HISPANIC HERITAGE CELEBRATION by Stephanie Bonilla & Angela Zapata

October 19, 2016 - 

The Hispanic Heritage Celebration is an annual event that is hosted by Ms. Stratman, Ms. Weaver and Ms. Levystone. This celebration is about exploring and learning about different hispanic cultures such as Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Panamá, Honduras, Ecuador, Cuba and many more. Celebrating where people are from, what their culture is like, the kind of food they eat, and their different styles of dancing is also what this celebration is about. According to Ms. Stratman, “There was a lot involvement because we wanted to make it the best.”  Ms. Stratman, along with Ms. Levystone and Ms.Weaver met for several weeks to speak with staff, parents and students of Hispanic Heritage. Students also had to commit to participating. “They brought in food, created projects on Hispanic countries. Others helped set up, serve and clean up afterwards”. Some food that was served were empanadas, pernil (roast pork), chicken, rice and beans, and mangu(mashed up plantains) among other things. The food was amazing.

The supervising teachers operated on the expectation  that all spanish speaking students at AOIT would be eager to participate and celebrate their  heritage.

Most people assume that hispanic countries speak and share the same culture, but that’s not the case. Every country has their own unique way of speaking and doing their own local customs. Ms. Stratman assigned specific Hispanic countries to the the students in her spanish classes and had them make posters for those countries explaining where they were located, what types of food they ate, what dialects are spoken, which currency is used, and what their local traditions and customs are. The posters were hung around the library where the celebration took place.

This celebration was a great way of learning something new about fellow classmates whether hispanic or not. It was very educational.

“My favorite moment was when we did the dance celebration and saw 10-15 people dancing and knew the celebration was a success.” Ms. Stratman said. “It was successful because we started weeks earlier and told students about it earlier. I can definitely say by the looks and expressions on everyone's faces that it was a great and fun time being together. It was a great experience that should be continued, but next year we want to do presentations before the students eat and have more student involvement. Strive for bigger and better.”