Arrived at SMEE at 915am and checked in. Rafys had to help pay for my registration for the conference. Luckily, I could get in with the student price.
The conference is an international conference, drawing primarily from Mesoamerican countries. This is actually one of my main justifications for learning Spanish: to become involved with the conferences and intellectual community in Latin America.
The first round of talks were quite basic, but this was okay, because it was information with which I was familiar, but in Spanish, which allowed me to practice a little bit. However, they were somewhat of a letdown, because they did tread on well-worn paths.
The conference is taking place in the town/exurb of Xochimilco, in the ecological park - a 2km^2 area of no development, encompassing some of the floating city that marks and chracterizes Xochimilco... a throwback to the time of the Aztecs (la epoca de prehispanica). The area surrounding the park is quite poor, and it's not surprising, from one point of view: the peoples living in this area of ancient and man-made lakes and canals have become swamped with the inflow of the Distrito Federal. We haven't explored the sights of this unique city - a UNESCO heritage city - but I hope to be able to do so; to take some of the boatds from the embarcadros and see something that people felt important enough to save via UNESCO.