2023 Colorado Academy Mexico Program
Day 3 Monday
Days 1 & 2: Saturday and Sunday
Written by Tyler Hansbrough (Walking Tree Travel leader)
The group arrived on time from Denver, passed through immigration relatively quickly, and proceeded with our driver to the hotel while taking in the first sights this incredible city has to offer. Then they really had quite the greeting–as we had to navigate our way through a massive march in support of Mexico’s president, AMLO (Andrés Manuel López Obrador) with what were quite literally hundreds of thousands of people crowding the very streets where our hotel is located. This gigantic spectacle might have otherwise overwhelmed us, but thanks to the skill of our intrepid driver we were somehow able to get close enough and find a location for us to stop the van, unload it quickly, then take to the swarming streets with our luggage. We proceeded to walk with bags in town down a street with AMLO supporters flooding in every single direction, but since everything was blocked off to vehicles it made our path to the hotel relatively simple and we arrived in about 15 minutes. It was quite a sight to behold for the students as their first impression of CDMX!
Once we settled into the hotel we quickly went out for our first excursion, walking through the main square called the Zócalo and then ending up at dinner at the famous Casa de los Azulejos building where we feasted on a meal of Mexican favorites such as enchiladas and tacos–and of course a few Mexican Coca-Colas! We then returned to the hotel and had an orientation meeting on the rooftop terrace before settling in to rest and begin our official adventure the next morning.
Sunday was a tiring day, as we walked many many miles and rode the subway south to the neighborhood of Coyoacán, an oasis of green with a slower pace from the rest of the city. We walked from the subway to the Frida Kahlo House, otherwise known as Casa Azul, where we learned a bit about the life of this famous Mexican artist and her husband the muralist Diego Rivera. Departing Casa Azul we walked just two blocks to the Mercado de Coyoacán where I treated the group to one of my favorite bites of food in the city–a simple tostada that is loaded with toppings like shredded beef or chicken, cream, cheese, and of course slices of rich avocado. They also got to enjoy amazing “aguas frescas” of pureed fruit sweetened with sugar–many ordered tropical fruit “waters” they could never get to try as fresh and as easily back home.
Leaving the market we had some free time to people-watch and shop in the main squares of beautiful Coyoacán, before walking back to the subway for another long ride back up north to the city center. We walked to Chapultepec Castle where the group got to tour the only castle in the hemisphere that ever housed royals from Europe! The entire Bosque de Chapultepec was packed with tourists and locals taking advantage of a gorgeous Sunday afternoon in CDMX and we finally made our way out and over to the Condesa neighborhood where I reside. We walked to dinner through this stunning area filled with green, dogs, Art Deco buildings and new modern apartments before settling in to have dinner at one of my favorite locals-only spots, a family restaurant that sells Yucatecan food. We feasted on platters of succulent cochinita pibil and pavo en escabeche, two special taco fillings from that region and the students absolutely loved it. After dinner we made the stroll back to the subway to return to the hotel, but not before stopping to sample the famous nieves and helados (sorbets and ice creams) at Roxy, a venerable institution in my neighborhood. We made it home in time to rest well before continuing with another Monday excursion the following morning.
I now turn the blog over officially to the students for the remaining posts, and we will have as many of them help as we can depending on our busy schedule.
It is my great pleasure to guide these students in the country I have now called home for 7 years, and I know they will return to you safely and with many memories made.
From the Program Leader
Dear parents, family members and friends–