¡Vamos a Cuernavaca!

February 02, 2016

This ECS spends a week in Colorado Springs and then travels to Cuernavaca, Mexico and Mexico City, Mexico in order to better understand how Meso-American culture has both affected and been affected by other cultures. Students will hone their Spanish language skills, explore topics related to the Mexican conquest and Revolution, and engage in a meaningful service learning project. They will experience a traditional Mexican lifestyle via a homestay experience provided by experienced host families. On weekdays, students will attend language classes tailored to their language level at the Cuauhnahuac Language Institute, a school established in the 1970s, that uses full immersion experiences both in and out of classrooms to help students learn Spanish (and English, in fact). There will also be local cultural excursions, art and music activities throughout the week. On the weekend, students will travel via tour bus to Teotihuacán and Mexico City, approximately 2 hours northeast of Cuernavaca. Teotihuacán is a pre-Aztec, majestic city with some of the largest pyramids in the world. In Mexico City, students will explore Anahuacalli, Diego Rivera’s museum of pre-conquest art, as well as Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul and Kahlo and Rivera’s studio, La Basílica de Guadalupe and other historically significant sites that show the transition from pre to post-conquest Mexico. By means of immersion and interaction with Mexicans both in the US and Mexico, students will gain a better appreciation for our neighbors to the South and, hopefully, let go of commonly held stereotypes. The experience will provide global perspective and improve complex communication skills as well as challenge students to step outside of their comfort zones, take initiative, adapt to a new environment and work both as leaders and team members. Also, the final project will demand use of their digital literacy skills.