Mexico Trek!   Trekkers DISPATCH: August 14

San Francisco Mission Walk.

Hope you like murals! Murals are a distinctly Mexican form of art that has spread all over the world, sharing ideas and art with your average people in the street. And here we are two days before our departure in the streets of San Francisco's Mission District getting a preview of the ideas and art of Mexico. Follow along and see how much you already know of what we learned.

Click for an enlarged view.How many of these historic leaders can you recognize? (Click on any photo for an enlarged view!) Most are from Latin America and the one in the middle (with the white collar and the gray hair) is someone we'll be learning a lot about in Mexico. Father Hidalgo was a leader in the Mexican fight for independence. E-mail us at with your guesses about the other people. We'll choose randomly from the students who get the most right and write back to you! (And we'll tell your teacher to give you extra credit or let you go early or something!)

Click for an enlarged view. OK, brace yourself, because this image is really important. We're going to visit Mexico City, which was originally the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan. It was one of the biggest cities in the word and was beautiful! How did they decide where to build it? Well this picture gives you a big hint, but we'll be learning more about it in Mexico.

Impatient? Want to know now? Well, you can try doing a search on the Internet under Mexican History or you can save even more time and you can find out pretty easily by visiting the Guide Book page on our website and checking out the history section!

Omar & LuisOmar and Luis (left-right) are graduates of Cesar Chavez Elementary School when it was called "Hawthorne Elementary." They are proud of the neighborhood murals--they always see people come by to visit. They also find the mural of the eagle inspiring when they think about how many poor people there are in the world. Their friend says the future is "like the eagle symbolizing the poor people rising up against their oppressors. It's a pyramid shape with the rich people on top who will fall when they lose all their money, and the workers, like our people, on the bottom who don't have anything to lose so it's like "the meek shall inherit the earth."

Click for an enlarged view. Lucky! That's us. We were checking out the side of this building with a massive mural celebrating people with handicaps and guess what?...

Liz Yep. The woman painted in the mural came wheeling around the corner and said "hi." Her name is Liz Dunlap and she told us that everyone pictured in the mural was a resident at Bethany Center at one time (expect for one person.) She took her glasses off for the mural. "I don't like my glasses." The cat's name is Bava. Liz had to "put Baya down" because of lung cancer, but now lives with another cat, Noah. The ADA sticker you might see on the mural symbolizes the Americans with Disabilities Act, that increases public accessibility to people with disabilities.

We'll be seeing a lot of murals in Mexico and we'll make sure we meet with more people who can help us really understand them, people who themselves have stories to tell. Stay tuned!


Today's Dispatches:
Team: A Taste of Mexico
Team: Right on, Free T-shirts!
Team: Cesar Chavez - a man for the people.
Monica: Food, Music, and... Pollution
Shawn: Overwhelmed
Silvia: Mexican Culture and Murals

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