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Celebrating Pride in Mexico

CGEE-Mexico joins LGBT Pride Parade in Cuernavaca on August 27. Photos courtesy of Ann Lutterman-Aguilar.

Mexico City Orientation Week

Welcome to Mexico, CGEE Fall 2016 students!

CGEE-Mexico students spend part of orientation for fall semester in Mexico City.  They loved their visit to the important cultural-religious site of the Basílica de la Virgen de Guadalupe.

Basilica of Guadalupe
Students visit Basilica of Guadalupe














Basilicas in Mexico City
Modern Basilica in front of older ones.














Virgin of Guadalupe
Virgin of Guadalupe













Students learn at mural
Students learn about Mexican history from Armando Lopez at Diego Rivera mural in Cuernavaca

Photos: Mexico volcano excursion!

Here are some photos from the summer program’s recent excursion to the Nevado de Toluca, or Xinantécatl. An extinct volcano that is located in the State of Mexico, southeast of the city of Toluca. The Nevado de Toluca is approximately 4,600 meters above sea level. There is a crater in the volcano which contains lakes (Lake of the Moon and Lake of the Sun). The students were able to go down to these lakes. Although at one point it started hailing, the students really enjoyed the excursion! Two of our host families also came along and had a fun time climbing the Nevado.

Thanks to new IRA Amber Ramirez for the photos and description!

Nevado de toluca, Volcano, Mexico
Students pose during the hike
Nevado de toluca, Volcano, Mexico
Exploring the lakes in the crater
Nevado de toluca, Volcano, Mexico
Summer hike to Nevado de toluca, June 2016
Nevado de toluca, Volcano, Mexico
Beautiful view of Nevado de toluca, June 2016
Nevado de toluca, Volcano, Mexico
Students hiking

Photos: Mexico Summer Cooking Lessons!

Here are some snapshots of last week’s cooking class with a former CGEE kitchen staff. Students really liked learning a new, typical Mexican dish! They made tlacloyos (stuffed homemade tortillas), flan (custard-type of desert), creme of poblano pepper and salsas!


The Educated Tourist

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.

The Zapatistas are also referred to as EZLN, Continue reading “The Educated Tourist”

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 fascinated 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.” 

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.

Now Hiring: IRA in Mexico

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.

Take a walk from the CGEE campus into town for a beautiful view of Cuernavaca.
Take a walk from the CGEE campus into town for a beautiful view of Cuernavaca.
Our campus in Mexico!
Our campus in Mexico!