This is a guest blog post by Crystal Winkelman, a St. Cloud State University student currently participating on CGEE’s program, “Social Work in a Latin American Context.”
The first month and a half in Cuernavaca has been such an adventure! It started off rocky with about five days in bed with a viral infection, a bacterial infection, and a delayed plane ride! Although the first week was not the adventure I had hoped for, it soon turned into more of what I was hoping for. Having the opportunity to visit the rural area of Amatlan showed me a way of life that I would not have gotten the opportunity to experience otherwise. Hiking up a mountain with my host family to see the beautiful mountains and town of Amatlan before sunset was my favorite memory with my host family. (Middle right)
We are currently in our urban homestays and have 2 weeks left. I am enjoying getting to know my host family and learning more about life in Cuernavaca. Coming on this trip with minimal Spanish was challenging and speaking with the family can be difficult but my host sister has been very helpful in translating some of the words I don’t know.
This trip has had its challenges, but it’s the little things that make me feel like I made the right choice to take this journey. The first time I used a new word I learned in Spanish class, or the first time I was able to get my own taxi or hold a conversation in Spanish has been an incredible feeling. I feel like I am able to be independent but also have the support of my classmates and professors to accomplish this semester.