Students in Spanish II recently spent their double-period class "in the field", at Botánica Yoruba, a spiritual health and wellbeing store in Port Chester, NY, as part of a larger unit project. Their goal was to use target vocabulary and structures to better understand a culture of health potentially distinct from their own.
A botánica is a kind of store that sells soaps, candles, incense, tinctures, perfumes, statues, bracelets, plant-based goods, and other products that bring good luck, healing, and prosperity and eliminate bad energy, pain, and negativity. Botánicas come out of Caribbean religious and health traditions and are popular among many in the broader Latino community.
Students interviewed Uruguayan store owner, Andrés, and his mother about products in the store. Students then identified one product to further research and "market" to their St Luke’s peers. Next week, they will create their marketing materials and sales pitch to both represent the product faithfully and appeal to St. Luke's student health habits and needs, bridging a cultural divide.
Andrés and his mother will visit St. Luke's on Monday, December 11 to assist in this process and have lunch with Spanish V students. As the culminating experience, students will set up "shop" in our classroom and discover whose pitch sells the most products. Or, in other words, whose pitch most successfully connects two cultures.
St. Luke’s School is a secular private school in New Canaan, CT for grades 5 through 12 serving 25 towns in Connecticut and New York. Our exceptional academics and diverse co-educational community foster students’ intellectual and ethical development and prepare them for top colleges. St. Luke’s Center for Leadership builds the commitment to serve and the confidence to lead.