Category Archives: Mexico 2019

Mexico: Puebla

May 16, 2019

I have had so much fun attending Spanish classes at the Spanish Institute.  My teacher makes class very fun and I really enjoy going. She has taught us many useful words and phrases that can be used during our time here in Mexico.  She taught us how to order food and how to have a conversation with a doctor since a lot of people in our group are sick. I enjoy learning things like this because they are very applicable in this setting.  

I have ventured to many places in Puebla with my language partner, Regina, this week. We both get along so well and have so much in common despite the language barrier and cultural differences that we have. She speaks English pretty well and is able to explain things in English when I am confused which I appreciate so much.  She has taught me how to ask questions in markets and has also taught me new vocabulary to use on the streets. On Tuesday (5/14), we spent our afternoon in a cute little cafe near the Zocalo.  She taught me how to order a drink and answered my questions about tipping standards in Mexico.  I got a mango smoothie this day and it was very good. On Wednesday (5/15), we spent time at the farmers market with a group.  She showed me everything and taught me the names of so many fruits and vegetables that I didn’t know. She pointed out many things that I should try to eat and experience in Mexico.  

On Thursday (5/16), we went to a market called Parian. This would have to be my favorite experience with my guide. We literally looked at everything twice. Everything was so beautiful and colorful.  There were so many awesome things there to buy as gifts for my family and friends back home. I even bought myself a bracelet and two backpacks which I will probably use forever. Right next to this market was an area full of local street artist.  She told me that it was her favorite place to go and I was so fortunate that she shared her secret get away spot with me. It was so cool seeing local people paint on the streets and peeking into their art galleries that were tucked away in little entry ways.  I thought it was cool that this area had a pair of Angel wings that people could take pictures with to make it look like they have wings.

So far in Puebla, I am loving everything and all that it has to offer.  My goal this week is to order a cemita on my own and eat the entire thing because they look so good.  As I explore Puebla this week and get more information about the impact of Spanish colonial rule, I would like to know if Poblanos still practice or have adopted some Spanish culture like food or practices.  I do think that life in Puebla today still reflects the colonial era just in the character that the entire city has. The buildings are absolutely beautiful and very historic. They are very eye catching and I love looking at the different tiles that buildings use.  I have experienced many attitudes in the structure of life here. Everyone is so friendly and come up to talk to you whether they know you or not. I really appreciate how friendly everyone is and how they are always willing to help. Everyone is so generous and giving. This was also evident in Mexico City and I just love how warm and welcoming everyone is.  Especially my host mom. She is absolutely wonderful and so kind. She makes sure that we have everything that we could possibly need and makes sure that she teaches us new Spanish every time we speak.

-Casey Coleman

Puebla Zocalo at night

Mexico: beginnings

11 May

Our first weekend we  were introduced to Mennonite Central Committee and Casa de los Amigos, the hostel/guest house where we stayed. Erica opened our discussion with a version of the Lord’s Prayer from a migrant perspective. Reflecting on that version was a good moment of assessing personal thoughts and a practice of empathy. Abbey talked about her experience volunteering at Casa for the year. She addressed the potential for a “white saviour complex” by intentionally building cultural competency and empathy. Her focus has been in holding people’s “sacred stories”, as a way of giving respect to individuals we encounter.

We also met with a church youth group in Ecatepec, (in the state of Mexico, on the outskirts of Mexico City.) Every single person was so friendly and welcoming. They taught us about different cultures in various regions of Mexico. Despite the language barrier we all got along great. Some of us made bets over hot salsa, and we played word games to practice our Spanish and their English. It was wonderful getting to know everyone, sharing in their music, and sharing dinner together…I really enjoyed getting the chance to converse with so many people in Spanish. Jessica, one of the girls from the youth group, and I connected over music and singing, despite my limited vocabulary.

-Emma Picht




Puebla Zocalo at night