Community Outreach in Spanish 350

Upper School Spanish 350 students explored a local Spanish-speaking community only minutes from campus. While studying the importance of being mindful of our own social, emotional and physical well-being, students had the opportunity to put their language skills to the test by visiting Durango Mexican Market and Restaurant on Page Avenue. Students completed various tasks in the market that included interviewing the owner in Spanish about the products and the types of services provided for Spanish-speaking immigrants. 

After completing a scavenger hunt, students headed next door to have lunch at Taquería Durango, a Mexican restaurant that offers a wide variety of authentic cuisine. They continued to practice their Spanish language skills in the restaurant as they asked questions about the menu and ordered lunch. Finally, students headed to the International Welcome Center located in the Ritenour School District to collaborate with a group of native Spanish-speaking students to learn about their culture and gain a global perspective. Students from both schools interviewed each other in English and Spanish in a reciprocal effort to apply language skills and share information from their experience in the market earlier in the day. 

Upper School Spanish Teacher Patrick Huewe shared, “It was a meaningful opportunity for students to gain global and intercultural understanding, examine their perspectives of the immigrant community, communicate in Spanish with native speakers and sample some amazing food!”

Sasha Shanker ’22 reflected, “I think the field trip was a great experience! It was really cool and insightful to communicate with kids in another language. We were able to learn about Mexican culture by visiting a market and seeing the different types of unique products they sell.” 

Ellie Gira ’22 also enjoyed the field trip. “Everyone had a great time trying new foods and drinks while also using Spanish to talk to the waitress who was a native speaker. Once we got to the International Welcome Center, students were paired together to talk. It was really interesting to learn more about what they thought about St. Louis and American culture. We also played Uno and ate donuts, using a mix of Spanish and English to talk. It was a fun day!”

What a great way to have a cultural and immersive language experience without having to travel far at all!