Club presents a culturally inclusive virtual world tour

Yessica Rodriguez, sophomore psychology major and treasurer of the Language and Culture Club, discusses the population and culture of Italy and the history of the Italian language on April 28 at the Language and Culture Club’s Virtual World Tour event held via Zoom. / screenshot by Ashton Berry
Yessica Rodriguez, sophomore psychology major and treasurer of the Language and Culture Club, discusses the population and culture of Italy and the history of the Italian language on April 28 at the Language and Culture Club’s Virtual World Tour event held via Zoom. / screenshot by Ashton Berry

Anabel Martinez
Staff Writer

University of La Verne students were able to learn about different countries and add to their travel bucket list at the Language and Culture Club’s Virtual World Tour, last week on Zoom.

The club’s members prepared a presentation in advance of the April 28 event and shared the beauty of language and culture in various parts of the world to an audience of 14 participants.

“Not a lot of people are traveling and I thought to make a community within the university, allowing yourself to learn about different cultures and languages feels like you’re going to these places,” said Daniela Salazar, president of the Language and Culture Club and senior biology major.

Alexander Vargas, event coordinator and senior history major, shared his research on Mexico’s diverse population and Aztec culture and language that still remains relevant in Mexican traditions today on the behalf of Phi Alpha Theta.

“What’s kind of forgotten is how many native people make up the population as well,” Vargas said in his presentation.

Vargas showed the viewers images of the animated character Dante from the Pixar film, “Coco,” who was inspired by Mexico’s national dog, the Xoloitzcuintli, commonly known as a Mexican hairless dog.

Vargas said the word, Xoloitzcuintli, originates from Aztec language.

“No matter where you go in Mexico, the native culture always shines through,” Vargas said.

He also discussed the origins of Day of the Dead traditions and how that is reflected in “Coco” as well.

Salma Mendez-Amador, club secretary and sophomore child development major, said she wants to travel to Switzerland to experience its beautiful nature.

“I think it’s really pretty and has a lot of nice scenery. The air there is probably very nice and crisp,” Mendez-Amador said.

Mendez-Amador talked about Switzerland’s four official languages, the history of its flag and ended advising the audience to visit it during July and September for warm, summer activities.

Yessica Rodriguez, treasurer for the Language and Culture Club and sophomore psychology major, shared the beauties of Italian, a language she’s also learning.

“Something else that I really love about the country is that the architecture is amazing and to me, it looks like heaven. It’s really nice. You can see it in the buildings and streets in every way,” Rodriguez said.

Other students talked about France’s famous Cannes Film Festival, the islands in Greece, Finland’s education system and Japan’s Mount Fuji.

Students exchanged safety tips, recommendations and their travel goals as well.

“I’ve traveled a lot in my life and it’s one of the best experiences I could ever have. Going to a different country (and) learning about the language, even a few phrases before I get there… I think it makes a difference in how you live as a person,” Salazar said.

The Language and Culture Club ended the night with a round of Kahoot!, a quiz-based virtual game. Participants joined the game from their devices and competed with others to answer questions on the facts they learned for a chance to win a prize.

The top three winners each won a $25 gift card for a food delivery service of their choice.

“I was excited to learn about the places that the e-board members researched and to get a little more knowledge on the different countries out there… and the languages and culture,” Natalie Garcia, vice president of the club and junior sociology major, said.

The Language and Culture Club’s events are open to all ULV students and faculty.

“We’re inclusive to everybody no matter their background, their culture or where they’re from,” Garcia said. “We invite anybody and everybody to join so that there’s a place for everyone.”

Anabel Martinez can be reached at anabel.martinez2@laverne.edu.

Anabel Martinez is a senior digital media major with a concentration in film and television, and a journalism minor. She serves as the managing editor overseeing all of the Campus Times sections and was previously editor-in-chief in Spring 2022.

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