First of all,why Puerto Escondido and what for ??
As mentioned before, my school asks us to do a form of social service or human experience which corresponds to a month in an NGO in order to obtain experiences different from the business oriented education ESSEC provides us. After a lot of research, the AIESEC failures, and other non-convincing opportunities, I decided to choose a place I still had not visited in Mexico in an area that both would boost my interest and my curriculum.
I wanted to take part part in a program of microfinance in any NGO. Unfortunately it resulted as very difficult to find as almost all the micro-credit institutions in Mexico are companies and not NGOs.
When I found the link of Casa Hogar Nueva Vida on internet, I was delighted to see that it was not only a form of orphanage but that it also had a rehabilitation home and sold its own products such as honey! One email, one call and it was set ! The volunteers could arrive whenever they wanted, meet the kids and choose their schedule between morning and afternoon … I booked an hostel and the adventure was on.
I truly believe that I have luck issues because the spell I was under started even before leaving Mexico City. Two days before leaving we casually went to the bus station in order to buy our 21-hour-bus-ride tickets with the 50% student discount … as we are students to be told that the discount only worked with a letter from the university. After a two-hour-car-ride to go to and come back from the university with the letter, they told us my letter is not valid because it does not mention when I get back to school … I went home upset and the falsification process started with tap, printer, stamps in order to have two identical uni letters only with different names. On the next morning, we took a last look at our pieces of art before heading to the station…and leaving the papers on the desk !!! Until the last minute before we took the bus, the spell was on …
But arriving in Puerto Escondio, the sun was shinning, the air was warm and the DF was far far away, so all my worries and misadventures flew away !
I know what you think : I am the worst wanna be blogger : 1 month without writing is inadmissible. But I have valid arguments ! :
1. A hurracane hit Puerto Escondido 2 days before we arrived there, therefore there was no internet (sometimes no water) and no signal.
2. I was very busy helping in the Casa Hogar (orphanage in which I did my social service)
3. I wanted to enjoy the sun (finally some heaaat), the beach and my boyfriend by taking some detox from internet, cell phones and other electronic devices.
4. My keyboard’s C - R and Ts stopped working so it was basically impossible to write any word in less that 1 minute…
The good thing is that I lived incredible experiences that I will try to share as vividly as possible with you. The bad thing is that TOO many events, experiments, adventures, discoveries took place and I don’t know where to start … let’s try !
I hope you wil laugh reading the following posts and that your envy will rise because I had an incredibly delicious amazing time !
I missed you !
It is well known that Mexicans are party rockers ! As I was telling people I was about to hit Mexico 8 months ago, their response was : sooo you are going to “fiesta fiesta and drink a lot of tequila” …Indeed true but not only ! Anyways, one of my wishes was to assist to an official Mexican party whether it be wedding or .. graduation. Wish granted ! Last weekend, a friend graduated from the UDLA university in psychology. The ceremony was held in the Metropolitan Theater of Mexico City and the dinner + party in the two block away Hilton. How can I explain my excitement ? Instead of accepting my friend to lend me a dress, I wanted my own dress ! Instead of patiently waiting for D-day, I was harassing my friends with questions about the food served in the dinner, the dances and other customs as I did not want to feel too much like an outsider.
Two days before, I went to the center of Mexico City (Centro Histórico) to buy a dress. This district is impressive as the main avenues are essentially composed of shops selling party dresses … very cheap ! My first shopping spree was a blast but as always, the first item I see generally turns into the one I purchase. The tradition says that the Graduada (the one graduating) is supposed to wear a long dress while the guests should wear cocktail dresses. Well guess what ? I wanted a long dress - so I bought one (with the agreement of the Graduada). After some tailoring, the dress was PERFECT !
Back to the ceremony ! I went for some make up and hair and nails with my girl friends before heading to the theater. As I entered I could see the pride of all the Mexican families waiting impatiently for their children, grandchildren, cousins and friends to walk down the stairs with their togas. After an hour and half waiting, the ceremony began with a speech from the Dean and some early works of G. Bizet, played by the national orchestra of Bellas Artes. We then watched all the 132 students coming up the stage for their diplomas, hugging their professors and smiling like it were the best day of their life. We (finally) came out for another family/friends photo shoot before heading to the Hilton to hit the dinner and party !!!
The dinner hall / ballroom was impressive. Hundreds of tables with roses and waiters ready to drown us with rum, tequila and champagne. The dinner was delicious : my first non-Mexican dinner with butter, bread, SALMON and VEGETABLES ! I perceived the dinner as express compared to our never ending meals. We soon were on the dancefloor to start the party, the dancing and singing like crazies. The school has contracted a live band singing both Mexican and International songs with Elvis remixes in Spanish and other songs with funny choreographies. By midnight, off the band and HELLO MARIACHIS ! My friends were on the stage, stealing the microphone and guitars from the Mariachis …
I know they were partyrockers but that much, sweating and yelling without ever getting tired … that I had no idea ! I hope you will all be able to experience a Mexican Party someday !!!
Usually I do not like to write about politics but I believe that this subject is extremely meaningful and particularly relevant for other university students around the world. I was aghast to see that none of the international newspapers mentioned anything and keep on talking about Mexico because of the murders and drug dealers when the democracy is being compromised.
Currently, four candidates are running for President in Mexico. What they usually do is to make debates in the private universities to present their program and answer to the questions of students. This time was a bit different : one of the candidates refused to assist to the debate therefore they all cancelled and came individually to make some conferences. In ITAM, two candidates came just like in other universities. The movement I want to talk about started on May 11th when one of the candidates (EPN) went to La Ibero University and was completely booed by the students. They were yelling ‘Asesino’ - ‘Fuera’ (OUT!) - ‘Tenemos memoria’ … The reason for such rebellion is because this candidate pertains to the PRI party, responsible for many historical atrocities (check Tlatelolco 1968 and Atenco 2006). EPN himself has been the Governor of the State of Mexico since 2006 and many accuse him of being responsible for the increasing insecurity (namely many women homocides). In short, the conference in La Ibero was a chaos (as shown in the video below) but the following day, many national newspapers had the following front page : “Success of Peña in la Ibero despite an attempted boycott” (supposedly of a competitor from another party). As a reaction to this manipulation of information, the 131 students of the Ibero that assisted to the conference made a video in order to denounce the partiality of the media of communication in the country. Subsequently, many students responded to this video by creating the #YoSoy132 movement (I am the 132nd supporting you in this fight for impartiality) which resulted in pacific demonstrations in the historical center and around the headquarters of the concerned television and newspapers.
I would have thought that the movement would have turned violent as many political ‘uprisings’ tend to. However and surprisingly it remained very simple and pacifist. All the students want is that the PRI does not come back to power as since Fox’s mandate, the situation has been improving. If the archaic PRI government returns, lies and opacity will return.
The main issue is that the Mexican population does not have the possibility to understand genuinely and transparently the candidates’ campaigns as the media only diffuse what they wish to. Consequently, as the vast majority of the population is quasi illiterate and does not get objectively involved in politics, any candidate wishing to ‘buy some votes’ could easily do it with a few pesos or food.
I really insist that you look for information about the subject as I do not want to give too much details on this page (who knows what could happen). But I will let you know of the situation’s evolution.