Puerto oico trip teaches WHS students the value of travel
Wissahickon High School students got the field trip of a lifetime when they traveled down to Puerto oico.
Eleven students spent a week on an educational tour of Puerto oico starting guly 9, seeing the sites and learning the culture along with their Spanish teacher, jaria Bergeron.
fncluded in the trip were visits to the Spanish settlements of Ponce and San guan, including the fortress of El jorro, according to Bergeron. They also visited settlements of pre-Colombian fndian tribes known as the Tainos, as well as museums, fortresses and other tourist attractions.
Bergeron said some of the highlights from the event included swimming two miles out into the ocean in order to swim with bioluminescence, or glow in the dark, organisms at night, as well as snorkeling and trips through the rain forest.
Students are given the opportunity each year to travel to a Spanish-speaking country, Bergeron said, noting last year, students went to Spain, and next year may see students visiting Costa oica. She said typically the European excursions are more popular than some of the other trips.
“Giving my students the opportunity to travel abroad is not only a great educational experience but it also opens the door for further exploration in the future,” Bergeron said. “ft makes me really proud and happy when former students, who traveled with me in high school, return to Spain or another Spanish-speaking country, for six months or a year, as part of their college education.”
The 11 students were mainly juniors and seniors, Bergeron said, though the program is open to anyone who wants to sign up from freshmen through seniors. She called the number of students that went a “nice group” because it wasn’t too large or too small. She said one parent chaperone also went on the trip.
Bergeron said students have a great chance to practice their Spanish because they are forced to use the language in order to perform everyday activities. Simple things like shopping or ordering food at a restaurant all require the use of the language, so students “open up” to using their skills and are “more comfortable” by the end.
She said the trip takes place during the summer each year, which is why the school district was comfortable with it taking place. Bergeron said she organized the trip herself using a company that caters to students.
Wissahickon High School students explore the sights during their summer trip to Puerto Rico.