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A significant experience that has shaped my life was my first trip to South America While I was in Mexico I got to experience new cultures and gained a different view on the world It helped in my pursuit of learning the Spanish language and it opened my eyes to the economic inequality abroadIn Mexico I got to experience diverse foods and the values placed on food I noticed the natives used indigenous peppers and spices and they presented their food with many colors I got to have dinner with a local family I was astounded by the different practices and the seriousness of family meals compared to America I also gained experience in the social aspect of their culture through dance and festivals While I was there I learned the Merengue dance which is very popular there this helped me know how close knit communities and families can be built around food festivals and dance Traveling to South America helped my refining of the Spanish language I was able to have a conversation with the natives in their own dialect Which helped me comprehend the subtlety of their language Also through my experience with the family and learning how to dance I got to overhear a conversation where both parties were fluent in Spanish this is a rare occasion in Maine it helped me get attuned to the rhythm of their speech What made the most impact on me was seeing the economic inequality abroad I met a man who was paid 14 a week to support his family while the resort was making record profits extorting the labor of locals Going outside the resort allowed me to see the world in poverty levels in a foreign country The condemned buildings shortage of food inability to work enough hours to get ahead During a conversation with a man on the street he told me stories of a time where the town could produce
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