Ok, so we want the best possible daytrip in Morelos, right?

Where are we going to?

GunnarWolf has been in touch with the National Institute for Anthropology and History, who are interested and willing to provide us with very good guiding to have a daytrip in Xochicalco, Morelos State's most important archeaological site.

Besides, JairGaxiola got in touch with Turismor, a travel agency in Morelos, and got a similar but more complete offering - DebConf6DayTrip (Spanish).

Xochicalco is at ~90 minutes from Oaxtepec, but the INAH people strongly suggested me to plan for a 2hr trip. Based on our experience with the trip to Suomenlinna last year, I think we should not leave before 11:00 so all (well, most at least) of us are awake, and we could be back in Oaxtepec for dinner by ~19:00.

The trip will only include the visit to Xochicalco - We could visit other many worthy places, but such a long trip would probably be too tiresome for some. The Xochicalco visit takes +- three hours (plus +- 1hr for a lunch break - we should bring our own food and have a picnic as we did in Finland), so we will have a 8hr daytrip. We could of course add more places (i.e. beautiful village of Tepoztlán, with great and beautiful colonial buildings, and basically on the way to Xochicalco, ~20 minutes away from Oaxtepec), but it might be too tiring to add at least 1:30 hours.

Now, what is the codundrum we are facing?


First of all, a recent change in Mexico (because of the stupid amount of stupid people who were damaging archeological sites) requires that everybody pays their entrance to archeological sites, so we have a fixed cost of 45 pesos per person for entering the archeological site (MX$13500 if 300 people attend).

While INAH is essentially giving us the best guiding there for free, they don't have enough manpower to handle such a large group, and they don't handle themselves the logistics to get us there by bus. They suggest we hire the buses with the company they usually work with (but are not forcing us to do so). They only request the buses to have a microphone, so the guide can tell the group historical and geographical data on the road. Each group (40 people, 1 bus) will have one coordinator and one guide.

The complete package they are offering will cost around MX$11,500 per group - If 300 people go, that means 7.5 groups (lets say 7, as some of us can go by car), totalling MX$80,500+MX$13,500 = MX$94,000.

Erick Ivaan López got us a quote at MX$3000 per bus to go to Xochicalco and back. The buses have TV and audio, but I'm unsure if they include microphones - I think they do, but must get his word on this (have already mailed him requesting this information). If the company INAH recommends doesn't provide the buses, their services go down sharply, to around $3,500 per group, almost halving the total per group to MX$6500 per group - still a MX$45,500+MX$13,500=MX$59,000 total.

There is a third, cheaper but much less desirable option IMHO: Not to take this company's service, and just have the two guides INAH can give us - That would mean one guide per 150 people. That way, we would only pay for the transportation and the site entrance, a total of MX$21,000+MX$13,500=MX$34,500.

I strongly favor the second option, as it's definitively worthy to have the proper guidance so we understand what each important thing was and have a decent opportunity to ask them directly our doubts.

Food costs

The only real option we have, I think, is to repeat Finland's picnic. Right now, I don't have an idea on the prices, but I'll work on it. Meanwhile, all references to this cost will be null pointers. Try not to execute this page.

Remember that we will _not_ be paying this day's lunch at Oaxtepec. This means we are saving MX$70 per person from our regular budget.

My reccomendation

With this numbers, I think we won't be able to cover it all as we originally planned. We will have to ask people to pay for the trip. We should go for Erick Ivaan's bus offerings (we just need his confirmation - I just requested him some extra data which I hope to get in time. If our second offering holds with the numbers we got, and assuming we have all the 300 people, we could ask each person to put MX$150, gathering MX$45,000, and leaving us a bill of MX$14,000 (plus food). If we asked MX$200 per person, we would come even (paying just the food).

Now, we _will_ have many people for whom this money might be just too much - I suggest requesting MX$200 per person, and offering to help all those who honestly cannot pay - We do want everybody to enjoy!

Last note: Requesting on time

The bottom line is: We decide on this on our next meeting (Monday). As soon as we get the decision, we have to inform everybody, and get their opinons (who would come, who would not), so we can make a projection. By Wednesday (May 3) we should hire the buses - I think we could be flexible, advancing the requested money for all of the buses and calling the people in charge right away when we see whether our projection holds/fails (the bus owner is a relative of Erick, if I understood correctly).

For doing the projection, we could either send a mail with the general question and counting replies (good: Easy for people to comply with our request. Bad: We might get swamped, we might get a low turnout), or we could add a field to Comas (good: Easy for us to do, easy for us to check the snapshot at any given moment. Bad: people have to log in, they tend to forget or not do it).