Like all good stories of superheroes, my story started with one “normal” person, in one “normal” world, with all the responsibilities that all “normal” people have in their twenties: studying at the university, finding a job, fighting against the world and trying to survive in that. Maybe is too much calling myself super heroine, but I’ve reasons to justify my daring.
Some months ago, I got a call for the adventure, an NGO of my city made an invitation for two women from Puebla to participate in a project abroad. Who could refuse such a tempting invitation? Well, I know lots of people who could have flatly refused leaving their lives behind or at least paused it for six long months. Fortunately, I decided not to be one of them, however, things were not so easy, processing the visa, finishing my academic degree process, explaining to my family what would have involved leaving my country and what I would have done on the other side of the world, all this and other things that made my departure difficult.
I had many meetings, I met a lot of people, contacted many more and always there was someone who supported my decision. They told me that it would have been a unique and indescribable experience that would have extended my vision of life and they weren’t wrong.
My travel’s day was full of everything, emotions, feelings, activities and important people, but not fear, something inside me knew that crossing the ocean, taking planes and going out of my country wouldn’t have left negative things in me, but only more positive things. So, even if I had never taken a plane or left Mexico, I decided to leave.
Coming to Europe was like crushing against a wall but not in the negative sense, after all Spain is like Mexico for many things, I’m speaking about the time zone, the Spanish accent, which still troubles me, my ability to lose myself in new places and my apparent idealization of the old world.
My first days in Spain were quiet, I met another volunteer of my hosting organization, who has become a very important person for me, people of my organization, coordinators, mentors, the new family and much more. I started to discern who were my friends and who weren’t, although, I’ve not actually met someone who is not friendly with me. The people who I met show me that you’ll always find someone who helps you just because you are another little human being.
In these three months of volunteering, I have learned and experienced much, and I’ll never finish to tell that. I succeeded in “difficult” situations such as working with people with whom I had never worked or even just showed interest in doing that. I learnt to move between villages to go working. Furthermore, funny things happened. For example, be the only non-European in the EVS training. But all of that taught me something that I’ll preserve for the rest of my life, because after all, they are treasures that give a new value to my existence, that have redirected my way to places that I had never thought to go and that make me happy because I’m now discovering and understanding.
But leaving aside my experience and my journey that still doesn’t justify why I called myself heroine, I consider that he most important of my adventure is promoting change. I would like to come back to my home and tell my friends that I became a heroine during my travel because I helped old people feeling young, because I made kids believe that having difficulties with math or being repeater does not make you less capable than others, because I supported people to help their peers and showed them that there are diverse ways to handle conflicts. I would like to say that my many hours in the high schools brought their fruits and that the guys (chavales in Castilian) have used their triangles to say That’s Enough!
Even more, I would like to come back to my home to tell people that anyone can start their own hero/ine journey, preserving knowledges and return to their community to proclaim themselves a true hero/ine, sharing their treasures and promoting that every day, in this way, more and more people become heroes and heroines.
Jacqueline is the Mexican volunteer hosted by Project Kieu in Numancia de la Sagra, Spain.