Though it is possible to consider any number of sites for a Global Citizenship Program, our main location in Puerto Escondido, Mexico had a number of advantages. The name of this town translates as “hidden port,” and unlike some of Mexico’s more ‘Americanized’ Cities, Puerto Escondido retains the charm of small-town Mexico. HCOS has had Canadian partners in Puerto for more than 15 years. Puerto provides a clear cultural distinction from the lifestyle to which our Canadian students are accustomed, and this means that it is necessary for students to practice their Spanish each time they venture into the local community. The southern state of Oaxaca also has a distinctly more indigenous population than other Mexican states. Of course, it doesn’t hurt Puerto’s appeal to note that both the scuba diving and surfing in this lovely sea-side town are excellent.
Students live for 4 of the 6 week Global Citizenship program in Puerto, then travel by bus the historic city of Oaxaca for their final two weeks. This introduces students to a much more modern aspect of Mexican life. While traveling to Oaxaca, students visit villages where local farmers still use wooden plows to earn their livelihood, and then -- within hours-- students are at an upscale shopping mall that could be found in any wealthy Metropolitan city. Oaxaca is a city that is rich in both history as well as art and architecture. And Oaxacan cuisine is some of the finest in all of Mexico, or Latin America. HCOS has had Canadian partners in Oaxaca City for the last 5 years.