Gaytan Siblings Visit Family in Mexico

Eryka Hackett, Staff Reporter

While many teens spend their summers lounging by pool sides or splurging on the latest trends, siblings freshman Alex and junior Sabrina Gaytan got a taste of the cultural side of life by embarking on a 37 day family adventure to Monterrey, Mexico, where they stayed with their extended family. 
“I did a lot of physical activity while I was there, hiking, mountain climbing, and a lot of long distance running,” Sabrina said. “I come from a very active family, so we always do these kinds of activities every year. It’s very lively.”
Although Mexico is recognized for the upbeat sounds of mariachi bands and the explosive flavors of the foods, for Sabrina, being out in the vast mountains and experiencing the wildlife was a highlight to remember.
“My favorite scene was the view from the top of one of the tallest mountains in Mexico, El Cerro dela Sill,” Sabrina said. “It was beyond beautiful, a sight everybody needs to see at least once in their lifetime. Being in the clouds, seeing creatures in their natural habitat, the trees towering over you, feeling the mist of the air and the expansive rocks carved beautifully into the mountain was subliminal.”
Alex also enjoyed the outdoor activities while in Monterrey.
“We went up to this place called Horse Tail to go mountain climbing, and it’s nothing but amazing views,” Alex said. “Seeing all the things the area has is really cool, and I was happy to go.”
But for Alex, the city lights and late nights out on the town were memorable parts of the overstates experience.
“We got to go see all the movies that were showing in the theaters and that was cool,” Alex said. “We just took an entire day and saw every movie that was available in Spanish.”
Aside from the scenic beauty, the way of life in Monterrey helped the siblings appreciate another culture.
“The cultural differences are very different from the ones we’ve been exposed to here,” Sabrina said. “Every year I go, I find myself understanding and admiring, rather than questioning, them. The food is what captured my attention first. The people over there are big on eating healthy; no matter what house you enter, you’ll always find fresh fruits and vegetables.”
Monterrey teens have a fashion edge, according to Sabrina.
“The fashion is mostly the same, but the difference I find is that teenage girls are always on top of it all before it reaches [America],” Sabrina said. “They’re always trying on the latest trends and styles.”
Sabrina is also impressed with the way religion is integrated into their lives.
“The predominant religion there is Catholicism,” Sabrina said. “Mexico has unique events for the celebration of their religion there. Faith is an element that holds their independence greatly, more than any place I’ve ever seen.”
Although the touring and long plane rides proved exhausting, the benefits of the experience made the trip a meaningful adventure.
“Because we only go once a year, we try to make the most of the time we have,” Alex said. “Family means the most to me.”