In order to bring cultural awareness to the school, Paula Gonzalez and her brothers Luis and Braulio began Gables Flags after arriving from Peru only a couple of years ago. The idea to create this organization came to Paula as she reminisced about the difficulties she and her brothers faced while adapting to a completely new environment. The main goal of this organization is to celebrate and teach students about the different cultures present throughout the student body.
Gables Flags is now working alongside Interact and the ESOL department to create activities and events to celebrate the diversity at the school. To teach students about different countries and cultures, they initiated “Cultural Monday”. Once a month the club will have a day designated “Cultural Monday” and will host an event after school where students can learn from guest speakers and participate in different activities. On Oct. 30, the Peruvian Vice-Consul, Bertha Lopez, came to talk to students about the festivities that occur in Peru’s version of Halloween, “El Día de los Muertos”. To celebrate a cultural Halloween, students designed and decorated skulls and were told to write a message that remind others of the unique festivities that other Latin American countries have. The next Cultural Monday will take place on Nov. 27, where the head of marketing for Burger King, Chris Finazzo, will come and talk to students about globalization.
“Gables Flags seems like a great way for students who have recently moved from another country to feel like they’re not alone and it helps them get more involved at Gables,” senior Anthony Oropesa said.
Thanks to Gables Flags, students can now participate in Flag Day, a day in which they are allowed to wear clothing that represents their culture. The club is also working to inform students through their Instagram and other social media about what is going on in the school and ways that they can become more involved. In addition, their social media pages are translating reminders sent out by the school in order to more effectively communicate with those who are not fluent in English.
“I feel that Gables Flags benefits our school because it lets other kids become aware of how many cultures we have in our school and it can give us the chance to learn and find out more about other people’s cultures,” sophomore Giancarlos Carballea said.
Paula and all members of the club are working effortlessly to break the language and cultural barrier between students. Since she had a difficult time adapting to the U.S. she hopes her organization will make it easier for those who have recently arrived from other countries to adapt to the school and to Miami. They are now working to spread their initiative through upcoming presentations in ESOL classes and other school clubs so students can become more aware of how diversified Gables really is.