Flu cuts Mexico trip short

A group of 11 Red Deer College students, two faculty members and a volunteer is home safe after a study tour to Mexico was cut short over recent fears about the H1N1 flu.

A group of 11 Red Deer College students, two faculty members and a volunteer is home safe after a study tour to Mexico was cut short over recent fears about the H1N1 flu.

Jasna Zec, one of the students on the trip, said she comprehends why RDC chose to get them home early.

“I hope just because of this unfortunate event that the next class isn’t prevented from going,” Zec said.

She will be graduating with an Early Learning and Child Care diploma level three in May and is pleased by what she learned on the trip.

The students were in San Miguel de Allende, around 300 kilometres from Mexico City.

The city is a UNESCO Heritage Site, with stone and brick buildings, and to preserve its historic integrity a large section of it has no traffic lights or signs. The students learned to make nichos (little tin cases that can hold images of saints), saw a salsa dancer and took a trolley through the city during their study tour.

But the main portion of the trip was focused on school and pre-school programs, with students being able to visit Waldorf, Montessori and ABCD preschools, as well as a free daycare, a centre for children with developmental disabilities, an orphanage and other programs. In the evenings the founders and directors of the different organizations would talk to them about the programs.

“The children were just amazing. The language was not a barrier at all,” Zec said. “It was an amazing, amazing experience.”

In regards to the flu, Zec said there was hardly a sign of anything different going on in the city. She said only a handful of people were wearing masks, but otherwise there was no sign of people worried about0 the flu.

Theresa Wiart, the lead RDC instructor on the trip, said she didn’t hear anything about the H1N1 flu until Sunday. They were planning to go to the pyramids outside of Mexico City and were told that portion of the trip needed to be cancelled. “That was the first day I realized that this may be getting serious,” Wiart said.

On Tuesday, a taxi driver told her schools had been closed. Wiart said it was surreal because everyone was going on with their normal activities and there was no sign of any change in the city.

At home in Red Deer, Zec’s three daughters — between age six to 18 — were concerned, but she was able to keep in touch with them through video link on her computer through Skype.

The Red Deer group left Wednesday morning, flying out of Leon, Mexico, to Houston and then Calgary. A couple of people on the plane had masks on, but otherwise the trip was normal.

Once the RDC group arrived in Calgary they were asked if they had any of the symptoms of the flu, such as fever or other symptoms, but everyone was feeling fine.

Since arriving home Wednesday night, Wiart has spoken to some of the students and they are fine.

Zec said her family is happy to have her home.


Just Posted

Scares and chills await at haunted house in Red Deer

Zed Haunted House helps raise money for Boys and Girls Club of Red Deer District

PHOTO: Renewable Energy Fair at Red Deer College

The Renewable Energy Fair and Workshops event was held at Red Deer… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Red Deer College Queens host third annual Pink in the Rink game

Queens raised $12,035 for the Central Alberta Cancer Centre.

PHOTOS: The Mustard Seed CEO speaks at Seeds of Hope Gala in Red Deer

The first-ever Seeds of Hope Gala was held at the Red Deer… Continue reading

Person airlifted to hospital after collision near Innisfail

One person was airlifted to hospital after a serious collision west of… Continue reading

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

Turkey to reveal details of probe into Khashoggi’s killing

ISTANBUL — In a sign of growing pressure on Saudi Arabia, Turkey… Continue reading

Utah truck driver is jailed without bond after crash kills 6

HEBER, Utah — A man suspected of driving under the influence remained… Continue reading

A ragged, growing army of migrants resumes march toward US

TAPACHULA, Mexico — A ragged army of Honduran migrants streamed through southern… Continue reading

Postal workers to begin strikes in 4 Canadian cities Monday if deal not reached

OTTAWA — The union representing 50,000 Canada Post employees says it will… Continue reading

Migrant caravan swells to 5,000, resumes advance toward US

CIUDAD HIDALGO, Mexico — Despite Mexican efforts to stop them at the… Continue reading

“I don’t feel real”: Mental stress mounting after Michael

PANAMA CITY, Fla. — Amy Cross has a hard time explaining the… Continue reading

Toronto residents set to vote Monday on the next four years of civic leaders

Toronto’s municipal election campaign, marked by unprecedented provincial interference, ends Monday when… Continue reading

Former PQ minister Lise Payette remembered as role model for female politicians

MONTREAL — Members from across Quebec’s political spectrum gathered at a downtown… Continue reading

Most Read