Monday, June 24, 2013

Second Week: Chichén Itzá, Izamal, and Dzibilchaltún

Last week we had a guest speaker that came to talk about the history of the Mayan Calendar, its importance and also taught us how to interpret/decode it.

Here is Dr. Christopher Gotz explaining how to interpret/decode all the symbols that make the Mayan Calendar.
Last Friday we had our excursion to Chichén Itzá and Izamal. Chichén Itzá was really impressive! Our students were enchanted by this magical archeological site, which was recently (2007) recognized as on of the seven marvels of the modern world. The scene at Chichén Itzá was one of breathtaking beauty.
Here is Abigail running away from one of the many snakes that can be found at Chichén...

Yes, this picture was a must. 

As I said, Chichén Itzá is a magical place. Our dear instructor Melissa made a wish and it came true; she was able to fly...

After spending close to three hours walking through Chichén, we went to Izamal. Izamal is a small town which is 40 miles east of Mérida. Izamal Is known as "The Yellow City, because all of its buildings are painted yellow. This is a picture of the "Convento", located in downtown Izamal 

The impressive arches and columns of the "Convento" were perfect for a group picture. After wandering through the "Convento" for about an hour, we headed over to the main Plaza and had ice cream...
On Saturday we went to Dzibilchaltún. This archeological site is about 10 miles north of Mérida. 

Our Butterfly-Whisperer, Paige, was able to hold and pet one of the many butterflies that were flying around...
Dzibilchaltún also boasts a beautiful and cristal clear "Cenote"...

Monday, June 17, 2013

First Week! Very Busy!

Our first week in Mérida was extremely busy. We (the instructors) are very proud of all of our students for the many things that they have accomplished this first week. On Wednesday, our students met for the first time their canto/música instructors.

On Thursday, we had a guest speaker that came to talk about the History of Mexico and of Mérida. The students learned, among other things, the role that the Yucatán Península, and in particular Mérida, played during the Mexican War of Independence (1810-1821) and the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920).

On Friday, we went on a bus tour around Mérida. The tour was at 10 a.m. We decided to meet at 9:00 a.m by the Cathedral located in downtown Mérida. It was a great morning for a group picture!

On Saturday, we went to the beach, in Progreso, almost an hour away from Mérida by bus. Our super-star Ian took a great picture of some of us getting ready to play soccer. We didn't have goals, so we had to improvise and made them with sticks, shells and coconuts that we found around the beach.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Our talented students and instructors!!


We must be very proud of the school that we have here in Mérida. The classrooms are all equipped with AC units, brand new desks, a projector, a laptop and internet.


Placement Exam

Today, our alumnos took their placement exams: grammar, reading comprehension and listening. They all said the exam was ¡muy fácil ! I am sure they all did great. After all, they have the best Spanish Instructors..., right?
After the exam, we decided to go out to the patio to take a group picture and also examine the great diversity of plants and fruit trees that, unbelievably, one can find all over the city.

 Here they are looking at an avocado tree...

 This is a guanábana. Guanábana is an evergreen tree endemic to the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America.

 We had a little bit of rain yesterday.

Orientation Day

On Monday, we saw our students for the first time after our arrival to Mérida. It was great listening to what they had seen and experienced throughout the weekend. We really missed them. On Monday, students had to come to school for the first time for orientation. Their host families had to come for orientation as well.
Here they are paying close attention to what our super star Ian says...