ACA Explorers – Blog

Cultural Lessons for the Explorers

Cultural studies are so important to me! I majored in “Global Studies” and many of my classes were about learning about the history and culture of other countries. I want to invoke a “global citizen” mentality in the Explorers so they can be aware of the opportunities other parts of the world have and learn about what they’re most interested in! Doing exchanges to Spain and studying Spanish changed my life and helped me find where I feel I “belong” and I want to be able to guide others in finding their same happiness/purpose!

What do I mean by “global citizen”?

Someone who feels knowledgable about and connect to the world.

ACA Explorers are “global citizens” because they want to accumulate as much knowledge as possible about the world and beyond and they care about making not only Jardin, not only Antioquia, not only Colombia but the WORLD a better place for all who live in it.

Being a global citizen is important to ACA Explorers because:

  1. It opens up a world of opportunity. We want the Explorers to feel like the world is their oyster. We want them to know that with dedication and hard work they can reach places they’ve only dreamed about. We want to emphasize the fact that the world is filled with so many opportunities. We want them to know one day they could be giving a lecture in Tokyo about nuclear power or debating the President of the United States or working at a dolphin sanctuary in Indonesia or researching climate change in the Arctic. We want to bring themes and ideas to their awareness that push the boundaries of who they think they can become and what they think they can accomplish
  2. It connects us to the rest of the people and places in the world and teaches us how similar we all are and how are successes and problems are intertwined. Through learning about where the roots of science, language and math as well as about major world events like colonization, world wars, cultural shifts and the current climate change crisis, we will learn how connected the different parts of Earth really are. We will learn how the products we use arrive to us and all the hands they have passed through. We will learn about climate change and how it has affected other parts of the world as well as ours. We will develop a sense of belonging to the world which results in tolerance, empathy and understanding for people from different backgrounds. This will become a core part of being an Explorer. We want our Explorers to the ambassadors of their pueblos.
  3. English and Cultural Studies go hand in hand. The more one wants to explore the world, the more important English is for them as it is such an international language. When traveling, you’re pretty likely to find a Spanish speaker in the US, Canada, or Europe these days but English is even more international and will make traveling in the aforementioned areas even easier as well as allow one to communicate in more countries of Africa and Asia!
  4. It is inherent to the idea of being an Explorer. The most basic goal of ACA is to help develop a love of learning and curiosity for the world around us. What Explorer have you heard of that only explored what they already know? The idea of exploring is to go out and get to know something you don’t know. Traveling is part of being an Explorer. Meeting people from different parts of the world is as well. The more comfortable we get with learning about other cultures the easier it will be to put ourselves in different cultural settings and explore them in the future!

The more we learn about other cultures and traditions in the world, the more our perspective opens up which can improve our capacity to learn other things like philosophy, math, science and language!

Learning about the world satisfies our curiosity. As humans, other humans are inherently interesting to us: how they dress, how they act, how they speak, how they share, how they’re similar to us, how they differ from us.

I think one of the reasons Cultural Studies always attracted me so much is that I love observing and analyzing people. I think it will be one of the easier subjects to teach because it is easy to make interesting! We can learn about different countries every 2 weeks or month and delve into the food they eat, the language they speak, the religion they practice, what their country is like geographically, and so much more! There are so many places to learn about and I’m excited to learn more as I go making lesson plans as well!

What is culture?

To be broad, culture is the traditions, beliefs and way of life of a certain group of humans. More specifically, culture includes the elements in this image:

Cultural differences define a place and a group of people. Culture defines who we are and where we come from. Culture is adaptable and changes inevitably with the passing of time. One of my favorite parts of traveling is noting cultural differences. In fact we have various posts on Colombian culture and always noticing little entertaining cultural tidbits!


My Culture

I hope to teach the Explorers a lot about my own culture and use American culture as a way to get them excited about learning English! American culture is popular throughout the world especially in Colombia! As an American you learn that people in the world might hate you just because you are an American but in my experience it’s been more of the opposite. Since American popular culture is so popular throughout the world, I find I have more to talk about with people from around the world and that they are interested in me just because of where I’m from!

I want to watch American movies, listen to American music and discuss differences between American and Colombian culture to give them an idea of how to analyze a culture!

Their Cultures

Another important part of learning about culture will be delving into Colombian culture and how the Explorers would define their own culture. I have been a part of great classes where we share our own culture and even within two people from the same town, a lot of cultural difference can be found! I want to teach that culture is more than just national or religious identity but a family and individual’s traditions and way of living!

Getting in touch with one’s culture is healthy for personal identity and pride in who you are! The more we learn about Colombian culture and the difference between our cultures, the more we will be able to appreciate the uniqueness of every new culture we learn about!


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