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Biking through Mexico

With Breaks for WWOOFing and Language Study

My husband and I wanted to learn Spanish and we also wanted to try out WWOOFing (volunteering on organic farms in exchange for room and board). Our plan was to bike for two weeks, then stop somewhere for two weeks—either at a language school or at a farm with WWOOF.

After two weeks of riding, we reached our first stop: General Cepeda, a small pueblo outside Saltillo, and volunteered for two weeks on a ranch, enjoying ourselves tremendously. The owner was smart and interesting. He was Mexican (many WWOOF owners listed were not). His ranch was just getting started—there was a windmill, a solar panel, pigs, chickens, cactuses, and fruit trees. We planted more cactuses, worked on the irrigation system, enlarged the pig pen, and fed the animals daily.

After two weeks of farmwork we went back on the road again. We are currently attending a language school in Guanajuato, an astoundingly beautiful city ringed by mountains. Escuela Mexicana offers a winter special of four hours of classes a day for $87 per week. The teachers are young, creative, friendly, and helpful, and the atmosphere at the school is relaxed. We also elected to live with a homestay family for $18 per day per person, including three meals a day. We watch “Alborada,” a Mexican soap opera, every weeknight with the family, and on weekends we attend countless basketball and soccer games to watch the sons, uncles, and even Grandpa play. Every day around 3 p.m. we eat comida (the big meal of the day) with the entire family, discussing various topics in Spanish.

Our trip is not over yet. Biking across Mexico is beautiful, liberating, and empowering, but because biking is so intense, it makes getting off the bikes to work on a ranch or study Spanish even sweeter.

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