On Friday, March 5, over 100 students from six different schools in New Mexico assembled virtually for the 12th Annual Spanish Model United Nations Conference. The conference provides a unique opportunity for students learning Spanish to establish meaningful connections with other schools while developing powerful life skills like public speaking, debate strategies, negotiation, and expository writing—todo en español.
During the conference, eight student committees worked arduously for over three hours debating, negotiating, and writing resolutions on three topics:
COVID-19 and its consequences on the current educational crisis and social inequality
Climate change and its effects on health
Human trafficking and its effects on the migrant female population
“I am so very proud of all our 37 students who participated in the conference. They poured their hearts and souls into this project,” said Ms. Rekow. “I was impressed by our students' poise, level of preparation, and particularly this year, their unwavering commitment to the conference as it happened during a non-school day and was held virtually.”
Leading up to the conference, students prepared for Spanish Model UN by spending countless hours on intensive research and practice of the parliamentary procedure both in class and during Ms. Rekow’s Club Modelo Naciones Unidas sessions. Their hard work paid off. This year, Bosque School received three awards for Best Delegate. They went to Kate ‘21 and Mary ‘21 representing Sweden, Victoria ‘21 representing China, and Finn ‘21 representing Vietnam. In the words of Ms. Rekow, “¡Me quito el sombrero ante todos y cada uno de ellos!”
Gabby, a Bosque School senior, has participated in every Spanish Model UN for the last four years. “Through my experiences, I have learned a lot about the importance of confidence and communication,” she explained. “In order to come up with proper solutions to real-life crises, you need to be able to partner up with your country’s ‘allies,’ and usually they are students from another school.” Along with coming up with solutions to different crises with the help of other countries, debating with students from other schools is one of her favorite aspects of the experience. “I’ve made a lot of good friends through Spanish Model UN.”
This year, the conference was held online thanks to Jonathan Seyfried, President of Model UN New Mexico. The keynote speaker was Dr. Dora Careaga-Coleman, a Bosque School parent, author, activist, and professor at UNM. Many of the volunteer moderators are those from our own Bosque School community, including alum Helen Wagner ‘20, Spanish teachers Alma Campuzano, Denise Gleason, Cascade Lineback, Eduardo Aleixandre, and teaching assistants, Rachel Hanselmann and Jacob Chavez.
Helen '20 shared, "Participating in Model UN both as the delegate and the moderator has taught me how to have respectful debates over hard issues and discuss with others in a way that challenges ideas. Especially now, I think that debating response plans to crises such as the pandemic and overpopulation presents a new way to think about the issues at hand."
Even though this project requires a tremendous amount of work behind the scenes, Ms. Rekow believes that it is worth all the time and effort invested, because it greatly aligns with our mission, "to create transformative learning experiences that empower a diverse community of students to lead lives of intellectual curiosity, personal integrity, and compassionate contribution to a more just world."