Advanced French Trip to Louisiana, to Explore LA Colleges and French Studies & Cajun Culture
With these funds I will...continue our efforts to educate our kids in local French culture and explore Louisiana! We take students of advanced French to Lafayette Louisiana in the fall, hopefully to coincide with Festival Acadiens.
The money covers hotels, entry fees, food, gas, rental car/bus/van as needed, and other small incidentals such as tour fees/tips. The first trip we asked students to bring $200 spending money and they were free from all other fees. If we charged, our kids would pay close to $600 a piece for the opportunity.
Our students are primarily from the area, from lower working class backgrounds and many are kids of immigrants or first generation Americans. For many of them, this was their first trip out of state, some even out of Houston. The ability to travel and know the world around you is invaluable and when it is a gift, it makes the students all the more grateful. It also helps them see what an immigrant had to go through in the early days of the American settlements. The Cajuns are a parallel culture to that of the Latin cultures present in Texas, in terms of their linguistic journey and cultural experience in America.
Inaugural Trip Itinerary
Our first experience with Pledge Cents last year netted us just under 2,000 and we were able to sponsor 4 kids and one chaperone for the Columbus Day weekend.
Our trip this year consisted of a Friday touring the University of Louisiana, Lafayette with contacts made by teacher. Students met one on one with undergrad, graduate and post graduate students in a real Q & A session. We toured the student center and kids were able to ask questions that they can't in large groups.
Our second stop was the Cajun historical park, Vermillionville. There, the students met period actors and artisans, who spoke in authentic Cajun French and explained several things about historical Acadie. We toured historical homes and discussed the early settlement days of the Acadiens and how they not only survived but thrived and held on to their culture.
Evening, we went to Festival Acadien to hear and see Cajun music and crafts, eat great food and spend more time with the French graduate student group.
Saturday we woke early and headed to New Orleans. We spent 8 hours on a teacher/student created walking tour of the French quarter, took the street car into the Garden District. All the while touring cemeteries, cathedrals, haunted houses and streets, historical points of interest and local museums. We watched street performers and musicians and were able to walk along the Mississippi. Just as we were leaving that night, we were able to see the start of a local parade celebrating Latinos!!
The next morning, we had plans to see an authentic plantation on the way home but our kids were actually too tired, so we drove through. We returned on the Sunday evening, mainly to keep the trip a whirlwind but also give the kids the extra day to complete work that was missed by leaving Friday.
Back Up Plan
If I do not meet my goal I will purchase...I will sit on the funds and wait until we have a group who is interested in undertaking the trip. If we can't get enough, we can be very selective with who goes, or we can wait and build for the following year. Perhaps the trip can happen every other year.
Eventually, I would like to add a few other programs, like a wetlands tour for the environemental science class, sharing the trip costs. Or, a social studies class who may tour the WWII or Normandy museums in the French Quarter, or add other colleges to the tour list, such as Xavier, Tulane or Loyola.
About the Creator
Liaison to French club, French National Honor Society and Texas French Symposium.
4 years ago
Cristina De La Cruz
4 years ago
4 years ago