Observations Regarding Mexican Society as Compared to the US by Study-Abroad Students


  • Annalicia Larsen
  • Sarah Jo Pendergrass


In January, 2019, a group of 18 Tech students and two leaders (Dr. Pat Bagley and Mrs. Amy Miller) spent 11 days in Puebla, Mexico as a University sponsored study-abroad program. Students were exposed to various aspects of ordinary life of Mexicans in this upscale city about 60 miles southeast of Mexico City with a population of 3 million people. At the mid-point of the trip, students were addressed by a local businessman who was educated in the US and fluent in English, but runs an electrical supply business and exports to the US. Following the presentation and open questions period, with the total presentation about 1 ½ hours, a questionnaire was administered regarding aspects of Mexican life and relationships to the US. There were four questions with open responses, and six questions asked using a 5-point Likert scale. Selected questions and responses were: 1. Wealth – 100% response as “poorer;” 2. Work ethic: 3/same= 22%, 4/harder = 28%, 5/much harder working = 50%. On the two questions related to whose fault is the illegal drug trade and illegal immigration, respondents were almost exactly split regarding which country is more at fault over this situation. In qualitative responses to questions, respondents cited the fault of the US in the drug trade as the demand for illegal drugs being a root cause of the problem, and also responded they better understood these problems and how Mexicans could be angry with US citizens in causing some of these problems to occur.