My name is Rosemarie Merrigan and I have the extraordinary opportunity to be the visiting social work instructor this semester.
Our semester started off with a whirlwind of activities that introduced all of us to life in Cuernavaca as well as starting courses. There were many ‘Get to know Cuernavaca” and “Get to know you” types of activities with students and staff. One activity had students going to the market and buying items that people use every day. The initial impression was that they were fairly inexpensive to purchase. The next day we learned the actual cost of these items - how much people are paid and how many hours they need to work to purchase these items. We were astonished by this reality.
We spent time talking our “cultural selves”, how much of how we make sense of the world is based in our culture and all of the factors that influence this. We learned about national cultural patterns and some of the contrasts between Mexican national cultural patterns and USA national cultural patterns.
There were introductions to all the courses. And of course we are eating wonderful food.
At the end of the week we had an all day session at Ann’s home (Director of CGE Mexico) ending with a barbecue and swimming. Then to top off the week, on Saturday we went to Teotihuacan - an ancient holy city - where we saw the Temple of Quetzalcoatl and the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon. Many of the students hiked up both of the pyramids.
Here is a link to read more about this historical site: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/414
It was an amazing week.