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39 posts categorized "Guanajuato Service"

Despedida

Sadly, the day to say goodbye has finally come. This morning, the students gave their insightful and thought-provoking final presentations. We appreciated the hard work that each and every student put into their project! 

After the work was done, it was time to party! Our fiesta de despedida (goodbye party), a bittersweet event, was full of delicious food, great conversation, impromptu limbo competitions, audacious dance moves, and many photos. We are so proud of our students and wish them all the best! Safe travels and keep in touch!

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Some of the group and host siblings


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Janette giving her final presentation


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Limbo!


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A final selfie

Final Days at Casita Linda

We've done lots of work over the past couple of days. Yesterday, we assisted in the construction of a storage shed, weeded a playground, and watered the trees that we planted two days ago. Today, we went either individually or in pairs to help a community member start their own garden--including plants like cilantro, celery, two kinds of lettuce, and parsley. Then, we got to know the community even better by dividing up into teams and battling it out on the soccer field! Finally, we shared lunch and had a dance party. We will miss our friends from Casita Linda!

In order to get an idea of some of the reflection that our students are doing, Marcus has graciously offered to share the following about his experience on the program so far:

"This experience has been truly eye-opening. There is so much to learn about. From the community and the culture to the problems that we've seen these communities working on, it really displays the joys and hardships that they go through on a daily basis. And because of this, I know that I've seen changes in myself. I'm more open-minded, devoted, and motivated to reach my goals and to do many other things in the future. This is something I will never forget, along with meeting great friends along the way."

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A finished garden


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Some of the soccer players


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Learning how to dance Cumbia!


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What the final mural looks like!

 

 

BONUS FEATURE: Students and dogs

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Graffiti and Planting Trees

Today was another great day at Casita Linda! We had a special guest join us today--Erick, a prominent graffiti artist in the area. He is working to paint a mural on the side of the school which we painted yesterday. He'll be with us again tomorrow, and his work looks like it's coming along very well (see photos below)!

The main focus of our work today was a reforestation project. We went out in groups comprised of both students and community members and planted saplings in designated zones of the community. The ground was very hard, but we persevered, swinging our pickaxes and digging with our shovels and hands. We're proud of the work we've done so far!

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Planting trees around the soccer field


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Erick working on the mural


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We still had some time to play!


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Casita Linda work crew

Painting at Casita Linda

Today was our first working day at Casita Linda. We are excited to be working with Casita Linda at this moment in time as they are starting out in this new community. The way Casita Linda works is that they work on one neighborhood at a time, instead of building houses all over. In doing this, they have found they are able to build the community in a more profound way. Right now, they are just starting off in a new location, so we have the daunting task of being the face of Casita Linda! I think we are up to the challenge.

Today's task was to begin painting a local school. We learned that the Mexican government pays for the construction of schools in these rural areas, but often does not maintain them. So that's where we can help! We made a big dent in the work today, we should finish tomorrow!

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Last Day in Mexico City

There sure is a lot to do in Mexico City! We spent our final day in the capital making the most of our time there.

In the morning, we went to La Casa Azul, Frida Kahlo's old house, which is now a museum. The students had a great time looking at the paintings, rooms, and even the wardrobe of the iconic Mexican artist.

The highlight of the afternoon was going out on a boat through the canals of Xochimilco. We learned all about the chinampas--floating islands made of floating debris, fallen trees, and canal mud--that are used now in an incredibly efficient agriculture system, which yields 7 harvests per year! Our guide, Ricardo, treated us to a delicious meal on the boat and showed us around one of the chinampas. Not only did we learn a lot, we enjoyed being out on the water in the beautiful sunshine!

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Frida and Diego lived in this house


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Admiring the art

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Ready to eat!


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Boarding the boat


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Ricardo teaching us about the chinampas

Day 2 in Mexico City

Today isn't over yet, but we still have a lot to report on already!

After breakfast, we started out the morning at the National Anthropology Museum. Our tour guides, Pilar and Rodrigo, gave us a tour of portions of the museum, educating us on Pre-Columbian societies in Mesoamerica. After soaking up all that knowledge, the students were turned loose on a scavenger hunt! 

Following the museum, we headed to Chapultepec Park (like Central Park in NYC, only about 6 times bigger!). There we bought some snacks and went out on the water in lanchas. After all that activity, we ate a well-deserved lunch in the park.

For our final activity of the afternoon we climbed to the top of a large hill in the park to Chapultepec Castle, where many Mexican presidents used to reside (it now serves as a tourist attraction). We toured the extravagant rooms and relaxed in the garden until it was time to head back to our hostel to relax before dinner. We're looking forward to our trip on the night tour bus through downtown Mexico City tonight!  

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At the National Anthropology Museum


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Mural at Chapultepec Castle

 

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Learning!

Teotihuacan

Hello dear readers!

Today we started our highly anticipated trip to Mexico City at 6 am. Upon arriving just outside the city, we met our awesome tour guides, Pilar and Rodrigo, who first took us for breakfast to the house of a nearby friend named Miguel. Miguel not only served us delicious tamales and coffee, but also gave us a brief talk on carving obsidian, which he does for a living. We learned quite a lot!

Next, it was time to head to the famous pyramids of Teotihuacan! If you've never heard of this site before, look it up! It is a fascinating archaeological site located about an hour outside of Mexico City. Pilar and Rodrigo showed us around and we even got a change to climb la pirámide de la luna (Pyramid of the Moon) and la pirámide del sol (Pyramid of the Sun). 

Tonight we head out to get some tacos for dinner and then to a lucha libre fight (this is one of the parts of the Mexico City trip that the students have been looking forward to most). Hasta mañana! 

 

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A stellar shot of group 1


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View from atop Pirámide de la Luna


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Walking to Pirámide de la Luna


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It was a tough climb!


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Relaxing at the top

 

Orientation for Casita Linda

Good evening!

Today we started off by meeting some of the team members of Casita Linda to learn more about our next service site. This organization helps resource-poor families get a house of their own. Our students had a lot of questions about the organization and how it worked, and they are super excited to get to work on Monday!

Since it was nice and sunny today, we decided to eat our lunches in the main plaza in San Miguel de Allende. It was so nice!

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In the afternoon, we had a Spanish class where we learned about Frida Kahlo in preparation for this weekend's trip to her museum. We had fun acting out her life! 

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Everyone is now off to bed early so we can be up and at 'em tomorrow for our trip to Mexico City!

A trip to La Gruta

Hey everyone!

After finishing our five days at The Lavender Project, today was a bit of a break for our group. We went to a hot spring area just outside of San Miguel de Allende to relax, swim, and reflect on some of the things that we've learned thus far. Everyone had a great time swimming (especially in the cave!), and it was a nice way to gear up for our next service site--Casita Linda! More to come on that tomorrow!


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Deep in thought


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Careful deliberations taking place here!

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Swimming friends

Last Day at The Lavender Project

Hello!

Today was our final day learning from our friends at The Lavender Project. We started the day of by getting to know some of the becarios (scholarship students) supported by the project. We were able to meet and get to know 6 young people from the community who are taking advantage of the opportunities presented to them by the project to further their education. After meeting the students, we sat down for an eye-opening talk about migration and immigration from the perspective of a few of the community members.

After a morning of learning, it was time to play! We made drawings, playdough sculptures, and got to know some of the children living in the community. It was a great way to end our time at The Lavender Project, and we will miss all of our friends there!

 

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Coloring with the kids!


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Migration talk


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Thanks to everyone at The Lavender Project!


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Giselle and the kids


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Intense concentration from Ella