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  • Writer's pictureAudra Krieg

Spanish Immersion - Culture Immersion

It’s been a while since I shared a Spanish Immersion update. Some of you may know that our (almost 7 year old) daughter, Penny attends school in Spanish. Every time I blog about her school I get the same questions, so I’m going to clarify a few things here. Her school day is the same as a traditional 1st graders. She arrives to school and learns all of the traditional subjects, but her teachers are speaking Spanish. She started Kindergarten in this way and she absolutely loves her teachers and her learning experience. This year her teachers are from Costa Rica and Colombia and while I don’t speak Spanish fluently, I have been able to help her with her Spanish so far with the knowledge that I have from high school and college classes. I know that those days are numbered though so I am focusing on sharing other pieces of Spanish culture with her.

Since we had last Friday off, I planned to make a traditional Colombian recipe with her with our extra time. I checked in with her teacher and asked him to recommend a dish and he sent over a recipe for Arepas. These cornmeal patties were a huge hit with our family and we added some of our favorite toppings. Penny added homemade black bean puree and cheese to hers while the rest of us added pork, guacamole, lettuce and tomatoes.

Penny had the best time measuring the ingredients and kneading the dough, but the true highlight for her was shopping at our local La Mexicana Mini Mart in Kill Devil Hills.

We took our time checking out the Mini Mart and learning about new foods. I gave Penny a challenge to find 5 of her “sight words” in the store and she did great! The first word she found was "sopas" and she was so excited! Sopas means soup in English so we grabbed a few packets to try at home.

She was most interested in picking out sweet treats with her little sister, so I let them go a little overboard in the sugar department! I loved how confident she was in speaking Spanish while we were in the store and I can’t wait to watch that evolve as we continue to shop for delicious recipes in this hidden treasure of a store!

We used a simple recipe to make our arepas and they were super easy to make. Although, we did discuss how corn was ground down to make the arepas and how people would wake up before the sun to pound and soak dried corn to use for their meals. We used Masa Brosa Harina de Maiz and we're calling it our secret ingredient!

The recipe that we used was so simple and we are definitely working these into the rotation of great recipes that we make regularly! As an added bonus, arepas can be used in breakfast, lunch and dinner so we have more opportunities to eat them!

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