Why should I choose Mexico for my year abroad?
It’s not for nothing that more than 20 million tourists land here every year, epidemic or no epidemic. It’s true to say that Mexico’s reputation as a safe country was put to the test with the H1N1 episode of 2009 and a lot of bad press has recently come about due to the rise of conflict in the North of the country. Crime, drugs, corruption...These are not words that would make you want to come visit, let alone live here. But what the news back home covers, what is spread out in the papers or across the internet is not necessarily the be all and end all. Afterall, so many tourists and immigrants in Mexico can’t be wrong - there’s more to the country than rough neighbourhoods up North.
Despite what has been written or documented on the politics here, the government is a lot more stable than in other Hispanic countries. Regardless of where you are based in the country, you can’t afford to stay put - big, this place may be, but well worth travelling around. From virgin beaches to exotic jungles, to virtually unscathed archeological ruins dating back to thousands of years ago, you could easily be fooled into thinking things haven’t changed that much since Hernán Cortés landed here so many years ago. It is precisely this natural beauty, the warmth of Mexico’s people, the traditions and customs that have been passed down generation past generation, that make the country such a startling contradiction in terms. Diego Rivera’s murals paint an adequate picture of the country it once was, and raises questions as to what it still is - a veritable mixture of class, race, gender and cultures.The food is out of this world - a primary country, Mexico has hundreds of different fruit, vegetables and...of course, chilli!
You will be able to taste some real delicacies, such as chapulines (grasshoppers), iguana, nopales (cacti), tortilla, incredible seafood and much more...Though Mexico can give off one appearance, look away for a split second, and you'll see something completely different. Macho yet matriarchal, pretty yet dirty, rich yet poor, easy-going yet frustrating, Catholic yet Pagan, modern yet traditional...A country that has a lot more to show than bigotes, tequila and tortilla...A country you’ll never cease to be amazed by. Working, volunteering or studying, one thing is for sure, you won’t regret coming here. Watch out for the sleazy men, the spicy salsa and the dodgy reggaeton, and you’ll be just fine.