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NRCSA Center: Buenavista Rural Studies Center
Buenavista, Mexico  


About the NRCSA Center

The educational experience offered by this program is truly unique. It allows students to attend Spanish Language Classes, taught by professional teachers, in a setting that is very representative of the many villages in rural Mexico. The program is specifically designed to give the student an opportunity to experience the culture and lifestyle of a small traditional Mexican village. This makes it a great program for people whose jobs, or lives, require them to interact with immigrant populations from Mexico.

Many of the students who attend this program are simply looking to experience, and study in, a place with a quiet way of life. A place where a donkey walks down the street each morning with milk cans tied on each side of the saddle, where men on horseback ride by the schoolroom windows, and where a loose goat or pig wandering along the street is a daily occurrence. They want to experience a type of lifestyle which is different from that found in larger or more metropolitan cities.

The families of Buenavista are conservative in nature, but they exhibit a great degree of warmth and friendliness to the students they host. No one is ever too busy to sit in the city square and discuss the village events or upcoming fiestas, of which there are many. It is also an ideal place for hight school groups to study. They often find the slow pace of life less distracting for the students in the group. All students seem to enjoy the afternoon activities and craft program.

All the teachers have in-depth training in teaching the Spanish language to speakers of other languages, and participate in professional in-service programs to ensure that they are kept up to date on the latest teaching methodolgy.


About Buenavista

Buenavista de Cuellar is a village located about an hour's drive from Cuernavaca and is the home of the Rural Studies Program. It is a charming small town, reflecting the serenity of decades past, with adobe walls and tiled roofs and a population of 9,000 people, nestled in an agricultural valley, just over the state line in the neighboring state of Guerrero. Buenavista is a relatively prosperous community, with cattle raising and production of byproducts (cheese, milk, leather products) of this as primary sources of income. Many of the village's residents live and work in the United States during agricultural production periods and return to their homes for holidays or seasonal work. While this is not a primary focus for the school, many students who have studied in Buenavista have found that their stay in the village provided insight into the lives and concerns of the large migrant population, giving them a new perspective not frequently recognized or appreciated in the United States. In addition, talking with members of the family who have been "left behind" enables students who have interest in these areas to develop a more complete view of the social, economic, and personal lives of the people who have been forced to choose this way of life and work. Other students are preparing for work in Mexico, Central America or South America through church organizations, the Peace Corps or other government agencies from countries around the world, and still others are carrying out research as part of foundation grants or as members of NGO's. In many cases, the populations with whom these language students will be working are more similar to the people from Buenavista, rather than Mexican urban populations.

Program Overview (PDF)


National Registration Center for Study Abroad
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