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Gaucho exposes South American culture

The appreciation of South American culture is often hard to muster on campus, with only Spanish class to bring awareness to students. However, this roadblock seems easy to overcome.

Teacher Beatriz Foth decided to show students a small piece of South America by inviting a Uruguayan cowboy, called a gaucho, to the campus on May 10.

Steven Buller has visited the students and spoke about Uruguayan traditions and his own personal background. Born in Colombia, Buller became friends with Foth at a church in Montevideo, capital of Uruguay.

“I want the students to learn about the life of a gaucho,” Foth said, “like what they drink, what they eat and what they represent.

Buller gave students the opportunity to experience a little part of the Uruguayan culture, bringing an herbal tea called mate. Everyone braved the ethnic drink, which was created by the gauchos.

“I tried the mate,” Andrew Biehler, ’08, said. “It was really bitter. I think that it’s an acquired taste.”

The gaucho is a common part of the Uruguayan ethnicity. Not only did Foth want to teach her students about Buller’s culture, she hoped to relay the importance of the Uruguayan cowboy.

“The gaucho is a legendary figure to Uruguay,” Foth said. “They represent different regions, different lifestyles and the life of another country.”

The Spanish III class will have their last guest speaker of the year on May 18. Amy Burton will come to speak to the students about cultures of Spain and their native dance, the flamenco.

“Last year, she danced flamenco for us in class and talked about Spain,” Foth said. “She is pregnant, so I do not think she will be able to dance this year, but will bring her dress and will still talk abut this dance.”

The students are excited at the prospect of another guest speaker and learning of yet another new culture.

“I like it when speakers come because it is something different,” Brittany Lauber, ’08, said. “It kind of breaks up the monotony.”

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