This weekend Viana welcomed some very special visitors. it’s about 15 students in Washington between the ages of 14 and 16, who are in online contact with young Vianese all year long.
the Initiative originated from Municipal language school in the city. Its director, Cesar Martinez, met with Aimee Obungin, who is responsible for this program, which was launched by the governor of Washington, together with the University of Lyon, and they decided to include, in the month and a half that the Americans would spend in Spain, a visit to Viana for the weekend.
“The idea was to be able to see us last year, but because of the pandemic, it just couldn’t be,” Martinez explained. In fact, the topic that the American group and the Fiennes have been working on during all these months has been about the “unexpected effects of a global pandemic.”
After much time behind mobile cameras, it was time for students from both countries to meet face to face on Friday. During these days, the Americans stayed with families of Vianese students.
Isaru Maruri Moreno, is one of the young women who took part in this experience and commented on how she lived. “When we were waiting, we got a little nervous when we meet face to face for the first time,” he explained. But the young people immediately became comfortable and the Vianney family brought them closer to their customs. “We were in the Quito area, teaching them typical party songs, how we spend the summer here, what we do, what music we listen to, etc.,” added Izaru. Vanessa rated the experience as very interesting, since through the work carried out and online communication, she was able to learn how they live in another country, their ways of doing things, etc.
Alexis Mosquite is the young woman who welcomed Isaro into her home these days and described her experience as “amazing. I was able to go to different shops and restaurants and had the opportunity to meet so many people. I would like to be able to stay longer in Viana to learn more about the city and continue Meet more people.”
Saturday was the time to expose the work the young men were doing during these months. It was at Casa Navarro Villoslada in Viana and attended by representatives of the municipality. Yolanda Gonzalez, Mayor of Viana, assessed the experience as very positive, as it involved two different groups of young people for a whole year, without feeling tired and wanting to continue. “It is important to know the difference not only in language but in way of living, culture, mentality, etc.,” explained the first mayor. She also commented on the intention to repeat the experiment and expand it so that young people. They can spend more days in Viana.
On the other hand, Gonzalez noted that young Fiennes could also share in the experience by making the trip to Washington. The school principal pointed in the same direction. Cesar Martinez was betting that he would start looking for funding for the Navarese part of the program. He explained that the American project is 100% supported by the participating students.
This was the third edition of the US program and the first time that Viana students participated. But given the result, all parties aim to repeat the experiment.
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