Students at MMI Preparatory School recently hosted students from Mexico in a program that helped broaden their educational and cultural knowledge.
Six middle-school students from Francis Bacon School in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, stayed with families of MMI students and attended classes with their peers. They were accompanied on their trip by English teacher Angeles Guerrero Tobias. The Mexican students created PowerPoint presentations to introduce themselves and their home lives to MMI students and made their presentations to an assembly of MMI students.
While visiting with MMI families, the students had the opportunity to experience life in the United States to the fullest, including traveling to different cities and sampling food from various restaurants. In return, they taught their hosts about Spanish culture. The Mexican students spoke English during most of their trip, except during Spanish class, when they conversed with MMI students in Spanish.
“The experience was beneficial for the American and Mexican students alike. They all got to practice language skills while learning more about another culture and developing cross-cultural friendships,” said Director of Admissions and Financial Aid Aprilaurie Whitley, who coordinated the program at MMI. “This is the third year MMI has done the exchange program, and it has become highly anticipated each year.”
Ernesto De la Mora Martinez was hosted by freshman Adam Cortese; Francisco Lara Bernal was hosted by eighth-grader Quentin Novinger of Mountaintop; Alyn Aguirre Estrada was hosted by seventh-grader Julia Snyder and sophomore CJ Snyder; Natalia Martinez Torres was hosted by seventh-grader Angelica Alday and freshman Andrew Alday of Mountaintop; Gala Perez Lugo was hosted by sophomore Medina Saeed of Mountaintop; and Paulina Barba Mendoza was hosted by sixth-grader Madeline Dryfoos, eighth-grader Evan Dryfoos and sophomore Llewellyn Dryfoos IV.
MMI students and the exchange students took a bus trip to New York City and spent a Saturday there. The Mexican students and MMI mid-schoolers also attended a Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders baseball game. Host families also took the students to places such as Philadelphia and Hersheypark.
Ernesto De la Mora Martinez said about his trip to New York, “It was a very good experience, because I dreamt of being there. We visited the Empire State Building and I felt like king of the world. We also went to Times Square.”
Francisco Lara Bernal said, “My host Quentin showed me how to play lacrosse, and I watched his games. I also saw the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia and visited New York.”
Maura Dryfoos, whose three children spent time with Paulina Barba Mendoza, said, “The student exchange program was a fun experience for all of us. We hated to see Paulina leave so soon. We are enthusiastically looking forward to hosting a student next year.”
Her daughter, Madeline, said, “It was like having a sister. I learned what it is like to share a lot of things, like my room. We went to Hershey Park and visited Chocolate World too.”