I have spent the last month throwing myself into my research, and more specifically getting to know the population of indigenous university students that I am working with for my project. Going to the rural home communities of these youth, many of whom have become dear friends of mine, and in this way not just hearing about, but actually seeing the lived differences between their communities and the city of San Cristóbal has been one of my favorite parts of my fieldwork and the month of December.
I decided to stay in San Cristóbal for the Christmas holidays, and while I did miss home a bit, I got to experience various Mexican traditions associated with this time of year. For example, I attended several days of festivities in honor of the Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the 12th of December. This holiday is a very special part of the Christmas season here in Mexico when groups of people from all over the country make religious pilgrimages, taking turns running (yes literally running – sometimes for days) to a church dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe. I also ate 12 grapes on New Year’s Eve while making 12 wishes for the new year, a popular Mexican custom.
I am excited for my last class to start, which will help me analyze my research data. I can’t believe my experience is already halfway over, but I am determined to make the most of what remains!
Wish you all happy holidays and a happy new year,