I have been living in Mexico for over four years now (this was written in late 2008). Most of this time has been spent living in Ciudad Guzmán, a small city of about 100,000 people, which is the principal city in the region of the south of the state of Jalisco. For me, it has a great location, being midway between Guadalajara (the second largest city in Mexico), and beautiful Pacific coast, both about an hour and a half away, and is surrounded by hills, a large lake and two volcanoes. One of these volcanoes, the Volcano del Fuego (Fire), is the most active volcano in Mexico.
I have also lived in Cuernavaca for a year, where I worked for the Mexican Institute of Public Health, and have travelled extensively in Mexico, mainly in the centre and south. I have yet to find the interest and motivation to visit the north, especially with the recent wave of violence engulfing the northern states. The picture of me above was taken at one of the eight waterfalls at Las Pozas, an extraordinary surrealist garden and collection of buildings created by my fellow Englishman, Edward James, in the Huasteca region of the state of San Luis Potosi.
I am involved in four main areas of activity:
- As a ‘Profesor Honorífico’ at the regional centre of the University of Guadalajara based in Ciudad Guzman. Profesor Honorífico means that I give one class per term – in the Masters in Business Administration Programme – without being paid (though this is set to change soon), in return for which the University gives me an office, and use of the facilities, which means I get to hang out at the University. For a short clip of my recent teaching, see the video below.
- Working with local organizations, including the university, to set up and support social and environmental projects.
- As one of four investors in a business called TEFL Training Mexico, running four-week Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) courses which are internationally validated by Via Lingua.
- Continuing the consulting work I was doing in England and Europe before I came to live in Mexico in leadership, teamwork, organizational development and sustainable development.
In August 2011, I moved to the Peruvian Amazon in Pucallpa to become the Director of Intercultural Education of a newly formed NGO, Alianza Arkana, dedicated to helping preserve and strengthen the culture of the indigenous Shipibo Konibo people and protect their natural environment – the Peruvian Amazonian rainforest. See: http://www.alianzaarkana.org