Monday, July 31, 2006


I'm headed to Puebla Mexico on August 9. Before I go, I thought I'd give you all a bit of information about the city and what I'll be doing. I'll try to answer the most common questions I hear.

Puebla is a city of about 2 million people, 80 miles southeast of Mexico City. It is the capital of the state of Puebla and is one of Mexico's oldest Spanish cities, founded in 1531. It is in the Puebla Valley, with an altitude of about 7,000 ft. The four highest volcanos in Mexico are visible from the city: Popocatepetl (17,883 ft), Izataccihuatl (17, 338ft), La Malinche (14,632 ft), Citlaltepetl (18,855 ft). (Those will be some names I'll have to learn to pronounce!)

The city is known for its colonial architecture, delicious food, and Talavera ceramics (I think they're decorated with blue designs, but I'm not sure). Mexican troops defeated the French forces here on May 5, 1862, which is the event celebrated by the Cinco de Mayo. Also, the first shots of the Mexican Revolution were fired in Puebla on November 18, 1910. In 1987, UNESCO designated Puebla a World Heritage City.

There are many famous archeological sites in the area: the Texcal Cave near Lake Valsequillo, first occupied by humans around 7,000 BC; the Tenapap Pyramid in Cholula, one of the largest precolumbian structures in the Americas (built around 400 BC-200 AD); the pyramid at Teotihuacan is also fairly close (it's east of Mexico City).

I'm planning on fairly mild weather, ranging from about 60-80 F during the day and 40-60 F at night. I'll be arriving during the rainy season when I hear that it rains a little each afternoon. I've also read that there is almost no percipitation between November and March.

I'll be attending the Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla (BUAP), a public university in the city. It is considered one of the best universities in the country. There are two campuses, one in the center city for the humanities, and one on the edge of the city where most of the sciences are located. I will probably be taking classes both places.

I will also live with a host family in Puebla. I don't know anything about the family, except the host mother's name and the address. I'll be the only American student with my family, though there are other students who will be in Puebla with my program. The program is organized by Wellsley, Smith, McCalester, and Oberlin Colleges and there will be students from each in Puebla.

I am going for the full academic year (10 months) and, as of now, am not planning to come home during at any point during the year; I hope my family will be able to visit during the Christmas holiday. There is one other girl from Smith who is studying in Puebla for the full year and another three or four who are coming just for the second semester.

We arrive in Mexico City on August 9 and we spend the first week together as a group in Mexico City, touring the capital and taking trips to nearby sites of interest. Then on August 16, we head to Puebla. We have five days to tour the city and university and choose our classes. Classes begin on August 21. I finish the program on May 16.

That's all I can think of to tell you all now. I'll let you know when I make it safely to Mexico.


Hi Everyone,

Welcome to my blog. I've decided this will be the easiest way for me to keep all of you informed about my adventures in Mexico. I hope to write on my blog at least a couple times a month, so check it out every now and again to see what I'm doing!