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Illustrative agenda and student free time

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Students observe government in action by visiting important institutions in country

The Mexico study tour is highly structured to maximize the effectiveness of our 16 days in country. It is estimated that 11 days will be spent in Mexico City, the hub of government and a thriving modern city of 10 million people. Five days will be spent in provincial capitals or excursions outside the capital. We will as a group interview approximately 20-25 leaders in the Mexican government, the US embassy, the media, human rights groups and in research organizations and will further observe Mexican government institutions in action. A typical day will include 3-5 group activities and students will be tired at the end of the trip. 

That said, a study abroad program would be incomplete without free time to explore the city, eat at restaraunts, or visit museums of one's own choosing. Specific times over the course of our 16 days in country are reserved for approved activities that fit individual student's interest in exploring and soaking in the culture of Mexico. Want to enjoy a steak taco in an open air restaraunt in Mexico City's Zona Rosa while watching a local soccer game on a flat screen TV? No problem! Want to head to the Zocalo, Mexico City's central plaza, to visit Aztec ruins? Can do! Want to hike a nearby bluff in a provincial capital? Bring your hiking boots!

The actual agenda will be finalized a few months before the May 11 departure. 

Illustrative Agenda

(items marked with * denote free activity times for cadets)

Saturday, May 11
- Leave Charleston (AM) 
- Arrive to Holiday Inn, Zona Rosa, Mexico City
- Group dinner in restaraunt district, walking tour, orientation to getting around Mexico City

Sunday, May 12, Mexico City
Visit Chapultepec Castle, the final site of US assault during the Mexican-American War of 1846-7, and Mexican National History Museum, commentary: Dr. Norris
- Visit National Anthropological Museum, commentary: Dr. Norris
- dinner on your own* 

Monday, May 13, Mexico City
Visit US embassy in Mexico City, Security briefing with US embassy personnel, additional topic: What is a career in embassy security like? (AM)
Interview with US embassy political officer (AM)
- Interview journalist (PM)
- Interview with Mexican census bureau (INEGI), presentation: Demographic Changes in 20th Century Mexico (PM)
- group dinner with young Mexican politician, Armando Regil (PM)

Tuesday, May 14, Mexico City
Visit Secretariat of Public Safety (SSP) headquarters, interview director of federal prisons (AM)
- Further interviews at SSP, topic: Community Policing with Mexico City’s 80,000 strong police force (AM)
- observation, SSP facilities 
- evening dinner free*

Wednesday, May 15, Mexico City
- Visit Palacio Lecumberri, 19th century Panopticon design prison, former prison of Pancho Villa and Ramon Mercader, killer of Leon Trotsky, presentation from former director of Lecumberri (AM)
- Community policing in Mexico City observation: trek across town on foot (AM-PM)
- Visit Ministry of Education, site of Mexican Revolution’s iconic murals (PM),  commentary: Dr. Norris
- Visit Zocalo, Main Plaza and Mexican Supreme Court (PM), commentary: Dr. Norris
- evening dinner free*

Thursday, May 16, outside Mexico City
- Visit correctional facility (all day)
- evening dinner on your own* 

Friday, May 17, Aguascalientes
- Travel to Aguascalientes (AM)
- Meeting with INEGI official (PM)
- Meeting with local authorities (e.g., police chief, mayor, etc.) (PM)
- evening dinner on your own* 

Saturday, May 18, return to Mexico City
- Continue meeting with local authorities in Aguascalientes (e.g., police chief, mayor, etc.) (AM)
- Travel to Mexico City (PM)
- Dinner with politician (PM)

Sunday, May 19, Mexico City
- Visit to Police Museum, commentary: Dr. Norris (AM)
- Cadet rest time / time to begin drafting course paper (PM)*

Monday, May 20, Mexico City
- Meeting with human rights group, Documenta (AM)
- Meeting with human rights group, INSYDE (AM)
- Meeting with analyst of homicide trends, Fernando Escalante Gonzalbo, Colegio de Mexico (PM)
- dinner on your own* 

Tuesday, May 21, Mexico City
- Meeting with economist Guadalupe Gonzalez, CIDE, topic: The economics of Public Policy in Mexico (AM)
- Meeting with Eduardo Gonzalez, Mexican security analyst (AM)
- Visit to Mexican national congress and meetings (PM)
- dinner on your own* 

Wednesday, May 22, Oaxaca
Travel to Oaxaca (AM)
- Meeting with local authorities (e.g., police chief, mayor, etc.) (PM)
- evening on your own* 

Thursday, May 23, return to Mexico City
- Continue meeting with local authorities in Oaxaca (e.g., police chief, mayor, etc.) (AM)
- Travel to Mexico City (PM)
- Dinner Meeting, TBD

Friday, May 24, Mexico City
- Service learning activity (TBD)

Saturday, May 25, Mexico City
- group activity (AM)
- afternoon free* 

Sunday, May 26, return to Charleston
- Leave Benito Juarez International Airport (AM)