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After 3 Social Club Embarks On Virtual Tour of Mexico and Cuba
Marquis Austin

Last Wednesday, the After 3 Social Club continued its Cultural Trivia event series with a virtual tour of Mexico and Cuba courtesy of Grade 4 Coordinator and teacher Sonia Hernandez and her children, third grader Valentina and kindergartner Mateo. They began their informative presentation with an overview of Mexico's geography, describing how the land contains 32 diverse states and is very mountainous with an arid climate up north and a more tropical one down south. The Grammar School students were particularly excited to hear about some Mexican wildlife—the cacomistle, quetzal, axolotl and Xoloitzcuintle, which was featured in the Pixar film Coco. Ms. Hernandez then drew everyone's attention to the spelling of these names, noting that they are Native American in origin. "What we love about Mexico is that they have a very deep connection to Native American culture," she said. In fact, there are over 25 million people in Mexico who self-identify as indigenous. 

The Hernandez family continued their tour with a discussion of Mexican art, clothing and cuisine. They provided the audience with a glimpse into the work of influential artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Valentina also showed off a mug made from Talavera, pottery from Puebla used to decorate homes, that her grandmother gave her. "Everything in Mexico is really colorful and beautiful," said Ms. Hernandez. Everyone started feeling hungry as they learned about tacos al pastor, tamales, pozole and horchata, a deliciously sweet treat made of rice, cinnamon, vanilla and sugar. "That food looks delicious," commented one participant as they looked on at the slide depicting these appetizing Mexican dishes. Later, Ms. Hernandez showcased vibrant folkloric dances and dresses, many of which were heavily influenced by the Mexican Revolution and Spanish colonial period. The After 3 Social Club observed the stylistic distinctions between dresses from different states in Mexico.
 
Following the Mexico portion of the presentation, Ms. Hernandez, Valentina and Mateo transported the group to Cuba. Highlighting the deep-rooted connection the country has with poetry, they played a video of Cubans reciting José Martí's iconic poem "Cultivo Una Rosa Blanca." "Cuba's known for their music as well," said Ms. Hernandez, previewing the rhythmic sounds of trova, charanga, mambo, danzón and other Cuban music forms. Musicians produce many of these sounds using an assortment of instruments, including congas, timbales, trombones, claves, Batá drums and güiros.
 
Eager to put their newfound knowledge to the test, the Cultural Trivia attendees competed in an exciting game of Kahoot! to close out the evening. Thank you, Ms. Hernandez, Valentina and Mateo, for putting together such a fantastic presentation!

You can check out their slideshow presentation below!

  • Grammar School

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