Kaytee Norris – Guanajuato Day 8 – March 8, 2013

Today our first stop was at the University of Guanajuato’s Division of Life Sciences. Here we had a few minutes to talk with our assigned groups for our projects. After we had a few minutes to collaborate, we were presented a short lecture about the National Genetic Lab. Once we were finished with our lecture, we boarded the bus and quickly headed for the National Genetic Lab. At the Genetic Lab we looked at the different machines and learned about genetics.

After the Genetics Lab, we headed back to the Division of Life Science for lunch. After lunch, we headed to the rural village. This rural village is also known as the ejido. At the ejido, also known as the village of Elcino del Copal, we visited with a family of a migrant worker. Pedro works in a nursery in San Francisco, California. He told the group that he will be leaving in a few weeks and that he will not be home again until Christmas. Pedro and his wife have one son and one daughter. His daughter is married and lives in a village about thirty minutes away, while his son works in a strawberry processing plant in Irapuato. While at the ejido, I was introduced to the “very poor Mexico.” I also learned that the students studying nursery at the University of Guanajuato go into the village and help teach them how to stay healthy and use their resources, such as boiling their water to help kill and remove the pollutants. Also after visiting the ejido, it opened my eyes and made me appreciate my life in America even more. These people in the ejido are POOR and I mean POOR! They have the bare necessities and are only subsistence farmers which mean they only produce enough for they families. I could never imagine living life the way that they do here in the ejido.

After the ejido, we headed back to the Division of Life Sciences where we gave our presentations. My groups presentation was about the Hacienda system and the ejido, which is now known as ranch agriculture and village agriculture. My main part of the presentation focused in the differences and impacts of the Hacienda and the ejido. Some differences between the Hacienda and the ejido is that the hacienda is large land holdings of thousand of acres, while the ejido is small land holdings composed of five and fifteen acres. Another difference is that the Hacienda was originally owned by the Spanish and now today it is owned by large farmers and ranchers, while the ejido is only owned by small families. A final differences of that the hacienda uses irrigation while the ejido does not. Some impacts of the Hacienda system is that produced large amounts of food, economic success, children get a higher education, advanced practices and more leadership, while the impacts of produce bare minimum food, limited education, limited skills, only produce enough food for their family and poor, low income. I also shared about the Hacienda Copal. The Hacienda Copal housed the owner of he Hacienda. It also was composed of thousands of acres that were used to produce grain for the silver miners who came to Guanajuato to become rich. Today, the Hacienda is a major food producing area that has a twelve month growing season.

After our presentations were complete, We headed down to the Hacienda Copal for some Mexican Folk Ballet. This performance was outstanding and the girls had beautiful dresses. It was a good time and I really enjoyed it. After the dancing was over we posed for some photos and said goodbye!

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