My experience in Mexico was one I’ll have in my memories for the rest of my life. Just two summers ago, a youth group and I decided to visit Mexico. We toured a couple major cities there – the land of fiestas, extremes, and refuge. I planned to see captivating ancient sites, gorgeous beaches, and colorful festivities. While seeing some of what I expected, most of what I saw was unpredicted, and will trouble me when I hear the word, Mexico.
As the bus drove closer and closer to the border, from Sacramento, California, I felt a range of mixed emotions. I was excited to see how people lived and survived in Mexico. The ride took about 30 more minutes until we arrived to have our passports checked by the border patrol. I was frightened by the soldiers, who seemed to be everywhere, holding their guns as if they were ready to shoot any second. We were all worried and hoped the document check would be approved to let us pass through.
After getting our passports ...view middle of the document...
Some people would wash our windows or rims while we stood in traffic, hoping we would give them a peso or two.
Moreover, the roads were terrible. While being close to the US border the roads were pretty decent, but as we kept driving, I began to realize we were driving on bumps and potholes. Eventually, the cement roads became dirt roads. Finally, after driving nine hours from the Mexican border, we arrived to our destination, Tijuana. I looked excitedly out of my window, hoping to see a city in better condition, but what I saw shocked me. Huge crowds of people stopped everything they were doing to stare at us. The people wore dirty, tattered clothing and were startlingly thin. I couldn’t help but stare and wish I could improve their ways of living.
Almost instantly, the native Mexicans began to come closer to our group. Their eyes burned straight into my mind, and I felt like an intruder because of the way they stared. My first feeling of guiltiness came when I unintentionally bumped into a little boy who looked at me with sad, troubled eyes that seemed to say, “How could you allow us to live this terrible life?” Instantaneously, I felt gratitude for everything I had ever taken for granted.
The next day, as we boarded the bus, I felt relieved to be leaving Mexico behind me. But then I looked back at all the people, and thought of how difficult it must be to go through hardships every single day, hardships worse than anything we Americans undergo. I was leaving Mexico, but these people had no way out. Even today, the thoughts and memories of Mexico still disturb me.
From my experience, nothing in life should be taken for granted. After seeing the lifestyle of people in Mexico, I realized I am extremely blessed, and I have an abundant supply of food, clothing, and shelter. In this trip I learned to understand what it truly means to be grateful for the possessions I obtain, and the abilities I have in life. The opportunity to acquire education, develop a career, and most importantly live my life the way I desire. People who live in poverty are restricted to living their life to the fullest because they live hoping to survive each day at a time. In moments of happiness, and even tough times, we need to develop gratitude for every moment, which will lead us to appreciation and satisfaction of life.