By Liz Gilbert
One of the best things about Alternativas is that the work is rarely boring. Each week brings a new opportunity, challenge or problem to solve, from using the telephone in Spanish (very daunting at first) to helping to write the final report of the project, to learning how to construct and deconstruct our dreaded and lauded project management system.
I spent all day, every day speaking Spanish. I worked with Mexicans, lived with Mexicans and socialized with Mexicans, who were all eager to show me the best of their country. I attended traditional family dinners on Sundays, watched mariachis in Garibaldi square one memorable Saturday night, and taught a friend’s aunt to dance to Beyonce’s Single ladies at a family party. I went to salsa bars, parties and spent far too much time sunbathing in the university parks. I visited traditional markets and fancy shopping centers. I visited Tepito and its infamous black market. I also went to the fancy offices of Procter & Gamble in Mexico to assist in giving a presentation about corporate social responsibility.
In terms of career goals and ambitions, I definitely want to do further non-governmental organization work, and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work for a Mexican organization as I feel it has added great value to my CV.