Three Valley students, joined by a Chief Kanim Middle School teacher and parent chaperones, were treated to a taste of Spain this summer during a nine-day whirlwind tour that included stops in Madrid, Bilbao and Barcelona.
Tyler Cruz and Chloe Villanueva, who both graduated from Chief Kanim in June, said they had a great time experiencing la cultura española.
Big soccer fans, they toured the futbol stadium where Real Madrid plays, and got to “experience the chaos” when Spain won the UEFA European Football Championship.
Other highlights included checking out an old armory and Roman aqueduct in the city of Segovia, and posing for photos on the Pamplona street where the famous running of the bulls takes place each July.
Tour organizer Megan Marson, who taught Spanish at Chief Kanim last year, lived in Spain during college, and was excited to share her passion for the culture with her students.
“I love to travel, and wanted to instill that love for travel and culture in my students,” she said.
Tyler said he appreciated getting exposure to Spanish; he plans to study the language at Mount Si High School. That will enable him to communicate with his Mexican grandmother in her native language.
Chloe wants to learn Japanese and perhaps live abroad one day. Her mother, Carmen, said the Spain trip has helped her prepare for that type of experience.
“Being immersed in a different culture, when you hear them speak, when you taste their food, and you have to get along with them and interact – that’s the kind of stuff you don’t duplicate in textbooks or classrooms,” she said.
Carmen, along with Tyler’s mom, Kathy, are already planning a reunion for the newly bonded students and families.
“We’re thinking of having a sangría party,” Carmen said. “We tried it everywhere we went and, wow, it was good!”