Group of students stand in front of Mexico's Metropolitan Cathedral

Students experience Mexican culture, education during Spring Break

Cuernavaca, Mexico, known colloquially as “the City of Eternal Spring,” boasts comfortable temperatures most of the year, several unique museums and indigenous archeological sites.

Assistant Professor Sue Kasun and her students traveled in and around Cuernavaca during Georgia State University’s Spring Break, taking in the sights, learning about Mexican culture and studying the relationship between schools and society. Here are some highlights from their trip.

Group of students stand in front of Mexico's Metropolitan Cathedral

Kasun and her students weren’t far from Mexico City, where they took this photo in front of the famous Metropolitan Cathedral. The cathedral is the largest of its kind in the Americas and seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Mexico.

College student holds her hands out to a young student at Caminando Unidos

CEHD students spent several days working with staff and children at Caminando Unidos (which translates to “Walking United”), a local organization that provides social welfare and educational programs for marginalized children, youth, women and families in the “Lomas de Cortés” district of Cuernavaca, in Morelos, Mexico. CEHD students ate breakfast with the youth, participated in their community gatherings and their regular workshops on jewelry making, tool making and agriculture. Students learned it’s possible to create and build a completely new vision, one that can be mapped onto U.S. educational and community spaces.

Three CEHD students sit outside and participate in a group discussion

Students walk the grounds of a a Spanish language immersion school in Mexico

In addition to the hands-on experience they had working with marginalized families in Mexico, students also had lengthy discussions with the Caminando Unidos staff about their nontraditional education model, which is based on Don Miguel Ruiz’s acclaimed book “The Four Agreements” and indigenizing curriculum. CEHD students also took Spanish classes at CETLALIC (pictured above), a Spanish language immersion school, and participated in “charlas,” or talks on topics such as Mexican culture, immigrant youth in the U.S., and Brazilian educator and philosopher Paulo Freire, among others.

Shelves of fruits at a local market in Mexcio

In between working with Caminando Unidos, students visited Mexican painter Frida Kahlo’s home, tasted Cuernavaca’s famous tacos al pastor and pondered how local families make budgeting decisions at the local municipal market (pictured above).

Kasun and her students pose together as a group in front of a local home

CEHD students sit around a round table for dinner at a host family's house

For doctoral student Stephanie Loomis, the trip was meaningful in part because of the group’s diversity. The CEHD students who traveled to Mexico included U.S. and international students of different ethnicities and academic backgrounds, which made conversations and experiences that much richer. “We had undergrads, M.A.T. students and Ph.D. students on this trip. We had teachers, linguists and future professors. Being eclectic made us stronger.”

To see more photos from their trip, visit the group’s Facebook page.

To learn more about this study abroad program, visit http://www.studyabroad.gsu.edu/index.cfm?FuseAction=Programs.ViewProgram&Program_ID=22021.