One of the best ways to really learn is through firsthand exposure. There’s something about participating versus listening that makes a message more memorable and meaningful. That’s exactly what our cast learned when they traveled to Querétaro, Mexico, where Universidad Anáhuac Querétaro served as a global classroom that helped our group truly understand inequalities through experiential learning.
EQUALITY FOR ALL
At the university, there is only one elevator with an inadequate ramp system to accommodate those with disabilities. For a student with a wheelchair, the only way to get to the second floor is to be carried up the stairs. To understand these student’s struggle, cast members took turns carrying one another to the second floor in a wheelchair, which you can see in the video below.
“The reason that we’re doing this challenge is to raise awareness about the difficulties surrounding people with disabilities at this school,” says Kim Taylor, of Canada.
The cast later set up an outdoor store, where students could donate gently used clothing. Our members sorted the clothes to resell the items in different communities at low prices so that people in need can afford them.
PARTICIPATING IN SOCIAL ACTION WEEK
Up with People’s visit to the university was part of the school’s Social Action Week. For a university that’s motto is “Vince in bono malum,” or “Overcome evil with good,” it only makes sense that its students would dedicate an entire week to encouraging positive social change.
Jonathan Kubben, a world traveler who presented his conference titled “A Passion with Purpose,” was also part of the week’s events.
According to Kubben, the conference was created to unite dreamers, travel addicts, entrepreneurs, social network lovers, and provide the steps necessary to develop a daring mindset. “This is really a community that goes in line with what we represent as well,” says Raeanna Clarke, of Colorado, U.S.A.
Up with People, known as Viva la Gente in Mexico, strives to promote positive change wherever we travel. In Querétaro, Mexico, that change was equality for students with disabilities and the marginalized. Our cast also visited a local grade school, where they performed and painted murals. Next, the global classroom moves to Monterrey, Mexico, before traveling on to Germany.