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Peruvian Students Teach Dance in Cultural Exchange

Six Peruvian students from Chaclacayo, Peru, recently visited the Snoqualmie Valley, from January 28 through February 26, on a cultural exchange sponsored by the Snoqualmie Sister City Association (SSCA).

During a month-long visit, the students lived with local “host” families who offered home life experiences and new friendships. In addition to attending Mount Si High School, the students took field trips to Seattle, Olympia and Snoqualmie Pass. Highlights included Super Bowl parties, playing in the snow -- sledding and snowboarding, volunteering at a local food bank, visiting Microsoft, hiking, bowling, and other Mid-winter Break activities their families may have planned.

When asked what has been their favorite part of the trip, several of the Peruvian students quickly agreed that their host families were the best part of their experience. The most surprising discovery was seeing snow for the first time – during which they had a couple “snow days” to get fully immersed in the experience! (Chaclacayo is situated in a desert climate where rainfall is rare.)

While learning about life in the United States, the students also shared information about their lives and culture in Peru. As a special treat, they demonstrated lively dance skills and rhythm through traditional performances at schools and City Hall (pictured below) wearing their colorful costumes.

Peruvian students dancing at City Hall.

At North Bend Elementary, the students performed several Peruvian dances at a school assembly February 10, then returned the next week to actually teach the dances to students during PE classes. See photos below from these lessons.Special thanks to students Cecilia, Mariel, Yael, Maria, Zulei and Fernando for sharing their energy, culture and passion for Peru with our community.
 Peruvian dance lessons 1  Peruvian dance lessons 2
 Peruvian dance lessons 3  Peruvian dance lesson 4
 Peruvian dance lesson 5  Peruvian dance lesson 6

For more information and photos from exchanges with cities in Peru and South Korea, visit the Snoqualmie Sister City Association Facebook page at: Consider hosting an exchange student in the future and explore opportunities for Snoqualmie Valley students to travel abroad through these established local programs.