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MONTREAT, NORTH CAROLINA

Discovering Mexico: A Virtual Exploration of History and Culture, Music and More

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History & Culture

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Road Scholar
Program #21036RJ
6 Days | 5 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Easy
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Elevation Note
Participants may wish to hike on their own in surrounding mountains, which peak elev. exceed 5,400.

Itinerary for Apr 28 — May 3, 2013

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Type: Conference Center

Description: This stately hotel overlooks a small lake. It has a beautiful, spacious lobby with a fireplace. The building was made from native stone that sparkles with mica.

Ship Information: Items to be shipped to guests (UPS/Fed Express, etc.) should be addressed to the participant, c/o Tracy Bailey, 401 Assembly Drive, Montreat, NC 28757. Items sent regular mail should be addressed the same as above, but use P. O. Box 969.

Contact info:
401 Assembly Drive
Montreat, NC 28757 USA
phone: 828-669-2911 x316
web: www.montreat.org/accommodations.htm

Room amenities: Rooms have a desk, clock radio, kleenex, closets and bed lamps. Blankets, sheets, pillows, bath mat, and a towel set will be provided (clean towels available daily). No phones or televisions in the rooms.

Facility amenities: Internet access (with personal laptop) in the lobby private baths for all participants. Television and courtesy telephone in the lobby

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before:
Rooms are not typically available, due to retreats. Participants may call to check availability. If no rooms are available, the coordinator will assist them in finding a hotel nearby.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day One: Sunday, April 28 - Orientation
Afternoon: Arrival at the Assembly Inn, check in between 4 - 5:30 p.m. Spend some time walking around the beautiful grounds. Concrete and gravel path surrounds Lake Susan... or venture out with your map to explore the campus.

Dinner: Join us for a scrumptious dinner in the Galax Dining Room, located on the first floor of the Assembly Inn. A full salad bar, choice of two different entrées, vegetables, rolls/bread, fruit and dessert will tempt your taste buds and your appetite! Sweet/Unsweetened tea, milk, coffee, water with tea, etc. Dinner will be served from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Evening: Our opening program and orientation will be at 7 p.m. in Convocation Hall, also in the Assembly Inn. We'll spend some time reviewing the schedule for the week, and you'll have an opportunity to meet and hear from your instructors. Our evening will close with some "get to know you" activities and fellowship/games/puzzles in the lobby.

Lodging: Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Conference Center

Description: This stately hotel overlooks a small lake. It has a beautiful, spacious lobby with a fireplace. The building was made from native stone that sparkles with mica.

Ship Information: Items to be shipped to guests (UPS/Fed Express, etc.) should be addressed to the participant, c/o Tracy Bailey, 401 Assembly Drive, Montreat, NC 28757. Items sent regular mail should be addressed the same as above, but use P. O. Box 969.

Contact info:
401 Assembly Drive
Montreat, NC 28757 USA
phone: 828-669-2911 x316
web: www.montreat.org/accommodations.htm

Room amenities: Rooms have a desk, clock radio, kleenex, closets and bed lamps. Blankets, sheets, pillows, bath mat, and a towel set will be provided (clean towels available daily). No phones or televisions in the rooms.

Facility amenities: Internet access (with personal laptop) in the lobby private baths for all participants. Television and courtesy telephone in the lobby

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before:
Rooms are not typically available, due to retreats. Participants may call to check availability. If no rooms are available, the coordinator will assist them in finding a hotel nearby.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Two: Monday, April 29 - History and Culture of Mexico
Breakfast: Assembly Inn Dining Room, Breakfast 7:30 - 8:30 AM.

Morning: Our morning classes will focus on why Mexico is different from the United States. We will look at the origins and early development of Mexico, especially its large indigenous population, its Catholic religion, its Spanish culture, and the ways that these contributed to a distinctive national consciousness. We'll have a break for refreshments (coffee and a goodie), and then return to the classroom for our discussion on how Mexico was politically defined. Mexico became independent as a monarchy with a Catholic establishment. Though quickly becoming a republic, its 19th century history was marked by conflicts over the role of religion and education, weak national integration, foreign intervention, and a destructive civil war.

Lunch: Lunch is served in the Galax dining room (typically from 12:15 - 1:15 p.m. The lunch menu varies each day, but normally features a salad bar, sandwich fixings, soup, and a yummy (light) dessert to top it off.

Afternoon: Our afternoon course focuses on the music of the indigenous cultures. After class time, you'll have an opportunity to explore the Heritage Center and take a guided walk around Montreat.

Dinner: Assembly Inn Dining Room, Dinner, 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Evening: "Fun in the Mountains" recreational program. Games/cards and tv available in the lobby of the Inn for fellowship.

Lodging: Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Conference Center

Description: This stately hotel overlooks a small lake. It has a beautiful, spacious lobby with a fireplace. The building was made from native stone that sparkles with mica.

Ship Information: Items to be shipped to guests (UPS/Fed Express, etc.) should be addressed to the participant, c/o Tracy Bailey, 401 Assembly Drive, Montreat, NC 28757. Items sent regular mail should be addressed the same as above, but use P. O. Box 969.

Contact info:
401 Assembly Drive
Montreat, NC 28757 USA
phone: 828-669-2911 x316
web: www.montreat.org/accommodations.htm

Room amenities: Rooms have a desk, clock radio, kleenex, closets and bed lamps. Blankets, sheets, pillows, bath mat, and a towel set will be provided (clean towels available daily). No phones or televisions in the rooms.

Facility amenities: Internet access (with personal laptop) in the lobby private baths for all participants. Television and courtesy telephone in the lobby

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before:
Rooms are not typically available, due to retreats. Participants may call to check availability. If no rooms are available, the coordinator will assist them in finding a hotel nearby.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, April 30 - Discovering that Latin beat!
Breakfast: Whether you like muffins, pancakes or waffles, bacon or sausage, grits or oatmeal, biscuits and gravy, or a bowl of cereal and some fruit.... breakfast in the Galax Dining Room, served from 7:30 - 8:30 is sure to please! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

Morning: Our early morning class focuses on the folk music of Mexico and the European influence. We'll have a break and come back to the classroom for a look at the Brazilian samba and the African influence on music.

Lunch: Time to eat again! Lunch will be served in the Galax Dining room on the first floor of the Assembly Inn. Today's feature: Taco Tuesday! Enjoy Mexican dishes... build your own tacos or burritos, make a Mexican salad, All the trimmings make for a delicious and fun lunch... including tortilla chips and melted cheese... sour cream and peppers. Top it all off with some warm peach cobbler and ice cream. Yum Yum!

Afternoon: Our afternoon time together finishes up our look at Brazilian samba and the African influence on music. Following class, there is an opportunity for a hike in the mountains. Led by a Montreat volunteer, who helped to build the hiking trail, you can explore flora (and perhaps fauna) as you walk along a mountain ridge on a trail built specifically with our Road Scholar participants in mind.

Dinner: Galax Dining Room in the Assembly Inn welcomes us for dinner from 5:30 - 6:30. This is typically what we call the "holiday meal." Turkey, dressing, ham, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie perhaps?

Evening: More fun for the evening. Let's relax and enjoy a musical concert or a storyteller to tickle our funny bones!

Lodging: Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Conference Center

Description: This stately hotel overlooks a small lake. It has a beautiful, spacious lobby with a fireplace. The building was made from native stone that sparkles with mica.

Ship Information: Items to be shipped to guests (UPS/Fed Express, etc.) should be addressed to the participant, c/o Tracy Bailey, 401 Assembly Drive, Montreat, NC 28757. Items sent regular mail should be addressed the same as above, but use P. O. Box 969.

Contact info:
401 Assembly Drive
Montreat, NC 28757 USA
phone: 828-669-2911 x316
web: www.montreat.org/accommodations.htm

Room amenities: Rooms have a desk, clock radio, kleenex, closets and bed lamps. Blankets, sheets, pillows, bath mat, and a towel set will be provided (clean towels available daily). No phones or televisions in the rooms.

Facility amenities: Internet access (with personal laptop) in the lobby private baths for all participants. Television and courtesy telephone in the lobby

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before:
Rooms are not typically available, due to retreats. Participants may call to check availability. If no rooms are available, the coordinator will assist them in finding a hotel nearby.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Four: Wednesday, May 01 - History, Culture, and Art of Mexico
Breakfast: Another great breakfast buffet in the Galax Dining Room at the Assembly Inn, served from 7:30 - 8:30 a.m.

Morning: This morning, we go back to the history and cultural aspects of Mexico. We'll discuss the quest for a new nation. The importance of Benito Juarez, Porfirio Diaz, and especially the Revolution of 1910- 1917, which set the pattern for 20th Century Mexico. After a morning refreshment break, with some coffee and goodies to aid our learning, we'll return to the classroom for our discussion on the problems of 20th Century development. Formulating an ideology of what Mexico is as a nation. Political stability through an all-encompassing party, the PRI. Improving the stand of living through economic development. Incorporating the indigenous population. Internal and international migration.

Lunch: Lunch buffet in the Galax Dining Room of the Assembly Inn.

Afternoon: Free time in the afternoon for relaxation or exploration of the area. Lots of suggestions and directions will be provided.

Dinner: Dinner in the Galax Dining Room of the Assembly Inn, 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Have you gained your required five pounds yet? Still a couple of days to work on it.. so don't worry.

Evening: Tonight, we'll learn about art in Mexico, and how it has influenced art in other countries.

Lodging: Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Conference Center

Description: This stately hotel overlooks a small lake. It has a beautiful, spacious lobby with a fireplace. The building was made from native stone that sparkles with mica.

Ship Information: Items to be shipped to guests (UPS/Fed Express, etc.) should be addressed to the participant, c/o Tracy Bailey, 401 Assembly Drive, Montreat, NC 28757. Items sent regular mail should be addressed the same as above, but use P. O. Box 969.

Contact info:
401 Assembly Drive
Montreat, NC 28757 USA
phone: 828-669-2911 x316
web: www.montreat.org/accommodations.htm

Room amenities: Rooms have a desk, clock radio, kleenex, closets and bed lamps. Blankets, sheets, pillows, bath mat, and a towel set will be provided (clean towels available daily). No phones or televisions in the rooms.

Facility amenities: Internet access (with personal laptop) in the lobby private baths for all participants. Television and courtesy telephone in the lobby

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before:
Rooms are not typically available, due to retreats. Participants may call to check availability. If no rooms are available, the coordinator will assist them in finding a hotel nearby.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Five: Thursday, May 02 - Music of the Islands
Breakfast: Breakfast buffet, served from 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. If you haven't tried the grits yet, you really should!

Morning: Our morning courses focus on the music of the islands. We'll have a refreshment break around 10:15 a.m.

Lunch: Lunch buffet in the Galax Dining Room.

Afternoon: More music, and more sing along. Discuss the impact which Latin music has had on modern-day popular music in the United States.

Dinner: Dinner is served in the Galax Dining Room from 5:30 - 6:30. Thursday night's feature is usally "italian night." spagetti, lasagna, salads, bread, and lots of great dessert.

Evening: A fun evening with some local entertainment... either a musical concert or a storyteller. Games/cards/tv in lobby for fellowship

Lodging: Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Six: Friday, May 03 - Mexico faces the 21st Century
Breakfast: Last breakfast buffet in the Galax Dining Room at the Assembly Inn, 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. Splurge on those biscuits and gravy... you can work it off when you get home!

Morning: Our final morning classes will focus on Mexico as it faces the 21st Century. Experiencigng an authentic democratic system. The ongoing problem of economic development. International relations, especially with the United States. Why the drugs, violence and crime. The Mexicans among us. At the morning break, you'll have time for checkout (required by 11 a.m.) After our classes end at 12:15, we'll have a brief closing program before lunch.

Lunch: Lunch and Goodbyes in the Galax Dining Room of the Assembly Inn 12:30 - 1:30 (box lunches provided for those who do not wish to stay through lunch)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch


Free Time Opportunities


Montreat, NC
Asheville Area Chamber of CommerceThe Asheville Chamber has specific information on Asheville and the surrounding area. Plenty of shops and places to visit! Enjoy a trolley tour of the city...
For additional information, visit: www.ashevillechamber.org
Biltmore EstateGeorge Vanderbilt's 255-room mansion built at the end of the 19th Century, with a magnificent art collection and gardens covering 35 acres.
For additional information, visit: www.biltmore.com
Black Mountain / Swannanoa Chamber of CommerceChamber of Commerce located in downtown Black Mountain. Phone number 828 669-2300 Quaint small town with lots of unique shops to explore. Several of these shops are "art" based -- with items the owners make. Information on all area attractions!
For additional information, visit: www.exploreblackmountain.com
Black Mountain Golf CourseBoasts the world's longest fairway. Beautiful course with views of the mountains on all sides.
For additional information, visit: townofblackmountain.org
Blue Ridge MountainsThe Blue Ridge Mountains are part of the Appalachians -- and offer some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere. Hiking trails abound, both in Montreat and in the surrounding area with seasonal flora and fauna.
Carl Sandburg HomeA simple farmhouse and goat farm donated to the Park Service by Mrs. Sandburg after the famous author and poet's death. Video about the Sandburgs--his literary work--and hers in breeding goats. House kept as though they could come home any minute!
For additional information, visit: nps.gov/carl
Cherokee Indian VillageThe Oconaluftee Indian Village, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and Unto These Hills outdoor play (seasonal).
Chimney Rock ParkLocated in the Hickory Nut Gorge. Enjoy an elevator ride up 26 stores in a granite shaft to the chimney level. Gorgeous views from the top of the "chimney," and lots of hiking trails. Admission fee required.
For additional information, visit: chimneyrockpark.com
Folk Art CenterHome of the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild (located on the Blue Ridge Parkway) in east Asheville
For additional information, visit: southernhighlandguild.org/folkart.html
Grandfather MountainLocated in Linvolle, NC; attractions include a mile-high swinging bridge, natural habitat area, and hiking trails
For additional information, visit: grandfather.com
Harrah's CasinoHarrah's Casino on the Cherokee Indian Reservation
For additional information, visit: www.harrahs.com/our_casinos/che/index.html
Linville CavernsA 35-minute walking tour through caverns deep under the Humpback Mountain.
For additional information, visit: linvillecaverns.com
Thomas Wolfe HomeThe childhood home of the famous author -- includes a video about him. House has been made into a museum.
For additional information, visit: www.ah.dcr.state.nc.us/sections/hs/wolfe/wolfe.htm

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
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Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
5 nights of accommodations
15 meals: 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners
14 Expert-led lectures
2 Performances

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