Four weeks into the semester here in Mexico City (CDMX), I already feel like a true resident of the city. I have mastered the hectic CDMX metro, which at 5 MXN ($0.24) is an absolute steal and makes me wish DC’s metro was run as efficiently. Here in CDMX, each stop has a corresponding photo, so those unable to read or understand Spanish can easily get to their destination. Each metro stop has TVs playing the news and Latin pop music with trains arriving approximately every two minutes (WMATA are you reading this?). The best part is you can get anything you need in the metro: McDonald’s or Burger King ice cream, check! Domino’s Pizza, check! Churros, check! Phone charger, check! Freshly made tacos, without a doubt! I always get a kick out of seeing each of the stands in the metro and I have to keep myself focused and avoid the extra unneeded 7:00am sugar rush.
After one week without classes and two weeks of special sessions like the Business Simulation (which my team one first place in our category!) and a one week Career Planning seminar, classes at IPADE are finally in full swing. This week we are taking Social and Political Environment, very important after the change in administration in Washington last week, as well as Business Law and Managerial Controls (two classes I am not taking). This week’s portion of the Social and Political Environment class has been on the United States to which I have been more active than usual helping to explain historical Foreign Policy decisions and giving detailed accounts into American politics and social life. It has been fascinating as I have never been in an academic setting outside the US discussing US foreign policy with such a diverse group of students. Tomorrow’s class will be about the new administration and the professor has already asked the class to take it easy on the American exchange students.
Outside of class, we have been busy seeing everything the city has to offer. Last week about 50 of us,
(aka about half the IPADE class) went to watch a Lucha Libre (aka Mexican wrestling) match. It was a hilarious event watching the intense acrobatic moves of the wrestlers dressed in crazy costumes and masks while screaming at the top of our lungs cheering them on. The match was a great bonding activity as it was the first time for many of the IPADE students (both local and international) to attend such an event.
In addition, I was lucky to have a group of friends visit from Washington and St. Louis giving me an excuse to see even more of the city I call home. During that time we got to tour the pyramids of Teotihuacan, an ancient city built between 100 BC and 250 AD 25 miles outside CDMX. There are a number of pyramids on the site with the two largest being the Pyramid of the Sun and Pyramid of the Moon, both of which we got to climb and admire the view of the mountains in the distance. Following the pyramids we were able to also spend a relaxing day sailing along the canals of Xochimilco in a colorful gondola with a picnic in hand. The canals of Xochimilco are now a big sight for locals and tourists alike who get to relive the life of pre-Columbian era Mexico where locals used the canals for trade. It really was an adventure, because as you float along boats offering anything from flower crowns, to grilled corn, and even a full mariachi band come by your boat to offer their services. It was a great way to spend an afternoon!
After almost a month in the city, I am excited for my first venture outside the CDMX this coming weekend to San Migel de Allende with a group of the international students. The city, four hour bus ride from CDMX, boasts being a UNESCO World Heritage Sight and filled with amazingly preserved architecture, and a fantastic art scene. In my three months here I am looking forward to seeing all the Mexico has to offer (and the chance to escape the harsh pollution of CDMX). This country has an amazing culture and history and I cannot wait to take it all in!
Till next time!