Photo By Terra C. MacLeod 

It is a beautiful afternoon and as I sit on my chair looking at the changing color of the leaves from the trees outside my window I meditate about the wonderful summer I’ve had.  I had the opportunity to travel to three countries doing what I love.  My skills as a teaching artist have taken me there and I can’t help but think of what contributes to people wanting to hire me again.  I know part of it lies in my expertise as a dance professional, but is there something more?

I never thought that being born and raised in Mexico, in the city of La Paz—on the southern tip of the Baja— would someday lead me to dance around the globe and allow me to live in one of the most exciting and difficult cities in the world.  New York City has been my home for almost 20 years and I still love everything it offers despite the loudness and the fast pace such a city embodies.  Of all the places I have lived in, and I have lived in quite a few, New York City gives me the comfort and excitement of the whole world in one place.  Here I get to express myself, my art, open my heart and mind and be creative.  I contribute my talents and culture to this city and this country just like so many immigrants do on a daily basis.  Fate brought me here and I became a citizen by naturalization, something I do not take lightly.  I am aware that in order to survive I have to be the very best self I can be and always play my A game.

Then a thought comes to mind: “I am made in Mexico.” Yes, I have trained and worked hard to become a professional in the field of dance, but it is not only my skill set that has opened the doors for my teaching engagements around the world.  It’s my heart, my culture, my upbringing and all of the stories and experiences I lived in my home country that are now sealed in every cell in my body. They are what make me who I am today and are part of what I contribute to any community that I visit or work in.  I am made in Mexico.  I am warmth, colors, passion, compassion, flavors, beauty, and traditions; like a little spice bag that adds flavor to whatever I do.  A stamp I am proud of wearing wherever I go.

So on this 16th of September, Mexican Independence Day, I feel gratitude for everything I have come to accomplish in my life. And to everyone who relates to this story, be proud of where you come from, celebrate your culture and your heritage and know that the ingredients of your little spice bag are the flavors many long for and the recipe that will take you far.

¡Que viva México!

Gabriela García

September 2019

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