Luisa, a Mexican au pair living in New Jersey, recently spoke to a class of twenty children ages 2 to 5 about her home country as part of a presentation for Global Awareness, a program developed by Au Pair in America to promote cross-cultural communication and understanding. Through Global Awareness, au pairs visit elementary school classrooms and provide cultural enrichment activities. Focusing on Mexican cuisine, Luisa had a wonderful time sharing her cultural heritage with her enthusiastic young audience.
“I first began explaining a bit about the city I come from, and then they were so excited to hear the story about how chocolate (one of their favorite things in the whole entire world, according to the majority of my public) was discovered in Mexico! They first shared their knowledge with me about the subject, and to be honest I was surprised by how much information they already knew.
After this we played a little game in which I showed them pictures of typical and important ingredients in Mexican cuisine. They had to learn the name in Spanish along with the correct pronunciation by using our hands and clapping to the rhythm of the syllables. It wasn’t long before they could spell all of them!
Afterwards we began our third activity: I had prepared for them cutout papers of different colors so they could make their own paper taco. I was so happy to see the excitement in each of their faces as they took their ‘tortilla’ and began stuffing them with some ‘carne,’ ‘tomates,’ ‘queso’ and more. Each child received a little Mexican flag sticker as they started their last activity, a coloring page with the world map.
I truly enjoyed sharing about my culture as we all learned from each other, and it made me feel even more proud about where I come from. I consider it important nowadays, starting with the future generations, to open their minds about diversity. This country especially is populated by cultures from all around the world, which I believe makes this country richer and more diverse. I am thankful to have had this opportunity and am looking forward to sharing more about my country again.”