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Bilingualism Across the U.S.

Kids go Bilingual is re-posting this great article about Bilingualism Across the U.S. and great information is always a pressure to share.

BestCollege.com is a very informative and educational site. Check it out!

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10 Proven Brain Benefits of Being Bilingual

Kids go Bilingual is re-posting this great article about 10 Proven Brain Benefits of Being Bilingual and great information is always a pressure to share.

BestCollege.com is a very informative and educational site. Check it out!

10 Proven Brain Benefits of Being Bilingual



These days, attaining fluency in two or more languages looks fabulous on college and job applications and presents opportunities in numerous corners of life completely denied to the monolingual. Old or young, however, bilingual individuals enjoy some decidedly physiological rewards for their linguistic capabilities, which aren’t always immediately noticeable. Come to find out, the human body’s most important organ receives generous stimulation from soaking up multiple tongues as well. So before griping about that mandatory foreign language course, take a look at some of the most excellent things that could happen after mastering one.

STAVES OFF DEMENTIA
Bilingual individuals with Alzheimer’s take twice as long to develop symptoms as their monolingual counterparts, and scientists at St. Michael’s Hospital believe a distinct correlation exists between language development and delayed dementia. However, the symptoms between both demographics remained equally destructive; the only difference lay in the amount of damage needed for them to materialize. The prevailing hypothesis regarding why this phenomenon occurs involves how the multilingual mind strengthens itself by switching between tongues, which bolsters brain function overall.

IMPROVED COGNITIVE SKILLS
In general, the bilingual tend to enjoy far sharper cognitive skills, keeping the brain constantly active and alert even when only one language prevails. Studies conducted on preschoolers revealed that those capable of speaking multiple languages performed far better on sorting puzzles, both in speed and success. Their ability to strike a balance and switch between different “modes,” as it were, eased the transition between various tasks with swapped out goals. Categorizing shapes by color and form, specifically, even if the denoted form sports a different color than that of the bin.

HEIGHTENED CREATIVITY
Learning a new language as either a child or an adult greatly benefits those pursuing creative careers or hobbies. Even the more technical still get something amazing out of the bargain, however, as bilingualism still nurtures the “outside-the-box” thinking necessary for sharp problem solving and innovation. Numerous studies linking acumen in multiple languages and creativity exist, and this one by Texas Women’s University stands as one of the clearest, straightforward examples.
EASIER TIME FOCUSING ON TASKS
When presented with distractions, the bilingual individuals studied by York University maneuvered them more adroitly and displayed heightened concentration on their assignments than the monolingual. The specific languages spoken held no influence over this mental flexibility; anyone fluent in more than one tongue reaps these cognitive rewards. However, some evidence exists that knowing two or more with structural similarities to one another might offer up a slight advantage.
GREATER CONTROL OVER LITERACY SKILLS
York University also noted improvements in literacy and literacy skill acquisition in bilingual children. “Metalinguistic” abilities, which promote a more intimate understanding of verbal and non-verbal communication, receive the biggest boost here. Such abilities do come at cost on the front end, however, as language acquisition in multilingual individuals does progress at a slightly slower pace.
HEIGHTENED ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS
University of Pompea Fabra researchers noted that their subjects fluent in one or more languages seem to express a much higher degree of environmental awareness. Essentially, this means their ability to process and “monitor” external stimuli sharpens alongside their verbal abilities. Because they must toggle between tongues, the bilingual’s brains come fine-tuned to pick up on subtleties and patterns both on and off the page.
EASIER TIME SWITCHING BETWEEN TASKS
As many of these other studies have no doubt already proven, the bi- and multilingual out there can brag that their brains multitask like a dream. Obviously, this directly ties into their sharpened cognitive skills resulting from bouncing back and forth between languages; which they do even when they’re only using one daily. Being able to switch off distractions with greater aplomb than the monolingual certainly doesn’t hurt the mental gear shifting, either.
DENSER GREY MATTER
Most of the brain consists of gray matter, which is responsible for dictating intelligence, particularly when it comes to acquiring and processing language, dictating attention spans, and establishing and storing memories. The bilingual possess more gray matter at a higher density than monolingual counterparts, and a team from Wellcome Department of Imaging and Neuroscience noted that the left hemisphere enjoyed more nervous loving than the right, thought the latter certainly doesn’t get left out of the festivities. Seeing as how the left side impacts language skills, it makes perfect sense that it’d come out a little thicker in the end.
FASTER RESPONSE TIME
When learning more about bilingualism and the brain, York University researchers noted that individuals who spoke both English and Tamil answered questions faster than those only fluent in the former. Understandable, considering how multilingualism acts as a sort of cognitive steroid dialing up the brain’s Six Million Dollar Man potential. Scientists tested the phenomenon using a series of non-verbal reasoning questions between groups of similarly-educated individuals from more or less homogenous backgrounds.
HIGHER SCORES ON INTELLIGENCE TESTS
Crush together the swelling creativity, greater multitasking, generous environmental awareness, and other hallmarks of bilingualism and it probably comes as                 little surprise that speakers typically score higher on intelligence tests. Studies conducted in 1974 and 1986 dissected the phenomenon using both verbal and                       non-verbal measures. Everything seems to boil down to “greater intellectual flexibility” in general, with the language centers of the brain receiving an all-                             around power up the more a thinker engages with different tongues.

BabylonNYC

Raising a Happily Bilingual Child

Latin and Spanish Mom group and other friends participated in a wonderful and very educational seminar called “Raising a Happily Bilingual Child” for parents and caregivers who are in the journey of raising kids bilingual or multilingual. Living in a country and state (New York, USA) where we have a great diversity of  cultures and languages, it seems very awkward  to find yourself alone when you are raising bilingual and multilingual kids.

It takes a lot research, money in some cases, consistancy and support to achieve success.  All this is like having another job, a job that so many of us take it to heart and try to do everything is necessary to not give up and surrender our self to the long, consuming and consistent work that raising bilingual/kids takes.

How many times have you being put down for talking to your kids in your own native language by spouses, family members, friends or stranger making you feel that you are so rude. It takes a lot courage, selfesteem and will power to  continue doing it. How many have given up? How many families has lost their traditions and language because the lack of understanding, preparation and support of a community of like-minded parents can give to each other. How many adults wish their parents has not given up and stick to it?  In my journey of raising my 3 years old daughter, I have encounter so many of the above and being sadden by it. All I can hope and ask God is to have the strength and willpower to continue with my passion and love to share my culture and language to my daughter and inspire others to do the same.

“Raising a Happily Bilingual Child”, a Parent Education Workshop presented by Ute Keyes founder of BabylonNYC was a seminar that open our eyes to great information and allow us to share with like-minded parents tips, information, solutions to their problems and a lot support.

BABYlon! provides a one-stop basic theoretical overview and a comprehensive practical plan to empower parents and caregivers with the know-how to tackle the goal of raising multilingual children. BABYlon will equip caregivers with the knowledge they need to know for a successful transition into the journey of language acquiring, effortlessly and effectively, through workshops and lectures. Online resources and network opportunities with peers as well as one-on-one consulting are also available.

You can find an amazing resource of information at their website BabylonNYC and follow their FaceBook updates. These are very valuable resources and give us strength to our everyday journey.

Ute Keyes shared with us some great tips on our workshop, I highly recommend to book a workshop for your daycare, school, community and library or look at their calendar for the closest event in town.  Ute Keyes will be sharing with us what are the myths and misconceptions we face. Are these myths true?

How true are all the negative stories?  Misconceptions, Myths, and Prejudice

We all have heard it from our mother-in-law, well-meaning friends, our neighbor, etc.:  raising a child multilingual is bad. Raising a child multilingual makes for a hot topic. Everybody seems to have an opinion. Well let’s look at the most mentioned myths and misconceptions:

Myth 1: You only confuse your child: Research has proven that your child will in no way be confused growing up multilingual per se. Our brain is designed to handle many languages.

Having said that, it is absolutely possible that YOU confuse your child by changing languages and language strategies or by mixing languages. With the right knowledge and a consistent strategy you never need to worry about confusing your child.

FACT: While languages heard consistently in the first year are stored in a pre-designed area in the left hemisphere of the brain, all later languages are stored in the right hemisphere.

Myth 2: More than two languages doesn’t work: While bilingual children are the most common, research has proven up to 4 languages to work without any problem. 4 languages occur usually in a family with parents of different native languages, an environment/country that provides a third and a school that provides a fourth.

Myth 3: Learn one language properly first: The earlier you expose your child to more languages the better. There are many advantages to early exposure to language. So waiting for your child to speak the first language “properly” is a waste of time and makes it harder from him.

Myth4: You child will only mix languages: Indeed, you can expect your child to temporarily mix languages up to the age of 4, using vocabulary that is most easily available. In short: mixing languages is a natural step in learning multiple languages.  This is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about—as long as you don’t mix languages.  Assuming you don’t mix languages and your toddler does, you can help your child and provide the right word(s) by repeating the sentence, e.g. in a form of a question using the same correct vocabulary your child was using.

Myth 5: Children are little sponges and you don’t need to do much: Yes, kids pick up languages fast but successful multilingualism doesn’t just happen. You probably wouldn’t have come to this seminar if you believed otherwise. It is work, requires knowledge, a personal plan, organization, consistency. Yes, kids are sponges but you need to provide the “liquid”. Motivation, instruction, and practice are important for learning a second language.

Myth 6: Stop teaching when your pediatrician tells you: Sometimes families stopped raising their child multilingual because their pediatrician told them it would be better for their child speech development, stuttering problems, dyslexia, etc. Most developmental issues are NOT related to multilingualism, numerous studies have proven the point. So, before you drop a language, ask a specialist and get a second opinion.

Myth 7: Multilingual children have worse academic results in school: Multilingual children either do just as well as monolinguals or in fact, better in school. The data proves it.

Myth 8:  A parent must be bilingual to raise her child bilingual: Monolingual parents can raise their child bilingual. It is just a matter of exposing the child to an appropriate amount of the second language. A foreign speaking babysitter is a wonderful way to introduce a second language. You even can join your child and learn that language, too!

Myth 9: If a child doesn’t speak English by Kindergarten, she will have difficulty in school: A child can adapt and learn languages well beyond 5 years of age. Yes, earlier is better, experts agree, but you don’t have to abandon the idea of having a bilingual family/child if you haven’t started the journey early. The experts believe that the ability to learn multiple languages declines slowly until puberty. At that point learning languages is harder (don’t we know it all from high school?). Languages learned after puberty are not “mother tongues” any more. Ute Keyes, BabylonNYC founder.


What I got out of this workshop?


CONSISTENCY is one of the most important tip that came up all the time in our conversation.

Consistency, Consistency, Consistency that is the key to success.

BEING POLITE with others by letting them know that you only speak to your child/children in that language and THANKS them for understanding and not being judgmental.

CREATE A LANGUAGE EMOTIONAL BOND while teaching a specific language. Parents who didn’t expose to their kids to their language as infants and now they don’t know how to start will  benefit from this. So many times and most of the time kids refuse to learn a  language if they don’t  feel a connection. Do something fun with them so it creates a space for you to teach your child and they will be more open to it.  Some kids get very upset when their parents try to speak another language to them out of the blue and refuse to be part of it.

FIND PEOPLE AND GROUPS who share same interest and language, organize play dates. Kids will get expose to other environments, people and be more open to speak the language with their little friends.

HAVE FUN, HAVE FUN, HAVE FUN! Traditional and methodical ways of teaching are boring and stressful , this does not work.  Just let them being kids and have fun with every activity they do all the time!  Languages ares fun and not a chore!

The Struggles of Raising Bilingual Children

My husband speaks Spanish and English while I speak only English.  I can understand some Spanish but not enough to have my household be soley a Spanish-speaking household.  Hence the need for a bilingual household.

While language is on the top of the list of things of importance for our children we often struggle to keep it as a priority.   We find it all to easy to resort back to English.  It makes things easier.  When speaking Spanish it takes much time to get things accomplished.  A simple task now turns into a major task due to the time spent translating and trying to understand what needs done. Unfortunately we often want to try to make things go faster and the second language is thrown out the window.

Another struggle we have is with comprehension.  My in laws are much more comfortable with Spanish than English.  Due to this the kids have trouble understanding them and visa versa.  If we could put more focus on learning Spanish we could overcome this obstacle and allow our families to connect even more.

Statistics show that the US has the 5th largest Spanish speaking population.  Over 12% of the population speaks Spanish, even more in NY.  Te benefits of being bilingual are far above that of speaking another language. “The bilingual brain develops more densely, giving it an advantage in various abilities and skills”.  What mom wouldn’t want their children to be smarter?  What mom wouldn’t do whatever it takes?

All in all we need to buckle down and get language back on the front burner.  I need my husband to speak more Spanish in the house, if not only Spanish.  I know I will get frustrated and confused but I should take this as a learning opportunity for myself as well as the kids.  The kids come first.

Some other steps we are taking are attending a weekly book reading done in Spanish as well as a weekly Spanish class for the kids.  I am excited to get back into raising our children to be bilingual.   Who knows, maybe we will add some other languages into the mix!

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My favorite, healthy and yummy Ecuadorian snack!

Ecuador is a country full of diversity in flora, fauna and agriculture. Ecuador is located in South America on the Equator Line. Its climate allows us to find a wide selections of fruits, vegetables, beans and grains.

Growing in a country rich of diversity and natural resources eating healthy was natural, common and not an effort.  Natural, fresh and non-process food are cheaper than process food.  Cuisine is rich in veggies, fruits, grains, nuts, beans and wild veggies and flowers.

After Bolivia’s, La Paz, Quito is the second highest capital city at 2,850 meters and lies 25 kms south of the equator. Even though Quito is located at a high altitude of  9,350 feet. Quito doesn’t suffer of very cold and harsh temperatures because it is close to the equator. What makes it rich in diversity

Quito’s and other  Andes cities’s cuisine  have a higher consumptions of potatoes, corn, beans, grains, nuts, fermented food, hot soups and coladas ( hot cereals made of grains flour).

One of my favorite snack that “thanks God”…I am able to prepare in America is “Tostado and Chochos” Toasted Corn and Lupini Beans. You can find the dry corn and chochos at the local Spanish market.  I get it at Compare and Food.  But, you can also find it on nuts on-line site.

The first time I made it, my husband loved it so much that ask for it all the time. Now, it has become on of those snack that doesnt last more than 3  days. Even dough  I make over 2 pounds of it!

To make roasted corn, Put in a pot a little of oil, I personally love Coconut Oil because of its health benefits and it is the best cooking oil. Once the corn is in the pot with a wood table spoon you have to stir it and be-careful. It pops! My daughter calls it PopCorn. Do not let it sit otherwise it will burn.

To make: Chochos. Soak the beans in a bowl with water for 48hours with a little salt. Then, cook  the beans until it is “Al Dente” then let it soak for 5 days with salt to take the bitterness away. You have to change the water of the bowl every day until you try it and it is not bitter anymore.

Now, It is ready to eat!  Add salt at your own taste, lemon, olive oil and enjoy!

In Quito. We add roasted corn to soups, creams and shrimp coctails, but moslty we eat it with chochos and encebollado (onion salad with tomatoes and parsley). Yeah! It is delicious!

A healthy snack you can make at home any time without spending too much time and money. You will be saving thousands of dollars on junk foods. But the most important thing is “you are being a role model for your kids to eat home cooked meals made with love surround family”

Try it and let me know how you do!

Trinity and her passion

Using technology as a learning tool.

Before I had my daughter, I used to be one of those moms, who had the strong believe “I won’t let my child watch TV or play computer”.  I thought I was going to be able to keep my girl busy with art, reading, playing time and nap.

I used to unconsciously  judge moms who lets their kids watch TV.  But, I never really put in perspective that “It is not about the technology, It is about your educated choice to use technology to your own benefit in any area of your life”.

The first time I considered to let her watched TV is when I saw the infomercial for “Your Baby Can Read”  and learned a little bit more about that part of the brain and the importance to build up information for the first 5 years of her life. So, I bought the DVD series and books. Trinity started the program at 3 months old. She loved it. When she turned 11 months and started walking and moving she didn’t want to do anything with it. Not even the books she loved so much. I relate to the fact she was starting to be very active and that was more fascinated than being watching the videos.

Then, Thanks to our Library programs were they offered a “Signing time for babies” and my interest in “American Sign Language”  we started to rent the “Signing Time DVD’s” with Rachel and Hopkins until I purchased the whole series.

Since then, Trinity has being watching  the DVD’s and dance their CD’s.  She ask for them every day. She has a very good vocabulary in ASL for her age.

Does she watch TV in front of it and freeze?  No, She plays, paints and read a book to the cats. I don’t know what she says but she tell something to them.

Is she sedentary and not play or move around? No, She is unstoppable

Is she not into art and music? No, She loves anything with art-craft, paint and mold.

Does all she wants to do is watch TV? No, she can spend hours and hours with her play-dough, water colors, dancing and petting her cats.

Is TV affecting her wellbeing and intelligence? I don’t think so.

I have use technology in a positive way to impact my daughter’s life.

Technology ( TV’s, computer, video games, and gadgets ) is not the problem. The problem become when we use technology as a replacement of family time, sitter, personal time and brain wash with destructive choices that do not benefit our kids and future generations in any way.

Beside, “Your Baby can read” and “Signing Time”, I have created a YouTube Channel Raising a Child Bilingual with collection videos of Spanish/Italian music ( classic songs and children games that are so hard to find and are not known in America ) some flash cards and educational material I have found very usable on-line. I use this channel to play music that I used to play with when I was a child. It brings great memories.

On her 2nd birthday, a friend gave her the “cookie monster’s DVD” and she loved it since. But, my problem is that my goal is to raise my daughter bilingual and it has being very hard to do this when all the material available is  in English and it is hard to find a wide selection of Spanish DVDs, children movies, educational children books and material.

Originally, I opened Latin and Spanish Mom Group in Long Island, NY where the mayority is monolingual ( english ). Few non-Spanish and few Spanish members get together, not as often as I would like, to help expose our kids to our culture and language.  When you live in a community monolingual you find it very hard to raise your kid bilingual, specially when our spouses are monolingual or speak another language other than Spanish and English. Even every day activities and social events are shared in a monolingual community. So, it gets harder and harder if you don’t find social and/or technology support.

It has being well known that to learn a language and culture you have to immerse yourself in it. That is how I have learnt English for the past 11 years and I can guarantee you that “if you don’t keep the language you forget it, even if you were born with it”. It is happening to me and so many others.

So, YES. I would use technology in a heart bit to help me immerse my daughter into my language and culture.  Using technology with a commom sense, open mind, integrity and respect can help us to do more for our kids and their future.

“IT IS NOT TECHNOLOGY THE RESPONSIBLE, YOU ARE THE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN CHOICES”

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Feliz Ano Nuevo! Adios! to the Old Year and Hola! to the New Year!

My number one favorite holiday is New Year’s Eve and New Years Day.

As I mentioned  in my article before “Noche Buena y Navidad” in Quito-Ecuador the whole month of December is full of festivities and nothing can close so perfectly the year with the New Years’s Eve celebration.

The whole country invest a lot time and some money to say “Bye Bye” to the Ano Viejo, Old Year and give a magical and inspirational welcome to the Ano Nuevo, New Year.  When you walk through the big cities and even the smallest villages, you will find vendors with original hand made masks and dolls of differents themes, characters, personalities and a wide variety of imagination.

Pics by Iragination

These masks are made to be worn during the last day of the Ano Viejo. In Quito-Ecuador, like many areas in the country people dress up and wear costumes (It is like the biggest Halloween in USA).  Parties are hossted everywhere. The biggest and more elaborated dolls and scenes are in the most popular avenues in the cities where people congregate to admire the wonderful and extraordinary work from many handicraftsman.

Pic by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nopiedra/2179904150/

Even when you walk in simple and ordinary rural areas you will see many homes with their own Ano viejo dolls.   At midnight these dolls, mask and big show are torn apart, people step on, hit them and burn them, Yes, We burn them!  The country is in actual fire at midnight. People are on the streets or  mostly everyone is home doing the same with family and friends.

What is the meaning of burning these so well elaborated dolls and crafts?  Well, The dolls and masks represent the old year and by burning them the believe is that you are destroying and burning all the bad negativity, sadness, mediocrity, hopeless, sickness  and drama from the last year and you are welcoming the new year from ashes. Ashes are a great symbol in mostly all spiritual cultures for fresh and spiritual beginnings and greatness.

Pics by James “Long Beach Spanish Language Meetup.com group”

Wait, there is more a lot more!

Pic by:http://www.flickr.com/photos/mmoorr/352496594/

There are so many traditions to end the Ano Viejo and welcome the Ano Nuevo.  At my home we try to do them all and if you try to find any of us after the holidays you will find us at home and getting ready for the Ano Viejo. Why would I be home?  Well our tradition is the following, most people do the same adding or skipping things. Like I mentioned before “THIS IS MY FAVORITE PART OF THE YEAR”. So, what do WE do?

  1. Home has to be totally clean! that means totally..no short cuts. We start de-cluttering and organizing the whole house. Every cabinet, every cosset, every shelf is done. Cloths that has not being used is given away to charity. Cloths that are damage become the cloths for the ano viejo dolls.
  2. The Kitchens, Garages and Attics are re-organized.
  3. Laundry is wash, dry, folded and put away.
  4. We write a letter to the old year with the old bad things that happened to us and we are grateful for all the great things that year gave us. We burn that letter at midnight with the Ano Viejo.
  5. We prepare a candle ceremony with flowers, crystals, sweets, coffee beans, grains and water bowl. We light up 7 to 12 candles. Each candle had a wish and/or thank you.  The candles are of different colors that represent different areas in your life. YELLOW=PROSPERITY, RED=LOVE (marriage couple), PINK=LOVE (single couple), GREEN=WISDOM, BLUE=PEACE AND MEDITATION, PURPLE=SPIRITUAL.
  6. We eat 12 grapes. Each grape is a wish for each month of the year.
  7. We through money facing backward to the streets.
  8. Put new rice in a crystal bowl and put money in it. We keep this bowl  the whole year and every change  we put it in there. At the end of the year we donate it or use it in helping others.
  9. Pack a luggage and run the block with it. That will bring “traveling experience” to our new year.
  10. Wear brand new underwear for the new year. Using the same color coding as the candles. I love to wear Yellow and Red!

Many other traditions are done in different families, towns, and Latin countries.

What I love about New Year. It is a new and fresh start. New begginigs and new hopes!  If you miss to do something special for this new year, don’t wait until next new year. Do it in the Chinese  New Year (February 3rd  Golden Rabbit Year)  , Gnostic New Year ( February 4rd Aquarius Age), Jewish New Year ( September 28th-30th)

Happy and have a great New Year!

God Bless all!

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La Noche Buena y La Navidad.

The Holidays brings great memories and anecdotes to my heart.

The decoration, food, Pesebles Nativity scenes, Villancicos and Fundas de Caramelo Candy bags are just few things I personally miss a lot and would love my daughter to live it one day.


In Quito-Ecuador, December is a month of pure celebrations. It start the first week with the Independencia de Quito December 6th 1534  where the whole city is already in the festivity mood.

After this celebration, Quito start preparing and decorating the city for  La Noche Buena y La Navidad. Everyone get the famous Christmas tree and decorate it with ribbons,  color lights, pictures, traditional and folkloric ornaments.

The most elaborated and favorite things to decorate and that every member of the family get involve is El Pesebre, The Nativity.

Every year this was my favorite!  Every Catholic Christian family have El Nino Jesus, Baby Jesus ceramic figurine with beautiful clothes that are pretty much hand made with gorgeous details, gems stones and  decorations.

The Christmas festivities start with La Novena December 15 to December 24.  The Novena is a public gatherings of prayer, hymns, religious poetry accompanied by incense and hot chocolate and cookies. They can be done at the local church, but pretty much every neighborhood has selected homes where they host La Novena.

At my Catholic School, we used to do La Novena every morning before classes. It was a great way to start the day, with music, meditation, prayers and little shows.

On December 24th the whole country start celebrating with the traveling Infant Child, the Pase del Nino Viajero. It’s an all day affair, with a parade that illustrates the journey of Joseph and Mary. Led by the guiding star, and accompanied by angels, the Three Kings, officials, shepherds and huge numbers of costumed children.  After a whole day of celebrating families get together to celebrate the last day of the Novena at home and prepare an elaborate dinner that is it eaten before midnight. Yeah..at midnight!

What we usually have for dinner is a Big turkey, stuff with raisins, walnuts, almonds, grapes, pineapple, apples, grounded beef, spices and more. Green Salads, Potatoes Salads, Corn,beets,onions and green beans Salad with a mayonesse dressing. Cream Soups, my favorite was tomato! For dessert we would have pristinos, carrot cake, humitas, quimbolitos, morocho rice milk, higos figs with cheese and Jello.

At midnight  La Misa del Gallo attracts huge numbers. This mass is a lenghty affair. and when everyone come back home  it is Navidad!,  Once the children are asleep, parents leave their presents at the foot of their beds.

In Navidad mostly everyone is in family and celebrating with music, food and games. In my family we usually used to play cards. One of my Grandfather’s favorite.

This memories are so precious and unforgettable to me. This  is the main reason I created  Latin and Spanish Mom

So, Now I hope with the years I can keep this traditions and memories alive with the help of my comunity, friends and family.

Hope you had a wonderful holiday and please let us know how you celebrated your holidays!

DCIM100MEDIA

It is time for Spain!

Every month we will be learning from a different country, so September was a month we dedicated to learn about SPAIN. Spain is called “La Madre Patria” “The Mother Land”

To keep the kids interested in learning spanish we do activites that involve art, dance, music and craft. Everytime we get together we go over the colors, numbers and more.

We divided the month in 4 weeks and each week we had a different activity and vocabulary according to the country and culture.

HOW WE DID IT.
FIRST WEEK: We drew the map and flag, then we colored it. This week we went over the Colors.


SECOND WEEK: We cut paper for the rivers and shaped clay for the montains. We used Nature’s words.


THIRD WEEK: We added the animals that live in the Land and Ocean. The kids love to put the animal foam stickers all over the map.


FOURTH WEEK: We added people and their cars.

The activities are so simple that all kids enjoy it and learn from it. And YES, We had a lot fun. Nothing like having a great group of moms with the same goal!

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For families separated by distance and time this is a great gift!

I got the opportunity to review a recordable storybook from Hallmark called “Bright and Beautiful”. A very great book and a must have. The book has very easy and simple instructions how to recorder it and keep your memories forever.

I cannot wait to get books in different languages! A Spanish and Italian book will be great to have for this holidays!