I have two homes, both Mexico and Groningen. Both beautiful in a different way.
When in 2005 a German exchange student in Mexico told Amaranta that Groningen was such a cool city, she couldn’t resist the idea of studying here. She packed her bags and spend a wonderful exchange year in ‘Grunn’. Afterwards, she decided to move here permanently and started working at the RUG first in Groningen and now in Leeuwarden, Campus Fryslân. “I feel completely in my element here.”
“I decided to stay because I feel that Groningen is continuously moving and reinventing itself. People come and go and somehow leave their stamp here. Amsterdam is Amsterdam because of the tourists. Groningen is Groningen because of its people.”
Amaranta looks back on her student days with fond memories. “I absolutely loved my student life here. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and it was really exciting! Back then, the Poelestraat was already buzzing with students. The names of the bars changed but the atmosphere is still the same.”
For Amaranta, living in Groningen has been a valuable life lesson. “Up until now, there have been good times and bad times, but my life definitely changed positively. I learned to develop personal skills, formed long-lasting and long-distance relationships and created new opportunities that wouldn’t have been possible if I’d stayed in Mexico.”
Groningen is Groningen because of its people
“I have two homes now, both Mexico and Groningen. Both beautiful in a different way. I feel at home here because of all the lovely people I’ve met and my current job. Mexico felt too busy for me. Groningen is like a ‘city-village’. It can be provincial with rooted traditions but at the same time it is so cosmopolitan and vibrant.” Nevertheless, Amaranta misses her hometown sometimes. “I miss my family, Mexican traditions and food, that’s why I always have a stack of Mexican goodies at home.”
What she mostly loves about Groningen is its old-fashioned bars like De Sigaar and Café Mulder. “They have a great atmosphere and the waiters are so personal. They chit chat with everyone. Some even met my sister!” Apart from her usual spots, she has some yearly traditions she can’t miss, such as Eurosonic and Noorderzon. “You get to experience the city from another perspective.”