Our first weekend we were introduced to Mennonite Central Committee and Casa de los Amigos, the hostel/guest house where we stayed. Erica opened our discussion with a version of the Lord’s Prayer from a migrant perspective. Reflecting on that version was a good moment of assessing personal thoughts and a practice of empathy. Abbey talked about her experience volunteering at Casa for the year. She addressed the potential for a “white saviour complex” by intentionally building cultural competency and empathy. Her focus has been in holding people’s “sacred stories”, as a way of giving respect to individuals we encounter.
We also met with a church youth group in Ecatepec, (in the state of Mexico, on the outskirts of Mexico City.) Every single person was so friendly and welcoming. They taught us about different cultures in various regions of Mexico. Despite the language barrier we all got along great. Some of us made bets over hot salsa, and we played word games to practice our Spanish and their English. It was wonderful getting to know everyone, sharing in their music, and sharing dinner together…I really enjoyed getting the chance to converse with so many people in Spanish. Jessica, one of the girls from the youth group, and I connected over music and singing, despite my limited vocabulary.