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Gaucho culture brought to Spanish III

The beautiful beaches and fertile lands that encompass a part of Uruguay generally are not at the top of dream vacation lists, yet this environment offers a cultural learning experience.

Since the costs of international travel pose a problem for many students, the campus Spanish III teacher, Senora Beatriz Foth, had a better idea. She brought Uruguay to the class.

An Uruguayan cowboy or ?gaucho? walked the halls on campus, showing off his traditional attire, which consisted of bombachas (pants), a poncho, scarf, vest and sombrero on April 1.

During the past two years, the Spanish III class has encountered many different cultures, varying from Mexican to Guatemalan. Steven Buller, son of a missionary from Uruguay, has returned to the class many times to speak about the culture.

Buller was born in Colombia, where his parents served as missionaries. At the age of nine his family settled in Montevideo, Uruguay, where he soon became friends with Foth while attending a church in Montevideo.

?By having a guest speaker come to the class I hope to bring a first-hand cultural experience,? Foth said. ?The speakers wear traditional attire that you cannot find in the United States.?

Students had the opportunity to get a taste of the Uruguayan culture for themselves, beyond just seeing the clothing. The students ate ?empanadas de carne? which consist of meat, onions, boiled eggs and spices, cooked inside of fired dough. Only a few dared to try ?mate? which is an herbal tea favored by the Uruguayan cowboys.

?I tried the mate,? Megan Anderson, ?06, said. ?It wasn?t as bad as I expected. It was just really strong.?

Spanish III students appreciate the variety of guest speakers introducing their many cultures.

?Having a guest speaker gives us something different to do in class,? Anderson said. ?The speakers are always interesting and it?s nice to have a break from the normal everyday textbook and busywork.?

The class anticipates experiencing the culture of Cuba, to be introduced by a Cuban mother in May.

For more information regarding the Spanish class activities, contact Foth at [email protected].

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