Jenzel Velo



A Page from Mexico


I was walking the cobblestone streets of the Mexican city of Valladolid in the Yucatan Peninsula – a far cry from the 5-star all-inclusive hotel that my family was staying in. Whenever travelling, I make it a point to experience the area from the eyes of a local by immersing myself in the hustle and bustle of the culture’s everyday life. I like to see travelling as an experience and education - not merely an escape. Amidst the crowds frantically lining up at the jumbo tour busses, was a frail elderly woman: a local selling handmade hammocks. People passed her as though she was nuisance in their way. I felt compelled to stop. We looked at one another - two people from different time zones, different generations, and different cultures. I bought a hammock. For me, it was a simple souvenir, for her, food for her family for a week. Walking away, my 5-year old niece remarks, “we’re all humans”. In that moment, I learned to count my blessings and to look beyond the pamphlets; the commercials; the surface. Instead, I learned to recognize how we are all deeply connected; how despite how different we are, we are all humans.