Kimberly, Guatemala

Kimberly is a junior double major in biological sciences and chemistry in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. As part of SMU Engaged Learning, she is conducting an Unbridled Project in Guatemala during 2012-13. She plans to research health-related traditions, beliefs and practices in the indigenous Mayan community and evaluate how these values and beliefs occasionally clash with Western medicine. Before heading to Guatemala, she is studying at SMU-in-Taos.

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Mice, Chipmunks and Rattlesnakes…Oh My!

When I initially attended orientation for SMU-in-Taos, I was in awe with the beauty of the pictures that showed the landscape of the country. The mountains, trees, forest and sunset was absolutely beautiful. Even the wildlife is amazing, from beaver, to mice, chipmunks and yes, rattlesnakes. Just last week, I was able to see my very own rattlesnake! The snake was almost two feet long and was just beautiful. The campus has a policy where if a rattlesnake is seen, it is captured and then relocated to another area away from campus. I must admit that when I first saw the rattlesnake, I thought it was just a log or a twig…that was until I heard the distinct rattle… No worries, the rattlesnake was safely caught and relocated by our very own Dr. Adler (I swear he is a snake whisperer!)

In parasitology, my partner and I see a variety of animals in the lab. We have been dubbed the animal whisperers as we seem to catch everything from mice, to chipmunks, to shrews, and even lizards. Just near the library there is a creek with a beaver dam and right at 8pm you can see the beavers come out and play. They just have so much fun swimming and making a large splash with their tails! What I have yet to see is an elk and before my stay at Taos is over, I have promised myself that I will see one!

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    About Kimberly Mendoza

    STU UnGrad
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