Last year’s Wahaca Scholarship was won by Jo, our assistant manager in White City and so she packed her bags and off she went to Mexico! Here’s her report on her trip, the sites she saw and the things she ate. It’s enough to make the rest of us very jealous. Over to Jo…
When I won the Wahaca scholarship and was rewarded with a trip to Mexico I knew there would be a lot to discover, but what I saw totally exceeded my expectations.
Places, people, smells everything was new for me and so exciting.
We started our journey in Cancun where we met our Mexican/ Mayan tour guide Victor. Victor has grown up in the Yucatan Peninsula so we were assured he would show us the real Mexico. A few hours later as I was sitting in my hotel room, margarita in hand, it seemed like a good chance for a rest, but Victor had different plans.
Our hotel was situated in a very small village next to Chichen Itza so Victor decide to give us a tour around Maya-land.
That day he introduced us to a whole population of Iguanas and explained how they would become our friends as they can be found in pretty much all of the archaeological sites we’d be visiting over the following 7 days. After a little bit of a safety talk, we felt much more at ease around them. In fact, later that night we discovered they were also living in our building… I have never heard Kate screaming so loud before!
Our week of touring would take us throughout the cultural sites in our region, listening to Victor talk about Mayan history. I felt like I was in a totally magical world.
From standing in front of the third biggest pyramid in the world CHICHEN ITZA, (one of the seven modern wonders of the world and such a beautiful way of showing the Mayan calendar), to EK BALAM a huge Mayan city which overwhelmed us with its immense size and spectacular views. We were totally moved by the archaeology that we were shown and will never forget the sites that we visited.
After a whole week, thousands of pictures and even more stories my mind and my heart has been infected with one thought: will we ever be able to truly appreciate the true depths of Mexico’s heritage? Victor, in his 35 years of experience has seen more and more of his culture, restored every year. Even in this region there is so much yet to be uncovered, and I’m sure it’s just a question of time and money until the 8th wonder of the world is revealed!
After each long day there was time for food and drinks – something that working for Wahaca has made me really passionate about. I was desperate to try as much Mexican food as I could and compare it to the different tastes in Wahaca.
My aim was to find as many dishes we selling in Wahaca as possible, so that I could then tell our customers what taste better, worse or just different.
At first I struggled with the menu as it was all was in Spanish, but after a while familiar words started to appear, one in particular that I knew I had to try in Yucatan Pibil!
Yucatan is a heart of pibil country and we proudly sell lots of pork pibil in Wahaca so I was very excited when I tried my tender, juicy pork taco and absolutely couldn’t tell a difference! They looked, smelled and tasted the same as ours!
Thoughout the trip I tried some amazing food. I had Guacamole every day, chicken tinga tacos, lots of frijoles, quesadillas, sopa de lima (which I think we should add to the menu, it was so tasty!) and all of it tasted just like the dishes I had got to know at home.
And even though every night we ate in different restaurants, for pudding we always had the same – Flan! And trust me when I say it was heaven.
After that trip I knew Mexico would be one of the places I would always want to come back to. There’s so much more to learn and so many more dishes to try! I hope it’s not too long until I can return to continue my Mexican adventure.