This experience showed me what it was like to create a social impact. I learned that I possess skills that are useful to others and can help aid in their benefit. Going down to Mexico I was not sure what to expect out of the community. I had known nothing of Mexico beyond the sandy beach resorts, Montezuma’s Revenge, and cartel violence that the American media presents us with. However, throughout my time in Mexico I realized that is all just a rouse. A false perspective provided to the American people to often aid in political legislation against immigrants and their “violent nature.”
The people in Mexico were by far the all around nicest people I have ever come across. Everywhere we went we were welcomed with open arms as if we were long last family finally reunited with our kin. It is a culture revolving around the concept of family. In the way they live their lives and even the way they work, the Mexican culture is based around the relationship with the people around them.
Part of the internship was partaking in a community consulting project. I teamed up with another student from Northern and worked with a local artisan as consultants. The artisan we worked with was named Don Enrique. He is an artistic welder from the Mexican state of Michoacán. He lives in Bucerias and is a part of the Human Connections Cultural Day Tours provided by their programs. They bring tourists to the homes of the artisans where they tell their stories and show the people their artwork. Our artisans goal was to provide the tourists an both an experience and potential items that represent both his work and the Mexican culture. The whole time working with him he expressed concern of bettering his potential relationships with the people brought to his home. We were successful in our attempts to help Don Enrique. We designed several products that feature beautiful Mexican tiles and Don Enrique can specialize it hands on with the members of the tours participating in the process. This allowed us to enhance his tour experience and help him bond with tour members through artistic creation.
The leadership development experience taught me a higher level of emotional intelligence. It showed me that each person is different and effected by everything in different ways. It also taught me how to let myself show emotion in different situations where I would normally fall silent. Going forward in my career I will continue to utilize the skills I learned at entreamigos to further develop the culture of my work place.
This experience changed my perspective of the Mexican culture and taught me skills that will be beneficial in the future advancement of my career goals. I plan on spreading what I learned and talk about my experience throughout the various student organizations I am a part of and encourage my peers to go on this internship.