A Country Close to Home
For my second Spanish study-abroad trip, I chose the city of Guanajuato, Mexico. It appealed to me for its size (about equal to my home of Tacoma), its colorful cityscape, and its location in the mountains. Just as I had hoped, our host family was friendly and welcoming. Mexican culture warmed my heart: spectacular food, (including Guanajuato’s famous enchiladas mineras), mariachi music in the park, intriguing (and possibly dangerous) tunnels, tours of the alleyways (called callejones), indoor markets, a one-of-a-kind mummy museum, and plenty of views of the city.
It seemed that everywhere I went in Guanajuato, I would find someone to have an amazing conversation (in Spanish) with.
I made friends in restaurants, in parks, at the University of Guanajuato (even though I wasn’t attending there), and even while salsa dancing in the plaza. One friend I made who lived there took me to lunch and a tour of a silver mine. An interesting traveller I met accompanied me to the top of a lookout point. A store owner gave me a Tarot reading using her deck that she kept secretly under the counter. So many new and unforgettable moments!
During a walk through Los Pastitos park, I encountered a Tibetan Lama who was teaching a lesson on Bon-Buddhism to a group of about 30 people outside. They invited me to join them later for a meditation and yoga class he was giving at the Gene Byron Museum, which had an attractive garden.
The streets were nice to walk, and I encountered friendly people everyday on my way to school.
I never grew tired of seeing Guanajuato, just as I would never tired of visiting new places and gaining new experiences through travel.