TEL212-Experience cultural diversity

by ctuzzolino
Last updated 6 years ago

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TEL212-Experience cultural diversity

Intercultural Experience

Back in 2009 was my first trip to Baja, Mexico. I went with my best friend, Valerie, and her family to their house they have down there. Valerie's dad, Robert, owns his own construction company and even though their house is a vacation home they do more than ever when they/we went down there. The community outside this area is extermely poor, with families living in little shacks. Valerie's dad and his crew will go down and build new little homes / renovate what they have for better shelter and living conditions for these families for free.

Since Valerie and I were still too young to do much of the hard labor work, we decided we would play with the kids that were around. This was awkward and difficult because of the language barrier. Valerie and I had zero experience with speaking Spanish, which this is the only language the kids knew. When we first tried to socialize with them they were very confused on why we wanted to and ignored us. I have never felt this type of isolation before and we felt a little uncomfortable because we just were trying to be friendly!

Despite the first encounter, eventually the kids realized we were there to help them and be friendly they opened up to us and we all played kickball with one another. It was a warming feeling when they let us play with them and made me realize if this ever happened at school to not isolate another person regardless of their culture, background, race, etc.

My overall experience was great, it taught me a lot of how to treat others and be able to overcome barriers between others around you. With my 'wow' moment of being rejected because Valerie and I were the minority/outsiders really opened my eyes at a younger age of how impactful one person can be on another regarding their race, gender, ethnicity, etc. Now being much older and have studied this situation in various different scenarios in school, the internet, and first hand, the last thing I would want is any of my students (ELL, culturally diverse child(s), etc) to feel this seperation and isolation in my future classroom or their fellow classmates. This topic means a lot to me and I will do anything to make sure my students feel safe and welcomed by all in my class and hopefully the outside world.

By, Cristina Tuzzolino

Fire Twirler


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