Spending this summer studying abroad in México City (or CDMX for Ciudad de Mexico) was truly a priceless experience. I have been to México before, visiting my family in our small town, rarely spending too much time in cities, so being in CDMX made me feel like I was in a completely different México. The energy I found in CDMX, with its countless museums and sights to see, every place with a piece of history behind it, gave me a new perspective regarding México; I learned SO much history about a country I already loved which only contributed to that love and added a lot more admiration and respect.
My experience also reinforced my interest in my majors – Environmental Science and Global Health Studies – after seeing all the work that remains to be done to help the city and country thrive. I found myself distressed when I was reminded how much work needs to be done to ameliorate the quality of rural clinics and health education, and environmental issues like air pollution and access to water, let alone clean water – this being a problem even in the capital! With the distress came inspiration and eagerness to pursue a career that will allow me to address some of these issues. This experience also reminded me how important it is value what I have – I have been so fortunate to live in a place in which I have never had to worry about the cleanliness of water and where I have access to healthy food and quality health care.
Going to México was an incredibly eye-opening experience. From the country’s history to its public health to everyday life, I highly doubt that I would have received such a well-rounded experience had I visited under different circumstances. While CDMX might not be a place I would want to make a living in, I did fall in love with the city, the culture, and the people. I would love to go again.