Several months ago I agreed to help out with an Earth Day event for a program for Mexican youth that’s sponsored by the U.S. embassy. The English Access Microscholarship Program provides scholarships to students to study English after school. In various locations throughout the Estado de México, students attend classes in centers called RIA (Red de Innovación y Aprendizaje).
This past Saturday I traveled with approx. 60 middle school students from RIA, 4 parents, and 8 teachers (including myself) to the top of the Nevado de Toluca. Despite some logistical hiccups in the months prior and the risks of taking that many young people up to the top of the mountain, the day was a huge success. (here I am with several students).After visiting the lagunas, we ate lunch, played some soccer, and learned some American outdoors games (capture the flag, dodgeball). For many of them, this was their first visit to the nevado. We all headed back down the mountain at the end of the day, tired and ready for a shower. While the theme of the day was English and Earth Day, most of all it was awesome to meet and talk with so many curious, confident, and interesting young people!
It’s probably a good sign that I haven’t updated on my travels or experiences in Toluca in quite a few weeks. It means I’m pasándola bien! About two weeks ago I finally checked out the archaeological site that’s about 15 minutes bus ride from my home. Calixtlahuaca is one of the few archaeological sites that contains a round pyramid. The zone was occupied by the Matlatzinca, Toltecas, and Mexica (Aztecs) for various periods.
This archaeological site was pretty awesome, because besides it’s convenient location it also has a free entrance, very few visitors, and awesome fews of the Valle de Toluca. Like lots of archaeological zones in Mexico, lots of the area has yet to be excavated and studied by the INAH (Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia).