We will continue our series regarding upcoming trips by sharing a past newsletter article by 2013 Oaxaca, Mexico trip leader Jake Mattox:
“The 2013 summer program in Oaxaca, Mexico was even more amazing than I had thought it would be. The 3-week immersion was anchored by immensely enjoyable and successful daily classes in language and culture at the impossibly beautiful setting of the Instituto Cultural de Oaxaca. The daily treks between the Institute and our home-stays in this pedestrian-friendly city took us by too many artisan shops, interesting churches, produce vendors, and local eateries to ever be able to visit them all. The directors (Elaine Roth and I) and students gained immensely from the daily classroom lessons, the conversation hour, and the afternoon cultural classes provided.
We made lifelong friends—and second families—in our homestays and language classes. We explored the city and surroundings of Oaxaca as a large group and as pairs, learning to look, listen, and feel. (The 4-5 mile runs Elaine and I took with our friend and coordinator Carlos Brito led us through new parts of town, the central market, and even some rural settlements!) We encountered an incredible diversity of cultures, languages, and landscapes, as we traveled within the city and state of Oaxaca, to the pre-Colombian pyramids of Monte Albán and Teotihuacán, past some of the world’s highest volcanoes such as Popocatepetl (“El Popo”), to the beautiful colonial city of Puebla, and to the incredibly rich and vibrant Mexico City. In fact, our final few days in Mexico City provided many of the trip highlights, including an afternoon at Frida Kahlo’s house!
But it’s not just the locale; the trip is also about the participants. The students on this trip took care of each other, pushed each other to try new experiences, and worked both independently and collectively to learn as much as possible from this immersion in another culture. I thank my co-leader, Elaine Roth, and all of the student participants for a fantastic journey!”