Mexico 25.08.2011 - 08.09.2011

“Como México no hay dos!“ -There is no other country like Mexico!

This very popular saying among Mexicans shows the unique complexity and variety of their homeland, far beyond the usual negative news stories and the clichés.
What is behind the country of drug cartels and tourist destinations? We are going to talk to experts on various political and economic topics, meet local students, Indigenous people and, of course, enjoy the beauty of Mexicos nature. During our two weeks trip at the end of August you will learn more about the Mexican culture and the actual political and economic situation in an interdisciplinary way.
Visit Mexico City and talk with experts about the records and challenges of one of the biggest city in the world. Get to know the colourful culture of Oaxaca and enjoy a night far away from the tourists in an Indigenous town in Yucatán. Join us so that at the end of the trip you can say: I FIL it! The real Mexican spirit!

Mexico is quite difficult to define in many aspects. A simple but often forgotten fact is its unique geographical position which makes it a North American but also a Latin American country. This exceptional situation has determined in an important way the political, economical and cultural situation of the country.
Many people refer to the Mexican culture as a mixture of three developments: the Indigenous, the Spanish and the modern globalized culture. This aspect is what makes the Mexican culture so fascinating. We believe that Mexico is a good example of the world as a whole, because it offers a clear view of the different phases of development. It also offers a very diverse nature as there can be found almost every kind of ecosystems and possible resources. Despite of these good preconditions, Mexico is facing enormous challenges such as drug war, insecurity, civil movement, climatic disasters etc. During our IFIL trip we want to learn more about the actual situation in the country. What are the reasons for actual problems and what are the Mexicans doing against it? How do young generations perceive their situation and what are their plans for the future? And which role plays the Mexican history in all this?


During our trip we will focus and get answers to the following questions:

  • Which is the degree of political and economic development Mexico has accomplished?
  • What are the actual challenges and problems in economic, politics and cultural issues?
  • What is the role of tourism? What are the opportunities and difficulties for the locals?
  • How can we go beyond the clichés and discover the real Mexican situation and its authentic culture? What are the main aspects of the Mexican Culture?
  • What are the differences between the modern and developed areas such as Mexico City and the more rural areas of the country, where still many Indigenous Peoples are present?
  • How do young people perceive the actual situation and how are they handling it?

Our aim is to answer these questions in an open way, exchanging thoughts with the different parts of the Mexican Community (e.g. government, NGOs, Indigenous Peoples, students…) and letting you interact and understand it.


We will see all the important touristic spots in Mexico City, and additionally have a lot of interesting meetings with people from politics and economy. For example we will meet Alex Gertschen, the Swiss Correpondent of the NZZ newspapers. We will further talk with one of the youngest members of the National Chamber, Daniel González who has interesting opinions about the environmental challenges Mexico City is confronted with.

In Oaxaca we will get to know a different culture and talk about social challenges and education. We will have the possibility to meet a journalist from the local newspaper.

After all these interesting meetings, we finally will get to know the area with the biggest tourist attraction in the country, which is the Peninsula of Yucatan. There you will find the lively testimony of the ancient Mayan culture. But we will not only visit the archaeological places, but also get in touch with the locals, which again have a very different culture than the rest of the country. As a very unique experience, we will get a short introduction into the Mayan language and spend a night in a small Mayan village in the countryside.


The IFIL study trip to Mexico also has a Facebook page. Check it out and stay in touch with the latest news on planning of the trip. IFIL study trip to Mexico on Facebook.


«The best way I know to get to know a country!»
Philippe Stalder, 08.09.2011