By Fernanda M. Tovar
Every summer I say I’m going to travel and go somewhere new, but I usually don’t.
It’s usually because I don’t have extra money to spend or I have other obligations.
Being a working college student takes up a lot of time. There’s homework and projects to do and bills that need to be paid.
When summer comes along, many students take it upon themselves to get a second job, pick up extra hours at their current job, or take summer classes.
However, after I finished my summer courses, I had the opportunity to go on a three-week excursion through the southern states of Chiapas and Yucatán, Mexico, with my godmother and aunt.
We flew out to San Cristóbal de la Casas, Chiapas, and slowly bussed our way to Cancún, Yucatán. Throughout the weeks, I visited the indigenous towns of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantán.
Both of the towns are “pueblos mágicos,” or “magic towns.” They are renowned for their culture, history and nature.
In Chamula and Zinacantán, we were advised to avoid taking pictures of people or infrastructure. The Tzotzil Maya people have their own police force, and the military does not come into the town.
I visited the Mayan ruins of Tulum, Chichen Itza and Palenque. Seeing the pyramids online is one thing, but seeing them in person is indescribable.
Though they are worn down, the paint and designs are still visible and make you wonder what life was like then.
The only part I wasn’t prepared for on this trip was the weather.
I’m familiar with the dry summers in San Bernardino, but the humidity throughout the entirety of the trip was almost unbearable.
Something interesting I noticed was that people don’t use ice much. With the intense weather, every time we went to eat we would ask for cups with lots of ice and they would give us a confused look, as if they wondered why we needed ice.
Then we realized they also drink their beer warm.
The warm beaches in Cancún are the cause for much of my present tan. The tide was calm, and I would float on my back and look at the sky.
No matter what city I was in or what direction I looked, all I saw was the greenery.
There were trees that went high into the sky. The woods and jungle covered all of the mountains and grasslands.
It was a sight I had never seen before. I felt like I could disconnect with the fast-paced life in California.