Friday, March 16, 2012

First Week with our Host-Families

Lauren and me in Taxco
On Friday night, the students from CGE were all eager to meet their host-families. Everyone was nervous but also excited to see whom he or she was staying with. Upon arriving to my new home, I already felt welcomed and was excited to start my month long home stay. My host mom was very hospitable and I truly felt as if I was at home in the States. Of course the first night we began to watch some of the Novelas together, and then the next day we were invited to a Bautismo (Baptism). That day I was able to meet more of her family and eat some delicious food. So far this week has been very exciting and I can’t wait for what the rest of the month has in store for me.
One of the oldest churches in Mexico

Thursday, March 8, the social work students were given the chance of meeting a social worker that works in a community. Being able to spend time with her made us realize our profession in the States has some similarities and differences. For one, all social work students study the same material but the profession is seen differently in Mexico. In Mexico, social workers typically find jobs in organizing or community development. They are only hired for specific tasks. However, seeing how much of an influence she has within the community only encourages me to move forward with my career.

On Saturday, March 10, the students of CGE were taken to Taxco, Guerrero, Mexico. The city, known for its jewelry, and beauty was filled history at every corner. The city was beautiful and filled with exciting Puestos. Upon arriving we were able to see one of the oldest churches built in Mexico and still be able to see the modern life of Taxco. 

Written by Stephanie Villarreal

The beautiful city of Taxco


  1. Thanks for sharing your experiences and insights, Stephanie! The photos bring us right into the community with you. Your reflections on the approach to social work as a profession in Mexico reminded me of how Mexican social worker Josephina Vazquez Perez was perceived by the people in the village we visited. Walking side-by-side with her, one of the villagers explained to me, when I asked how social workers helped, that "she was our eyes." That is, she helped focus the efforts of villagers as they advocated for resources needed for housing and a school. In other words, she was working in the empowerment tradition of social work, what is now being referred to globally as "citizenship social work."


  2. It's a great pleasure to be reading about the experienced that you are having. Seeing the differences among these two places was such a good opportunity for you to learn about yourself and other. I hope you the best and never give up on your dreams of becoming a social worker.

    Pa Chang

  3. AnnMarie EliasonMay 9, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    I really appreciated visiting the social worker who does community organizing because prior to meeting her I thought it would be a difficult task to accomplish. Hearing the amount of work that she has put into the projects that she lead and how active she has been in encouraging others to participate made me realize that it is not difficult once you get started. Starting is the hardest part! Once you get others in the community to take initiative for the changes that need to be made, you can sit back (in a sense) and let things happen, which is how it should be anyways; the community needs to be empowered to see that they have the power to make changes. It doesn't always have to be the government or some fancy organization; you just need people who care, who are passionate to see change, and who are willing to get their feet dirty in the process. I can't wait to start making a difference wherever I end up.

  4. Beauteous pictures as always Stephanie! I really liked reading about your homestay experience and how that felt like you were back at home. During my homestay as well it felt like being in a family which was really comforting after being away from our families back home. That's so fun that you got to go to a Baptism and be family!
    I enjoyed being reminded of the visit we had with the social worker who worked in her community. She had such inspiring passion for her community which I hope to have as a future social worker or whatever I end up doing in the future. Im glad she inspired you as well to do great social work! I think if we at least try to follow in her footsteps we will be well on our way to being the professionals we are meant to be.
    Also reading your blog reminded me of the beautiful churches we saw in Taxco...I still remember all of us just standing in awe of the beauty!
    Great Job!