Final Reflection, by Chelsie Smith

Back to It

It has been so hard to get back into the routine of things coming back from ASB!  Mexico was a great learning experience for me. I learned about many social justice issues. Of course one was the border, but there were so many more. I was very emotional throughout our journey, and at times couldn’t hold it back anymore. I saw some hard conditions, and had no idea how to react because I wanted to cry. But at the same time, I didn’t want it to seem that I thought I was better, because I am not. I met so many amazing people that are better than I could even imagine being.

I remember snapshots of the trip and the many memories I made with the people there, and with the group I was with. I will forever remember Cabaña #5 at Islandia, our home for the week. Visiting the trade school that Casa Franciscana was building was another eye opening experience. There was no procrastination. The staff had a goal, and it was to make a difference for the neighborhood right away by teaching job skills. I also realized how materialistic we are in the U.S. We value our material things. While there, I began to see that people appreciate each other’s company more. They may not have much, but they have each other. I got to experience the beauty of the beach for the first time. I got my purple Mexican dress and I jumped off the pier. We had some amazing laughs as I made a fool of myself trying to be a goalie in our soccer game.  But it didn’t matter because we were having fun. I loved the church in Bahia de Kino.  Although they were small, you could tell they were a family, and I loved their little music group for the beautiful songs. They were amazing. While volunteering, there was not a moment that I felt like I was working, and I enjoyed every moment of it.

Mexico was just great fun, great food, and great people. It was humbling and eye opening. I am so glad I was honored with the opportunity to have this experience with these people. Thank you to everyone who opened my eyes to things I never even thought of. I also want to thank everyone for making me feel welcome and immersing me in the culture. I will forever miss Bahio De Kino, Mexico.