Student News

Oaxaca #18: Final Reflections

Paulina Baltazar – July 6, 2018

For one month, students where immersed in Mexican culture while living in home stays. They participated in Spanish language classes at a local university, visited local sites and partook in various cultural experiences. When the program ended, trip Leaders Jaime Correa and Haley O’Neil asks students to reflect on the following prompts: 1)I used to think…..I now think…. or  2)This month, I have been grateful for…, below are the students responses.

“I used to think that Mexican food consisted of only amazing tacos and quesadillas, but now I realize that they consist of this and so much more¡¡¡” Johnny Glinton ’19

“I used to think that Mexico was a country filled with danger and poverty, but I now think that Mexico is a country teeming with unique foods, people, languages, and cultures. Yes, parts of Mexico are dangerous, but one can control whether or not one chooses to interact with the dangerous of Mexico.” Molly Fischer ’20

“I used to think that there must be more to Mexican culture than American stereotypes proclaim, but now I realize how much of an understatement this really is. I have discovered such a sense of life here that is absent from American culture, from the numerous calendas to the conversations we have had in random shops with the people who live here. I have found such a rich, vibrant culture here; it is impossible to put my joyous feeling from living here into words.” Grace Mazur ’20

“This month I have been grateful for my host family and how open they were to accepting me into their home.” Sim Bethel ’20

“This month I have been grateful for the opportunity to immerse myself into the Oaxacan culture and for the relationships I have made with the members of my host family.” Deirdre Mullowney ’19

“This month I have been grateful for the chance to explore different parts of Oaxaca and take advantage of this opportunity. I have enjoyed the chance to venture out of my comfort zone and get to know a new place.” Ella Holowesko ’20

“This month I have been grateful for the gracious and kind people of Oaxaca taking us in and allowing us the opportunity to learn about their city and practice our Spanish.” Will Savage ’20

“This month I have been grateful for the patience of the teachers in the UABJO while teaching us. Of course we weren’t perfect, but they always made sure we were learning while keeping the classes fun.” Hank Renelus ’20

“This month I have been grateful for all of the adventures I have had while in Oaxaca. I learned so much about the culture and language of this region of Mexico.” Carter Weymouth ’20

“This month I have been grateful for my host family, the Sol Abroad program, my teachers, and Pepto-Bismol.” John Chung ’20

“This month I have been grateful for the incredible warmth and friendliness of the people that have welcomed me into this country. Rather than a vacation destination, Oaxaca has felt like a home.”  Sam Laur ’20

“This month I have been grateful for the opportunity to have genuine conversations with the locals in Spanish, to learn directly from them about the many unique traditions of Oaxaca, and to experience living in an area with completely different cultures.”  Trisha Boonpongmanee ’20

“This month I have been grateful for unique and varied stories that have presented themselves in mole and tortillas, alebrijes and artisanal textiles, and the eyes of those who I have talked to for hours or simply glanced at in passing.” Maya Laur ’20