An Exciting Experience
Students can experience an unforgettable adventure by joining one of our groups for a 9-day stay in Mexico to celebrate the Day of the Dead. They will attend Spanish classes and live with typical Mexican families allowing them to participate and be submerged in the culture and language. The students will also enjoy conducted trips to nearby cities and attractions such as Taxco, Lake Xochimilco, Las Estacas fresh water springs and Teotihuacan, as well as the opportunity to participate in the traditional Day of the Dead celebrations.
What to expect on this amazing tour
Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos) is a holiday celebrated in Mexico on November 1st and 2nd, particularly in the central and southern parts of the country. It’s a joyful time that helps people remember their departed relatives and celebrate their memory. In many Indian villages, people gather with their families and loved ones to build private altars called “ofrendas”. They decorate these with candles, flowers, fruits, some of the favorite foods of the deceased, stacks of tortillas, big Day of the Dead breads called “pan de muerto”, as well as some possessions of the deceased that where important to them when they were alive. They then visit the graves of the departed with these as gifts.
The Day of the Dead celebrations have a long history in Mexican tradition, originating from ancient customs among its pre-Columbian cultures. Rituals celebrating the deaths of ancestors had been observed by these civilizations perhaps for as long as 2,500 — 3,000 years. Before Spanish colonization in the 16th century, the celebration took place at the beginning of summer, and was celebrated for an entire month. Gradually, it became associated with November 1st and 2nd to coincide with the Christian All Saints’ Day, and All Souls’ Day. At the time of the Conquest, the Indians of Central Mexico were used to accepting the deities of conquered tribes. They also believed in many religious concepts similar to Christian beliefs. For example, they believed in an eternal life in which souls continued to live in an after world, and that their great god Huitzilopochtli was born of a virgin goddess. The cross was a sacred sign — it symbolized the cardinal points of direction. The Indians also practiced rites similar to baptism, confession, and communion. The Spaniards used these parallels to their advantage in their effort to conquer in the name of Christianity. They realized that conversion could not obliterate tradition, and certain customs would remain. What eventually developed through this tolerance of the old religion was a fusion of Catholic symbols, beliefs, and rituals with those of the conquered people. The celebration of the Mexican Day of the Dead is one of the best examples of this blending of traditions.
A Beautiful Setting
Highlights of what you’ll experience on your 13-day trip to Mexico
Spring Break and Summer 2020
Day 1: Arrival in MexicoFly to Mexico City International Airport and meet your CSLI tour director. Transfer to Cuernavaca to meet your host family.
Day 2: TaxcoGuided tour inside the impressive Grutas de Cacahuamilpa caves in the morning. Guided visit to Taxco (including a seminar on "how to" buy silver) and free time to shop and explore this beautiful town.
Day 3: Town of OcotepecClasses in the morning. Afternoon visit to a local high school for some activities with the students and to prepare an "ofrenda" (a private altar to honour the deceased) for the Day of the Dead. Evening visit to the town of Ocotepec to participate in the Day of the Dead celebrations.
Day 4: Tepoztlan & Las EstacasVisit to the Cemetery in Ocotepec in the morning to see how the families decorate the tombs and learn more about this tradition. Guided tour of the ancient town of Tepoztlan afterwards with free time to explore and shop at the market. Swimming and snorkeling at Las Estacas natural springs in the afternoon.
Day 5: Cuernavaca City TourClasses in the morning. Guided tour of Cuernavaca's historic centre - the Palace of Hernan Cortez, the Cathedral and the Zocalo. Guided visit to The Robert Brady Museum (containing one of the most unique art collections in the world).
Day 6: Cuernavaca MarketClasses in the morning. Salsa dance lessons. Afternoon visit to the market of Cuernavaca to learn all about different kinds of traditional foods.
Day 7: Mexican FiestaClasses in the morning. Learn about and sing traditional Mexican songs and music afterwards. School fiesta with piñatas, Mariachis and great food in the afternoon.
Day 8: TeotihuacanGuided visit to Teotihuacan, the most important archaeological site in the Western Hemisphere containing some of the largest pyramidal structures in the world. Free time to explore the site and climb the pyramids.
Day 9: Departure from MexicoTransfer to the airport — End of trip.
Canada’s Best Educational Tours
CSLI has provided educational tour programs in Canada since 1997. Our main goal has always been to improve students’ language skills and self-confidence abroad while obtaining a unique first-hand look at the culture and people of the places they are visiting. Our focus on value and affordability, along with making our trips the most complete and of highest quality compared to our competitors is what truly makes a CSLI tour the best. We make all of the necessary arrangements for our tours, alleviating headaches for teachers and trip organizers making the trip more enjoyable and giving you time to truly explore the wonders abroad.
Canadian-owned and run
CSLI Tours is a family-owned Canadian company based in BC, driven by values and a real passion for travel. We have an excellent track record for the best customer satisfaction and have never compromised on the quality of the services we provide. Every tour we offer was designed to inspire your students and enrich their learning experience, while increasing their self-confidence and understanding of other cultures.
Safety & security
For more than 22 years the safety of our groups has been our top priority. All of our tour directors are first aid certified and well-trained to manage challenging situations. We always have contingency and emergency plans in place and we are always available 24/7 through our direct contact line to provide assistance to teachers, students, parents and school administrators if anything comes up before or during the trip.
As a group leader, your travel is absolutely free and includes all meals and accommodation at carefully selected hotels. Because one of our representatives will stay with you 100% of the time, the teachers get to relax during the evenings and explore the sights and sounds of the cities they visit. We’ll make all the room checks and ensure that each evening, the students are safe in their hotel suites or with their host families.
The CSLI Experience
Program price includes
Round-trip airfare from Vancouver on major carriers
All entrance fees to attractions as per itinerary
Three meals per day
All transportation by comfortable private motor coach
All the tips
All guided sightseeing tours and city walks as per itinerary
10 overnight stays with host families and at hotels
Language and history lessons
24/7 services from our professional tour director
Professional tour guides at all attractions as per itinerary
A deposit of $300 per person at the time of registration is required. A cancellation, medical insurance is mandatory, and can be purchased at time of enrollment. Payments can be made by cheque, Visa, MasterCard or American Express – a surcharge will apply for credit card payments. Taxes not included.