BHS International Festival is back

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After three years, Belen High School’s annual International Festival is back.

A trail of booths leading around a courtyard, where the May 4 festival was held, burst forward with details from countries around the world.

Abigail R. Ortiz-News-Bulletin photo: Belen High School seniors Nikole Esquibel, left, and Florela Trujillo, right, wait to hand out one of the delicacies they baked from Kuwait. Among the treats was Arabaic honey cake, which is similar to pound cake with added honey and almonds.

In one aisle stood a tall, white Greek temple fashioned out of foam columns, along with a red, wooden Swedish farmhouse and a Viking ship made from a boat, paper, duct tape and PVC pipe.

Music blasted from each booth and smells of traditional platters wafted through the area.

These booths displayed information gathered from 43 groups of seniors in their government economics class as part of a final project. Each booth displayed detailed information, such as geography, the country’s capital, family unit, agriculture, economics and government.

The point of the festival was to expose students to cultures around the world, and allow them to understand more information than what is taught in textbooks, said Rosalyn Wisneski, government economics teacher and the festival’s co-coordinator.

“They learned more about their countries than what they are exposed to in America about other countries,” Wisneski said. “They learned beyond the stereotypes.”

The festival, which began in 1991, fell to the way side after the high school’s administration changed.

“We thought we would bring it back,” Wisneski said. “It was something that was expected every year, almost like a tradition.”

Ken Zamora, government and economics teacher and the festival’s co-coordinator, described the festival as a Belen High School tradition.

The pair plans to continue the festival next year.


-- Email the author at aortiz@news-bulletin.com.