Hispanic heritage in school, clubs, classrooms

Rinnggggggg! The school day is over. Students flow out into the hallway excited for their activities ahead. Several students make their way into Spanish Club. They are eager to participate in the ethnic food tasting ahead. The delicate smell of churros and empanadas fills the room. Food is exchanged, and company is enjoyed. Another successful meeting has gone by.

The start of the school year means that clubs here are in full swing. Saint Viator offers a variety of clubs that suit varying interests. Language clubs are among the most popular. Spanish Club had its first meeting on Sept. 8.

Spanish Club, led by Señor Paprocki, is an ideal way to immerse oneself in Spanish culture and explore opportunities not presented in class. Long-time member and leader, Grace Walton, has expressed the draw of Spanish outside of class.

“I most enjoy seeing the language being used in a more casual, everyday environment, rather than a classroom with set vocab lists,” Walton said.  

The club is a perfect, informal way to engage in Spanish tradition. It provides a place to learn and to relish good company. Junior, and first-time Spanish Club leader, Nadia Diaz, expressed her fondness for the club.

“What I love most about Spanish Club is that it is a place where people can come together and learn about something they are interested in,” Diaz stated.

Though a returning member, Diaz is looking forward to her first year as a club leader. She has brainstormed some possible activities, including visiting the Mexican-American Art Museum, a churro bake sale, and involvement with local charities. 

This year, the club hopes to explore a variety of new and old traditions. Senior Kara Tschanz has expressed that Spanish Club would like to become involved at an international level.

“We are hoping to create video updates of our school, and share them with Viatorian schools in Spanish-speaking countries,” she noted. 

This year, the club is once again excited to find different ways to celebrate Hispanic holidays, especially Hispanic Heritage Month. In previous years, for example, Día de los Muertos was celebrated by making cultural masks. Food also plays an important role in the club. In the past, students have celebrated Cinco de Mayo by selling churros during lunch. This year, students hope to arrange a potluck with various, traditional Spanish foods.

With the school year so young, club events have not yet been finalized; however, Señor Paprocki emphasized the importance of student leadership.

“It is whatever the students want to make it,” he stated.

Spanish Club provides students with opportunities to learn and meet new people. It is a fun and easy way to be involved, and new members are always welcome.