Building Cultural Competence through Immersion in Mexico, A 7-Day All-Inclusive Educational Adventure for Mental Health Providers

If you pay any attention to the news or current events, you have heard much said about Mexico and Mexicans.  It is for this reason, that LifeSpring is bringing you the opportunity to directly experience a little slice of Mexico, it's food, language, culture, and people.  Through education and first-hand experiences, we hope to dispel common myths and stereotypes, break barriers, build connections, and increase clinicians' confidence in providing culturally-relevant services. 

Our clients and communities need us to be culturally informed, now more than ever!
Before we can do that, however, we first need to check in with ourselves.  With structured opportunities for mindfulness and reflection, we'll be working collectively towards our goal     (and ethical duty) of being cultural competent clinicians. 

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Who is right for this workshop?

This workshop is for certified and/or licensed mental health providers as well as those who are provisionally licensed and/or actively working towards a degree in a mental health related field. 


You may be a good fit for this program if you are a mental health provider who is:

  • open to traveling to new places (where you may not have the luxuries of home).   
  • open to experiencing other cultures.
  • open to new foods and new adventures.
  • open to being outside of your comfort zone.
  • flexible.
  • able to manage emotional discomfort that arises during an immersive experience.        

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What can i expect?

On a typical day, you can expect to:

  • engage in mindfulness exercises designed to raise awareness as you go through this cultural immersion.
  • meet with local professionals and artisans.
  • engage in structured exercises to help you process and reflect on your experiences.
  • be immersed in the food, language, and culture of Jantetelco and Chalcatzingo.

 Jantetelco, Morelos, MX

Jantetelco, Morelos, MX

Where are we going?

As a group, we will fly into Mexico City, and from there, we will travel to Jantetelco and Chalcatzingo, two small, neighboring cities in the state of Morelos.  In both of these locations, you can expect to see horses, cows, and residents who will greet you as you walk down the street.  In Jantetelco and "Chalca," everybody knows everybody.  Unlike a trip to Cancun, you can count on an authentic cultural experience while here! 

December 1-8, 2018
Semana Cultural/Cultural Week

The dates for this trip have been specifically selected, so attendees can experience Jantetelco's Semana Cultural/Cultural Week.  During this festive week, you will have the opportunity to watch musical performances that showcase Mexican culture through traditional dances and attire.  The week of this event, small kiosks set up to sell popular food items and souvenirs.  It's a great time to try a little of everything! 

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The Nitty Gritty

Wondering what we'll be doing this whole time?  Check out our itinerary and overarching objectives which are to: 

  • define cultural competence. 
  • know what the ACA’s and NASW’s Code of Ethics says about cultural competence.
  • define mindfulness and apply mindfulness concepts while undergoing cultural immersion.
  • increase cultural competence by engaging in cultural activities, cross-cultural exchanges, meetings with local professionals, and personal reflection.
  • explore one's own cultural identities, values, and beliefs through reflection and immersive activities. 
  • apply workshop content and immersive experiences to work with clients, supervisees, and counseling students. 

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Dates:  December 1-8, 2018
Air Travel: Baltimore to Mexico City
Final Destinations: Jantetelco & Chalcatzingo, MX
Lodging: Piedra Rajada in Chalcatzingo, a business owned & operated by a collective of female entrepreneurs
CEUS: 20 CEUs awarded if licensed/certified under the MD Board of Professional Counselors & Therapists. A certificate of completion will be provided to all others. 
A certificate for 20 CEUs of Category A will be awarded upon completion of this program. LifeSpring Counseling Services has been approved by the Maryland State Board of Examiners as an authorized sponsor who may provide Category A CEUs for certified or licensed professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, and alcohol and drug counselors. LifeSpring Counseling Services maintains responsibility for the program.
Introductory Fee: $1,800
What's included in the fee?

  • Airfare
  • Lodging (see link above for pictures)
  • Ground transportation
  • Meals
  • Travel Insurance
  • Group t-shirt
  • 20 hours of educational content
  • All cultural activities

Registration Deadline: October 1, 2018 (Note:  do not wait as there are only 10 seats available).

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We're going old-school with registration to save you some money on processing fees. 

To register:

  1. Review and sign these forms
  2. Make your $1800 registration check payable to LifeSpring Counseling Services.
  3. Send your payment and signed documents to Melissa Wesner at LifeSpring Counseling Services, 828 Dulaney Valley Road, Suite 12, Towson, MD 212104.     
  4. You will receive confirmation that your payment and registration has been received!

Frequently asked Questions

1. Do I need to speak Spanish?
No.  Melissa speaks Spanish, and the group will also be traveling with a Jantetelco native who will serve as the group's interpreter. 
2. How many applicants are accepted?
We will be taking a group of no more than 10 clinicians on this trip. 
3. How will you determine who gets to attend?
Registration is on a first come, first served basis. Those who submit all required documents (waiver and payment) will secure their spot on the trip. 
4.  Will there be a pre-trip orientation?
Yes.  Once our workshop has filled, we will schedule a pre-trip orientation that will also include a suggested packing list.  
5.  I saw that the $1800 fee is an introductory fee.  What does that means?
That's right!  The price for this trip is expected to increase with future trips.  We hope you'll take advantage of this introductory price. 
6. Are refunds given if I register and then find out that I am unable to attend?
Refunds will not be given for any reason once payment has been received as your registration fee goes towards airfare, lodging, and the total headcount for our workshop.  For this reason, it is imperative that you are 100% ready and committed to attend this workshop.   We hope you'll dive in and join us!

 Get a Moo-ve on your registration!  : )

Get a Moo-ve on your registration!  : )

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melissa wesner, LCPC

Hello everyone, 
I will be your pre-departure point of contact as well as your workshop facilitator.  I am incredibly passionate about this workshop as I am a believer in the transformative power of travel, relationship-building, and education.  I've lost count of the number of times that I've traveled to Jantetelco, but I've been there no less than 6 times, often bringing others with me.  If you are looking for a personal and professional opportunity to grow, join me on this workshop designed specifically for mental health professionals.  You won't regret it! 


Contact & Questions

Please contact Melissa Wesner, LCPC  with questions regarding this workshop.

Melissa Wesner, LCPC
828 Dulaney Valley Road, Suite 12
Towson, MD 21204