We have arrived! “We” is a group of seven, which includes four representatives from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, one corn and soybean grower, one dairy farmer and me. I’ll fill you in later with names and titles and everyone’s responsibilities for this week’s trip. We’re still getting to know one another; where we are from; our backgrounds; have we ever been to Mexico before; how do we figure out this money? (it’s a little unnerving to withdraw MXN$ 2000 from an ATM, until you realize it’s only about $108.)
Day 1 was our travel day. We traveled to Mexico City via a layover in Atlanta. Everything went according to schedule and we arrived a little ahead of schedule around 7 p.m. Mexico City is on Central time, so it was nice to not have to adjust to any time zone change. The trip to the hotel was adventurous as our driver wove us in and out of alleyways that were barely wide enough to accommodate our van. I just trusted he knew what he was doing to bypass the heavy Mexico City traffic to get us to our destination as quickly as possible. It was a little unnerving at times.
We spent about an hour in the hotel bar, briefing for the next day and our meeting at SAGARPA, which is much like our Department of Agriculture. The memorandum of understanding was signed between Minnesota’s Department of Agriculture and SAGARPA last year, to support and empower women in Agriculture. Our visit here is the first action to bring to life this MOU. In addition, to the briefing, we made our most important decision of the day….we decided on our Twitter hashtag for the trip. So if you wish to follow along on Twitter, you can follow us at: #MNtoMexico.
The week ahead looks to be exciting and full of new experiences for all of us. Our Mexico experience is limited to vacations at the coastal resort towns. I’m sure our hosts will be happy to create new memories of the “real” Mexico for us.
Next up…..Monday at SAGARPA: a round table with the undersecretary of agriculture, followed by a press conference announcing our arrival and our “road show” for the week to meet with women at universities in three Mexico cities: Puebla, Jalisco and Chiapas.