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Students prepare for Spanish immersion trip to Peru


Photo: Caroline Zummach

Students plan on traveling to Peru during Spring Break of 2016 to assist the medical needs of families in rural areas of Cusco. In the past, St. George’s trips have traveled to countries in Europe where students visited historical sites.

Caroline Zummach, Staff Writer

St. George’s está planeando un viaje a Perú durante del receso de primavera de dos mil dieciséis a través de Med Life. Este es un viaje nuevo para la escuela. Mientras en el viaje, los estudiantes van a dar cuidado médico a los familias pobres en Cusco, Perú. También van a poder practicar su español en un país que habla español.

Translation: St. George’s is planning a trip to Peru during Spring Break of 2016 with MedLife. This is a new type of trip for the school. While in Peru, students will provide medical care to families in need in Cusco, Peru. They will also be able to practice their Spanish in a Spanish-speaking country.

The trip to Peru was brought to teachers’ attention last year when the idea was introduced by students.

“It was student-recommended,” Spanish II teacher Ms. Freya Kridle said. “A few juniors approached Ms. Mary Reed about doing a ser vice project abroad that would be for Spanish students.” The trip was then approved in September of this year, and at least 12 students have expressed serious interest so far.

The trip has also recently opened up for students involved in the Citizenship Institute.

This experience will be the first of its kind at St. George’s. In the past, St. George’s trips have typically travelled to countries in Europe where students visited historical sights and museums.

“This is the first time St. George’s is offering a trip that is service-related,” Ms. Reed, lead high school Spanish teacher, said. “It is a really unique opportunity.”

St. George’s students will work in a clinic educating locals on hygiene. Students will also assist local doctors and dentists as they treat patients.

“Helping a little kid brush their teeth doesn’t take much, but it makes such a big difference,” sophomore Whitney Ziegenhorn, who is planning on attending the trip, said. Ziegenhorn enjoys going out of the country and helping people, and she believes this trip will be a great fit for her.

During the trip, the group of students will participate in a community building project, and they will also take a day trip to Machu Picchu in the Andes Mountains of Peru.

As this is a Spanish-immersion trip, students will practice their Spanish-speaking skills in a community outside of the classroom when speaking with the locals in Peru.

“It will be hard, but the aspect of pushing myself to speak Spanish outside of classroom work [means] I can become better,” Ziegenhorn said.

While this trip is in service of the locals of Peru, it will benefit students and teachers who attend as well, according to Ms. Reed.

“You are more fulfilled as a human being by serving others,” Ms. Reed said. “It is a great path to happiness in your own life.”