Cuernavaca Corner: Cool Treats edition


Cuernavaca Corner: Ice Cream
Cuernavaca Corner: Ice Cream

Every week we are going to be sharing some of our favorite places in Cuernavaca with you! We will be giving you the inside look on all the fun places to go in Cuernavaca, Mexico while you study abroad! Today’s Cuernavaca Corner was written by Brittney Westgard, alumni of our Social Work program and current volunteer in Mexico. Brittney is an Augsburg College Alumni.

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Seven reasons all Social Work students should study abroad with CGEE Mexico

This post was written by Brittney Westward, alumni of our Social Work program! Currently back in Mexico, volunteering with the CGEE students in Cuernavaca. 


Here are my top seven reasons why all Social Work students should study abroad with CGEE Mexico:

(1) To expand your network of social workers.

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Going Home is Bittersweet

This is a guest blog post & photos from Crystal Winkelman, a St. Cloud State University student currently participating on CGEE’s program, “Social Work in a Latin American Context.” See her post recapping March here.

Wrapping up spring 2016 semester in Cuernavaca
Wrapping up spring 2016 semester in Cuernavaca

As my time here in Cuernavaca dwindles, I am having bitter sweet thoughts. I want to go home in just two weeks but I also want to stay longer and enjoy the beauties of this country! From hiking up the side of a mountain, to spending a week in Mexico City visiting the social work students at UNAM, to being able to spend more time with my host family, this last month has been an amazing one. This country is full of people cultures, places, and people. I am continuing to learn the language and practice more within my host family as well as within the community. My favorite memory was a week where students from UNAM came to our school and we learned the differences and comparisons of Mexican social work and social work in the United States. Makes you remember that even though we are from different countries, speak different languages and may have different values, we are not all that different from one another.

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, or Leah Spinosa de Vega in our Minneapolis location at + 1 (612) 330 – 1650

Social Work UNAM Exchange

Photos and text are from CGEE’s IRA (International Resident Assistant) in Mexico, Laura Aguas. 


Mexico UNAM SWK Exchange

This is a picture from the UNAM week, the week Social Work students visit the National School of Social Work (ENTS) of the UNAM. Students in this picture, are with social work from the UNAM, at their field placements. The UNAM students are doing their practicum/internship with a community in a rural-urban part of Mexico City. The students conduct research on the community’s resilience to keep their properties, and to look into how the community could be empowered.


Migrant shelter in Mexico City, Tochan

House members and students at the migrant shelter in Mexico City, Tochan. The migrants and students exchanged experiences of what they consider to be their home. Students were honored to hear their stories and share a meal prepared by a couple of house members. The members surely want our students to go back and visit!

La Bestia train

“La Bestia” train – a project by one of the migrants at the Tochan shelter. He and other house members are creating art pieces for a raffle, to support their house.

Casa Cuna, a shelter for youth

CGEE students visit a UNAM field placement, Casa Cuna, a shelter for youth. The UNAM students prepared a wonderful presentation for the CGEE group, explaining their investigation for the preparation of a suitable intervention for youth in crisis. CGEE students were facsinated by the work of UNAM social work students and the attention given to babies and children at the shelter.

Mexico Spring Break

This is a guest blog post & photos from Crystal Winkelman, a St. Cloud State University student currently participating on CGEE’s program, “Social Work in a Latin American Context.” See her post recapping February here.

Crystal's Spring Break Adventures
Crystal’s Spring Break Adventures

So much has happened in the last month in Mexico! After a long week of midterms, I was able to enjoy my spring break! I traveled to Ixtapa, Mexico for Semana Santa and got to go horseback riding, swimming with the dolphins, snorkeling, swimming in the ocean along with many other activities. After Semana Santa, Augsburg CGEE went to “UNAM” (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) and spent the week in Mexico City.

It’s the Little Things

This is a guest blog post by Crystal Winkelman, a St. Cloud State University student currently participating on CGEE’s program, “Social Work in a Latin American Context.”

Crystal W, Collage in Mexico

The first month and a half in Cuernavaca has been such an adventure! It started off rocky with about five days in bed with a viral infection, a bacterial infection, and a delayed plane ride! Although the first week was not the adventure I had hoped for, it soon turned into more of what I was hoping for. Having the opportunity to visit the rural area of Amatlan showed me a way of life that I would not have gotten the opportunity to experience otherwise. Hiking up a mountain with my host family to see the beautiful mountains and town of Amatlan before sunset was my favorite memory with my host family. (Middle right)

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CGEE Welcomes Providence College to the Social Work in Mexico Consortium!

On Monday, September 28th, 2015, Providence College joined Augsburg College and several other institutions in the Social Work in Mexico Consortium.

The Mexico Consortium is an organization of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited social work programs in Minnesota and South Dakota.

CGEE is very excited to welcome Providence College students on our spring semester social work programs,  the mission of which is to develop cross-culturally competent, ethical social work professionals with a global perspective by providing a semester of transformative, experiential learning focused on social and economic justice.

In addition to welcoming PC students on the program, PC Faculty will also be able to review and contribute to the curriculum, with future opportunities to serve in Mexico as faculty director.

Welcome, Providence College!