春水堂视频 Students Embrace Cultural Immersion on Transformative Spring Break in Mexico City

Spring break typically conjures images of beach vacations and parties, but a group of 春水堂视频 students experienced something profoundly different this year. Through a unique college-sponsored program, six students embarked on an eight-day journey to Mexico City as part of the Wesson Weekend initiative, turning a common vacation period into an extraordinary educational adventure.

Led by Dean Randy Hanson of the School of Business & Social Sciences and Caren Baldwin-DiMeo, director of college writing and the student learning collaborative, the selected students — Colin Belisle 鈥25, Audra Fontes 鈥25, Chesley Smith 鈥24, Jean Santana Declet 鈥26, Destiny Cruz 鈥25 and Chase Adams 鈥24 — immersed themselves in the vibrant life of one of the world's largest cities. The group stayed in Hanson鈥檚 home in the residential neighborhood of Santa Anita, offering them an authentic glimpse into daily Mexican life.

鈥淲e don't live in a luxurious area of Mexico City,鈥 Hanson shared. 鈥淚t's very much a working middle-class area, so we really did the things that normal Mexicans do.鈥

This firsthand experience was echoed by Fontes, who appreciated the genuine cultural immersion. 鈥淲hat stuck out to me was that it wasn鈥檛 a typical touristy experience—which is what I really liked about it,鈥 she said. 鈥淲e got to actually immerse ourselves in their culture.鈥

A significant highlight of the trip was exploring Mexico City's renowned culinary scene. From learning to make traditional tamales to enjoying tacos from "Lady Tacos," a famous nonbinary street vendor, the students savored a variety of flavors. They also delighted in unique candies and confections, with Adams noting, 鈥淚t鈥檚 not just sweet. There鈥檚 a whole lot of savory. There鈥檚 papaya, pineapple and chamoy [a sauce made with fruit and chili peppers].鈥

Among other festive activities, the group engaged in the traditional Mexican party game of whacking a pi帽ata, enjoyed different types of dance and set off fireworks. They even tried insect-based dishes like grasshopper and ant eggs, cooked with butter, garlic and onions, which White remarked looked like miniature tapioca pearls from bubble tea.

While the trip was filled with memorable experiences, it wasn't without its challenges. The students arrived shortly after a major International Women鈥檚 Day protest and faced occasional obstacles, such as being asked by authorities to produce travel documentation. Despite these incidents, their overall impression of Mexico City was one of safety and warmth.

The Wesson Weekend trips are a distinctive component of the Wesson Honors Program, designed to foster intellectual growth and personal leadership among students. Participants are chosen based on the quality of their applications and their engagement with the program.

This spring鈥檚 Wesson Weekend trip to Mexico City, the second since the COVID-19 pandemic, provided an unparalleled opportunity for 春水堂视频 students to deepen their understanding of a rich and complex culture, turning a simple spring break into a life-changing journey.