LA: Roman Report 2007

Language Ambassador: Experience Report 2007

Ayaciuan Madrigal Rodriguez from Mexico visited PTPI's Roman Chapter in Romania as Language Ambassador. One of the hosts of PTPI's Roman Chapter, Sivan Tuchman, tells us about their experiences from the point of view of the hosting chapter.

PTPI’s Roman, Romania Chapter participated in PTPI’s Language Ambassador Program by inviting Ayaciuan Madrigal Rodriguez from Mexico City, Mexico. Ayaciuan, fondly called Ajax by Roman’s chapter members, brought Mexico to Romania through her presentations of Mexican culture, including food, clothes, music, dance, and traditions, as well as the Spanish language, which she taught to 30 teenagers, Young Generation members, and adult members of our chapter.

Ayaciuan’s love for salsa inspired both young and old to take part in regular salsa lessons. Students to whom Ajax taught English and Spanish created a traditional Mexican piñata that was filled with candy, fruits, and prizes before being burst open at a party for the students.

Ayaciuan’s presence in Roman enabled PTPI members, as well as the entire community, to understand that Mexico is more than “La Cucaracha.”

Ayaciuan taught English and Spanish each morning to some of Roman’s teenagers through popular music, such as Nelly Furtado’s song, “Man Eater,” and Justin Timberlake’s, “Cry Me a River.” Students translated Romanian recipes for ciorba (soup), chicken and sour cream, mamaliga (cornmeal), and clatite (crepes) into Spanish, and they prepared their dishes while explaining their steps in Spanish.

Adults and Young Generation members from Roman began classes through a traditional BINGO game to introduce the Spanish alphabet, and finished with a Mexican party and the chance to show their new salsa skills.

As Ayaciuan departed Roman, her absence was acutely felt by all of us. But her spirit, language, and salsa moves will be a reminder of what she brought to the community.