Spanish students assimilate into Mexican language, culture

Students pose in front of a landmark in Mexico during the 2017 trip (

Charlotte McLaughlin, Freelance Reporter

LT Spanish students will have the chance to learn, make friends and explore while completely assimilated into a different culture during an all-inclusive trip to Cuernavaca, Mexico.

From March 16-30, 2019, all Spanish for Spanish Speakers, Spanish IIA students and above will have the chance to experience a two week immersion to Mexico. Registration for the trip started Sept. 5 and ended Oct. 18 at 10:00 p.m., and the total cost of the trip was around $2,800-$3,000.

Accompanied by Spanish teachers and trip directors JoEllen Gregie and Ellen Acuña, the students will participate in a variety of activities to help enhance their overall Spanish skills, Gregie said. They will also live with a Mexican family and attend short classes at Universidad Internacional. Students are also expected to complete homework from their other classes, as Wi-Fi is accessible.

“I went on this trip when I [attended LT],” Gregie said. “It changed my life. Right after we returned, I told my dad that I didn’t want to be an optometrist anymore- I wanted to be a Spanish teacher.”

A few of the many excursions include Cuernavaca, Mexico City, Taxco, Tepoztlán, Teotihuacán, El Río Las Estacas and Los Pequeños orphanage, she said. Some smaller activities are family trips downtown, movies, shopping and more.

“Our students acclimatize with their [host] families immediately,” Gregie said. “They enjoy meals with them and form long-lasting bonds. We travel together to experience the art, architecture, history, archeology and beauty of many Mexican cities.”

This trip has made huge impacts on students’ lives, such as Sydney Dockins ‘19. She went on the 2017 trip and like Gregie, it changed her, she said.

“Studying abroad definitely enhanced my Spanish skills,” Dockins said. “Being submerged in the culture and only hearing Spanish for two straight weeks was helpful because it taught me how to translate and speak quickly and efficiently. I now plan to study abroad in college.”

Dockins will carry these memories with her for the rest of her life, and she even remains in contact with some of the people she met, she said.

“I’ll always remember the different excursions, foods, hanging downtown with my group of friends and spending time with my host family by playing games or watching movies in Spanish,” Dockins said.