Major(s): Neuroscience and Behavior, Romance Studies
Minor(s): Dance

What was the name of the organization you worked for over the summer?
Tecnológico de Monterrey 

What did you work on?
I was able to take a course on the cultural heritage of Mexico at the Tecnológico de Monterrey and gain a deeper understanding on the practices, traditions, and values of the country. Besides learning about the various subtypes of cultural heritage and the field of anthropology, I also learned the history behind the components of certain celebrations and rituals, such as the Danza de los Voladores and Mexico’s Independence Day, as well as the cultural preservation programs and subcultures within Mexico. I was even able to visit El Tajin and see the Danza de los Voladores in person. Although my host university wasn’t conducting internships, I still gained valuable information on Mexico’s culture and history that made me appreciate the country even more. 

What was a highlight of your experience?
The best part of my summer experience was when I obtained special recognition from my professor for my final project. For our final, we had to propose a way to preserve and educate others on a specific element of Mexico’s cultural heritage. In addition to being graded, the professor created a contest to give special recognition to the top three projects in the university’s virtual museum of cultural heritage, el Gran museo del Patrimonio en México. I chose to base my project on the traditional medical practices of the Nahua community in Puebla. After doing research and interviewing a Wesleyan alumni and Watson Fellow, Jocelyn Baez-Vasquez, who is basing her research on traditional medicine, I proposed to create an interactive map similar to the website ZocDoc, but strictly for traditional healers. In the end, I was chosen as one of the winners of the contest and earned an A in the course.

How did your summer experience impact you?
My summer experience has further encouraged me to continue in the healthcare field and helped me obtain an even greater respect for traditional medicine. Although I am uncertain of where I will be after my Master’s in Genetic Counseling, I would like to return to Mexico to find a way to make my project proposal come true and to contribute what I have learned about genetics and public health to organizations or clinics in Mexico.