Hillcrest’s AP Spanish students travel to Concordia Language Village

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Krystini Jones, Guest Columnist

Hillcrest’s AP Spanish students have just returned from an intense weekend at El Lago Del Bosque Spanish immersion program of Concordia Language Villages in Bemidji, MN.

After traveling for eleven hours on a bus, we finally arrived and met chaperones and other students from other schools across the country.

As expected, the casejeros (chaperones) spoke only in Spanish for the entire trip, and encouraged us to do so as well. The chaperones were all from Spanish-speaking countries and were very fluent in their native language. They all had different accents and cultures. They were extremely nice people, and their teaching capabilities were extraordinary.

Every day we had the opportunity to participate in numerous activities, some of which were dancing, singing, cooking, or painting. Our favorite, as a collective group, was dancing which was called “Baile”, where we learned La Salsa, La Bachata, and El Tex-Mex. We were busy all day and never had any time to be bored.

The AP Spanish students at Hillcrest High School would like to thank everyone for their generous donations, for their support, and for participating in our fundraisers!”

We also had breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. All of the meals were Spanish cultured. We ate lots of food outside of the widely known Spanish foods. The food was truly excellent, and featured selections from many countries within the Spanish-speaking world.

We woke up at 7:30 A.M. every day, and lights were out at 10:00 P.M. The days were long and extremely busy and structured, but we still had a lot of fun.

The setting was constructed just like a Spanish Village. We were located in the middle of the woods, and the lake (Turtle River Lake) was gorgeous.  It was very cold some days, but after all, we are from “The Windy City”, so we were able to endure it. The cabin assigned to us was clean and cozy – and while it was not very fancy, it definitely was comfortable and it had an overall good ambiance.

When we first arrived, our comprehension was better than our speaking of the language. By the end of the weekend we were able to understand most of what each staff member was saying, and we were able to generate responses without thinking too hard about it. Overall, this was an amazing experience and we recommend that future Spanish students take the opportunity to go.

Around the Web
Hillcrest HS AP Spanish Students Live in ‘Immersion Village’ (Patch)
Spanish lesson an adventure for Hillcrest students (Chicago Tribune)