Nine CAPS 8th graders traveled to Guanajuato Mexico over spring break. Here is one story from Ruby Nelson – an 8th grader in Mr. Neighbors class:
Going to Mexico was an amazing experience. Everything was different – the people I spent my day with, the food I ate, the sounds at night. But I grew and learned so much in an environment where I didn’t even speak the language.
Guanajuato itself was so different than where I came from, or anywhere I had previously traveled. The buildings and houses were colorful, and you could walk in the street because the cars drove in underground tunnels. To get to the house of the family we were staying in, we walked up flights and flights of stairs.
Walking through and around Guanajuato felt daunting at first. In the beginning, all the streets looked the same and everything sounded the same. But soon Guanajuato began to feel incredibly safe. Navigating got easier, though of course I always had the other students and teachers. In Guanajuato, I learned that sometimes you have to put aside any fear or hesitation and just go for it – whether its trying a new food, swimming in a hot springs, or learning to how to travel in a new city.
The trip was also a time to form new friendships and bonds. I rekindled old friendships and got closer to my friends that also went on the trip. All of the students became closer exploring and learning in this place we had never been before. Being in a new environment also allowed another student and I, who had had previous quarrels, to become friends.
We attended three days of classes at the college in Guanajuato. I originally was not looking forward to having to go to a class, but I ended up really enjoying it. Despite the language barrier, the classes were easy to understand. The teachers were very patient. For the first time in my life, another language began to make sense.
The entire trip allowed the others students and me to grow and learn: being in a new environment, traveling in a group, having independence, and exposed to a completely different culture. We all became much closer and learned so much both culturally and educationally. I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who made the trip possible. I had some struggles, of course, but through even these things I grew.