‘Nothing like it in the world’

“I made the decision in 12th grade, when everyone wanted to go to university. I decided that I wanted something different than my friends.”

By ALAN ROSENBAUM
September 28, 2017 21:29
4 minute read.
Yam Elias, an IDF lone soldier from Mexico.

Yam Elias, an IDF lone soldier from Mexico.. (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

At first glance, there would seem to be little connection between Cancun, one of Mexico’s most famous resort destinations, known for its coral sands and blue Caribbean waters, and the Caracal Battalion, a crack IDF infantry unit that patrols Israel’s southern border. However, in the case of Yam Elias, a member of the unit, and a lone soldier, the association is essential.

Elias was born in Israel, and moved to Cancun with her parents when she was six months old. She grew up in Cancun, whose Jewish community numbers approximately 500 out of a total population of 450,000. She says that while she was not deeply involved with the Jewish community in Cancun, her family observed Jewish holidays, and she did have some Jewish friends growing up.

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