We had our first real day of “service learning” today. After breakfast, (8:00am) we took a brisk walk to the bus station then eventually to the Metro Station, Tasqueña– our first experience with public transportation. We found it to be relatively safe and efficient. Our group arrived at the Zócalo around 10:00am.

Zócalo is the main square of México City. (The main square in every city in México is called “Zócalo”.) It was an immense square with a majestic Mexican flag in the middle of it. Unfortunately, the first activity planned, the National Palace (Palacio Nacional), was closed.

There we were going to view Diego Rivera’s murals depicting the rich but tumultuous history of México. Instead, we moved on and visited the ancient ruins (Templo Mayor) next to the Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana de la Asunción de María). The ruins, in perspective, turned out to not be so ancient; at least the ones we saw. They dated back to about 1100-1200b.c depending on the layer that was visible.

To date, seven layers have been built upon the layers of the past. After the ruins (Templo Mayor) we visited the Metropolitan Cathedral. It was absolutely beautiful. The highlight of the day was the talk we had from Dr. Ross Gandy from UNAM, the largest university in the world. It was extremely informing and he was equally as inspiring and interesting a person I’ve met in quite a bit of time.

– Danny Liles ‘10