3rd Equitarian Workshop – Tlaxcala, Mexico
Saludos de Mexico! Greetings from Mexico!
The Workshop began with a spectacular day of cultural immersion and crisp, sunny weather. Both were welcome remedies
for widespread travel weariness engendered by Saturday’s flights into Mexico City, waiting for our group to assemble in the airport and finally, the drive
to Tlaxcala as the evening light faded.
Our team is quite large and diverse. We have veterinarians from the U.S., Canada and England, an Oregon State senior veterinary student, 3 equine animal scientists, World Horse Welfare’s farrier and saddler, a young American farrier, and a pharmaceutical industry representative. On top of that, we have a photographer and 2 videographers as well as staff members from FullBucket, the company that is donating nutritional supplements to the working equids that come for health services. We are more than matched by the Donkey Sanctuary’s leader, great Mexican Donkey Sanctuary staff, and a large number of faculty members and students from the veterinary college at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico.
Our home base is a very interesting complex of colonial style buildings that once upon a time housed a textile factory. Now it is a sprawling hotel and conference center set on a hillside with inspiring views of the nearby volcanos. Most of the Equitarians are housed in dormitory style rooms in the Casa Juventil building, while the more senior team members are residing in the Casa Ejecutiva. This building is way more than we expected as it clearly was designed for corporate leaders – elegantly appointed with 6 bedrooms, huge dining room and living room, and wireless internet.
This morning, after a short session of welcomes and introductions, we enjoyed a wonderful breakfast buffet. We then clambered into the University vans and headed off to see the pyramids at Xochitecatl, a short drive
highlighted by the incredibly beautiful scenery and ash clouds intermittently spewing from Popocatepetl.
The larger of 2 pyramids at Xochitecatl (photo by Karen Kennedy)
Our group assembled on the top of the pyramid, with Popocatepetl erupting behind us. (Photo by Karen Kennedy).
We briefly toured the colonial center of the town of Tlaxcala, which includes a lovely central square and cathedral.
The cathedral dome in Tlaxcala (photo by Karen Kennedy)
We then headed off for a late lunch before gathering for a discussion of goals for the week, and an insightful presentation on community perspectives for Equitarian work from Stephen Blakeway of the Donkey Sanctuary. Tomorrow we begin our hands on training in a village and will have lots to report. More photographs will be posted to the AAEP Equitarian Facebook page.
Blog by Julie Wilson