For directions in English and Spanish, about planes and buses, taxis & collectivos and a google map, visit this page
Mostly (but not always) the predominant language spoken in The Sanctuary is English. Most of the teachings are also in English although our eventual aim is to offer bi-lingual classes. Outside of The Sanctuary, being able to speak Spanish is certainly helpful, but not vital.
Duolingo offers an excellent online program to learn Spanish, French, German, Portugese, Italian, English and more, for free.
This Spanish Learning Audio offers over 8 hours of audio lessons by Michel Thomas who tells us not to worry about remembering, that's his job!
There are big waves in Puerto Escondido, usually great for surfing. For swimming you need to know a little sea safety, unless perhaps you go to the more sheltered bays of Carizalillo or Manzanillo. More to come here about this very soon. In the meantime, you can check out this page about the beaches in Puerto Escondido.
I (pete) have lived in Mexico for over 6 years (with a few breaks in Europe, Guatamala, Belize and Honduras) and have not experienced anything to concern me. Actually i feel safer in Mexico than in England. There is a large ex-pat population in Puerto Escondido, Americans, Canadians & many other countries. They would not stay if it were not safe. Of course there is crime in Puerto Escondido, just like any other place, but i think it is low.
In my opinion the US (and other) government and media are fear-mongering. It makes the population easier to control, more likely to stay within their own borders and pay taxes!
By far the majority of people coming to The Sanctuary are single females traveling alone and none have reported any problems while travelling to me. Traveling via Mexico City airport is just like any other international airport.
We do hear of occasional thefts in the area, and it is advisable to not take any bags, camera's etc. to the beach to avoid being targeted by opportunist thieves.
"Notwithstanding the media headlines which are currently serving to portray Mexico in a less-than-ideal light, published statistics and published experiences from expats and visitors demonstrate that most of Mexico remains a safe place for tourists, visitors, business travelers, and foreign expatriates." - Source: Mexperience - Safety in Mexico article
Below are some comments from visitors to Mexico who wrote in response to this article: http://www.budgettravel.com/blog/mexico-the-elusive-truth-about-safety,10486/
And finally these articles about how safe Mexico is:
We offer a laundry service on Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday at The Sanctuary using ecological soap at a cost of 20 pesos per kilo. Alternatively there are closeby laundries (using commercial soap) who charge about 14 pesos per kilo.
The requirements vary depending upon what country you are from, although most people can complete a form on the plane and receive a 180 day tourist visa. Extensive information is available here: http://www.mexperience.com/lifestyle/living-in-mexico/visas-and-immigration/
Virtually everything you need is included in the price. eg. bed, food, holistic healing protocol, yoga etc.
What is not included is personal care items (shampoo, toothpaste etc.) or laundry. You can buy laundry soap (ecological) from The Sanctuary or locally so you can hand wash, or we can launder for you @ 20 pesos per kg.
Other than that a collectivo (shared taxi) ride into town is 7 pesos. Taxi to other (more swimable) beaches about 30-40 pesos. La Punta is swimable, but care is needed and it depends somewhat on the day.
Meals out (if you choose to eat out) are around 50 - 100 pesos for dinner. Coffee 15-20 pesos. Coconuts 15-25 pesos.
Excursions for days off, like dolphin/whalewatching boat trip - about 400 pesos per person in a group. Similar for other excursions.
So you could make do with nothing extra if you live a frugal life, or perhaps an extra 1,500 pesos for a month would give you an excursion or two and spending money for taxi's / snacks etc.
There are also extra's like massages etc. available. Some of these are shown on this page: http://www.healing-haven.com/reiki-healing-therapy.html
We have also just started a "complementary currency" or more accurately a community exchange system. This can make extra's more affordable. Find out more here: http://www.healing-haven.com/puerto-cambio.html
Feel free to ask any further questions you have in the comments section below.