Monday, April 19, 2010

Part 2: Mexican Social Work Students come to Cuernavaca

Continued from last blog post by Rachel Takazawa, St. Olaf College

Also throughout the week we had many speakers and a panel. The panel consisted of three sexually diverse individuals. They advocated for the acceptance of character and the differences each person chooses to live regarding their sexual preferences and diversity. It was a moment in which we heard personal struggles regarding discrimination, prejudices, and frustration. As social workers, I felt we had a chance to hear about the hard moments and how through those experiences they were trying to change society.

Panel on Sexuality

During the week there were good times, great times, and hard times. One hard time was that there was discrimination against some of the UNAM students while they were out in Cuernavaca. This experience was something we wished wouldn’t have happened however it also opened our eyes to the reality of discrimination. We were all affected by this experience and now we strive to work together in order to fight discrimination and racism.

CGE and UNAM Students with Profesors

Both students of UNAM and CGE will keep the knowledge and time we spent together as a learning experience and a way to move forward towards a better relationship between Mexico and the United States.

As Social Workers we have promised to learn from good and bad experiences in order to better situations, to fight against injustice and to work towards social justice and equality.


  1. One of the most amazing things I took away from our time with the UNAM students was resilience. During our discussion of the discrimination that took place in Cuernavaca, one students, Eloisa, commented on how great it was that we are gaining the tools to change a reality where discrimination is prevalent. Racism, sexism, and discrimination are issues both in the United States and Mexico. While it is important to acknowledge these injustices, how great to feel empowered to create positive change in response. I am saddened by the discrimination that transpired but I'm inspired by the optimism and resilience expressed by the UNAM students, just one more reason I'm glad we were able to meet and get to know this wonderful group of students.
    -Hannah MacDougall

  2. I would really like to hear more about the sexual panel. Some questions I have include: What is the most common view point on homosexuality and transgenders among the citizens there? How is the GLBT population treated there? How is the openness and acceptance of GLBT compared to the US?


  3. I was very fortunate to be able to listen to the panel of three individuals living diverse lifestyles. The insight they have given me will be helpful in my future career in Socail Work. I will be working with oppressed populations, and hearing their personal struggles has given me a chance to be more aware of my own privledges. Amanda Terwey

  4. Amy Kallevig (SWK 280)April 22, 2010 at 4:03 PM

    I recently did a research project of Mexico and when I was looking on youtube for videos about Mexico I found one that shows how discrimination affects people who are trying to come to the United States. In others words being labeled as illegal aliens, which is such a downsizing word to use on human beings. More importantly, it this video shows how they are not treated like human beings. For instance when the border police officers pick up a person that has been caught by boarder control they do not let the border patrol security give the person water or socks. Just like in the experience that a few of you witnessed or a victim to it is something that makes a human beings feel like they are not even human beings because of the treatment that they are receiving from others.
    If anyone is interested in the video I was referring to here is the web site:

  5. This panel sound really interesting, and I would also like to hear more about it.

    It has been fun following you guys, and it has made me wanna travel even more!
    Good job!

  6. Not too long ago our SWK 280 class had a guest speaker who gave a presentation on sexual orientation and gender identity. He was very informative and I know much more now than I did before his visit. If Nancy has him present again next year I would recommend sitting in on her class for that particular day!

    Paige Onstad

  7. It was fun talking with you all and seeing you briefly on Skype. Hope safety issues have settled a bit. Take care!