SPHS students participate in art and drama exchange program
Monday, June 15th, 2015
Five San Pedro High School Students (SPHS) participated in the second annual student exchange program with Los Angeles Harbor College (LAHC) in the USA. An initiative by Larry and Debbie Heimgartner, the program allows students to participate in a one week art and drama exchange. This year, participating students included Jaqueline Caliz, Brittany Cornejo, Eddie Jackson, Elina Palma and Yasir Roberts along with SPHS counselor Alexis Guerrero. The program ran from Saturday, May 23rd to Saturday, May 30th and provided essential experiences to the participants as it connected them with students from other countries in an effort to work together on a project called “Our World”.
In hopes of continuing the aim of “Our World”, as it helps spread awareness on different social ills affecting young people globally, SPHS worked on several project. “The project that three of our students worked on was from the “Our World V: Zanzibar Edition” which focuses on the environment, and specifically looks at food, water and shelter shortage. Because this is a global project, the piece written can be applied to any country in the world. As such, Larry will be working along with certain individuals to modify this piece to make it specific for Belize and San Pedro. Afterwards, our goal is to have our students learn the piece and present it to the school and to the community. The other students worked on pieces referring to “Drugs” and “Divorce” which I am proud to say will be performed in November, 2015 when Larry returns to the island with other presentations from the “Our World” project,” said Guerrero.
SPHS has had the privilege of witnessing several “Our World” pieces, including a piece on Women’s Rights which has been performed a couple times on the island by the UK actress, Sarah Mackenzie. “Particularly exciting for us was that we got the opportunity to get a glimpse of his new pieces which address Depression, Suicide, Sex Trafficking, and Animal Conservation, and of course, his newest piece on Inspiration which was performed by three dancers from the London Ballet Company,” said Guerrero.
Through the exchange program, the students were equipped with a form of edutainment (education and entertainment) which can incite deep and thoughtful discussions among the young people. “I was so proud to hear the reflections that our students shared after some of the performances. The “Our World” project has toured high schools, colleges and universities in countries such as Mexico, Belize, U.S.A., Zanzibar, and many countries in the U.K. At SPHS, we have been fortunate to have had many of these performances,” said Guerrero.
Some of the highlights the students’ trip was meeting the lead singer of ‘The Emotions’, whose song “Best of My Love” not only won a Grammy, but also won the Billboard’s title of “The Number One Girl Group All Time”. Another highlight was the time spent at Disney Land, where students experienced one of the most amazing shows that Disney has displayed, since they were celebrating their Diamond Anniversary. Students also enjoyed visiting Hollywood and touring The Walk of Fame. “Surely, the biggest highlight of this trip was meeting wonderful people from different parts of the world who embraced us wholeheartedly and made sure that we felt at home during the entire week. All these experiences, though not all directly linked to the project, are beneficial to our students’ growth, because they inspire our students to dream bigger and it widens their horizons to see the endless possibilities. A particular student expressed that ‘it was the most amazing thing that could ever happen to a student’. Our hope is to continue with this program for as long as possible, as we have seen how invaluable it has been to our students,” ended Guerrero.
SPHS would like to extend its sincerest gratitude to everyone who helped make this trip possible. No matter how big or how small the contribution was, you have helped change the life of at least one of our students who participated in the exchange. Sponsors included: Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, San Pedro High School, Holiday Hotel, Belize Bank Limited, Blue Water Grill, Kelly Kanabar, Captain Sharks, Elvi’s Kitchen, Gaby’s Construction, La Sirene Resort and Spa, Nellie Gomez, San Pedro Town Council, Seaduced by Belize, Searious Adventures, Victoria House, Wayo’s Beach Bar, Ak’Bol Resort, Blue Tang Inn, Castillo’s Hardware, Caye Bank International, Coral Bay Villas, El Fogon, Isabel Salazar, Maria Hernandez, Marion Mejia, Mike Catzim, Premium Wines and Spirits, Remax, Jeff Bella, Sandy Toes, Suya Tours, A & R, Andrew Rodriguez, Ariel Rivero, Banana Beach, Banyan Bay Villas, Belize Chocolate Comapany, Bob Hamilton, Carlo Rivero, Carlos Barrientos, Chris Nunez, Cindy Staines, Daisy, Daniel Gonzalez, Daniela Gonzalez, Danny Chi, Divas and Dude Boutique, Dymra Vasquez, Edgar Corado, El Divino Restaurant, Elida Rivera, Ervin Torres, Estel’s Extreme Geeks, Ezra Gongora, Felipa Aldana, Feliz Bar, G. Herrera, Gecko Graphics, Graniel’s Deamland, Graphic Designs and Pet Shop, Greanhouse, Hardy Chan, Harmouch Center, Havana Cigars, Hidden Treasure Restaurant, Hugo Meyer, Iris Riverol, Isabelle Hernandez, Jamal, Janine Salgado, Jaquelien Caliz, Julie Cowo, Letty Garcia, Lino’s Meats, Liz, Luian Rubio, Maricieal Ramos, Maria Hernandez, Marisela Marin, Master Lee’s, Michael Hancock, Nancy Henkins, Nathalie, Patricia Valerio, Pedro, Rapidito Loans, Raul Delgado, Raymundo Nunez, Rene Reyes Jr., Rick’s Customer Carts, Roxany Blades, SP Hardware, Sandra Perez, Sand and Logan Betz, Saul Nunez, Searious Adventures, Shane Villanueva, Steve, Students and staff of SPHS, Susana Flores, Sylvia Norales, Talal, Tatiana Lopez, Thalia, Tony Aranda, Vanessa Oliva, Varela’s Lumber Yard, Vivian Noralez, Wendy Garcia, Xanadu Resort, Yansi Maldonado, Yara Alamilla, Yasmira Villanueva, and Yolando Rivero.
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