Friday, July 23, 2010

Trip to Tepoztlan

The temple atop the Tepozteco mountain.
Last weekend we ventured outside of Cuernavaca to the nearby town of Tepoztlan, about a 30 minute drive north. The town is famous for the remains of a temple, built on top of the nearby Tepozteco mountain, and its quaint market and arts and crafts.   

According to myth, over 1200 years ago Tepoztlan was the birthplace of Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent god widely worshipped in ancient Mexico.  The trek up the mountain takes up to 90 minutes, depending one’s speed; it looks quite daunting from the bottom, but everyone says it is well worth it once you get to the top. 

After climbing the Great Wall of China in my flip flops earlier this summer, I decided to again wear flip flops on this adventure, even though my friend warned me against it.  In retrospect tennis shoes were definitely the more practical option... so for anyone making the trek - avid flip fop wearer or not - wear tennis shoes! But, I think wearing them gave me the extra motivation I needed to make it up the mountain in great time (under an hour), and the view was absolutely breathtaking.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Independence Day in Mexico

With the 4th of July being on Sunday, I was worried that I wasn’t going to get to celebrate our country’s independence but I most certainly did - Mexico style.

This past weekend 6 of us took a road trip down to Acapulco. Acapulco is about a 3 hour drive from Cuernavaca and a popular vacation spot for the locals and tourists alike. The drive down was gorgeous, weaving through mountains and small towns along the way. Once we arrived in Acapulco we were in even more awe; our condo on the beach had a great view of the beach and was walking distance to everywhere.

Being on the pacific the waves are great and the beach is perfect for relaxing in the sun. We took full advantage of that throughout the whole weekend. The nightlife was good too; we went to several clubs, even one where they have bungee jumping for their patrons. Leaving to come back to Cuernavaca and work was hard, but we decided that we will visit Acapulco again before our departure from Mexico.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

World Cup, Planting Corn, and a Brand Value Index

The Brand Value Index we are working on has been challenging, but I have been learning a great deal about CSR practices around the world.  By the end of the summer, we hope to have applied the model to twelve companies in three sectors across four different countries.   

Over the past week and a half, I've also discovered the vast differences between interning in Mexico and interning in the U.S.  For example, when Mexico is playing in a world cup game, everything else comes to a standstill. 

It has been great watching the games here and I must say I have become a fan of Mexican football (soccer).  The France-Mexico game was one of the highlights of my trip so far.  After the game we went downtown to the city center where everyone was celebrating.  Unfortunately the outcome of the game on Sunday against Argentina was not the same but I still say, "Vive Mexico!"

I have also spent some time while interning here planting corn and tending to my boss’ animals.  He has three chickens, one turkey, two rabbits, and four dogs.  Again not something that is typical to an internship in D.C., but here it is all part of the “Mexican experience.”  Within a week’s time the corn we planted has already sprouted to the surface and is continuing to grow!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My First Week

ES Global brings three to four interns down to Cuernavaca Mexico every summer to support its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practice. This summer there are three of us working on a Brand Value CSR Index that ES Global has developed in-house. I arrived in Cuernavaca after only being back in DC for five minutes but strangely enough I immediately felt at home. I was picked up from the bus station by one of my co-workers and we went to the office where I met the staff and fellow interns. Afterward, we went next door to where our apartments are conveniently located and Carlos, who runs the bed and breakfast style apartments (pictured right), showed me where I will be living for the next two months. He spoke to me only in Spanish, but spoke slowly enough that, even with my rusty Spanish, I was able to understand him.

Three coworkers from our office took us out after work the following Friday and we experienced the Cuernavaca nightlife; we went to a local watering hole where we drank Micheladas, a classic Mexican drink. On Saturday we went to a friend's birthday party at Lake Tequesquitengo. The lake (pictured left) was absolutely massive, and we were told that when the water level gets low you can see top of a steeple from an old church that lies below the lake.

All in all it was a perfect end to my first week in Cuernavaca Mexico.