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Uriel Castellanos: Kyrgyzstan is a country of surprises

The photographer and videographer from South Mexico, Uriel Castellanos, has been living in Bishkek for three years: he works as a volunteer at ADRA. During this time, he visited almost all regions of the country.

Profile of the young Mexican in social networks is filled with images of Kyrgyzstan.

The cheerful Mexican told 24.kg news agency shared his impressions and told about his life in the capital.

-Uriel, you are a traveler. You have spent the last 3 years in Kyrgyzstan. What attracted you to our country?

— Kyrgyzstan for me is a country of surprises, unexpectedness. First and foremost, of course, it will surprise a foreigner with a fascinating history, very interesting and beautiful places.

Having read information about Kyrgyzstan on the Internet, many foreigners are preparing for a trip like to Pakistan or Afghanistan. Having arrived here, you immediately understand that this is a completely different country: instead of a zone of military operations, you find yourself in a peaceful and beautiful state with an unusual and rich culture, traditions and customs. I’m glad that you have preserved your customs.

I remember I was greatly surprised when I first observed how the life of the city changes with the change of the seasons.

I came in Bishkek at the end of winter; there were few people there. Then it became warmer, and the city streets immediately became busy. Children, old people, young people were walking, playing, hurrying… Where have they all been in the winter?

Uriel Castellanos

I like that Bishkek is located among the mountains. As for me, you can go for a picnic every weekend. Nature is only an hour away.

— And what in Bishkek reminds you of your hometown?

— The number of trees. My homeland has two seasons — six months of summer and six months of rain. Our trees are always green, so I feel at home in the spring and summer in Bishkek. And If I hear the birds singing, I fly to Mexico in my mind.

— What do you miss here, Mexican cuisine, probably?

— There are a couple of places in Bishkek with our cuisine, but this is not the same. Its golden rules are cheap and tasty. I wish I would have a good Mexican cuisine and my girlfriend here, Bishkek would be a paradise for me!

— Which places do you like to visit in Bishkek?

— I like to go to one national cafe, walk along Erkindik boulevard. Both places are visited by people with different social status. In one of them they eat plov or lagman, in the other — walk, talk, play with children. The main thing — they do not pay attention to foreigners. Here I begin to feel myself a local.

— What disappointed you in close acquaintance with the local population?

— Probably, all foreigners say that you are hospitable. And it is indeed. For example, I noticed that most representatives of the local population are ready to share bread, drink tea together, and tell openly about themselves.

I was disappointed that there are still people who attempt to deceive, to use you in the most miserable way.

Uriel Castellanos

— What would you change in Bishkek?

— I would improve street lighting and repair roads. I would also open a good Mexican restaurant. Local people deserve to taste a good taco!