Today, March 8th, was our last day in Guanajuato, Mexico. We first met with our friends at the Irapuato-Salamanca campus after which we visited the LANGEBIO Genomics Lab (LANGEBIO= laboratorio nacional de genetica para la biodiversidad=national laboratory of genetics for biodiversity). At the genomics lab, we took a tour and saw the technology used to conduct research on all kinds of plants. This is the type of research facility where genetic research is done on the agave plant to help preserve it and to perform genetic modification studies on crops such as maize (corn).
After visiting the genomics lab and lunch back at the Irapuato-Salamanca campus, we visited an Ejido (small rural subsistence farm). The owner of the farm had arrived only an hour prior than we did on getting back from California where he is a labor worker. Due to the lack of water for agriculture in the region, and the contamination of the water that was present, the only way for the owner and his family to survive is for him to spend almost year-round in the U.S. working as a migrant worker. The water crisis in Mexico is unfortunately splitting nuclear families apart, among many other consequences.
After the ejido visit, everyone presented information on different research topics. After all of our presentations were done, we were treated to a fair-well performance consisting of traditional Mexican music and dance. After the wonderfully vibrant performance, we unfortunately had to say goodbye to our newfound friends. I will greatly miss this place and the people I’ve met here, and I hope to one day come back. But for now, I am more than ready to go home and see my family who I miss dearly. This has been a truly wonderful experience.