My name is Única Alleyne and I had the opportunity to do an intensive immersion Spanish program for 3 weeks in Mérida, México. I’m 23 years old, I’m frm Virginia and I study Spanish at Roanoke College.

I decided to come to Mérida because I want to learn more Spanish and have more confidence speaking with other people.

The experience of living in Mérida changed me in many ways. On one side my identity, I’m part hispanic and it’s very important to me to learn Spanish. I feel more confident because I shouldn’t speak English here and people don’t understand me if I don’t speal Spanish, so I’ve had to practice a lot. I’ve learned vocabulary, pronunciation and gramar.

I now know more about Mayan culture, I learned a lot about corn and noticed it’s very important in Yucatán. The important connection between women, corn and fertility is amazing. The female womb can give life and that connextion with corn is very important, I learned a lot.

I feel more confident to speak Spanish and I’m not worried about making mistakes because I’m a student. I used to be very strict and I now allow myself to be more “me” and make mistakes to learn from.

My homestay mom Margarita was a lot of fun and kind. She was very patient with me, which helped a lot during my stay in Mérida. My professor José is also very good, he knows a lot of things about Mayan Culture and you can learn a lot from him.

I’m grateful for this experience, I would recommend this program because you can experience things that can change your life! I liked the food, the trips and learning.