Rotary Club’s international student visits Bainbridge

Published 8:24 pm Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Estefania Ybarra, a native of Guadalajara, Mexico, and currently a student at Valdosta State University, is visiting the Southwest Georgia Rotary clubs who are sponsoring her as she pursues her education in the U.S. this year. As a major in mass media communications, she is getting practical experience in public speaking.
In her presentation to Bainbridge Rotary on Tuesday, she gave an overview of the Mexico she knows, which is a far cry from the stereotyped views held by many in the United States.
Rather than the burning hot climates and small natives riding burros on dust-covered roads, and those who live in fear of murdering drug cartels, Estefania showed slides of beautiful cities, full of culture. She also showed her family and friends and explained the biological diversity and climate that exists in Mexico, ranging from the hot and dry desert in the north, through the snowy mountains and rain forests in the central and south regions.
She admits she does love tacos and has experienced tequila, which is produced in the Jalisco region of Mexico. She insists, however, that she has never personally experienced a drug dealer or a murder.
She showed photos of Mexico City, the largest city in Mexico and also the popular tourist districts of Vallarta, Cancun, Acapulco and Cabo.
She described her city of Guadalajara as having a strong Spanish influence that is seen in the architecture and history. Temperatures there range from a low of 32 degrees to a high of 91 degrees Fahrenheit.
Its population is 80 percent Roman Catholic, and is home to a soccer stadium that seats 50 thousand people. She said that region is being called the next Silicon Valley of Mexico as such industries as GE, IBM, HP, Kodak and Siemens have companies located there.
Estefania is the second oldest of four children and said in Mexico “Family” is number one — the bigger the family, the more important they are.
Her interests at home were in her church, theater, modeling, dancing and racing.
She has picked up some new adventures since coming to Georgia. She has shot a rifle for the first time and gone alligator hunting.
Each year the Rotary Clubs of Georgia sponsor international study students. Prior to her introduction of Estefania, Marlene Free gave an update on several previous GRSP students who have been here, telling what they are doing now.

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