Wednesday, February 18, 2009

WEEK 3: Visit to Mexico City

Here are a few of the members of both the Social Work
and Globalization and Migration groups getting excited for Spanish classes!

For our third week of the program, we returned to Cuernavaca from Ixtilico and the Hacienda, although the trip was amazing and very educational, I know a lot of us were ‘homesick’ for Cuernavaca. Not only did we finally get to unpack our things and fully move into our rooms, but most of us were eager to begin our intense Spanish classes that will continue for 3 weeks at Universal. Since I’m only in the beginner course, it will be nice to be able to acquire a decent foundation and basis of the language so that ordering meals and shopping in the Z√≥colo (downtown) will be easier.

This first week of Spanish classes were days filled with tons of new information and vocabulary for the beginners or days of review for the more advanced group members. Either way though, when Friday came we were all excited to go to MEXICO CITY!! The group left shortly after Spanish classes ended at noon and after we were able to make some sandwiches for the road, we all piled into the CGE vans and headed off to the big city.

This is a statue along the main street in Mexico City

When we got there we went directly to the US Embassy where we were going to be talking to members of the Vice-Consul, Press-Secretary, Political Counselor, Economic Counselor and the Counselor of Agriculture. Most of the discussion, and then the questions that we asked in response to their presentation, were related to the bilateral relationship between the United States and Mexico. There were also many questions asked that addressed the citizens of Mexico and how they were being affected by certain policies and practices.

One of the speakers, who was the Vice-Consul, spent some time talking about his position and what his job entailed. I was appreciative of his interpretation and explanation of his position because he said that he enjoyed meeting and talking to new people everyday and hearing their diverse stories. He appeared very aware and enthusiastic about the diversity and individualism of each person that applies for a visa. He mentioned how ‘refreshing’ it was to meet a variety of people and hear their different stories.

I think the reason that I appreciated this was because over the past few weeks we have had the privilege to hear the voices of those who aren’t always given the opportunity to speak and one of the most significant aspects of those speeches and stories that I have taken from them is that everyone has a story that represents their life and their struggles and nobody has the same story. From the beginning to the end, their stories are all different, and it’s important to remember that when meeting a new person and also when reading an article or a report about immigration.

After the Embassy, a few of us decided to stick around Mexico City for another day and do some exploring and sight-seeing. On Saturday a group of us headed off to San Juan Teotihuacan to see the famous “Teotihuacan Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon”. And of course, we had to climb at least one of them which took about 30 minutes (and that included the frequent rest stops.)
Here is a picture taken of the "Moon" Pyramid
from the top of the "Sun" Pyramid
--By Jessica Larson

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