Spring break is often dominated by dreams of white sand beaches, pristine oceans and fruity drinks. This spring break however, 15 of El Paso's finest will be travelling to the United Kingdom, Ireland and Wales, countries characterized by fascinating national heritage, intricate antique architecture, and lots of rain. Between March 11 and 19, these students, accompanied by Spanish teacher Ruby Gonzalez-Rey, will abandon the desert and embrace the rain, hoping to take in the sights and enjoy all the amenities the green highlands have to offer.
Rey said that she always looks forward to such trips, because it gives the students a chance to see the world with a fresh set of eyes, and open themselves up to other ways of life.
"I started traveling with my students because I really enjoy seeing all the students explore different countries and watch their world view expand," Rey said. "Especially the adventures of being on the plane, perhaps for the first time, and meeting different people from new places. It's really inspiring and it's a really good experience for my students."
Rey said that she believes travelling to be a powerful motivator for her students future success.
"This benefits my students because it encourages them to do things like actually look for a job over the summer so they can travel next year and continue traveling," Rey said. "When they travel with me for the first time, they want to continue traveling. They see one part of the world and they want to see and experience more."
Junior Jerad Kays said he's always wanted to go on a trip to Europe, and that getting a job has given him a means to finance this trip.
"I'm pretty close to Ms. Rey and I've been wanting to do this since freshman year," Kays said. "I am able to do it now because I have a job and I can pay for it myself. I'm Irish so I've always wanted to go to Ireland, not to mention it's really beautiful there."
Junior Annie Johnson said that she's eager to embark on the trip and expose herself to unique customs.
"I'm very excited to travel to the UK, Ireland, and Wales," Johnson said. "I think it will make me a more well rounded person, because I will be able to see and understand other cultures better."
Kays said that he hopes to learn more about the distinct folklore and ideologies of the countries they'll be visiting.
"I want to learn a lot about their lifestyle because I've never been to any of these places," Kays said. "I know their cultures are different from ours, and I want to absorb these differences."