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Journals from Oaxaca, Mexico

2012-04-30 Chiapas

We’re back to our normal routine of classes now after nine days in Chiapas. We got back last Tuesday (the 24th) when instead of having regular class we started taking salsa lessons and organized our community service project which we did on Friday. Salsa is really fun; I think we’re all enjoying it (and doing pretty well too, I think). We’re hoping to show off our skills in the salsa club, Candela, when we have some free time. However, that’s been hard to come by given everything that’s going on. Our community service project went really well. We went to San Vicente Guerrero where, like last time, we presented information about diabetes, nutrition, and obesity. The presentation went a lot smoother than last time; we planned it so that we would have more participation from the group we were teaching, and I think it was really effective (though maybe just because they were a really good crowd; they were energetic and ready to learn!).

But back to Chiapas; we had a really good trip! After Palenque we went to San Cristobal de Las Casas, which I liked a lot better than Palenque; even though it was fun to go to Bonompak and Yaxchitlan, Palenque was too humid for me. The weather in San Cristobal was a lot cooler and, unlike in Palenque, we had more of a chance to explore the city. There were a ton of shops along the streets and a lot of markets. Needless to say we all bought a lot; I could hardly close my duffel bag on the way back.

We took a day trip to Las Nubes, a really gorgeous waterfall which we hiked around and where we went swimming, and Las Lagunas de Montebello, which was also really beautiful (the water there was so clear and blue that it reminded me of Crater Lake). Another day we spent visiting Chomula and Zinacantán, two indigenous towns, where the difference in culture from the cities of San Cristobal and Oaxaca and especially from the U.S. was really notable as far as the language, clothing, and religion was concerned; it was really interesting.

As good as the trip was, though, we were all ready to come back (home!) to Oaxaca. We missed our families and had to get to work on our assignments. It’s getting down to the final stretch now and we have to start working extra hard. . . So wish us luck! These next 23 days aren’t going to be easy, but I’m sure we can do it. A trabajar entonces!
I’ll post another update soon. Hope all of you Wildcats are doing well!

Emmy Elliott


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