YLAI: From Dreams to Reality

“I don’t believe in luck, I believe in destiny. I know we all are where we supposed to be at all times… And I have to say I feel so blessed of had been placed in Albuquerque.
Albuquerque showed me how open, nice and helpful people might be with strangers. It showed me how a small town can hold so many dreams that increase the opportunity of becoming reality by the empathy and the solidarity shown in every networking opportunity.
I learned there how to make amazing friendships in a very short time and how similar we are even coming from so different places in the world. From Albuquerque I will always have with me the memories of sopapilla, red/green chili, amazing balloon fiesta and most of all, incredible people, proud of their city and making strangers fall in love with New Mexico.”
-Ana Karina Fuentes, Venezuela, Founder of DonaMed


“This was my first time in US so I have to be honest, I had the information that media give us everyday and then when YLAI sent me an email saying that my city hub was going to be Albuquerque is sad but the first thing I saw on internet was ” Breaking Bad city” then searching a little bit more I found information about green and red chile, sandia Mountains and all the touristic and famous things in ABQ so I was very excited to go to all this wonderful places I saw on google.

After my time there I can totally say that ABQ is thousand times more than what a TV show and google can tell ( I’m from Medellin so I know of how an stereotype can affect a city) and I’m impressed by all I was able to discover and learn there. So I worked with Joe Cardillo in the Downtown Art and Culture District and he showed me all what is happening now there, and also connected me with amazing people that is running a lot of art and cultural spaces, groups that support artists, Creative startups, Art residencies and I had the chance to get to know more about Music, amazing coffee shops and a lot of incredible projects that inspired me so much to keep working back in Medellín and share all this great ideas with my community and start doing more everyday
Culture, People, sky, food, nature, landscapes, air, sunsets, discipline, opportunities, vibes but one of the things that I already miss and people in ABQ never notice is that you can walk and never think that something bad is going to happen to you because you feel safe!! and I’ve experience that there for the first time in my life and I appreciate that so much and people there should do that too! you live in a amazing place, not perfect, every place has something to change but you have the chance everyday to do it and keep loving and appreciating what you have there.
Thanks to every single person I’ve meet there that made my experience something incredible!”

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