The best experiences in life come from the people we meet and the moments shared along our paths. These are often unexpected, unplanned, or occur simply due to chance. I applied to be part of #HoyasinMexico to learn about my family’s history and to become politically engaged. But by the end of the trip, I gained much more.
The day we embarked to Mexico City started with eight unfamiliar faces and names I tried to remember: Maria, Ruwa, Austin, Sophia, Kevin, Corina, Katie, and Joshua; and so I became part of the team tasked with observing, reporting on, and witnessing the largest political election in Mexican history. I am pleased to share that we accomplished our endeavors. For me, the most rewarding aspect of this journey came from seeing individuals from different backgrounds, ethnicities, and political viewpoints come together and collaborate to reach a common goal.
However, this would not have been possible without the effort and support of our team. Maria created high-end videos capturing a day’s work and ensured that our audience received the best quality content daily. Ruwa kept us aware of the political events in the United States and sustained our Twitter presence. Austin served as our storyteller who transformed our experiences through words. Joshua interviewed citizens willing to be on camera and documented on-the-ground coverage of Mexican political opinions. Corina and Sophia focused on our Instagram and Snapchat presence, with stories and updates on our election coverage. Kevin both updated our Facebook page, and uplifted our team with his humor and reminded us that we can find joy in every situation. I supported the social media ventures while providing a linguistic and cultural connection to support our political and personal efforts.
Personally, this experience was not only special because of the political engagement but also because in many respects, México is home. My parents were born in Uruapan, Michoacán, one of México’s 31 states. As I walked around El Zócalo, the main square in Ciudad de México, the smell of traditional comida mexicana like enchiladas, sopes, huaraches, tacos dorados, and many more dishes reminded me of home. My Mexican-American identity blossomed into something beautiful. For the first time in my life, I felt a sense of belonging. Oftentimes, Mexican-Americans feel trapped between two worlds -- living in the hyphen -- born in the United States but raised with Mexican culture and the Spanish language.
Engaging in educational opportunities like #HoyasinMexico has the potential to solidify personal identities while discovering a sense of purpose. I would like to thank Hanna, Jennifer, and Paul for serving as our leaders and ensuring our safety and well-being. I can’t wait to return to Georgetown as a politically engaged world citizen and to Mexico to continue embracing my Mexican heritage.