STUDENTS FROM ARGENTINA SHARE YERBA MATE TRADITION
Visitors from Colegio La Merced in Córdoba, Argentina, arrived at Barstow on Wednesday, September 5, for a two-week cultural exchange. One of the customs they brought to share with Barstow students is the tradition of drinking yerba mate.
During a visit to Ms. Buckner’s grade 5 class on Friday, the students painted hollowed out gourds as they learned about one of Argentina’s major crops. Yerba mate leaves are dried and made into a tea that is shared frequently throughout the day all over the country. The tea is made using water warmed to a very specific temperature, then served in a gourd or gourd-shaped cup and drunk from a metal straw with a filter called a bombilla. Laura Rondini, the teacher accompanying students on their trip, said the gourd and bombilla are often passed around among friends during this common and important social ritual. It is similar to the American tradition of going out for coffee, she said.
After spending the weekend with their host families, Argentinian students return to campus on Monday to attend classes and shadow students. They’ll also visit the National World War I Museum, Crown Center and Union Station, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Another group of visiting students from the German School of Madrid arrives at Barstow on Wednesday, September 13. Both groups will be here through Friday, September 21.