During the summer I went to spend 6 weeks in Mexico City with help from the year abroad fund. I had already spent 4 months there in the academic year as part of my Spanish and Portuguese year abroad. I had worked for a NGO which helped families, specifically women and children and really enjoyed it, as it gave me the opportunity to speak Spanish at all times in a work environment and also to do an internship where I genuinely felt helpful, which I have since learnt is pretty rare!
I am also about to write my dissertation which focuses on the treatment of women in Mexico so for me this was a really invaluable opportunity to return to a country which I loved so much the first time round.
I returned to the same charity who were at this time doing a lot of work focusing on how to help young women facing discrimination in the job market. I helped with translating documents and presentations, which was both interesting and useful for my language skills. Having already been to Mexico City, I was not too worried about anything as I felt very prepared, but in a big city so different from home there are always things to be aware of and I was a little anxious to be back in a city which I know from experience can be very overwhelming and a bit exhausting. I was also quite nervous to go back to speaking Spanish full time, as very few people I met there speak English, and I had not spoken any Spanish for six months.
I feel that I was a lot more confident on this trip to Mexico City, which allowed me to get a lot more from the city. Things that seem fairly insignificant such as always using public transport and travelling long distances to get to work at rush hour were actually very intimidating to me at first and I feel that on my second visit I was able to experience a lot more of the city with more confidence. This meant I saw many more areas and attractions of the city such as the Frida Kahlo house, Leon Trotsky’s house, the anthropology museum and Xochimilco. I also spoke Spanish all the time and had the chance to speak with lots of knowledgeable people at the charity about women’s rights in Latin America which is of great interest to me, and very relevant to my dissertation.