Jericko Torres-Leschnik ’20, Intern with Museo Nacional de Antropología, Mexico City, Mexico (2019 grants program)

This story was originally published in Wellesley's Daily Shot on July 11, 2018.

In the first of our 2018 Summer Postcard Series, Jericko Torres-Leschnik ’20 writes from Mexico City, where she’s participating in Career Education’s Grants Program for Student-Identified Internships at the Museo Nacional de Antropología. Torres-Leschnik’s internship is sponsored by the Mollie Green Lumpkin ’25 Fund for Experiential Learning in Latin America. 

Dear Wellesley,

Greetings from Mexico City! This is the capital of Mexico, an international city that has roughly 145 museums with everything from modern art to ancient civilizations to museums focused on specific artists and their living legacy. I am living and working near the Bosque de Chapultepec, a large park that has tons of greenery. From June to August Mexico City has its rainy season, and it rains almost every day here. Everyone has been so welcoming and kind. I got lost walking to work my first day and a woman walked a block with me to show me which way to go.

I am so grateful to be living alone for the first time and having the freedom and responsibility to decide what to do with my time and my space. I have enjoyed buying fresh fruit and vegetables at the tianguis (or bazaar) near where I live. Most of my amazing food experiences have been completely unplanned; sometimes everything is closed and the place you stumble into turns out to be exactly what you needed.

I am an intern at the Museo Nacional de Antropología, inaugurated in 1964, which displays both anthropological and ethnographic collections that tie into Mexican heritage. I work in the archaeology department, which manages and studies the pre-Hispanic artifacts on display in the anthropology sections of the museum. The MNA is under the umbrella of the National Institution of Anthropology and History (INAH), a federal organization with the mission to facilitate the citizens interactions with their cultural patrimony and making this interaction accessible to people of varying education levels and abilities.

My favorite place to be is the gallery, especially on Mondays when the museum is closed to the public and I get to look at so many breathtaking artifacts while reviewing the galleries. I also love watching pieces get reinstalled after they have returned from an expo, and seeing the sheer amount of people and logistics it takes to correctly, efficiently, and safely reinstall these pieces.

I am lucky to have made friends with coworkers I have met during my internship. Some are people I work with, and some are just really cool people who make living abroad feel a little more exciting. It is currently the World Cup and for the Mexico v. Brazil game my boss allowed everyone (and accompanied us) to see the game on TV. It has been an electric environment with the national pride in the soccer team and its run during the World Cup.

In my free time, I love picking a part of the city to go to and spending six or so hours there, just walking around and meeting new people. I still have so many things I want to do, and probably won't have enough time to do it all. I have loved meeting people with similar interests and practicing my Spanish before I go to Cuba for the fall semester.

I am excited to kick off my “half year of Zen” as I like to call it (summer abroad + study abroad) before returning to Wellesley refreshed and equipped with so many real-world skills to round out my academic studies.