Safety Update: Volcanic Eruptions in Mexico

This post was written by Ann Lutterman-Aguilar, site director at Augsburg CGEE in Mexico (Cuernavaca). Please note that Cuernavaca and Mexico City were NOT impacted by Popocatépetl’s recent eruption – all CGEE students & participants are well and accounted for.


Greetings from Cuernavaca, where all is well.

By now, you may have heard news of volcanic eruptions in Mexico. I want to assure everyone that the recent eruptions have NOT affected Cuernavaca or Mexico City, The volcano that has alerted news services is Popocatépetl (known locally as “Popo,”), a beautiful mountain approximately 40 miles east of Cuernavaca, 43 miles southeast of Mexico City, and 30 miles west of Puebla.

With a threat level of 3 (7 being the highest), there are no evacuations taking place in the areas typically impacted by this volcano. As a result of ash clouds, the Puebla International Airport did close briefly from 7 am until 1 pm, when it was fortunately safe to reopen.

It is important to know that the primary concerns regarding potential damage from these eruptions is gritty ash that can harm people’s lungs if not protected.  Since The Center is on the other side of the volcano, we are not in serious danger of ash raining down on Cuernavaca.  Nonetheless, we do have face masks ready to use should that ever become necessary.

I have lived here for over 20 years, and have frequently climbed in the area of the volcano and talked with members of the National Rescue Team who are involved in evacuations, I feel very confident that our program participants are safe.  Of course, we will continue to monitor the situation and take any necessary steps to continue to ensure their health and safety.  In addition, as an added measure of precaution we have added an extra safety session to our ongoing orientation procedures.

If you have any questions or concerns about this situation, please contact me (Ann) at lutterma@augsburg.edu, or Leah Spinosa de Vega in our Minneapolis location at + 1 (612) 330 – 1650