1. As we arrived at the airport, we were all surprised when a large black dog jumped up on Tyler and revealed his secret… He was smuggling sandwiches. Then half our group was even more surprised when our driver didn’t actually know where to go. After mucho confusion, both groups found their way to Casa de los Amigos.
2. We rode the metro. Clementine briefed us on how to be “not too polite or Canadian.” We needed to push our way on so we all made it. It was hard to know what to expect but after getting off the train pushing past a protest on the platform with music blaring, we have a bit of a better sense that… this city is just crazy.
3. Saturday morning we walked through a beautiful garden/park to a casita in the middle of the park. This was home to casa espacio de los refugiados. This is a hub for refugees and migrants to learn and network together and find support in the city. We learned the difference here for refugees and migrants and that Mexico is a hub for people to, not only move through on their way north, but to also come from around the world to seek refugee status. There are 1700 official refugees in Mexico City, but it was stressed that this number doesn’t mean much cause there are so many more living here. An example is that just 2 weeks ago bus loads of 1200 people came from Honduras, which our presenter told us is the most dangerous country in the world right now. We participated in a role playing activity where we had to think about our hopes and dreams and values and they were slowly destroyed as our country was overcome by violence. We had to think about what we would do, where we would go, and if we would have the strength to rebuild our lives.
4. We were joined by a mennonite young adult group for the morning and enjoyed lunch and a game of frisbee with them. Lunch was quesadilla’s from a street vendor. They were delicious! And luckily we’re all currently digesting them fine.
5. The afternoon (well late afternoon. Lunch here is at 3pm) we explored the centre of the city. We walked into churches and shops along a popular walking street packed with people, towards the central plaza of the city (is the largest plaza in Latin America and can fit up to 100,000 people!) Here we saw the municipal cathedral and the ruins of the pyramid it was built upon. It was an overwhelming afternoon of exploring Mexico City.
You can definitely tell that Mexico City is home to over 2/3 of Canada’s population.