By Todd Martin
Special to the Daily Herald
Spanish students at Liberty Hill Middle School combined culture and commerce in a Latin American fair Thursday.
Students prepared displays featuring various Hispanic countries and acted as ambassadors to convince other students to visit their country.
Culture, climate and cost figured into the displays for Ecuador, Cuba, Honduras, Chile and other Caribbean and Central and South American countries.
In addition, the school orchestra provided Latin music, theater classes filled out forms showing the best costumes and displays, art students prepared banners and life management students completed projects with recyclable material.
The fair, said Spanish teacher Marilyn Alago united the elective classes and allowed her students to display information they learned throughout the year.
Kiovanni Huddlen, part of the group that studied Cuba, said the island country is a Communist nation of 11 million people with miles of beaches and interesting museums.
She prepared Cuban-style baby-back ribs, which were quickly eaten.
Kashari Williams, Tasia Rembert and Kenneth Spiller used signs to reach out to peers to see their display of Paraguay.
While a plane ticket will cost a minimum of $1,600, Williams said, seeing the beautiful Iguassu Falls in a tropical climate that averages 75 degrees makes the cost worthwhile, she said.
The trio said the project was an enjoyable one and challenging, especially spending the day presenting their facts.
"My mom said that's how real work is and we didn't understand, but now we do," Williams said, in reference to the repeated presentations throughout the day.
Nathaniel Shearer and Ashley Donaldson tried to convince participants to visit the tiny tropical country of Belize, which they said was a bargain with flight tickets as low as $634.
Forests, Mayan temple ruins and an unusual underwater sinkhole draw tourists to the country, Shearer said in his presentation.
Alyssa Babbs, working with four partners on a project about Ecuador, said the project allowed her to find out unusual facts about her country and provided a chance to teach others.
She said Ecuador uses the American dollar, giving it a draw for tourists even though a flight ticket costs $1,300 and the flight time is 27 hours.
The Ecuador group handed out fried plantains, a fruit Babbs said she had not heard of prior to the project.