Morgan Park Academy students enjoyed a day of cultural exchange when they welcomed to campus a visiting group of students and teachers from Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru on Sept. 23.

Hosted locally by the World Chicagoorganization, the South American visitors were on a tour of several U.S. cities, studying how social values such as multiculturalism, diversity, activism, and civic responsibility are manifested in American culture. MPA was a natural fit!

Our visitors worked with Lower School students on Spanish and geography lessons, and allowed Upper School students in Spanish 3 and AP Spanish Literature and Culture the opportunity to practice their language skills with native-speaking peers.

Yet perhaps most fascinating to both MPA students and their guests were the differences, large or subtle, that distinguished life as a teenager in their respective cultures. That conversation continued throughout the day, and culminated in a roundtable discussion, led by members of Student Council and Diversity Council, about everything from human rights to college applications to Friday night social life.

“This was a great experience for our students,” Dean of Academics Monica Pickett said. “We try to provide a wealth of opportunities to see the world through different cultural lenses, such as Project Week international trips and our own non-U.S. students, and it was wonderful to be able to welcome this South American delegation to campus, get to know them a little bit, and learn about their lives.”