Williams in Mexico

“You can learn several things through first-hand experience that you wouldn’t be able to learn in a classroom. I learned about how communities and government actions work in another country, especially after a natural disaster affects the people living there.”

Destination: Puebla, Mexico

Trip Organizers: Jessica Muñoz ’19 ([email protected]) & Vanessa Quevedo ’21 ([email protected])

The Experience

In this Break Out Trip, students went to Puebla, Mexico to serve two communities affected by a recent earthquake. They provided direct services to these communities by helping with disaster relief efforts. They rebuilt homes and restored neighborhood parks and other natural terrains. Students learned about how certain communities, as well as physical landscapes, are affected by natural disaster. They were able to be fully immersed in the local language and culture since they stayed with another student’s family.

Participant Quotes

  • “I think experience/work forces things learned to adapt to specific situations. It’s one thing to understand a concept, language, or word, but it’s another to be in a community and see how the concept is being played out, to be in a different country and attempt to speak and understand a new language, or to be with community members and explain an academic word in the context of the work the community is doing.”
  • “I learned how difficult and complicated language is, and felt much more empathy toward immigrants and acknowledgment of the incredible difficulty of moving to a new country without being fluent in that country’s main language. I feel that I now better appreciate anyone’s attempts to speak English, and am much more aware of how important support and understanding are toward people learning a language.”
  • “I saw different aspects of the Mexican culture that I would not have known otherwise. I was able to interact with Mexican people and see the differences in American, Mexican-American, and Mexican culture.”