Puerto oico trip teaches WHS students the value of travel

The Ambler Gazette - - POLICEREPORTS - By Eric Devlin

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.

Sub­mit­ted photo

Wis­sahickon High School students ex­plore the sights dur­ing their sum­mer trip to Puerto Rico.

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