I am a junior engineering science major from Colombia. I have always been interested in diversity and cultures. The US has always been portrait as a diverse place and it is commonly known as “the melting pot.” My Wartburg West experience has certainly helped me to understand and experience the diversity in this country. My first exposure to diversity was my first night in Denver when I order my food in Spanish in a restaurant just a block away from the apartment building. In my placement, at the University of Colorado, a lady greeted me in Spanish without even asking me if I was from a Spanish speaking country. In a city like Denver is easier to experience diversity and to see how different cultures come together in one place. In my way to work I take a street that is called Colfax Avenue. From downtown Denver to the University of Colorado medical campus you can see how as you keep going east, the different cultures are uncovered. As you get away from downtown, a few blocks are full of African restaurants, then a little bit further, you can see some Asian restaurants, and if you keep going east you will encounter a big portion of the road full of Hispanic stores and restaurants.
I have definitely enjoyed the large Hispanic community in Denver. I have been able to find places and products that remind me of home. For instance, there is a place where every Saturday they have Salsa night. It is incredible to go to this place and see all the people dancing. It is truly a Latin environment and an example of how cultures can get this far.
Although Denver hosts a lot of international cultures, it also has examples of different places within the States. A couple of weeks ago I went to a place called Luciles. It was a completely different experience. I felt like being in the south. This restaurant is characterized for its food which depicts New Orleans and the south. I was with some friends from Iowa and they mentioned that some of the food that they had was not common in their region. One of them was amazed that we could experience the south by only going to a restaurant.
I have been in Denver for 3 months and I can clearly say that I still have so much to experience. I have had a lot of different experiences with diversity, but there are so much more things in this city that I would like to live. It has been a really good semester and it has certainly opened my eyes to the large diversity of the US.