The Honeymoon Isnt Over!

Mexico Oaxaca, Mexico  |  Jan 14, 2009
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 ProMexico Alum Tells All About the Couples' Road Trip with a Purpose 

After graduating college, my husband, Dallas, and I decided it was time for some adventure.  I had just received my Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and him, his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry.  Initially we planned on taking a road trip through Mexico, stopping where we wanted for as long as we wanted.  After dwelling on this idea we decided we would need a little more purpose than that, we needed to volunteer somewhere.  We expected it would be a challenge to find a volunteer opportunity where both a Spanish major interested in social science and a chemistry major wanting to go to medical school were needed.  Luckily, we discovered ProMexico, who had three categories of volunteer programs.  My interests fit perfectly with the social and economic development projects and his with health. 

Towards the end of my college career I had taken more interest in anthropology and social science and was convinced some type of non-profit work, preferably with immigrants, was my calling.  Approximately two weeks into my ProMexico project this calling was confirmed.  My project site was the Unión de Museos Comunitarios, an organization that supports and coordinates community museums in indigenous communities all throughout the state of Oaxaca.  I arrived just in time to assist in the community museum exhibition taking place in Mexico City.  My first job was to travel to the communities to document, through photos and interviews, the artisan’s process of producing local crafts.  These pictures and information were then used to create large posters representing each community in the exhibition.  I also designed tickets for the artisans’ products, which would hopefully educate the buyer on what they were supporting by their purchase. I was fortunate enough to travel to Mexico City with the artisans where they would sell their crafts alongside the exhibition.  The idea was for visitors to be able to see the hard work and authentic craftsmanship that goes into each product and later visit the market where these products were being sold by the artisans themselves.  I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the artisans and it was really rewarding to see my photos being displayed on the wall.  Things calmed down after the exhibition, meaning more office work for me, which I didn’t mind.  The thing I really liked about my project was the combination of working with people and working in an administrative role. 

As I am about to leave Oaxaca and head up the west coast of Mexico with my husband, I have so many great memories not only from my project site, but from my host family stay, Spanish classes, ProMexico excursions, and other adventures with fellow volunteers.  This experience was unique in so many ways and will always be a great memory me and my husband share.

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