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  • Writer's pictureJanett Salas

My Ancestry DNA Results!

On my 23rd birthday, my closest friends surprised me with an AncestryDNA kit. I had always talked about how awesome it would be to know my entire ethnic background and had wanted to try something like 23AndMe or Ancestry.

Well,It's been over a year since I turned 23 and went through this journey, and I wanted to share the results.

Before I dish out what I learned, here's what I already "knew"

As far back as I knew my family ancestry went back to Mexico. Most of my family that is still in Mexico, is living in Chihuahua, Mexico, particularly in Ciudad Juárez. Aside from that small amount of information, that's all I knew about my heritage.

Of course, there was more stories about family and culture that had been passed down to me from my parents, but true details about our family journey wasn't too clear. All I knew was that I was Mexican-American, and as this picture shows of me, I've always tried to embrace it.

Note to self: Never wear a sombrero again.

What It Meant To Me

Before getting the AncestryDNA kit, I had gone on a study abroad trip to Guatemala and OH MY GOD, was that life-changing. I know 99% of people say their trip abroad was life changing, and not to discredit them, but believe me, my perceptions and my identity were challenged and changed in this one-week trip to Guatemala.

Prior to Guatemala, my travel out of the country consisted of a few short trips to Ciudad Juárez and one trip to Puerto Peñasco, A.K.A. Rocky Point, Mexico. Unfortunately, certain circumstances left me short sighted of Mexico and other Latin American countries.

In Guatemala, not only did I gain more understanding of the way another country operates and meet new people, but it was a time of self-reflection for me. We met with people that went through things I remember my parents telling me about. We shared meals with them and shared stories. We learned about their hardships and their joys. We listened to their music and embraced their culture. We played with the school children and learned more from 7 year olds, than anything I could ever teach them. We climbed mountains and volcanos, overlooking the most beautiful parts of the country. We toured Mayan ruins and learned how incredibly intelligent Mayans were to build their homes. We touched the leaves on the trees and the dirt on the ground and felt connected to the nature. I felt connected to the locals and to myself.

All of this, made me feel proud to be Latina. I spoke their language, I knew their food, I understood their ethics, and I wanted to know more.

This was Guatemala. I could only imagine what it would be like if I traveled to Mexico.

Well, I haven't quiet packed my bags to travel to Mexico (I will soon!), but with simply spitting in the DNA test tube, I'd come closer to knowing more about my ancestry.

The Results

The process was super simple: spit and mail. After a few weeks, I got my results and here they are:

This shows a map of everywhere the traces of my DNA matched up. At first glance, it looks like my DNA is traced back to almost all over the world.

As I mentioned before, it's been a few years since I've received these results and logging back in to my Ancestry DNA, the website seems to be updated, so below is the first set of results I received, along with the newest update.

Results Breakdown in 2016:

Results Breakdown in 2018:

Ancestry Journey

A new feature AncestryDNA below, shows the journey my ancestors took throughout the years on a map with some interesting history of what was going on at the time.

I find it very beautiful to see all of these different pathways and connections across the world that has led to my family and my being here. Living in a time where it's almost impossible not to know where everyone is at all times due to social media and technology, we will leave a much more permanent mark for future generations to know who we are and where they came from. But for older generations, our ancestry is still a little cloudy, some more than others.

After going through this experience, it's definitely driven me to explore more of the world to discover the past and the present.

Here's my beautiful family on Thanksgiving in 2017.

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