NYA Students Bound for Oaxaca

Yarmouth, Maine, February 29, 2024: Director of the Kauffmann Program at North Yarmouth Academy (NYA), Ian Ramsey and NYA Middle School Spanish Teacher Jessica Smith are taking ten NYA Upper School students to Oaxaca, Mexico, a region in the southern part of the country, for 12 days over March Break. They will spend five days hiking the Pueblo Mancomunados (Commonwealth of Villages), trekking between indigenous villages in the Sierra Norte Mountain region with a local guide. Personal friends of Ramsey and local ecological scientists plan to connect with the group to share knowledge of the local culture and ecosystems. The trip will commence around the city of Oaxaca, where the students will learn about culture, take cooking and printmaking classes, and visit pre-Colombian ruins and various villages.

“I’m so excited to share this special region with a group of NYA students,” said Ramsey. “With the biggest indigenous population and the most biodiversity of any province in Mexico, Oaxaca is a unique region that is rich in culture, ecology, and history. While hiking and meeting people in villages, our students will learn through direct, transformational experience,” he said.

Lonleyplanet.com defines Pueblos Mancomunados as, “eight remote villages (Amatlán, Benito Juárez, Cuajimoloyas, La Nevería, Lachatao, Latuvi, Llano Grande, and Yavesía) protected under the umbrella of a unique and foresighted ecotourism project. Communally, they offer great wilderness escapes and an up-close communion with Zapotec village life. More than 100km of high-country trails run between the villages and to local beauty spots and places of interest. Elevations in these hills range from 2200m to over 3200m, and the landscapes, with canyons, caves, waterfalls, and panoramic lookouts, are spectacular.”