by a TNE Staff member.

IMG_89324. What are the accommodations like?

True Nature Education has searched long and hard throughout Costa Rica to find unique, ecologically friendly, and inspiring accommodations for our guests to stay in. All of the accommodations are clean, comfortable and close to nature. Lodging includes electricity, hot water, internet and phone on the property, comfortable beds and linens, and an environment which allows you to rest peacefully after a long day of activities. Most accommodations for large groups are either double or triple occupancy. Roommate requests are honored when possible. Private rooms are occasionally available for an extra fee on a first-come first serve basis.

5. Can you meet my dietary needs?

These days we all have our own personal needs as we continue to evolve as humans.
At TNE we continue to strive to meet the needs of our guests. We have the ability to meet the dietary needs of all of our guests using the resources available in Costa Rica. This includes dietary options for vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, etc. Please remember the Costa Rican diet in general is very simple and made of many whole foods. We don’t have various milk options, supplements, various meatless options (ie. tempeh, saitan, etc.). If you have a strict diet we also recommend bring snacks that will help supplement and support you while in CR.

6. Is Costa Rica Safe?

When we think of safety at True Nature, we think of “Mindful Awareness”. When we are focused on the moment at hand we have statistically a much greater chance of being safe. When on retreat we support the cultivation of presence and mindfulness and therefore support having a safe experience. Part of being aware is knowing what to be aware of? In the US in certain places we need to be aware of weather such as tornados, or in certain urban areas we need to be aware of where we talk at night. In Costa Rica we also need to be aware. Depending on your location we will make it know of what you need to be mindful of.
Beach: sun, drinking enough water, riptides, leaving valuables on the beach
Mountains/Rainforest: critters, certain plants, storms
We have been running programs in Costa Rica for a decade now and have not had any serious injuries or major safety issues on any of our trips. We are committed to continuing this trend by educating you and our staff and supporting a mindful awareness on all of our trips.

photo7. Activities! Can I do them all, how much do they cost, when do I sign-up, etc?

Costa Rica boasts a wide-range of incredible excursions and activities which draw people from around the world. During your time in the country you will have time to take part in these activities! Prior to your departure you will receive an activity list. (Teachers we can get you your list now!) Once arriving in Costa Rica you can book your activities, excursions, and spa treatments too! Each retreat normally has one day that is dedicated to activities. You can take part in 2-3 activities in that day and often the group decides to go together. If you are an activity junky you can always book more during your free time in your schedule during the week.

8. What will the weather be like?

We do our best to base all of our programs on pleasant times of year to be in CR. The months we avoid to hold retreats are September-November, during the rainy season. If you are at the beach between Feb-April you can expect lots of sun and heat. If you are in the mountains or traveling to the beach outside of these months you can expect Sun with some periodic showers.

9. What do we bring?

TNE has an ever-evolving “What to Bring List” on our FAQ Page. After every trip in our evaluations we ask, “Is there anything that was left off the What to Bring List.” Because of this, the list is long and quite expansive. Take into consideration what you think you really need. We suggest bringing only one suitcase that you are comfortable handling and that is easy to use/move, and one daypack. We offer a prize to the one who packs the smallest bag!

419288_618442004837729_1506649283_n10. When all else fails what do I do?

We strive to be available for our teachers as close to 24/7 as possible from the time you come on-board until the time you return back to the US. When all else fails…Text or email TNE or Joshua, The TNE/Costa Rica Guru! We are here to support you!

There is some additional great info over on our FAQ Page as well!

True Nature Travels Blog

Have you every wondered just what a day on a yoga retreat looks like?  What exactly will you be doing from the moment you open your eyes until you hit the pillow to go to sleep?  Welcome to your “virtual” day in the life at a True Nature Retreat. Take a deep breath and enjoy…

cr2010-20065:30am – Good Morning!! Be prepared to rise with the sun in Costa Rica.  And if the sun doesn’t lure you out of bed, then the sounds of the jungle or the neighbors roosters just might!

5:45am – Morning meditation or time to journal and reflect.  The symphony of the world waking up around you combined with the stillness of this auspicious time of day is a perfect combination and reason to pack your meditation cushion.

6:15am – Tea time!  Many of the retreat centers in our portfolio of offerings will have tea, coffee and juice out for attendees by 6am.  It’s a nice opportunity to connect your community or maybe continue your meditation and enjoy your morning cuppa in silence.

sound of silence7:00-9:00am – Morning session with your retreat leader.  You can feel every hair on your body standing up with pure joy as you tuck your yoga mat under your arm and walk to the yoga deck to do what you came here to do.  Practice yoga in the exquisite and breathtaking settings that Costa Rica has to offer.  We guarantee this is nothing less than a magical feeling!

9:30am – BREAKFAST!!  Enjoying the fresh, whole foods that our retreat centers offer will definitely be one of the highlights of your experience.  By the end of the week – after eating mostly raw, organic and at some locations – right off the farm where you are staying – you will feel energized, lighter and ready to clean out your fridge when you get home!

10:00am-12:30pm – Free time – Relax at the beach, by the pool, take a nap in a nearby hammock, chat with new friends or all of the above.   We encourage all of our retreat leaders to schedule plenty of free time for their students as this is when you are able to really process and begin integrating the transformation that is taking place!

lunas-dahl1:00pm – LUNCH – Fresh squeezed fruit juices, brightly colored greens and lots of opportunities to try out Costa Rican typical dishes like rice and beans.

2:00-4:00pm – Excursions and Service Projects!  Perhaps you have always dreamed of horseback riding along the beach or zip lining through the rain forest.  Our service initiatives partner our retreats with sustainable community projects in rural villages throughout Costa Rica.

4:00-6:00pm – Relaxing evening yoga, meditation session with your retreat leader to wind down and process the days activities.

Village-Rep-Lindsay-Padilla6:oopm – DINNER – Enjoy the community and bonding by sitting around a table and enjoying a meal together.

7:00-9:00pm – Free time or perhaps an evening sat sang, lecture or kirtan.

9:30pm – Lights out!

Are you interested in hearing about our schedule of events and retreat? Sign up for our newsletter to stay connected to the True Nature Community!

True Nature Travels Blog

If you do not know any Spanish, we recommend learning the basic Costa Rican slang prior to your travel ventures. Even if you do know Spanish, it’s important to keep in mind that you may overhear words and sayings that are unfamiliar to Spanish language that you hear in other Spanish-speaking countries. Recall from our earlier Travel Tip blog discussing the reference of the Costa Rican locals as ticos. 

These words and sayings are called idiomatic expressions. They are a useful guide to understanding the humor and character of that culture. They may seem peculiar as they do not translate directly with their meaning, however if you are aware of them before you are immersed in the culture, it will be much easier for non-native speakers to embrace and understand them.

Be sure to keep an open mind when conversing with locals, as they tend to directly address others more so than we do in the English language that may seem blunt or offensive. This is not the case, as it is just the way that the converse with each other, and should be thought of as friendly and light-hearted. For example, it is common that women be referred to as mamitamadre, or mi hijita. Locals also tend to use characteristics as nicknames, such as flaco (“fat”), flaco (“skinny”), negro (“dark-skinned”), chino (“Asian,” if you have slanted eyes, regardless of if you are actually Asian or not), or gato (“blue or green eyes”).

Here is a list of popular words and sayings that you will hear often and will certainly be helpful to know, especially when interacting with the locals.