¡Viva México!: Faculty plan historical and cultural trip

Saba Nia

Seventeen members of the staff and faculty will have the opportunity to travel to Mexico in early June for a week and a half to learn more about Mexican culture and history in the goals of better gaining a global perspective.

The trip, sponsored by the school’s Gunter Gross Global Fund, is supported by an Immersion Faculty Fellowship and three or four Harvard-Westlake families.

“It is going to be a really rich and wonderful trip right after graduation,” Head of School Jeanne Hubrechts said.

Huybrechts said that they chose the destination of the faculty trips based on places of interest to students.

“We’ve now sent teachers to China, to Korea, to India, to Israel and now Mexico,” Huybrechts said. “And that serves a broad swath of the cultures that are interesting to school. They’re important to our students.”

History teacher Katharine Holmes-Chuba, who attended the previous trips to Korea and Israel, said she was inspired to travel to Korea to see historic and artistic works and speak to experts, as well as understand her students’ background better.

“I thought it was a great opportunity to really learn more about a country where a lot of our students have family there,” Holmes-Chuba said.

The trip to Mexico is the fifth in a series of trips offered to faculty from the Gunter Gross fellowships. Attendees of previous trips said the opportunity for teachers to travel is important in fostering relationships between faculty members in addition to helping them become more educated about and interested in their fields.

“It allows you to travel with your colleagues, which I really enjoyed doing because there’s a difference between working with people and traveling with them 24/7,” Holmes-Chuba said.

Holmes-Chuba also said that visiting historic sites, such as her experience viewing the Dome of the Rock during last year’s trip to Israel, can be a transformative experience. She expressed her appreciation for the work organizers and parents put into the trip and the opportunity to travel itself.

“Teachers are lifelong learners, and we really appreciate being able to give the knowledge back,” Holmes-Chuba said.