My favorite place we’ve been to so far is Teotihuacan. I learned so much about the culture and history of Mexico in just one day! Our guide was a lady from the university who is actually a licensed tour guide here in Mexico (evidently not an easy thing to do). She took us to multiple museums and explained a lot about symbolism on the murals and architecture. A lot of people say that climbing the Pyramid of the Sun is a really difficult, but I didn’t think it was too bad. The view from the top was amazing!
We’ve also visited Xochimilco and the Castillo de Chapultepec. In Xochimilco, we rented a little gondola-like boat and sailed around for about 3 hours. All different types of vendors would come right up to us and try to sell us things. We contracted a Mariachi band to come on and play for us. They were really good! The Castillo de Chapultepec was really cool because it was right in the middle of the city… and you wouldn’t even know it! The castle was stunning and there was also an interesting little history museum attached to it. We couldn’t stay very long because I had to get back to Santa Fe for work.
I have been working with my externship at Berdeja Abogados for just over a week now. So far it’s been a great experience! I got lucky because the firm is right across the street from the school so I don’t have a long commute time. Prof. Reich said that the firm runs pretty much like law firms ran in the U.S. about 15 years ago. There is the head lawyer (the licenciado, Teo), the junior partner, Jesus (who actually is a recent graduate of the UIA), the secretary at the front desk, Sonia, and Martiniez, the administrative guy who does everything else. All are super-friendly and we have fun talking to each other. It is definitely helped me improve my Spanish, too!
My first assignment has been to study hipotecas (mortgages) in Mexico. I don’t really even know too much about mortgages in the U.S. so I’ve been on completely new ground with my assignment. I have also learned a lot of other things about Mexican law. Luckily, Jesus doesn’t mind answering all my questions about the way things work in Mexico. I found it interesting that law school here is 4 1/2- 5 years and there is no “Bar Exam” that you have to pass before you start practicing. Wouldn’t that be nice! After graduation, you become a lawyer. I’m sure that it’s that way because if there were a sort of “bar,” then less people would be willing to go through all the years of schooling. The firm actually does a whole lot of stuff besides hipoteca. Here’s the website in case you want to check it out: http://www.berdeja.com.mx/
Today we got to visit the Supreme Court of Mexico! Not only was it a cool building to learn about, but we also got to meet and have breakfast with one of the Justices: Ministro Jose Jesus Gudiño. He entertained our questions and even gave us some very unexpectedly frank answers!
The Supreme Court building was built in 1941. Our tour guide pointed out a lot of symbolism woven into the many murals that cover the walls of the building. Awesome.