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For the last two weeks, I had the opportunity to travel around Turkey and learn about its history and culture. It was a great trip. We had the most amazing tour guide, Cemre, who was so passionate about his roots, he inspired me to share mine.

I was born and raised in a small colonial city in Mexico called Campeche. It’s located on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico and shares borders with Guatemala and Belize. Back in the day, it was an important seaport that suffered from pirate attacks, which is why the city was fortified in the 17th century. The walls and fortresses built surround one of my favorite places in the city – el centro (old town/downtown), and they have been preserved to give an idea of what the city looked like then. Some of them are museums now. Walking or driving around this colorful neighborhood never gets old as every building’s façade is painted and no neighboring walls are the same color. This is where you will see a lot of people walking around, shopping, dining, and where my parents would take me when I was little to dance class. It’s also where my best friend’s house is.

Campeche is also known for its Mayan ruins and amazing seafood. There’s also a promenade right by the water, which is called ‘Malecón’. Here you’ll find everyone walking, running, cycling, and rollerblading. Right across from it, there’s restaurants and coffee shops. My friends and I still mostly come here to watch the sunset. Driving is kind of joyful there as there’s not much traffic, so sometimes, we like to spend time driving around and talking. We call it “dar un rol.”

I’ve been telling my parents I’ll be home in August but keep forgetting to buy my ticket. I won’t forget today. I would be remiss if I didn’t end this by telling you my city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and I hope I made you at least curious to learn more about it.

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