Washingtonville Students Say Hola!
By Eugenia Moskowitz
What do children in Washingtonville and teenagers from Chile have in common? More than they had ever thought possible when a special visit was paid to Taft Elementary School on Oct. 2 by Chilean soccer players from the Domingo Ortiz de Rozas and Edupac Schools.
For the past three years, these school teams have hosted the Nirvana soccer club boys’ team in LaLigua-Cabildo along with their coach Victor Tobar as they played tournaments in Chile, and now the hospitality was being repaid with a trip to New York, the first ever for the Chilean teenagers. The Washingtonville students studied Chile in geography the week prior to the visit and drew welcome pictures for the players before enjoying a special Wizard Assembly where one of the soccer players, who is also a competitive folk dancer, put on a dance performance in traditional Chilean costume.
The team members, all 13 to 14 years old, then went into different classrooms where Mr. Anglin, who is bilingual, facilitated question-and-answer sessions between them and the children. The Washingtonville students found out what kinds of music the Chilean teens liked (“trap,” a mix of rap and Spanish reggae), what Chilean money is called (pesos), when their Independence Day is (September 18), and when their summer break is (January and February). They already knew that Chile is a long thin country stretching north to south in the southern hemisphere and is often called “the backbone of South America,” that everyone lives between the Andes mountains and the beach, and that the southernmost tip is very cold and has penguins. However, they were surprised to learn that Chileans attend school from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and it was these kinds of interesting details learned face-to-face that impressed the Washingtonville children the most.
Along with these differences, the students discovered that they had much in common with each other, including loving the same kinds of music and many of the same sports players, and that they enjoyed doing the same things for fun, such as: reading, watching movies on Netflix, school, good food, and being with friends and family.
After the school visit, the team headed over to Brotherhood Winery (the owner is Chilean) and then were planning a visit to Mr. Martelli’s soccer shop in the center of town. And all the Washingtonville students had a day to remember.
CAPTION 1: Teen soccer players from the schools Domingo Ortiz de Rozas and Edupac School, both in LaLigua-Cabildo, Chile, visited third through fifth graders at Washingtonville’s Taft Elementary School on Oct. 2. Many of the students wore their Washingtonville Soccer Club and Nirvana jerseys for the special day. (Photos by Eugenia Moskowitz)
CAPTION 2: One soccer player, also a competitive dancer, performed a traditional dance for the students in the gymnasium.
CAPTION 3: The Chilean soccer players went into different classrooms for question-and-answer sessions with the Washingtonville students.
See this week’s Orange County Post for more great photos and stories