My walk to and from school is exactly one mile. That may not sound like a lot, but when you consider it is an up and down walk on broken, cobbled sidewalks, it’s more hiking than actual walking. There are places where you can’t even walk on the sidewalk itself because the trees or cars block the way. This is when it becomes a game of me versus the oncoming bus or car. There have been quite a few near misses as I have walked around Cuernavaca. There is always trash on the streets. I can’t figure that out. I did see my first garbage truck yesterday so I’m confident that Cuernavaca has some interest in keeping its streets clean. However, the trash bags stay on the sidewalks for days bringing lots of bugs and animals out. It can be a little gross to be walking over these piles of trash on a brisk morning walk. We are spoiled by our clean streets. Even in the worst areas of downtown Cincinnati, the steets are far cleaner than they are here in Cuernavaca. A big cultural difference for sure!
In any case, there is much beauty on my walks to and from school as well. I have tried to capture some of the plant life, bug life, human life, commercialization and architecture on my walks. The biggest contrast between neighborhoods here and those in the states is that everything here is gated. All homes come all the way out to the street. It’s impossible to tell if the home behind the tall fence is a palace or a hut. There are no front yards here. When you walk down the street, it looks like a bunch of closed businesses. However, as I have walked along these streets, I have caught glimpses of the homes behind these walls. Some of them are absolutely beautiful and luxurious with flower gardens, fountains, courtyards and pools and others are not. Mexico is a country of deep contrasts between the wealthy and the poor. There is no true middle class. This is evident in Cuernavaca, but not visible from a quick glance because it’s difficult to see behind the walls that wrap each home.
Finally, I have included here some photos of my school,Cemanahuac Educational Community. The grounds of my school are gorgeous. We meet outside for classes each day. It’s a closekknit, small community where I have felt welcome from day one.
I hope you enjoy these photos and that they bring insight into my daily experience here in Cuerna.