Querétaro, Mexico: all it takes is a dance!

Makaela and Alejandra

Makaela and Alejandra

The next university I visited on my Mexico trip was the Tec de Monterrey in Querétaro, Mexico. I quite serendipitously fell into the Tec’s community during the summer semester class graduation ceremony… on the dance floor! I’d met people during classes and campus tours — from Mexico, the States, and various parts of Europe — but when we got moving it became a community event!

The international grads had learned a few dances during their time at the Tec del Monterrey, and the dance floor came alive each time the DJ put on one of “their songs.” I jumped into the chaos, and friendships were forged as sympathetic Mexicans took me under wing.

Visiting a colonial cathedral in Querétaro’s downtown core

Visiting a colonial cathedral in Querétaro’s downtown core

During a Zumba-like line dance, a sweet girl named Alejandra counted out the steps for me (“Uno, dos, tres, cuatro!”) as we navigated the moves together. I made another friend when Luis pulled me onto the floor to teach me some salsa. “Give me one more week,” he encouraged me, “and you’ll be latina!” These tentative friendships were solidified through a karaoke session at the close of the day. The dancing and singing went on for hours, and though I had entered as an observer, by the day’s end, I had become a small part of the community.

This paints a portrait of my general experience at the Tec. I came to observe classes, go to meetings, and learn program logistics. Through dances, meals, and nights out on the town, the vibrant university invited me into its international, imaginative, and integrated community.

The beautiful campus at the Tec

The beautiful campus at the Tec

Situated in Querétaro, the Tec is surrounded by historical, political, and geological sites of interest, and boasts a multiplicity of cultural activities. The city of Querétaro is also one of Mexico’s most prosperous and industrious, and the Tec offers many types of internships to its students in various lines of work. I could ramble on about the Tec’s internationalization, its social involvement in the region, its high-calibre programs, and its innovative teaching methods, but for that, a link to its website will suffice. For me, it was all about jumping onto the dance floor and stepping into the community of the Tec de Monterrey. As is true in any situation abroad, take a leap of faith and simply “join in” your surroundings!

– Makaela

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