When asked about my time in Mexico, my first response is, “Where do I start?” Mexico was a time of bold adventures and golden memories. My trip to the Yucatan was not a pleasure cruise, but a class mission’s trip with my junior classmates. While there, my eyes were opened to a different kind of simplicity and a new way of living. Only a trip like this one could impact a life like mine.
Before leaving for Mexico, my classmates and I already had an idea to what our agenda was for the week, but, in all seriousness, we had NO idea. As soon as we stepped off the plane, we were sweating. It was hot, which is an understatement. The hottest day in Mexico that week was 115 degrees. But the heat was not going to stop us. In our first debrief, we learned our theme for our trip was to be in “One Heart” and to be BOLD in our faith. In debrief the ladies learned about a new simplicity. Here in America, when we wear simple silver stud earrings, we consider it our casual wear. Our leaders in Mexico said some villages in Mexico are so poor that they would only see the “bling” in our ears, rather than listen to the message from our hearts. Every day we had a dose of manual labor. We painted, moved rocks, did food shares, and worked a daycare. Yes, we had leisure time, for example, visiting the Mayan ruins, but no matter what we were doing, work or play, we had fun.
Some experiences touched my life more than others. While talking to some girls on their lunch break, they told me that it is rare to be 17 years old and still in school. The reality for a girl there in the middle classes of the Yucatan is teenage pregnancy. Those girls we considered accomplished for still being in secondary school. Being a 17 year old girl here in America my reality is different, and I am truly blessed that it is. Along with the cruel reality, most of the houses in Mexico are concrete, some are wood, and have no air conditioning. People in Mexico are happy with their circumstances; they do not see them as bad, and normally I would be complaining. The kids in our sister school in Merida, Mexico were the best example of simplicity. All they needed was a snack and someone to play with. Walking into the daycare, a person could hear the squeals of laughter and delight. They were so simple and joyful, and they loved everyone. Those children impacted so greatly, and when I grow up, I want to be like them.
In the midst of all the experiences, I learned that language barriers aren’t language barriers at all. I have never made as many friends, Mexican and American, as I did in Mexico. When we worship, love, and serve, it doesn’t matter what language we speak because those are universal languages. These languages can’t be learned in a classroom, but on a mission’s field. I came back from Yucatan, Mexico bold and ready to impact others as others have impacted me.
**Our journeys in Mexico took us through Cancun (airport), Merida, Hocoba, Panoba, San Felipe, Tizimin, and as stated before the Mayan ruins. This was an experience of a lifetime.
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