The Instituto Mexicano de Español y Cultura, the Spanish language school to which CBC Spanish instructor Kay Past has taken students for the past 14 summers, is hosting a mini-conference on “Día de los Muertos.” A group from Beeville is invited to attend.
The CBC group will leave from San Antonio on Friday, Oct. 30, and return on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Past will accompany the group and assist them with all arrangements.
Participants will be welcomed to the program Friday evening with a typical Mexican dinner.
On Saturday, they will attend a conference at the Instituto Mexicano de Español y Cultura, where they will learn about the Day of the Dead celebration, prepare traditional Mexican dishes and set up an “ofrenda,” a traditional altar in memory of a famous person. In the afternoon they will visit museums in the downtown area, all with special altars for the dead.
On Sunday, Nov. 1, participants will travel to Mexico City to visit the spectacular “ofrendas” in the main plaza and in churches and museums there. That evening they will visit Ocotepec, an indigenous village near Cuernavaca, to observe their beautiful remembrance of the dead.
On Nov. 2, the group will attend mass at the Ocotepec cemetery, then visit another indigenous village to observe traditions typical to that area.
No prior knowledge of Spanish is necessary but those who stay with families will be eligible for conversational Spanish credit, either as a continuing education course or for one hour of regular CBC academic credit.
The Mexico portion of the trip will cost $350 if paid before Oct. 10 and $400 after that date. The plane ticket plus required travel insurance will cost approximately $550 and should be purchased from Darlene Conoly Travel as soon as possible. (Plane tickets to Mexico are expensive because of taxes charged by both countries.)
A passport is required and can be obtained in two weeks’ time if an application is submitted to the U.S. Department of State before the first week of October.
If a participant prefers to stay in the luxurious hotel Hostería Las Quintas instead of with a Mexican family, the cost is approximately $450 more.
“I participated in the IMEC’s first mini-conference on Día de los Muertos in 2002 and it was the most colorful event I have ever attended,” Past recalled. “I have never seen so many flowers in my life. It was inspiring to see the importance which the Mexican people devote to remembering their beloved departed family members. I look forward to another memorable celebration this year.”
In order to sign up for the trip, contact Kay Past at 354-2401 (daytime) or 358-6717 (evenings) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.