CULTURAL IMMERSION – A Puentes Experience
Since 2001, Dairy producers and community members have been traveling principally to rural Veracruz and surrounding areas in Mexico to visit families and experience the culture of the employees that come to work on farms in Southeastern Minnesota and West Central Wisconsin. We have visited the states of Oaxaca, Toluca, Guanajuato, Mexico, and Puebla. When dairy producers meet wives, parents, children, sisters, and brothers of their employees, a bond is created that often results in employee longevity and productivity and most importantly, builds strong connections between people of very different cultures, but similar wants and needs.
We spent time with families in two different villages in Veracruz. Recently returned employees generously hosted their former employers in the houses they built from years working on their farms. As we told one of the employees how lucky and blessed we felt after receiving such a warm welcome [...]
2005-2015 More transformative experiences took place as students from the UW-River Falls Dairy Science program, public health professionals, DATCP professionals, pastors, and new dairy producers participated in immersion trips.
The first trips, starting in 2001, were taken with dairy producers who had the opportunity to attend a language school in Cuernavaca in the state of Morelos and later in Buenavista de Cuellar in the state of Guerrero. In addition to learning some Spanish and understanding the challenge of beginning to grasp a [...]