Q&A: Dayanne Gaona (11)


Photo submitted by Dayanne Gaona: Dayanne Gaona (11) stands in the middle of a popular street in Mexico. Gaona felt emotionally connected with the values of Mexico and its people.

Kristen Mirabelli, Author

Q: When did you plan to go to Mexico?

A: I went on July 21, 2016 to not only Mexico, but also to see a new point of view on life. When I arrived there I was greeted by my family that I have not seen in more than 10 years.


Q: What was it like seeing your family after 10 years?

A: Tears of happiness filled my eyes and happiness took over my heart.


Q: What did your family tell you about Mexico?

A: They told me that Mexico was focused on unity through all people. Mexico is supposed to bring people together whether it is through culture, family or happiness.


Q: What was it like in Mexico?

A: Arriving to the actual hometown of my family was where my whole point of view developed. I saw homeless dogs roaming the streets with no one even watching them, food stands on every side of the sidewalk with fruit like jicama or tacos.


Q: What were the people like?

A: Almost everyone knew each other and visited each other throughout the day.


Q: How is it different from where we live?

A: Unlike where I live, every place within walking distance. You want an ice cream? Do not worry it is right at the corner. I took advantage of that.


Q: How do you think a Mexican’s priorities vary from an American’s?

A: In Mexico, the kids do not have things like video games, iPhones or sometimes even rooms in homes, but they made most what they had. They value family time and bonding with family and friends.


Q: What was your thought after seeing these children?

A: After seeing their pure happiness at the smallest things, I thought why life could not be like this in America. It makes me think of life and its true value. It made me appreciate the things I have and forgot about the things I wanted.


Q: How have you tried to bring what you learned in Mexico with you to America?

A: When I got home, I talked to all my friends about life in Mexico and their true meaning of living life to the fullest. Mexico made them realize how some of the things we take for granted are luxuries in Mexico.


Q: Overall, how has this trip impacted you?

A: This trip has had an enormous impact on me which led me to value every single thing I have and appreciate what is given in life. I learned the most important lesson: It is not what you have that matters, but who you are as a person and your imagination that matters.