I’m free.

After almost 3 weeks ago of completing the internship, I still cannot put into words of how life changing this experience was.

I have learned to accept the person I am; I have always felt a sense of not acceptance from my family. I have had an interest in wanting to learn more about indigenous traditions and culture and now having partake in this internship I have learned to embrace it more.

Bucerias, gracias, for helping me understand how a touristy pueblo could feel. I have learned the true meaning of responsible tourism. Every artisan I meant and learned their stories, you can tell the hard work they have put into creating their art. I felt humbled to know their stories and empathize with them.

San Pancho, gracias, for having such welcoming community. The center has influenced every individual in the community and brings hope that one day I can make an impact of one person with the organization I will start.

As a result, from the program I have helped Don Moise and Dona Zenaida create new product ideas to sell during the low tourist season such as bags and plant holders. I created tags as well so they can label each product that could share with their customers their stories and what the product means to them.

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Here is one of the bags Don Moises made from out feedback and front and back label for their products.

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Experiences like this is what I would love to do as a full time job. I want to make an impact in a community that is extremely hard working. Reconnecting with my roots have been the highest impact from this experience that I will carry with me forever.

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This is picture as I traveled through the community in Bucerias. The views were beautiful.

Entreamigos leadership development week was an extremely intensive week. When I first started the week I had no idea what to expect, as we jumped into the week I soon realized how badly I had underestimated the intensity of the week. During the week,  11 people including myself, learned how to be vulnerable when publicly speaking. We had to create a speech explaining what we had gone through in the past that helped us understand what we want to do in the future. As many could imagine, when recently graduating college that’s the last question you want to hear because that’s nerve wrecking.

As I prepared throughout the week, I started to think what the answer was. I knew deep down my answer but I was too scared to come clean to everyone what my true WHY was. As it got closer to presentation day, I became more nervous. However, I soon realized in order to not let your past affect you, you have to learn to be vulnerable to accept it. And that’s what I did, on Thursday night in front of 60 strangers I stood before them as a Latina who has become a survivor of sexual assault. I did not come as a weak vulnerable girl, but an empowered Latina, that through her past struggles she has become more empowered to fight what is to come.  Entreamigos help me break a wall I had built to protect myself. It helped me see that in order to move on I have to be okay with being vulnerable. If it was not for this speech, I would have never come public with my past.

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This was how we “11 personas” ended our presentations.

I walk away from this experience with the utmost love for Nayarit. This month changed me for good. It has helped me learn so much about myself but as well of my beautiful Mexican culture that I’ve been itching to know.

I leave of with this…

“Thank you Mexico, for shining your light on me. The colors, warmth, culture, food, and above all the people that filled up my soul during this trip. I got to hangout with family I hadn’t seen in years, make new friends, and most importantly learn about different parts of Mexico’s rich culture and history that I’ve been itching to know. I ate mangos, sandia, jicama, guayabas, tacos, picaditas, enchiladas, tortillas, tortas, chiles rellenos, dulces, chicharrones, paletas, bolis, chamoyadas, churros, elotes, mole, pozole, raspados, empanadas, pan dulce, huachinango zarandeado, and camarones. The beach held me and made me feel at home. There’s something about Mexico that makes me feel like myself. This is the place I thrive and shine the brightest. I’m grateful and humbled to have such amazing supportive people in my life. Ya extraño a mi tierra. Hasta pronto mi México querido. ”

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