The following is a general itinerary of the Mexico Trek and a description of the curriculum as it relates to national education standards (see below).
The itinerary forms a baseline from which the team will operate. As the Trek proceeds, the itinerary will probably evolve somewhat as the Trek Team responds to feedback from teachers and students and takes advantage of opportunities that develop on the spot.
It is also general in that it does not yet include specifics about live chats with the trekkers which will take place via the website (see the Trek Connect section). We will notify you about those events before they take place.
Saturday 15, Sunday 16: TRAVEL AND INTRODUCTION
The team will travel from San Francisco to San Diego. They will collect images of murals
dealing with Aztlan specifically and Mexican culture in general.
Monday 17, Tuesday 18
The team will explore Mexican stereotypes and piece together what previous knowledge they have
of Mexican culture as they travel to Mexico City.
Wednesday 19, Thursday 20
The team will arrive in Mexico City and begin meeting with local contacts and youths.
Friday 21 - Tuesday 25: THE AZTECS
The team will visit:
- The Palacio Nacional which houses many extraordinary murals depicting indigenous life in
what is today Mexico, notably a mural of the market of Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital.
- The Templo Mayor: these are the ruins of what were the central pyramids of Tenochtitlan.
- The Xochimilco canals: these are all that remain of the massive Texcoco and Xochimilco Lakes
which surrounded the island on which Tenochtitlan was founded.
- Teotihuacan: significant both as a cultural predecessor to the Aztecs and as the
mythological gathering place of the gods.
- Mythic locales: possible sites include Mount Texcalapa, El Parto, Juncos y Canas,
sites to be determined - the site of the chasm where the Tezcatlipoca killed all the citizens
of Tollan and they were converted into boulders, the site where Quetzalcoatl sat and mourned
the death of his servants and the imprints can still be seen.
The team will visit places, attend events, and meet with people regarding Aztec religion and
the religious significance and modern fallacies about sacrifices, as well as Aztec music and
Wednesday 26 - Saturday 29: THE CONQUEST
The team will visit:
- Tlatelolco (the Plaza of Three Cultures) where Cuauhtemoc, the last Aztec emperor
surrendered, and where there is a wonderful tribute to the birth of Mexico as a people of
mixed heritage AND as the site of Aztec ruins, a Catholic church, and a modern government building.
- The tree beneath which Cortez cried the night he and his men were driven out of
Tenochtitlan and many were killed (La Noche Triste).
- Sites where the Mexican people still celebrate the victories of that night.
- Tie-ins with other Palacio Nacional murals and a performance of the song,
Maldicion de Malinche, a song about the Conquest and its repercussions.
Sunday 30 - Sunday 6: FOCUS ON TRADITIONAL MEXICAN CULTURE
The team will visit:
- The Basilica de Guadalupe where the Virgin of Guadalupe was first seen by Juan Diego
- The Metropolitan Cathedral, a Catholic church which was built on the site of the Aztecs'
Tzompantli or Wall of Skulls
- Classes studying English interested in helping people learn Spanish
- Garibaldi Square - the center of the mariachi universe
- (TBA) - The filming of a Mexican National soap opera (to explore class structure and
popular perceptions of indigenous people)
- A local ejido (commonly farmed land owned communally since the Mexican Revolution)
- Sanborns, the famous high class store that was visited by a reunion of
- Visit with and interview survivors of the Mexican Revolution, trying to pull in
representatives of people who faught with Villa, Zapata, Morelos and Carranza
- Attend a ceremony celebrating Mayahual, the Goddess of the Maguey plant,
sacred in Aztec culture
Monday 7 - Thursday 10: FOCUS ON MEXICO AND THE US
The team will visit:
- Chapultepec, the site where the "Hero Boys" wrapped themselves in the Mexican flag
and threw themselves from the castle rather than surrender to US troops
- The Basilica de Guadalupe, the site of the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo,
which ceded half of Mexico to the US
- A forum of US students studying in Mexico and Mexican students who have studied
in the US
Friday 11 - Tuesday 15: FOCUS ON CONTEMPORARY MEXICAN CHALLENGES
The team will visit people and places regarding the following issues:
- The Zapatista uprising
- Reforms within the dominant political party, the PRI, and examining the current
Mexico City mayorship of the leading opposition candidate, Cuahtemoc Cardenas
- Mexico City's environmental challenges
- El Salvadoran and Guatemalan communities living in Mexico City
- Mexican Independence Day festivities
Wednesday 16 - Friday 18: FOCUS ON MIGRATION TO THE US and BORDER ISSUES
The team will meet with people who have worked in the US or have family members currently
in the US. Along their route returning to the US they will meet with people looking to enter
the US, and meet with the family members in the US of the families met with previously in Mexico.
Saturday 19 - Wednesday 23
The team will return to the US, continuing their focus from above.
This itinerary supports the following National Standards for World History of the
National Center for History in the Schools' History Standards Project:
- Understands the expansion of states and civilizations in the Americas between 1000 and 1500. (24)
- Understands the economic, political, and cultural interrelations among peoples of Africa, Europe,
and the Americas between 1500 and 1750. (29)
- Understands the causes and consequences of political revolutions in the late 18th and
early 19th centuries. (32)
- Understands patterns of nationalism, state-building, and social reform in Europe and the Americas
from 1830 to 1914. (35)
- Understands patterns of global change in the era of Western military and economic dominance
from 1800 to 1914. (36)
- Understands reform, revolution, and social change in the world economy of the early 20th century. (38)
- Understands the search for community, stability, and peace in an interdependent world. (44)
This itinerary ties in with the following suggested subjects of study according to the
California Social Studies Framework:
- Grade 7 - World History and Geography: Medieval and Early Modern Times, Civilizations of the Americas
- Grade 9 - World Regional Geography, The Humanities, Comparative World Religions,
Area Studies, Cultures, Anthropology
- Grade 10 - World History, Culture and Geography: The Modern World
- Unresolved Problems of the Modern World
- The Rise of Colonialism and Imperialism
- Latin America: Mexico
- Modern problems - causes and consequences
- Relationships with neighbors
- Relationship with the US
- Grade 11 - US History
- Hemispheric Relationships in the Postwar Era
- Grade 12 - Principles of Democracy
- Comparative Governments
- Contemporary Issues in the World Today
- Grade 12 - Economics
- International Economic Concepts
- Factors involved in the sustained growth of developing economic nations
This itinerary supports the following National Standards for Arts Education:
- Understands dance in various cultures and historic periods
- Understands the relationship between music and history and culture
- Understands the visual arts in relation to history and cultures
This itinerary supports the following National Geography Standards
of the Geography Education Standards Project:
- Knows the location of places, geographic features, and patterns of the environment (2)
- Understands the characteristics and uses of spatial organization of Earth's surface (3)
- Understands the physical and human characteristics of place (4)
- Understands the nature, distribution, and migration of human populations on Earth's surface
- Understands the nature and complexity of Earth's cultural mosaics (10)
- Understands the patterns and networks of economic interdependence on Earth's surface (11)
- Understands the patterns of human settlement and their causes (12)
- Understands the forces of cooperation and conflict that shape the divisions of Earth's surface (13)
- Understands how human actions modify the physical environment (14)
- Understands global development and environmental issues (18)
This itinerary supports the following National Standards for
Civics and Government of The Center for Civic Education:
Understands how the world is organized politically into nation-states,
how nation-states interact with one another, and issues surrounding US foreign policy.
This itinerary supports the following Standards for Foreign Language Learning:
- Uses the target language to engage in conversations, express feelings, and emotions,
and exchange opinions and information.
- Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of traditional ideas and perspectives, institutions,
professions, literacy and artistic expressions, and other components of target culture.
This itinerary supports what SHOULD be recommended reading but isn't on any of the
major recommended reading lists.