When I told people I was going to study abroad in Mexico, I was met with a lot of confused looks and feigned excitement. “Why Mexico?” people would ask. Before I left, my answer was that I wanted to practice my Spanish and the program was the best fit for my career path. Now that I’m back, I have a new answer as to why Mexico was an amazing decision.
First of all, it’s authentic. I got to become a part of the community and was able to see all sides of Puebla. Not everything was roses, but everything was real and I grew so much because of it. Secondly, the people are incredible. Everyone I met was kind and hardworking. My experience would not have been what it was with out the amazing people I met on this trip. From my host mom who taught me all about Puebla to the locals who showed us around the city and everyone in-between, I felt very welcomed and accepted into the culture. Even Cinia, the company I interned for, welcomed us with open arms. (Quick side note about Cinia: The purpose of the company is to employ people with disabilities. Tasks include everything from gardening to making artisan products. Is that not the coolest?!?) Third, the food is spectacular. While I did eat some weird items (like ant larva and grasshoppers), I also ate the best quesadilla I’ve ever had in my life. Meal times were my favorite part of the day by far. Lastly, learning about the history was an irreplaceable experience. This country is bursting with history and culture and they make sure to keep the customs alive year after year.
I wish I would have had more than five weeks, but five weeks was still enough to have the experience of a lifetime. I hope that this was the first of many and I can’t wait to see what perspectives the rest of the world has to offer.