Northern Michigan University's Spanish Club took a recent trip to Chicago, where students visited the National Museums of Mexican Art and of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture.
“The Chicago trip was awesome,” said student Laney Pestrue. “It was a great bonding experience for everyone involved, and I really enjoyed the opportunity to be immersed in Hispanic culture through the museums and restaurants we visited.”
The students agreed the museums were the highlight. The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture was first on their list, and to their surprise, Puerto Rican vendors were there selling and showcasing their artwork and products. Students were able to enjoy the art while being able to speak with some of the artists who made it, hearing the stories behind some of their works.
After that, the club had the opportunity to see the painted murals in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood and enjoy the images depicting Mexican culture and self-expression.
The National Museum of Mexican Art was their next stop. It still had “ofrendas” up for Day of the Dead celebrations. These “ofrendas” act as a sort of shrine to people who have passed away, and are used to honor them in the afterlife. The ones at the museum were to honor the victims of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Syria and Turkey. Students were able to view the ofrendas, learn the history of Mexico through artwork, and read about the meaning and purpose behind the artwork featured.
They were also able to experience some of Chicago's ethnic cuisine. The group ate at the 1982 family owned Mexican restaurant De Pasada, as well as The Jibarito shop– a store that sells traditional Puerto Rican food. They said that the food did not disappoint.
Members of the NMU Spanish Club expressed thanks to the university for supporting their trip.
The Department of Languages, Literatures and International Studies offers bachelor's degrees in French, German, Spanish and International Studies. The department focuses on developing students' intercultural competence and preparing them for career paths that may take them anywhere in the world. For more information, click here.