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Bienvenidos

Cathedral y Yo

A dream comes true. For months the Guadalajara Cathedral was my desktop at my government job.

A little over three months ago I left my job with the California State Government to follow a dream and live in a Spanish-speaking country. Making this life change was surprisingly easier than I thought. After interviewing with the Peace Corps (not for me) and being accepted by the wonderful organization WorldTeach to live in Colombia (maybe in the future…), I decided to go it alone. I chose México for its familiarity, proximity to the US and reasonable economy, as well as the fact that I love the people here. The food is delicious, the language intriguing and the culture truly colorful, but for me its the Méxicans who make their country special.

Mujeres y yo

The beautiful Mujeres de Mariachi and me at El Patio in San Pedro Tlaquepaque

In order to fund my dream, I needed a job, so I studied with ITTO and received my TEFL Certification in four intense weeks.  I found work in San Pedro Tlaquepaque, just outside of Guadalajara, and shared housing in a traditional casa close to the Centro district. So here I am now. Living the Dream. Is it as dreamy as I expected? Well, yes, it is. Work is work, we need it to survive, but I like teaching, so it fits. Plus, I am learning new things like how to buy caguamas at the store nearby (return the bottle, save a few pesos), and when the cowbell is ringing, run outside with your trash. All daily parts of the dream.

Equipale

My neighbors make beautiful Equipale in their home.

Perhaps the best part of hitching my wagon to a star and arriving in Jalisco is all that I have seen so far. The colors and the landscape. The handmade clothing and artesian delights. The smell of fresh fried churros on a chilly weekend night as kids run around the Plaza and adults drink Micheladas from giant cups. Futbol on the television in a bar, with a loud crowd cheering on the Chivas or America. This is the real dream: being in it day and night.

Casa

Inside the casa. I write lesson plans at the table, to the sounds of Banda music and my neighbors’ roosters.

As I walk home after teaching in the evenings, my neighbors call out “Buenas noches, Guerita!” My friend Gerardo’s dog Bingo runs up to greet me with his tail wagging as I unlock the front gate (dogs on leashes in México? Very rare). These things make me remember what I have now today was once was a wish, burning in my heart.
Bienvenidos a mi vida, el sueño de todos los días.

Author: Kate Dana

Teacher, traveler and writer living on the Caribbean coast of South America.

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