Kate in Mexico

Kate, a senior psychology major, is participating in SMU-in-Oaxaca during Winter Term. The group will spend two weeks in Oaxaca, Mexico, and then travel to the Sierra Madre mountains for a week. While in Oaxaca, the group will take classes on ceramics, weaving and painting with talented craftsmen. The students also will engage in a service learning project, will enjoy Mexican traditions related to the holiday season and will collect oral histories.

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Arrival in Oaxaca

We landed in Oaxaca early this afternoon. There are 11 students and 3 trip leaders with us. The airport was quite an experience – we were the ONLY plane at the whole terminal. There was a “mirado” section, which was full of people just watching airplanes take off and land. In Mexico, I would imagine the majority of citizens rarely use planes as a method of transportation.

The baggage claim was about the length of a bus, and our luggage came off quite quickly. I have found my limited Spanish is already coming in handy, both in the Mexico City airport as well as here. We have some downtime now, but later are going to walk to the town square and admire the holiday decorations. Our hotel is very “Americano,” so we have not experienced the full culture.

Oaxaca is much more urbanized than any of us would have imagined; driving in we observed many car dealerships, American fast food stops and even a Sam’s Club! Our group is going to get to it tomorrow, but we get to sleep in – our Oaxacan leader said we were all “exhausted-looking,” so we will have a bit of a later start tomorrow.

It is so warm and sunny here, hardly feels like the end of December! We were even able to swim in the pool, which felt more like a bathtub!

That’s all for now – we still have some settling in to do and then are going to get to know the area.

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