This week in Mexico brought some fun times out with the group.
This first week in Mexico was quite the adjustment. It’s one thing to learn about culture shock, but another to go to a third world country and experience it. Seeing small children being “street performers” on the side of the street gives you a new perspective and appreciation for everything we have in the states.
During my last week here in Cuernavaca, México, I had the opportunity to go see a club soccer game at Estadio Azteca (the primary soccer stadium in Mexico City) where Club América faced off against the Tigres. In the end, Club América won the match 3-0. Below are some pictures from the game:
¡Feliz Navidad y Año Nuevo! Between classes, celebrating Christmas, taking excursions, and preparing for New Years, the past week has kept me busy. On December 24th, my school and host family celebrated "Las Posadas." Because there is no literal translation, Las Posadas can be generalized as a series of nightly celebrations that begin on December 16th and end on December 24th (Christmas Eve or Noche Buena).
Each evening, a procession of people travels down a street, typically holding statues or candles of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and many other Saints. As the procession walks along the street, the people sing Christmas songs (Villancicos Navideños), sometimes stopping for a prayer or religious reading. Eventually, the procession arrives at a designated house and a song begins that alternates between those inside and those outside. The song finishes as everyone enters the house. Inside the house will be various cultural foods and a traditional punch consisting of cinnamon sticks, guava, prunes, sugar cane, and a small, circular fruit called "Tejocote."
This past weekend, the group traveled to two different destinations in Morelos: Tepoztlán and Las Estacas (A natural water park). Tepoztlán is certainly one of the stranger, yet more beautiful towns in Mexico. Largely occupied by a lush valley whose walls were formed by curiously shaped mountains, these mountains look like the work of some colossal, abstract expressionist being. The mountains were visible from almost anywhere in town. Even the parking lot provides an extraordinary view.
It has only been three days since arriving in México, and already, I have had the opportunity to see some of the most significant theological and archeological sites spread across this stunning country. On Saturday, the group spent the morning driving from the state Morelos to the state Guerrero, where we spent the entire day in the city of Taxco touring it's central plaza. Today, we spent the morning traveling from Morelos to Mexico City, where we visited the basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Afterwards, we traveled to Teotihuacán and spent the afternoon hiking through The Avenue of the Dead, The Pyramid of the Sun, and various other pyramids.
"Hay una manera diferente para aprender español." La Universal's slogan, 'There is a different way to learn Spanish,' is the principle philosophy behind opening the eyes of students eager to develop new language skills. My name is Mickey Orange, and I am currently a sophomore biology major at Saint Vincent College. For the winter break of 2013-2014, I am going to embark on a one month adventure into México, where I will live with a host family and continue my Spanish education at Cuernavaca's Center for Language and Social Communication, La Universal.