There are still spots remaining on this year’s annual Day of the Dead trip to Oaxaca, Mexico!  Join us from October 28th to November 5th, 2019 to experience one of the most renown Day of the Dead celebrations in the Americas.

Curious about what you might experience?  Here are some thoughts from a past participant, Catherine Suarez, a Spanish Instructor at Las Positas College in California who traveled with Global Exchange in 2014.


21007_10155732792905613_5524048083122057307_nOur trip with Global Exchange to Oaxaca, Mexico was more than a typical educational opportunity. The participants were able to actively participate in many authentic aspects of everyday Oaxacan life associated with the preparation for the Days of the Dead. In addition, the group experienced social processes and was able to participate in meetings and workshops about sustainability, indigenous people’s human rights and the historical importance of corn in the Valley of Oaxaca.

Our group leader, Juan de Dios Gómez Ramírez, a Doctor of Sociology, provided us with much more than the basic information about the Valley of Oaxaca, its people and their social struggles. The level of information and the way in which it was delivered resembled a college-level course. I purchased a notebook in the Mexico City airport “in case I needed to take a few notes”. By the end of the study/travel program, I had completely filled the notebook with information that I cannot wait to incorporate into my lessons and future presentations.

We met with several authors and also attended a week-long Book Fair in the Zocalo where we were able to take part in workshops, presentations by authors from different states of Mexico, Cuba and South America, and search for rare and difficult-to-find books. For example, I have been researching Afro Caribbean Peoples, including Afro Cubans, Afro Puerto Ricans, Afro Dominicans and Afro Mexicans. I was able to purchase several books about Afro Cubans and Afro Mexicans at the fair. The Book Fair was dedicated to the memories of Mexican author José Agustín and Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez.

At around midnight on November 1st, while we were in the cemetery, one observer commented that he “will never view death the same way again.” I think that he spoke for many of the people in the cemetery that night. If I could edit his quote, I would add that our group will “never think about human rights and the importance of sustainability, especially corn, for the people of the state of Oaxaca the same way again.”


16-Global-Exchange-ClothingThe following blog post was written by Global Exchange Social Media and Communications Intern Katie Koerper. Katie studies Communication and Global Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. 

Last week Global Exchange held its 3rd annual clothing swap, and as evidenced by the pictures, it was quite a success! Staff and interns brought their unwanted clothing from home and gathered in the conference room during lunch to exchange clothes and engage in a discussion about the benefits of wearing used clothing.

Drea Clothing Swap shoes

Drea’s clothing swap score; a pair of adorably colorful flats

This clothing swap was started three years ago by Global Exchange’s Cuba and Middle East Reality Tours Director Drea Hightower. Here’s what she had to say about why she started it:

“I participated in a clothing swap once, and discovered how much fun it was and how great the benefits are. So I thought, this would be a fun thing for our staff, summer interns, and office mates to get involved with. And so it began. It’s been a huge success that we look forward to every year now.”


The fun frenzied clothing-swappers sift through donated clothing to find just the right piece(s 




Manufacturing and transporting new clothes requires a considerable amount of resources and often employs sweatshop labor. Thus, like thrift stores, clothing swaps offer an environmentally-friendly alternative to purchasing new clothes. By participating in clothing swaps we can avoid contributing to the wasteful cycle of consumerism without sacrificing our sense of style.


Abad the Global Exchange office dog gets into the fun with this hand knit hat






Global Exchange staff, interns, and office neighbors had a lot of fun participating in this year’s swap. Check out the pictures on Facebook to see for yourself.

Take-ActionTake Action!

  • Check out pictures from the Global Exchange Clothing Swap on Facebook to see what people snatched up;
  • Consider hosting your own clothing swap! Next time you’re planning a social at the office or with your friends, consider a clothing swap! Pick the time and place, and give people enough notice to sift through their old clothes for gems others might want. Then let the magic happen!