Today, March 8, 2013, was our last day spent in Guanajuato. To start the day, we went to the National Genomics Laboratory. We then went to a rural village.
The genomics laboratory we visited was called LANGEBIO Cinvestav. It is the best genomics laboratory in Latin America. The whole project started 16 years ago, but the first buildings go back 30 years. The laboratory works on ancient DNA, human DNA, bacteria, and fungi. There are two buildings to the center. The first building is an administration building with offices and classrooms. The second one is research and services with 16 research spaces.
For each space, there is a Principle investor that is a team leader and is responsible if anything goes wrong. There is national and federal funding that the laboratory can receive. If there isn’t enough funds, then they can’t accomplish anything and they don’t get anywhere.
After the laboratory and lunch, we visited a rural village. The name of the village was Encino Copal. There, we visited 46 year old Pedro Ramirez, who owns 4 acres of land. There is a group of students from the University of Guanajuato’s nursing department that come and check up on the Ramirez family to make sure their weight, blood pressure and sugar, and to educate them from disease and how to treat the water.
Mr. Ramirez is leaving in a few weeks to go to California until Christmas to work at a nursery as a immigrant worker. There he will pay about $200 a month to live with 7 other guys and work a 5am-8pm shift. He will leave his wife and son at home alone until he gets back. Pedro has worked and had his papers for 18 years, which he is very proud of. He is one of the lucky guys that gets to come home every year.
Seeing the village was an eye opening experience. A lot of times, we take many things for granted and are not as appreciative as we should be. In the village, the only water they received was when Mother Nature provided it. The only schooling went up to sixth grade and only 40% went on to higher education. When we were finished hiking up to Pedro’s house, all I wanted was to take a drink of water. I found myself realizing that his family probably does this a few times a day and they can’t just always take a drink of water. Even as I am typing this blog, I think of how fortunate I am to be able to go to a university, have the opportunity to visit here, and be lent an iPod to do my assignment. I believe more people should try and make an effort to get out there and see the problems not only in their back yard but all over the world. In the words of Mr. Sam Hayes, we need to stop making lists of problems and get out there and solve them to make the world have a better future for our children to come.
Below is a picture of Mr. Hayes, who made this trip possible, and Pedro Ramirez, who does whatever he can to make money to support his family.