The diverse and welcoming island of Cozumel provided us a fantastic homestay experience. With deep historical roots and fantastic opportunities to view marine life, it was the perfect location for the students to call home.
Brevity does not serve to aptly describe the multitude of experiences we had as a group on the island. From a night at a Pearl Farm, to a guided snorkel tour by catamaran (many students professed this was their favorite activity) and visits to Mayan Ruins, the students explored seemingly every part of the island. Each sunset over the calm Caribbean waters, signified an end to the day’s activities but the beginning of the students’ education. Living with families, students were pushed to use language, step out of the comfort zone and try to assimilate to new cultures and customs. It was here, with the family, that growth was most noticeable.
Saying goodbye did not come easy the final night, with each student giving words of appreciation for all these families had done. Some made jokes towards their house siblings, while others remained more serious and somber in their delivery. Some were brief and others expansive, but all contained a genuine sense of gratitude.
Below are some thought on the homestay and Cozumel.
Students made connections with their siblings especially. Clayton’s favorite part of Cozumel was the time he spent with his two host brothers whether that was at the movies or playing soccer.
Scout really appreciated the ability to have conversations and experience the differences and similarities between cultures.
Juan loved his interactions with his family even more than all the planned activities we had. The ability to be part of a family and make plans together was something he really enjoyed.
Samara enjoyed the differences in experiencing life in a small family, because she comes from one much bigger family back in the US. She also was very appreciative of the welcome she felt the entire time she was there.
Autumn’s favorite part was the deep conversations she was able to have with her host father about education and the state of the world.