When home is between two different countries

Casey Nguyen, In-Depth Editor

As a sense of warmth and security overwhelmed her, junior Alondra Gonzalez entered her family home in Mexico. She knows that to outsiders, her home country is best known for many things, ranging from tourist attractions and exotic, beach getaways. However, junior Alondra Gonzalez has a different outlook on the Spanish-speaking country.

“It’s like a second home to me,” Gonzalez said.

For 10 days in July, Gonzalez and her family stayed in Guadalajara. It is the capital city of Jalisco, a state in the western part of Mexico that many well- known Mexican icons originated from – including mariachi music and sombreros.

During her time, she experienced the culture at its highest point. She and her family went from traditional markets and other celebrations to different museums that informed her of the history of Mexico.

“The remarkable thing about this location is that the city is above ground, “ Gonzalez said, “whilst the streets of the city are underground in historical tunnels that were once used to transport water in and out of the city.”

Being immersed in the Mexican culture for almost two weeks was a change from the lifestyle she was used to back in America. She tasted everything that the city had to offer, from small food stands to fancy restaurants. She states that the food and the culture were all contrastingly different from that in Virginia.

Despite the many differences, she found the culture in Mexico gave her a different outlook on her everyday life in the U.S. She experienced no difficulties with socializing with the locals, Gonzalez felt right at home.