In these difficult times of confinement, I enjoy looking back and remembering everything that has made me happy. And, what I experienced in July 2019 goes through my head all the time, making me reflect on many things that have happened.
I remember when I arrived to London, with all the illusion and some nerves of what would happen. I did not know what to expect, although I sensed that I would live one of the best moments of my life. I was totally right. With doubt and bewilderment, I began by talking to the other young people with whom I had already spoken by WhatsApp. Nervous but happy, we went to the opening ceremony, one of the most beautiful moments I had ever experienced. Nothing compares to seeing so many flags waving, so many different faces, and so much beauty in all the people in the place.
The days passed and I enjoyed every moment, every conference and every visit. I couldn’t believe when I got the chance to meet Jocelyn Bell, and neither what I was hearing about the latest advances in quantum biology. Being able to visit some of the best universities in the world such as Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial College really changed my perspective of what I wanted for myself in the future.
Since I was five years old, I have been sure that my vocation in life is taking care of nature. The love for living organisms has always been present in me, and as a child I could always be seen with insects in my pants pockets and carrying snakes that were twice my size. At the age of 17, when I attended LIYSF, I discovered that my vocation was indeed that, biology. I realised that science was a fascinating world full of wonderful things, and that there were an immensity of branches that I could approach. Visits to museums and universities gave me a new perspective on what evolutionary and conservation biology is, definitely defining the university major that I am currently pursuing.
But that was not all, the LIYSF made me realise another vocation and another impetuous dream that now I cannot get out of my mind and soul: multicultural relationships. Meeting people from so many parts of the world, so many smiles and so much beauty made me realise that I had another very great love besides nature: humanity.
Nowadays that topic blows my mind, and thanks to LIYSF I have decided that I also want to study international relations, to fulfil this dream of being able to know the world, its people and how to help them.
I also learned that the secret key to knowing new cultures can be as simple as a smile, joy and desire to meet people. Without prejudice, only with love and respect, and that learning is one of the most valuable that I carry in my day to day.
My favourite part of LIYSF and what struck me the most was that. The people, the smiles and the happy moments. Seeing and feeling the strength of a haka, the joy of an Indian dance, the beauty of a dance and being able to stop to say a poem is something unmatched.
At the moment that I am writing this, I can say that it has been a difficult year, both for me, for my country and for the entire planet. Uncertainty, fear, and many other things are felt in the streets of my Mexico. Several months ago I turned 18, and I had to spend my birthday in total quarantine, unable to see the people I love and very afraid of what would happen next.
I can tell you now that my 18th birthday was the most valuable I have ever lived, because my best friends that I met at LIYSF got together despite different time zones, and they organised to wish me a happy birthday the moment I woke up in the morning. That has been the greatest birthday gift I have ever received, and being able to meet people like everyone I met in LIYSF makes me stand up, and believe in a better world for generations to come, and also they motivate me to study and fight for human rights. They make me feel incredibly proud of my culture, my roots and have faith that youth is change, and that together we can leave the world better than we found it.
LIYSF changed my life, and I am sure that the young people who participate will make great changes in countries and on the planet. I very much hope that more Latin American youth have the opportunity to visit this great event.
A year of such wonderful experience has passed, which will live in my mind and heart forever. All the people I met will marked my life, and I want them to know that they will always have a home in Mexico.
Gracias por todo LIYSF,
– Montserrat Hermosillo Ortíz