Leading up to our time together in Mexico City, we met together several times to prepare for our trip. This was a wonderful way to bond and gain background knowledge ahead of travel.

We talked about what it means to be sensitive and respectful of local culture and how to reflect on our own cultural awareness. We also studied some of the history of Mexico and modern culture.

We sampled baked goods and drinks from local Mexican bakeries and restaurants and practiced how to order food in Spanish.

We studied ancient Aztec civilization, using clay to create models of pyramids and sculptures that have been found at Teotihuacan, the archeological site we were excited to visit together.

Each young person researched a topic related to our Mexico City itinerary and gave a presentation to the group.  Even our youngest travelers presented (which we all enjoyed immensely).  We sang and learned clapping games in Spanish, and shared some good laughs – just what you need before taking a leap together.

The “older” young people worked on planning their long-term trip project – to write scenes about each site on the itinerary which would be filmed and acted by the group as we toured the city.  We love how this type of project involves engagement before, during, and after the trip.

We also met at a local restaurant to wet our Mexican food taste buds and practice ordering in Spanish.  While some of our young participants already had experience traveling outside of the US, half did not. We were grateful to be sharing in these prepatory activities so that everyone became more familiar and comfortable with what to expect as we explored Mexico City together.