Spanish Class Makes A Tripartite Connection

It was a unique connection for Spanish teacher Mrs. Claudia Vallejo’s AP Spanish class when the AP Spanish Class from Loyola Blakefield High School in Maryland joined them to interview a father and daughter who are coffee growers in Colombia. Mrs. Vallejo extended the unique invitation to Don Diego Jaramillo and his daughter Carolina because they represent a family of coffee growers in the rural area of Colombia. “They have a small plot of land and have dedicated all their life to grow coffee and other agricultural products,” said Mrs. Vallejo. “They are guardians of the environment who cultivate organically with no pesticides. They also started a local initiative that welcomes tourists to their place to learn the process of organic coffee. They live in a rural area in Colombia, but thanks to the existence of cellular phones we were able to talk to them. Anyone who has watched the movie “Encanto” would have recognized the portrayal of Don Diego and Carolina in this movie, especially their love for family, land, and environment.”

Photo provided by Loyola Blakefield High School in Maryland

For her AP classes, Mrs. Vallejo endeavors to make the language real, “to motivate my students to keep learning Spanish, or even other languages because it is something very useful to have. I have always tried to bring Hispano-America into my classroom in a real way. I started inviting people with different backgrounds in 2014. Thanks to the videoconference my AP classes have interviewed a priest, a filmmaker, musicians, doctors, a movie set designer, a photographer, a stunt double, a human rights activist, and high school students from Colombia, Mexico, and Argentina. I invite to my classes different people who speak Spanish from wherever they may be at that moment.”