Lily Loewenguth and Grace Paparo
For yet another year, the Spanish Club will be heading down to New York City on Nov. 5 to experience the Latino culture. For their three day expedition to the Big Apple, they’ll be involved with many activities focusing in on the culture like salsa dancing, Latino drumming and making conversation with the people of the Latino culture will take place as well as going on fact finding missions, which the students will walk the streets of Spanish Harlem to find objects using their Spanish abilities. “Hopefully they use their knowledge in authentic ways,” says Señora Simone Pacilio, and explore more of the Spanish society.
Before making their way down to the city, the club relied on money raised from past fundraisers, such as the poinsettia sale, to fund for the trip, but also funded themselves. Things were a bit “rushed” said Señora Maria DeJesus because of her medical absence the past year and the cancellation of the trip last spring.
As the students journey through Spanish Harlem, a heavy populated Dominican area, they will go on fact-finding missions to learn more about the Latino culture, communicate better with the residents and enjoy it. “The culture is very varied. It’s not just Spain. It’s the Caribbean, it’s Central and South America,” said Pacilio. “I hope they will appreciate the Latino culture a bit better.” Senior Emma Prosak, who has never been on the trip, is eager to explore more of the society and learn more about Spanish. “I hope to learn more about the culture by going to Spanish restaurants and visiting Spanish Harlem,” said Prosak.
Along with walking and exploring Spanish Harlem, the students will take Latino percussion classes, which they have done in years past. “It is so much fun,” says Pacilio. “I am excited to learn more about the culture when taking the class. I think it’s going to be a good experience,” said junior Courtney Burns. They will also be taking a salsa class with professional dancers and watching them perform. “In the past most students are afraid of it at first, but usually ends up being their favorite activity from the trip,” said DeJesus.
Although the trip is mainly focused on the Spanish culture, the students will visit the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, walk through Times Square at night when it is all lit up, “which is always exciting” for Sra. DeJesus, because she likes “to see students reactions, especially ones who have never been to the city before. They will also be able to have time with their friends to explore New York. “I think we will have a good time going shopping, visiting the memorial and Spanish Harlem,” says Burns.
The students are hoping to learn more about the Spanish culture, but Pacilio has a different view on the trip. Although she wants the kids to indulge in learning more about the culture, “New York is almost like going home, it’s like a reunion for me,” since she grew up in New Jersey. DeJesus and Pacilio both are excited for the students to pick up some more information about the Spanish culture.