"The students love having free conversation classes and are very interested in getting to know each other and more about the different cultures represented in the class. Usually, the discussion ends up being about food in some way, and after one class, Narcisa from Ecuador, volunteered to cook for the class and bring in some of her favorite dishes from her home country. The students were very curious when Narcisa walked into one class carrying many bags. She brought Mote Pillo, Arroz, Estofado de Carne Molida, a special homemade sauce, and Tortillas. As all of the students helped set the tables and serve the plates, one student ran out to the Ecuadorian supermarket next door to grab some Jaritos for the class to share as well. Everyone was so thoughtful and curious and excited to try the delicious food. Food and dining culture from different countries is always fun to experience since they can vary so much. Eating together was a great way to share different customs and eating habits to help us learn more deeply about each other and our different cultures. Food creates a relaxed atmosphere to allow students to ask each other questions and have conversation in a more relaxed way. It was such a selfless gesture for her to cook for all of us, about 12 people, and share a bit of her culture and tradition. Many students never have the opportunity to try another countries food, so it was a really fun event for them to try new foods and learn about different cooking styles!"
-- Kristina Laskowski, Lead ESL Teacher and Volunteer Coordinator