Faculty Spotlight: Maestra Vandria Guerrieri.
Beginning on September 15, and continuing through to October 15, we recognize National Hispanic Heritage Month by honoring the heritage and contributions made by members of the Hispanic community. It is a great time to learn more about Hispanic cultures such as politics, business, the arts, sports, fashion, and cuisine, etc. Embracing the history and traditions of another culture not only broadens your knowledge, but it also teaches appreciation of other people and their customs.
We talked with Maestra to get to know her better and to learn more about her culture.
St. Luke's: What is your name?
Maestra Guerrieri: Vandria Itzel Guerrieri Valinotti
SL:   Where are you from and how long did you live there?
Maestra:   I was born in Mexico, I moved to Argentina when I was 21 to graduate from college faster. I moved to Denmark for my first job as an ESL teacher, then to Germany to get certified as a German teacher and then back to Mexico.
SL:   What are your hobbies and interests?
Maestra:   I like to swim, attend sporting events and learn new languages. I'm learning French right now.
SL:   What was your reason for moving to the US?
Maestra:   Both me and my husband were interested in getting to know American culture and its people.
SL:   What is the worst thing about living in the US?
Maestra:   Being far from friends and relatives.
SL:   What family traditions did you have growing up?
Maestra:   September was like a carnival growing up, we would celebrate our independence day, review our ancient history, and attend open air festivals the entire month. My family would have a great time with amazing food.
SL:   Define and describe the most important (or most celebrated) holiday of your culture.
Maestra:   September 15 Mexican independence day, but I'd have to also mention October 12 is the most relevant day for the hispanic culture, since we celebrate the Indigenous resistance day.
SL:   How is physical contact viewed in your culture?
Maestra:   We hug and kiss every time we greet and say goodbye to each other. In South America, that applies to both man-woman and man to man interactions.
SL:   What is considered most disrespectful in your culture?
Maestra:   To pass near someone without greeting them.
To enter a room without greeting the people in it.
SL:   What is considered most respectful in your culture?
Maestra:   To say “Buen provecho” to someone who is eating, even if you don't know them.
SL:   What types of foods were cooked for special occasions when you were growing up?
Maestra:   Memelas as breakfast, chalupas and pozole for September celebrations.
SL:   What do you consider to be traditional music where you are from?
Maestra:   We are really attached to precolombina sounds, and unconventional self made instruments, but cumbia, bachatas, tango and mariachis are some of my favorite genres.
SL:   Describe the traditional way that people in your culture dress for regular and special occasions?
Maestra:   Accessories for women are colorful, made out of wood, stone or crystal.
SL:   What is a unique belief that people from your community have?
Maestra:   If you sneeze 3 times in a row, the person you are in love with is thinking about you, so you have to text him/her right away.
If someone spills salt on the table, you have to grab a pinch and throw it over your shoulder for good luck.
SL:   What are the three most important things that people should know about your culture?
Maestra:   Latin America is very proud of its indigenous roots and its hard working people.
SL:   Why is Hispanic Heritage Month so important?
Maestra:   It helps give Americans perspective about our traditions and people with similar roots.
Thanks Maestra  for helping St. Luke's celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month!