BG Spanish students immersed in Cuban culture

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the U.S., trips abroad by Bowling Green City School students were halted. Concerns about student safety took priority over the desire to let youth experience the world outside U.S. borders. But last month, a group of Bowling Green students not only traveled overseas, they went to a nation that had long been off-limits to many Americans. Spanish students traveled to Cuba for a week of learning the nation’s culture, food, music, history, lifestyle – and an opportunity to use their Spanish speaking skills. “None of us are going to forget” the week-long trip, Spanish teacher Dallas Black told the Bowling Green Board of Education on Tuesday evening. English teacher Tom Ross, who also traveled with the group, encouraged the school board to allow more student travel overseas. “I want this to be a stepping off point,” after a long dry-spell of international travel, Ross said. “Let’s get traveling again with our classes and our students.” Three students – Griffin Black, Elle Ross and Maddie Smotherman – who went on the Cuba trip presented photos and observations from their travels. The students talked about traditional Cuban food, art, extreme poverty, monuments to revolutionaries, the beach, a cathedral, the University of Havana, the Bay of Pigs museum, and a botanical garden. “What an incredible opportunity it was for us to see all this,” Smotherman said. “Cuba was amazing. I couldn’t have picked a better country to visit.” And the timing was perfect, Black and Ross said….