Spanish Students Explore Pilsen

by Lydia Zindel ’21

Near the end of March, the students of Ms. Sabir’s and Mr. Hernandez’s Fundamentals of Spanish classes took a fieldtrip to Pilsen, Illinois. The students were able to leave their usual Tuesday classes in order to experience the neighborhood of Pilsen. Our classes went around the neighborhood learning about different aspects of LatinX culture.
Our buses departed at around 9:05 a.m. and we made our first stop at the National Museum of Mexican Art. We took a tour of the current exhibits at the museum learning a variety of things.

The first painting we visited was called Transformando la identidad and it depicted a painting of an ancient story of an Aztec soldier who had fallen in love with a princess by the name of Iztaccíhuatl. The shared a forbidden love and they had a plan to marry, to impress her father he went to war. While he was at war, a jealous suitor who wanted the hand of the princess told her that he dies in battle even though he didn’t. While filled with grief and sadness she took her own life and when the brave warrior returned he found her dead and vowed never to leave her side. The God(s) granted them immortality and became the mountains that are portrayed in the back of the painting and he was turned into a volcano. The next exhibit told the stories of Mexican culture through ancient paintings and artifacts. Some of these included paintings of holy figures and ancient tribal masterpieces. We then transitioned into the Modern Mexican Art exhibit looking at more freeform and beautiful sculptures, signs and paintings. The final exhibit showcased pieces that involve Mexican Identities in the U.S. This included paintings about long labor hours that Mexicans endured and the struggle to become accepted and how it still goes on today. The last painting that we sat down and looked at was called The Ancient Memories of Mayahuel People Still Breathe By: Mario Castillo who used an art form called perceptualism to create this beautiful painting (seen above).
Next, we walked to a restaurant called La Cebollita where we had the privilege to taste authentic Mexican food at it’s finest. We had a choice of tacos, sopas, quesadilla, and gorditas.
The food was delicious and it came with a side of beans and rice with two delicious drinks. After, we left the restaurant and headed to a supermercado a few blocks away. There we learned about food names and different foods that are eaten in LatinX households. We completed scavenger hunts looking for different food items around the supermercado and learning lots of new things.
We then walked to a bakery where we had the chance to choose from a wide selections of bread and baked goods. They were delicious! There were options ranging from delicious cupcakes to delicious pan. The last leg of our journey was a trip to a candy store. There were piñatas all over the ceiling and the entire place was beautiful and festive. We then proceeded to walk back to the bus and drive back to Parker.
All in all it was a great learning experience that had a range of fun and great activities!
Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.