Cherishing Every Moment
~ By Anna
In the past three months, I have fallen in love with the kids, the culture, the art, the food, and the people. With every passing day, I am constantly reminded of how blessed I have been to live here for three months already. Within my time here on the island, I have experienced various cultural celebrations. I was able to see my students march in the parade for Mexico’s Independence Day, dress up for the Halloween parties at the primary schools, and join in on the celebrations of Day of the Dead. It has been so fun to see the kids dressed up for each cultural event. I have learned so much about Mexican culture, holidays, and what they mean to the people. Seeing the altars set up for Day of the Dead was an extremely enlightening learning experience. Before coming and experiencing Day of the Dead here, I had no idea what the altars, the cempasúchil flower, or the clothing worn on this day meant. I feel honored and extremely privileged to have experienced such a meaningful part of the Mexican culture.
Last weekend, our group took our first excursion. We visited various cities throughout the Yucatán, including Mérida, Ek’ Balam, and Valladolid. It was nice to get off the island to have our own little adventure. We climbed an ancient Mayan ruin, jumped into a cenote, visited a museum rich with Mayan culture, and tasted the delicious foods from the Yucatán region. Though it was fun to see more of Mexico and adventure throughout new cities, it felt so great to be back in our little piece of paradise. Every time I leave and come back to Isla Mujeres, I realize how much more I consider this beautiful place a “home away from home” each and every day.