Amanda is a junior at University of Vermont, who is studying abroad in Mexico with CGEE spring 2016; and studied abroad in Central America with CGEE fall 2015. This is an excerpt from Amanda’s blog post, “Zapatistas: Educating Yourself as a Tourist”. Her blog is a great resource for anyone considering study abroad in Latin America! She also has travel tips for traveling as woman, and traveling as a woman of color.
Being in Chiapas, with a strong presence of indigenous communities, I cannot help but dedicate a post to the Zapatistas. A revolutionary indigenous militant group based here in this southernmost state of Mexico, I have a great love for the Zapatistas and their movement. Indigenous people everywhere all over the world struggle under racial, economic, and political oppression and here in Mexico it is no different. The fight for justice continues and the Zapatistas are currently at the forefront of it.
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.
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.
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.
Photos and text are from CGEE’s IRA (International Resident Assistant) in Mexico, Laura Aguas.
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.
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 – 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.
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.
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.
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.
Augsburg CGEE is currently hiring for our next IRA (“International Resident Assistant”) to work at our Cuernavaca, Mexico campus.
The International Resident Assistant will help promote a healthy living/learning environment for semester students & participants in short-term educational seminars, as well as to assist in the operation of all educational programs.
Please see the full description, along with the application, at Augsburg’s employment opportunities page here.
This is a guest post by Alicia Olness, an Augsburg College student that participated in the summer program in Mexico with CGEE, 2015.
Mexico had a lot of great things to offer. Every week we were able to meet with someone new from the community and discuss a topic such as poverty, immigration, or business in Mexico. This allowed me to expand my knowledge about Mexico as well as feel more connected with different kinds of people from the area.
I also loved the three states we were able to visit and the other destinations that CGEE brought us to. Everything we did and everyone I met had a huge impact in my life. Overall I had a great summer studying in Cuernavaca, Mexico and can’t imagine spending my summer any differently.