We are all the Same but Different

Posted on August 17,2013 by latinomentalhealth

Hi this is Ana Hidalgo from Costa Rica! Today is our last day and I can't help but to think how quickly it flew by and what an amazing experience it was! My motto for this trip was "Comfort zones were meant to be broken". I can definitely say, I have grown substantially both personally and professionally in the last 4 weeks. Everything from conquering my fear of heights when we went ziplining to nervously attempting to "relax" my colleague/friend as we practiced the induction of Hypnosis. On our second night, out host mom introduced us to her elementary school friends, who we sweetly adopted as 'Las Tias'! Las Tias were absolutely hilarious and told us some tips and places we should go. During our chat, I shared a story of my son and how he never used a baby bottle because he used a straw. Once I mentioned the word "Sorbeto", which is what we use in the Dominican Republic, everyone paused. Macrina, who is from Mexico, stared at me and said "you mean popote?!" While our host mom and Las Tias stared at us and said "Ah Pajilla!!" THREE DIFFERENT COUNTRIES WITH THREE DIFFERENT WORDS FOR STRAW! Although, it was one of the funniest moments it was also one of the most humbling reminders that just because we are 'Latinos' does not mean we are exactly the same. Moments like this drive me to remain culturally aware as a person and as a therapist.

As I write the last words of this post my eyes well up and tears stream down my face...for many reasons. I am excited to reunite with my family but I am also sad to leave. I am beyond overwhelmed at all the love Ticos have shown us. Our families have taken us in and adopted many of us as family and I am truly grateful.