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39 posts categorized "Guanajuato Service"

On a mission for sustainability

Today was a very eye opening day for many of our kiddos!

The focus of today was on water--how to purify it, how to harvest it, how to keep our Earth producing it! This morning the staff at Project Lavender walked us through their efforts to provide clean water to the residents of La Colorada, the surrounding town.  We visited a few homes and learned about water filtration, cisterns, and their efforts to create a more sustainable method to keep our planet clean. We even learned about dry latrines and natural gas made from animal waste! It was fascinating (and surprisingly not stinky)!



In the afternoon we practiced our abilities to express gratitude in Spanish. Since tomorrow is our last day at Project Lavender, we know that we will be thanking a lot of people tomorrow for their time and cariño these past few days!



Excursion to Pozos

Hello everyone!

First off, we'd like to apologize for the technical difficulties that have kept you from seeing photos on our past blog posts. We believe we've corrected the problem, so if you'd still like to see those photos, you can go back and look at our previous posts.

Today we set off in the early morning to Pozos, a small city roughly and hour and a half from where we're staying in San Miguel de Allende. We spent our time in Pozos with the good people at El Venado Azul (The Blue Deer), where we learned firsthand about pre-hispanic instruments. After a brief paseo, we got to making our very own palos de lluvia (rain sticks) with our teacher Manuel

After putting the maguey spines into the sticks and finishing the sanding process, we divided into two groups. One group went to a music and aromatherapy session, and the other participated in a traditional Mexican temazcal (sweat lodge). Both groups left feeling refreshed and excited about the experiences that they'd had! 


Near some ruins just outside of Pozos


Learning to make palos de lluvia with Manuel

We had to be very careful with the rain sticks before they were finished!

A VERY early morning!

Today we got up early, and when I say early, I mean REALLY early. We were up at 3:30 AM! Ay ay ay!

Why? We met some of the local women at Project Lavender to join them in grinding corn to make tortillas. Many local women get up early every day to use the corn mill so they can make tortillas. Each come with their buckets of corn to grind and leave with milled corn. It was quite the social gathering... all before the sun came up!


Afterwards, we joined Aracely to learn about some of Project Lavender's other social programs, including their community nutrition program. While we learned about their efforts to provide local children with healthy, nutritious breakfasts, we also learned how to make etole and donuts! (And they were delicious!)


Our last session of the day was spent learning how to mix, cut, and package soap and also how to embroider. What a day for our fine motor skills! 






After a full day and a very early morning, I am sure many of the kids will be going to bed bien temprano tonight!

A Bee-autiful Day

Hello blog readers!

Today was another busy day at The Lavender Project. One of the highlights the day was learning all about bees! Many people within the community associated with The Lavender Project have also started an organization which keeps bees. After learning all about how hives are transported, how honey is collected, and trying a sample of the local honey, we got up close and personal with the bees themselves. Enjoy the photos below and sorry for the lame pun in the title!

Sampling the honey!

Suited up and ready to go!

Off to the hives

Happy campers

First Day of Service/The Best Smelling Farm in the World!

Hola a todos!

So sorry for not posting yesterday--we had some technical difficulties! Yesterday, after waking up refreshed and ready to go in Guanajuato, we loaded up our camioneta and headed off to San Miguel de Allende. Upon arrival, we finally got to meet the families that we'll be staying with for the next 3 (ish) weeks. It was great to hear the students report back today about how much fun they had on their first afternoon with their families!

Today was our much anticipated first day of service at The Lavender Project. We were welcomed with open arms by Ausencio, Efraim, and Alejandro--a few of the people in charge of the project. Over the next couple hours, we learned about the lavender's journey from little more than a tiny twig in the ground to becoming essential oil, soap, part of a scented pillow, among other things. After taking in a lot of new information and eating a delicious lunch, we got our hands a little dirty, removing the petals of the lavender plant from a dehydrated stalk (not as easy as it sounds!). We are very excited to continue our service tomorrow and will certainly have more great pictures for all of you to see.

We would also like to say a big FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS to Mercedes, who turned 15 today! #quinceañera #blogfame

Hasta pronto, and enjoy the photos! 



Searching for the perfect esquete (a twig that is cut from a living plant that, when re-planted, will grow into a completely new plant!) (Note: "esquete" may be spelled incorrectly--we'll get our research team on that, stat!)


Happy Wren, perfect esquete


Marcos (Marcus) found a good one too!


A beautiful photo of the fields, courtesy of Saeef! 

¡CIEElito lindo!

What a fun first full day!

Today we had a VERY full day. After our morning orientation, we went out to a local restaurant and had some delicious sopa de lentajas, ensalada con papas.


What a healthy lunch! To counter that, we had perhaps a bit less nutritious dinner. We took a stroll to the CIEE Guanajuato study center and had our own elotes and dori loco bar. Elotes, for those who don't know, are corn on the cobs with mayonnaise, cheese, hot sauce... pretty much anything you want... thrown on top. They are delicious! 

Photo from Chrissy Gill



Dori locos are also a treat. They are a typical Mexican street food made of doritos and a bunch of toppings... and more hot sauce! The best part? You eat them straight out of the bag!


After dinner we took a walking tour of the alleys. Our tour guides were a local group of traditional musicians who sang, danced, told stories, and of course, made us laugh! It was a really fun way to see the city after a long day.


Tomorrow we finally get to meet our host families! I know our kids are super excited! 


Welcome to Guanajuato!

We made it!

After an early morning for many of us, our group successfully arrived in Guanajuato today. After getting settled into our temporary lodgings (we'll be on the move again on Tuesday), we did a few icebreaker activities to get to know one another. After a short break, we set out to explore the city! It being a lovely Sunday afternoon, the streets were packed with people enjoying open-air performances and walking along the narrow streets. After checking out a local market, gardens, and other landmarks, we had worked up quite an appetite. We stopped at Pizza Baez for a well-deserved meal and then made our way back to the hotel to get some rest. Orientation starts tomorrow! 


The group


Janette wheeling and dealing at the mercado!




Kynosha and Mercedes checking out the scene


Dinner at Pizza Baez

Meet your Session 2 Program Leader: Daniel Schriemer

CIEE Blog pic

Hi everyone!

My name is Daniel Schriemer. I'm originally from a small town in Southwest Michigan, but now I'm living in Minneapolis, MN. I am a community health worker at a nonprofit in St. Paul, MN called Portico Healthnet, and will soon be a graduate student in public health at the University of Minnesota. I'm very excited to be a program leader for session 2 of the Service and Leadership program in Guanajuato, Mexico!

Aside from meeting and getting to know the students (and eating tacos), one of the most exciting things about this program to me is the opportunity to learn about migrant work. Can't wait to get started in just 2 weeks!

Hasta pronto!


Meet Your Session 2 Program Leader: Chrissy Gill


Hello! My name is Chrissy and I have just finished leading Session 1 of the Service and Leadership program to Santiago, Dominican Republic and am SUPER excited to keep the adventure going for Session 2 of the Service and Leadership program to Guanajuato, Mexico. I am back with CIEE for my 3rd summer!  I am from Lowell, Massachusetts. I teach Spanish and Public Speaking at Lowell Catholic High School.  Outside of school I also teach dance and love to do anything active... hiking, camping, biking, softball, etc. 

I am really excited to explore the Guanajuato/San Miguel de Allende areas as well as really dive in deep to some of the issues these communities have been facing. And of course, to meet all of you!

See you all soon!


Welcome to Mexico City!

Friday's post is from Alexa, gracias Alexa!

Today we woke up at 5 am and started off to Mexico City with the language and culture kids. We got there around 1030 and stopped at a local house to learn about Aloe Vera and Obsidian and tuna. We also were provided with breakfast through tamales and quesadillas. We then went to the Teotihuacan pyramids and climbed to the top of one. They were amazing! Then we stopped at another local house for lunch, which was very yummy. 

We then went to the hostel and dropped our stuff off before heading to dinner. Dinner was at a taco place that had some of the best known tacos in all of the city. After dinner, we headed to lucha libre and wore our masks throughout the matches. It was a really cool experience to see the matches because it is a large cultural aspect of México. We were really tired by the time we got back to the hostel and went right to sleep.