Following a long tradition of international conferences that provide our community the opportunity to network and engage with Fulbrighters and friends abroad, the Fulbright Association’s 2018 National Conference will be held in Puebla, Mexico. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Puebla is a hub of culture and history, and the fourth largest city in Mexico. Working closely with the Mexican Fulbright Commission and local Fulbright alumni, we are able to offer a conference with relevant and educational programming that highlights intercultural exchange and the mission of Fulbright on a global scale.
Q. Do I need to register to attend the conference?
Yes. All attendees must register for the conference through the Fulbright Association website.
Q. Does my conference registration fee include accommodations and meals?
No, the conference registration fee does not include hotel accommodations nor meals. The conference registration is only for entrance into the conference itself and all conference events associated with your ticket. You must book your hotel separately, and we recommend staying with one of the hotels listed on this page, where we have arranged a discounted room block for conference attendees. Depending on the ticket you have purchased, your registration may include evening receptions where food will be served.
Q. Where are the conference hotels located? Are they within walking distance of the conference venue?
Our conference hotels are all located within easy walking distance of the Puebla Convention Center, ranging from a 4-minute to a 20-minute (< 1 mile) walk.
Q. How do I reserve a hotel room in using the Fulbright Association’s booking codes?
To reserve a room in one of our conference hotels, you must contact the hotel directly by phone or email. Contact information and booking codes for each hotel are listed under the “Hotels” tab on this page. In order to ensure that your reservation is processed through the Fulbright Association’s room block and you receive our room block rate, you must reference the hotel’s booking code when making your registration. Please note that these booking codes cannot be applied online, and you must contact the hotel by phone or email to process your reservation through our room block.
Q. Which airport should I fly into?
It is most convenient to fly directly to Puebla International Airport. However, you may also fly into Mexico City International Airport and then take a bus to Puebla. This bus ride will take about two to three hours. For more information on the bus service available, please click here.
Q. Will I need a visa to attend the conference?
Depending on your nationality, you may need a visa in order to visit Mexico. If you have a US American passport, you will not need a visa for short-term travel to Mexico at this time. However, you will need a valid passport, and it is recommended that you ensure your passport is valid for six months after the date you plan to return home from Mexico. For more information on traveling to Mexico, please click here.
Q. I am not American and I do need a visa in order to enter Mexico. Will the Fulbright Association write a letter to the embassy for me?
We are not able to write letters directly to your embassy. However, we can provide you with a signed letter verifying that you have registered for the conference, once you have done so and paid the registration fee.
Q. Will there be any opportunities to go sight-seeing during the conference?
Yes! Puebla, as the fourth largest city in Mexico, is rich in history and culture. There will be opportunities in the evenings to explore Puebla, including with fellow Fulbrighters and friends of international education. In addition, we will be organizing an optional pre-conference tour of Day of the Dead sites in the area that will be open to attendees and their guests.
We have also organized a four-day Insight Travel Program in conjunction with the conference to Mexico City and surrounding areas, to begin after the conference concludes. This trip will give participants the opportunity to see more of Mexico as well as connect with local Fulbrighters. All conference attendees are invited to register.
Q. Is traveling to Mexico safe, and do I need any vaccinations?
We refer to the Department of State for all recommendations regarding crime, vaccinations, and other wellness. Please visit https://travel.state.gov for the most up-to-date information.
Q. Is it safe to drink tap water in Mexico?
No, it is not safe or advisable to drink tap water while in Mexico. It is recommended that you drink bottled water at all times.
Q. What is the best way to get around in Puebla?
Cabs and Ubers are available at low rates in Puebla and Mexico City. For added security, use of the Uber app is recommended. If you have a data plan, the app will function normally while you are in Mexico.
Q. Will my cell phone work while in Mexico? Will I be able to make calls to the U.S.?
Yes, your cell phone will work while you are in Mexico. On most mobile networks, calls between the U.S. and Mexico are treated as local calls. Before departure, contact your service provider to discuss best options for your plan or the opportunity to activate an international plan for Mexico, which is often offered as a free package.
COMMON WORDS AND PRASES EN ESPAÑOL:
Hola – Hi
Por favor – Please
Gracias – Thanks
De nada – Don´t mention it / You’re welcome
Como esta? How are you?
Donde esta? – Where is?
Buenos días – Good morning
Que le vaya bien – Have a good day
Buenas noches – Good night
Hasta luego – Til we meet again
Hasta pronto – See you soon
¡Salud! – Cheers!
WEATHER: In November, the lows may be in the low 50°s to 60°s F and the highs approx. from 65 to 75° F. It will be cooler in the mornings, late afternoons, evenings and nighttime—thus we recommend you bring a light sweater or jacket, sunscreen especially for the fair-skinned, comfortable closed walking shoes (especially to visit the pyramids with its uneven paths and cobble stones) and hats since the sun may be very warm in the middle of the day. Dress in general in Mexico is casual, so be comfortable.
HEALTH: Water from the tap in Mexico is not purified and although some locations advertise water as drinking safe, we advise you to play it safe and always drink bottled water which we will have on-hand. The produce and ice cubes where you’ll be dining will use purified water and are perfectly safe to eat and drink. Some areas of Mexico City are affected by pollution, especially fumes from cars. Those with sinus issues might want to bring masks, or at least be prepared with nasal spray or other items. Lastly, it helps to try to rest as much as needed on the first day in the city, as altitude sickness can affect some travelers.
SAFETY: As in any major city, you may come into contact with pickpockets in some areas, especially tourist areas. Seeing police officers and security guards at malls, airports, museums, etc. with large guns can be quite surprising and frightening for some people, but this is normal and there is no reason to be alarmed. We advise that our travelers avoid bringing ostentatious jewelry and consider using a money belt.
TAXIS: If taking a taxi, make sure to take a “taxi de sitio” (official taxi). Some taxi drivers may not use meters to calculate the price. We recommend using Uber, which is a generally safe and very inexpensive way to get around the city.
• A valid passport and passport copy (please also email or save yourself a digital copy)
• 40 SPF sunscreen or higher.
• Prescription medications in original packaging.
• Non-aerosol bug spray.
• Travel-sized toiletries.
• Hat and sunglasses.
• Warm jacket (fleece or down).
• Comfortable walking shoes.
• Clothing for layering. We recommend long, thin, breathable shirts and pants for touring days. Jeans are normally great, and skirts for ladies are also fine—although we would generally recommend erring on the side of casual.
• Some dressier clothing for meals at more upscale restaurants and for exploring Mexico City during the evenings.
• Small bag for day use. Money belt or hidden pocket to conceal valuables.
• Spending money. Consider your own spending habits when it comes to libations and shopping for mementos. Bringing cash in USD is recommended for exchanging at the airport upon your arrival in Mexico. 1 USD converts to roughly 18-19 Mexican Pesos but fluctuates daily.
• A camera! Recommended Items:
• Small umbrella or rain coat.
• Prescription medications in original packaging. We also suggest OTC items that may include Pepto Bismol, dramamine, pain medication, bandages, and an extra pair of contacts or glasses. (Please consult your doctor.)
• Small padlock for luggage. Don’t Bother Bringing:
• Fine watches or jewelry. If it is valuable and important to you, we advise leaving it at home. You do not want to attract undue attention to you and your belongings.
• Uncomfortable shoes. They’re unnecessary given how casual Mexican fashion is, and can be exacerbated by the uneven streets.
Getting to Puebla
To reach Puebla, you may choose to fly into Puebla International Airport or Mexico City International Airport.
Flying into Puebla International Airport
Puebla International Airport is located 15.5 miles outside the city of Puebla. Its official name is Aeropuerto Internacional de Puebla Hermanos Serdán. Inaugurated in 1985, the airport is one of the newest in Mexico and serves primarily the Puebla and Tehuacan regions. The airport offers car rental, taxis, and ATM services; there is parking for cars, but no hotel on the premises.
Airlines: Airlines that service Puebla International Airport include: American Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, and Aeroméxico.
Taxis: There is a taxi stand called “Transportes terrestres” in the airport. Tell the driver to take you to your destination. The fare is about 300 pesos to Puebla. If you need a receipt, you can ask the taxi driver for a “recibo.” We recommend use of the Uber app for added security. The app will function normally as long as you have a data plan on your cell phone.
Puebla International Airport: +52 (227)-102-5080
Taxi stand:+52 (222)-750-3654
FlightStats code: PBC
ICAO code: MMPB
Flying into Mexico City International Airport
Mexico City International Airport — also calledBenito Juárez International Airport — is located approximately 78 miles outside of Puebla, or a a 2-3 hour drive. It is one of the busiest airports in Mexico and Latin America, and is serviced by over 30 domestic and international airlines. The airport offers taxis, access to ground transportation, and has hotels on the premises.
Bus service to Puebla: From the Mexico City International Airport there is a comfortable bus service by “Estrella Roja” which runs from the airport to the city of Puebla. These buses arrive in Puebla at two destinations: the bus station known locally “CAPU” as well as to the “4 Poniente” station. Estrella Roja leaves from zone D in the airport, next to International Arrivals (zone E). You can pay for the bus ticket in a kiosk located in front of the bus departing zone. The fare is 290 pesos and the ride takes about 2.5 hours. Those wanting to see the landscape (once outside Mexico City!) should sit on the right hand side of the bus.
Buses departing from the Mexico City airport to Puebla bus station CAPU are generally scheduled each hour from 6am to 11pm. Please see the timetable listed by Estrella Roja for more information at https://www.estrellaroja.com.mx/ or by clicking here.
Buses leaving from the Mexico City airport to the Puebla bus station 4 Poniente, which is closer to downtown Puebla, leave from Monday to Thursday at 1am and then from 6:15am until 11:30pm. There are a number of schedules in the station and schedules are also available at the links above.
From the bus station, you may choose to take a cab or Uber to your hotel. We recommend using Uber for added security. If you are staying in a hotel in the city center, insert the hotel address into the Uber app or tell your taxi driver the name of the hotel. Note that you will need to negotiate the fare with taxis that are not official, as they do not use meters.
We strongly advise against taking taxis from Mexico City to Puebla as the fare will be astronomical. We encourage the use of buses from the Mexico City airport to Puebla, and the use of Uber within Puebla.
FlightStats code: MEX
ICAO code: MMMX
TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN MEXICO CITY AIRPORT AND PUEBLA:
From the Mexico City International Airport to Puebla there is a comfortable bus service by “Estrella Roja” which runs from Mexico City airport to the city of Puebla. Estrella Roja (ER) leaves from zone D in the airport, next to International Arrivals (zone E). Look for signs (see attached photos). Buses run between 6:00am – 11:00pm and they leave about every 20 minutes.
The ride takes about two and a half hours. Those wanting to see the landscape (once outside Mexico City!) should sit on the right hand side of the bus. There are two bus stations in Puebla: “Terminal CAPU” or “Terminal 4 Poniente (4 Pte)”. 4 Pte is smaller and closer to downtown. Secure taxi transportation is available from either station.
You can pay for the bus ticket in a kiosk located in front of the bus departing zone or go to the bus counter and they will help you. The one way fare to pay is 290-310 pesos (approx. US $16). You may purchase your ticket on-line ahead of time but it is not transferrable to a different time, so you should wait until you get to the Bus counter. For the return, since you know the time of departure, and since traffic is predicted to be high on Sunday, purchasing your bus ticket on-line from Puebla to Mexico City is highly recommended.
The same service is available on the way back in case someone would like to stay in Mexico City. There are buses leaving from the Angel are $298 pesos one-way. They also leave from the Antara shopping mall in Polanco. Tickets can be bought as you board the bus but subject to availability. For this reason, it’s best to purchase in advance online.
Things to Do
Named a UNESCO World Heritage site, Puebla is a celebrated hub of history, heritage, and culture. Famous for its Spanish colonial-era architecture and Talavera pottery, Puebla is full of opportunities to learn, explore, and engage. Some recommendations include the historic downtown area, the Biblioteca Palafoxiana library, the Cathedral of Puebla, the Los Sapos district where you can find many arts and crafts, a vast collection of museums showcasing Puebla’s art and history, and the ancient Great Pyramid of Cholula in the nearby town of Cholula, which is the largest pyramid in Latin America.
The Day of the Dead was registered by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2008.
It is believed that the souls of those departed return briefly to earth to be received by their living relatives and/ or friends with offerings and pampering.
The festivities take place each year end of October and beginning of November and are extremely important in the life of indigenous peoples in Mexico and each day more significant for Mexicans in general. This period signals the end of the annual corn cycle, the predominant crop in Mexico. The dead are divided into various categories depending on the cause of their death, age, sex and in some cases, trade. One specific day is attributed to each category. Usually children and people who died in accidents come first, the 31st of October or even before, the last day is November 2nd.
Although the festivities have strong and dominant Indigenous elements, some European contributions can also be found as for example, images of catholic saints and the virgin are commonly added to altars. Traditions vary according to the ethnic group, thus, specific practices in central Mexico are different to those of the Yucatan Peninsula. However they also share many common characteristics and their roots can be traced back to pre-Hispanic times.
In small villages, in order to facilitate the return of the souls, families and friends scatter flower petals from the cemetery to the house. In larger cities, the flowers are only placed in the altars and cemeteries. A profusion of specific flowers (cempasuchil, terciopelo), candles, food and beverage are placed at graveyards and house altars in order to light and embellish the path back to earth of our beloved muertitos (usually present in altars with photographs). Efforts are made by everyone in order to welcome them with their favorite dishes, drinks, and even cigarettes or music.
As in every ritual celebration in Mexico, specific dishes are lovingly prepared by families. These include mole and other party dishes as well as tamales, sweets, fruits and last but not least everybody enjoys pan de muerto (specific bread) with hot chocolate, delicious for the living as well!
Please visit our altar in honor of William Fulbright and Alfonso Garcia Robles near the Auditorium at the Convention Center. You will find information on particular events related to this festivity.
La Casa de la Cultura of the Government of Puebla has held for more than 40 years an annual contest of altars that you can visit. More than 60 will be on display in the following addresses in the historical center of the city from October 31st at 12:00 to November 3, 9:00 to 21:00 hours:
Casa de la Cultura at 5 oriente # 5
Talleres de Iniciación Artística at 7 oriente # 2
Museo Taller Erasto Cortés at 7 oriente # 4
Enjoy this living tradition of Mexico!
We have reserved room blocks in several hotels within walking distance of the Puebla Convention Center. To book a room in any of the hotels listed below, you must contact the hotel directly by phone or email. Please note that reservation codes cannot be used online, and you must communicate with the hotel by phone or email in order to secure a room in our room block and at our room block rate. If submitting your room reservation request by email, please be sure to print, fill out, and attach the room request and credit card authorization forms included below.
If you have any questions about the conference, please be in touch with the Fulbright Association National Office in Washington, DC. Please note that we cannot book your hotel for you, and that all conference registrations should be made online.