Six weeks might seem like a short time to be living in a country different from your own, but in reality it was enough to change my perception on certain things. A simple smile or a hello can change anyone´s mood and a short-lived experience can mark you for life. I had the opportunity to enhance my Spanish skills and gain enriching experiences. I also met some incredible people. Throughout these six weeks, the internships I was doing allowed me to establish personal relationships with my clients. From all these wonderful individuals´ experiences, I viewed things how locals did.
Oaxaca, Mexico, has taught me so much about their culture and traditions. One of the things that caught my attention everyday was all the talent that was demonstrated in forms of art. Every time I walked anywhere, I would notice something different. Oaxaca is a beautiful city full of surprises in every corner. I absolutely love how everyone still dresses traditionally.
The indigenous communities have shown me that there is more to life than just an egocentric view of life, like the individualistic country I was raised in. In Oaxaca, it is apparent that the community takes priority over the individual. Oaxaca has a very strong cultural background. I think it is astonishing that state as a whole has decided that saving and teaching indigenous languages is extremely important and valuable.
During my stay in Oaxaca, I got to experience the mass demonstration that occurred, which marked the ten year anniversary of a tragic manifestation that took place back in 2006. Road blockages, protests, airport blocks, and the closing of many stores and restaurants put the Oaxacan community at an uneasy state of mind. The media only helped worsen the problem by adding footage that was not even from the event. Throughout this movement, I learned more about the mexican government and their propositions. I also got the experience all the campaigns and the voting. Despite everything that was going on in the state, Oaxacans kept going to work. I really admire how strong Oaxaca is collectively.