Cultural Exchange

Everyday as we live in Costa Rica, we are constantly experiencing Costa Rican (and even Honduran and Nicaraguan)
culture from our families, our students and the community. While sometimes it can be difficult to understand the
differences in culture, it can be a rewarding experience to learn the culture of others. It helps us understand
differences and teaches us how to accept them and those who are different.
As I came to Costa Rica, this past October, I knew it wasn’t always going to be easy, but I also knew the
importance of learning about the culture for myself. As a Spanish educator I find it as a privilege and also
necessary to learn about the culture of Spanish speakers to share with my future students. As an English instructor
in Costa Rica, I believe the same - it is important for language students to learn about the culture associated with
the language being studied because the two go hand-in-hand.

Even though we try to share aspects of our American culture with those around us and teach our English students
culture in the classroom, it isn’t always successfully demonstrated. However, when we do successfully share our
culture it can be a sweet moment.
This November, we were able to do just that, successfully share our culture with our students. On Friday,
November 24, we invited our students and their families, as well as our families we are living with, to share a
traditional Thanksgiving with the ADE team. We had a great turn out and we were able to share this special day
with 50 people. Each family brought a dish. Some were traditional Thanksgiving dishes and others were
Costa Rican dishes. We were also able to share the history and the importance of Thanksgiving for us, as
Americans, in class and at the dinner.
Although the dinner was a lot of work to prepare for, it was a special event that was rewarding for our ADE team
and those who attended. As a teacher, these are the things that make my job rewarding and worthwhile. I hope
to be able to have more successful cultural exchanges like this throughout my time teaching English in Costa Rica.
To close, I feel it is fitting to share the things I am thankful for:
I am thankful for the opportunity God has given me to be working in Costa Rica with such a great team.
I am thankful for the family he has placed me with in Costa Rica and also for my family back home and their
support. Most of all I am thankful for the salvation God has given me and the privilege I have to serve Him.

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