After the past few months of preparation, learning about responsible tourism, and packing I am finally in Bucerías, Mexico. Through Northern Illinois University, I was given the opportunity to intern abroad in Mexico. This internship focuses on responsible tourism. Responsible tourism is tourism that minimizes negative social, economic and environmental impacts. generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the well-being of host communities.
I have only been here for four days and this experience has already surpassed my expectations. Working with the local community and indigenous people has been such an eye opening experience that has really made me look at life in a new perspective. From going on a Human Connections day tour and meeting local families, to taking the bus up to Sayulita, and going on a boat tour of a local animal sanctuary called Estero El Salado.
I am looking forward to immersing myself into the local culture and gaining a new global perspective. In doing so, I hope to grow personally and professionally, become more adaptable, learn how to communicate across a language barrier, step out of my comfort zone, and learn to live in the now. Being someone who often gets wrapped up in the big picture, I hope to learn how to focus on the moment that is right in front of me and enjoy where I am at, rather than focusing on where I want to be.
Some additional goals I have for this experience are to practice and learn more Spanish, to be more open minded when it comes to people who have chosen a different path than me, to learn what goes into starting a social enterprise and the financial side of a social business, and to gain a real world perspective outside of the United States “bubble”.
I can’t wait to see what the next three weeks have in store!