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Acting Director of Service-Learning
Office of Service-Learning
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711
Mexico: Spring Break 07
This year, 10 students, 3 professors and their 3 young children returned to the small Mayan community of Dzitnup located on the Yucatan Peninsula in order to teach English to the 60 students of the local secondary school.
After teaching for a few hours daily, the students and the teachers of the school shared with us their culture, their food, their music and invited us to participate in field trips with the students. They even attempted to teach us Maya, their language, which they speak in their family and even at school with each other.
As days passed and as the local students became more familiar with us, their enthusiasm and their eagerness to participate grew. Many volunteered to speak English when we saw them in the local town, during our group activities or excursions
I won’t forget how fun it was to use a machete when they showed us how to build a traditional house or even getting hit by the ball while playing soccer!
On our last day with the students, we visited the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza. Because we had learned so much of the Mayan culture from the children, the visit of this important landmark had more significance.
We stayed in a very basic but friendly local motel which, to our delight, had a pool and a few hammocks where we could get a break from the heat. Meals were served family style and I can’t believe how early we went to bed each day!