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March 30, 2012 > Espanolandia - The Spanish Land

Espanolandia - The Spanish Land

By Nisha Patel, photo by Nisha Patel

On Tuesday, April 3, Irvington High School's MeCha club will be hosting its annual cultural event, Espanolandia, in the school gymnasium. Led by Irvington seniors Jake Funk and Andrea Hanna with the help of the MeCha club's leadership and Spanish teachers, approximately 200 student volunteers and 1,000 students from throughout the school district will participate in the event, making it bigger than any previous year.

The fair-style event will consist of various booths where students will perform both recreational and academic activities with a Spanish twist. Activities include Bingo, face-painting, soccer, Fear Factor, and Karaoke. Students in levels 4 and 5 have been working with their Spanish classes to plan the event for the last two months to ensure that students have as much fun as possible and the opportunity to practice their Spanish speaking skills in a unique way. Those who have organized the event have worked hard to create colorful posters, plan the activities and ensure that a maximum number of Spanish class students can be accommodated.

"This program started six years ago, and it has been successful every year; it only becomes more and more exciting," said event coordinator and Irvington Spanish teacher, Alberto Ballado. "We are now being more recognized by the district, and have even received a grant. We have new T-shirts, more creative ideas, more booths, and more students coming to participate."

This event promotes an understanding of the richness and diversity of Latino culture. Participants will be required to pass a short quiz at the Aduanas (Customs) booth to receive a "passport" before entering the gym. From then on, passports will be stamped at each booth; volunteers will be asking Spanish questions that relate to the theme of the booth. To make sure that only Spanish is spoken during the event, students caught speaking English by the "police" are sent to the Carcel (Jail), where they must answer more Spanish questions to earn their freedom.

"Espanolandia brings students together outside of the classroom for a chance to exhibit what they have learned," said Kayla Doty, a member of the MeCha leadership committee. "This event will be fun and interactive, but will also give students a place to use Spanish conversationally."

Espanolandia will be held during Irvington's multicultural week, adding to the excitement the week will bring. The week will kick off with a multicultural rally on Monday afternoon, featuring dance performances, skits, and singers, displaying the diversity of cultures within the school's community. While Espanolandia is geared toward students, it is open to the public as well. Tickets will be sold at the door for $10 general admission.

Tuesday, Apr 3
8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Irvington High School
41800 Blacow Road, Fremont
(510) 656-5711
Tickets: $10

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