Spring Break in Mexico!

April 1, 2014

A tall breed of agave“Water is a problem”
“The Spanish came to Mexico for two reasons: to spread Catholicism and to get rich!”

Hey PA 4-H! I’m writing this blog just after getting back from our 2014 Capital Days. It was an amazing event that was very rewarding for those involved, as well as PA 4-H as a whole! However, I know some of my teammates will have amazing blogs describing Capital Days, so I want to take this chance to tell you about another amazing trip that I recently returned from.I know what most of you will automatically think when I tell you that I went to Mexico for spring break, but I can assure you that it is not what you think. I got the chance to go on a spring break study abroad trip to Guanajuato, Mexico. The cool part is that the trip was led by the honorable Sam Hays Jr, who is a former PA House Whip and PA Secretary of Ag. He used his contacts with the University of Guanajuato and other local residents to give us an amazing trip.IrrigationChurch where the Mexican War of
Independence Started               

          On the trip, the above quotes came up over and over again. The single largest problem facing the state of Guanajuato is the lack of water. They are drawing water from their aquifers at a non-sustainable rate. Most of that water is used to support the states huge agricultural sector. We learned of the strategies they are implementing to make their precious water resources more sustainable. We also got to learn about the local history that includes Spanish rule, and Mexico’s fight for independence.

A Strawberry FieldA view of Guanajuato                While on the trip, my area of focus was on agricultural plants. I learned about how important the agave plant is to the economy, namely through it’s being made into tequila. I found it interesting how much of the fresh produce they harvest gets shipped to the US in the winter months. Agriculture truly is a global business! And of course, we got plenty of time to relax enjoy the culture of Guanajuato at night. I love how social the culture is in general. Every night, the streets were as busy as the OCMD boardwalk, full of residents enjoying life with each other. It was a sharp contrast to the US, where our culture is based on having events at home. In Mexico, the culture is based outside in the warm air!

               
              If you ever get the chance to study abroad in life, I strongly encourage you to take full advantage of it. My trip was life changing. It gave me a better understanding of the world we live in, how we can celebrate our differences, and how we can work together to create a better quality of life for all.

               In closing I want to thank everyone who attended Capital Days, and all those who made it possible. I had a blast helping to put it on. I can’t wait for everyone to see what we have in store for State Days! Have a great month!
My fellow PSU Altoona students and I

Nate Repetz
2013/2014 PA 4-H State Council
President