International Youth Exchange
March 2018, Mexico
After a successful exchange in Germany, in summer 2017, it was time for our Mexican partner Axilli to host the German group.
As usual, the activity took place in Easter holidays, this time from 24 March until 6 April.
After a long trip (in total more than 24 hrs.) we reached our final destination Guadalajara, in the morning on 25th. We had several hours to rest and then we went to city park to meet other participants and have lunch. The weather was sunny and hot but we didn’t mind since in Germany it was around 10 degrees Celsius at the time. On the way back home we made a tour through Tlaquepaque, one quarter in Guadalajara famous for its rich culture and nightlife.
The next day we set off to Palo Alto, a small village about 2 hours away from Guadalajara. For the next 3 days we had activities with local kids, mostly playing games and the last day we did face painting and a creative workshop. We were staying at a ‘’house of scorpions’’ but in order to find them we actually had to go out and look for them. On the 27th we had a cultural evening. The German group cooked traditional Swabian ‘’Käsespätzle mit Schnitzel’’ and the Mexican group prepared a small meditation session followed by a theater play depicting the early Mexican history.
As usual, we ate with locals, at their home, which was an extraordinary experience and a chance to learn more about their lifestyle. One thing is for sure. They are extremely friendly and open-hearted people and one of the highlights of our time in Palo Alto was 3 nights of campfire, guitar and singing until our voices would fade away.
On the third day we departed back to Guadalajara to repack and get some rest. We arrived in the evening and went for a dinner at the street stand, another quite common thing in Mexico. Some people call it dangerous I say it is delicious! The author of this text had 2 ‘’Quesadillas’’ and 2 ‘’Tacos flautas’’. It was also surprisingly cheap. We were 9 and in the end paid 15 Euro for everything!
In the morning of March 29 we took a local bus to the central bus station and changed to another one driving to Acatic. Now, some people go jogging in order to exercise or they do some other kind of sport. In Mexico, taking a local bus ride for 20 minutes and holding on to the rail trying not to fall flat equals to 1 hour training in gym and it’s more than enough to keep your muscles toned and strong, due to unpredictable driving skills/styles of not only the bus but also other drivers.
In Acatic we stayed 3 days as well and met local kids who were as nice and friendly as in Palo Alto.
Our host was family Santos and they made us feel welcome as in ‘’mi casa es tu casa’’!
The highlight of Acatic was definitely the Mexican-German party that took place on the 30th of March.
The Mexicans invited a group who performed a traditional Mexican dance called ‘’Jarabe Tapatio’’, a so-called ‘’Mexican hat dance’’ and it was a delight to watch these kids dance with such bright smiles on their faces. Since 3 participant had birthdays within past 3 days we decided to make a common birthday party on that day. At midnight we hanged 3 piñatas and invited then to claim their prize. It was an evening to remember!
Time was running fast and it was time to say goodbye to Acatic and hello to Punta Perula, a small village on the Pacific coast, where we spent 3 days as typical tourists, sun-beach-coconut water.
There are many funny stories but ‘’What happens in Punta Perula, stays in Punta Perula’’.
The last night was a farewell dinner followed by a party that lasted until early hours.
Normally, people look forward to Friday since it means weekend and no work. This time it was not the case. It was the day we had to fly back, the time to say goodbye, whisper concealed confessions and promises and go back to reality.
It was an amazing experience, one of those that changes you, your views and understandings, or at least broadens them. Now, we wait, until summer, until you come to see us again.