Irma Flores, a teacher from Chile, will speak about her country at the Nov. 7 Cultural Thursday on the Brainerd campus of Central Lakes College.
Her illustrated program is free for the public from noon to 1 p.m. in the Lecture Hall, hosted by the Resource Center for Cultures and Languages of the Americas.
Flores is spending six months at CLC through the AFS intercultural program, assisting the Spanish Department and making herself available for campus classrooms, organizations and activities requested by the public.
If you go
Who: Irma Flores
What: A teacher from Chile
Where: Lecture Hall, CLC, Brainerd
When: Noon-1 p.m. Nov. 7
Flores, 39, teaches English and lives in Arica, a city of 165,000 in northeastern Chile. She and her husband, Sergio Alvarez, have been married 10 years and have three children.
Arica is a city of army-related jobs, as well as education. "There are two universities, so most of the cultural environment is promoted by them," said Flores. "I would say it is a poor city, economically, because it is isolated from the rest of the country.
"The weather is warm and humid but pleasant since it is by the ocean."
Flores said her typical day starts by 6 am. with breakfast preparations and getting the children to school. "After that I walk to the school where I work," she said. "I have lunch at home with my children and on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays I return to school in the afternoon to work from 3 to 6 p.m.
"Afterward we have dinner together. At about 9 p.m. I put the children to bed and I start checking my students' assignments, prepare for my classes and sometimes I read or write for pleasure," she said.
She has visited the United States in 1980, Canada in 1981 and often travels to Peru, where her great-grandmother was raised. "On this time in the United States I hope to gain better fluency and accuracy in English," she said. "I feel I need to be immersed in an English-speaking country to become a better language model to my students."
After 12 years in the classroom in Chile she said she felt she needed to have a break from her daily working routine. "I feel it is time to get some new experiences and face some new challenges," she said. "This is a chance to explore new territories."
She has enjoyed sharing aspects of her local and national culture by relating information about habits, food, celebrations, language and especially a favorite dance: the cueca.
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