By Qufei Xue
The short spring vacation was the perfect time for Tianjing and me to go to a not-so-far-away but very special place—Mexico. The beautiful Caribbean Sea, white sand, and historical cultures were just a few of the reasons why we made the journey. Mexico also grants visa-free entry to international students who hold an I-20 and a valid Visa.
Our first destination on the trip was Cancun, which is famous for its Mayan culture and seaside resorts. As soon as we landed, the first thing I noticed were rows of palm trees lining a tropical beach. In Cancun, there are plenty of opportunities to participate in activities in the water, like snorkeling, sky rides, jungle tours, and diving. Amidst the crystal like water of the ocean, lies an abundance of myriad fish and colorful corals—we will never forget our experience snorkeling in its depth. Yet what stood out most to me about Cancun was its Mayan culture. The Maya civilization was one of the greatest that Mexico and the Americas has ever seen, and the Mayan culture is preserved today throughout the Yucatan—some of the places worth visiting are the islands of Cozumel, ruins of Chichen Itza, Tulum, and Isla Mujeres. We spent a superb five days with the blazing sun, rows of palm trees, and blue seas, and then we went to Mexico City, which is one of the biggest cities in the world.
Fortunately, since we are from China, we were not surprised to see so many people in one place, although we were amazed at the city’s old colonial architecture. When we arrived at the center of Mexico City, Zocalo, which is the biggest square in the world, we saw many colonial-era buildings that were not properly maintained. The Zocalo Square is surrounded by the Cathedral Metropolitan, Temple Mayor, and Palacio National. Afterwards, we went to one of the highest modern buildings in the Latin Americas, the Torre Latinoamericana, which overlooks the whole of Mexico City. This experience was unforgettable. The entire city represented a blend of deep history and modern civilization. We were able to appreciate another one of the greatest cultures in the Americas, the Aztec civilization. There is a view of the Pyramid of the Sun and Moon at the archaeological site of Teotihuacan in Mexico City. At the top of one of the greatest pyramids in the world, we were shocked to witness the remains of this ancient place.
This vacation gave us a lot of surprises. The ancient civilizations, historical buildings, and dazzling pearl that is the Caribbean Sea left us with memories that will last a lifetime.