UNION, NJ – Fourth grade Hispanic Heritage Club members at Connecticut Farms School had an opportunity on Thursday to learn about and make Ojo de Dios (Eye of God), a spiritual object made by weaving a design out of yarn upon a wooden cross.
Spanish teacher and Hispanic Heritage Club leader Gina Lisa-Fernandez said the students learned that the Ojo de Dios represents love, life, fortune and health. “They are used for decoration, in ceremonies and as a lucky charm,” said Club member Kafaela, 10. Students learned the Ojo de Dios is commonly found among the Huichol Indians of northwestern Mexico and the Aymara Indians of Bolivia.
The afterschool club, running during Hispanic Heritage Month, concentrates on helping students share knowledge and experiences about countries where Spanish is spoken. The purpose of the after-school program is to foster interest in Hispanic culture and to provide an opportunity to practice Spanish language and learn about the Hispanic culture in an informal setting.
About joining the Hispanic Heritage Club, nine-year old Zyara said, “I wanted to learn more Spanish, even though I know it a little because my Grandma doesn’t know how to speak English. So, I speak Spanish to her.”
Jose, 9, said he joined the Club because, “I am Spanish and I have Spanish heritage, so I decided to join.”
“The Hispanic Heritage Club is meant to bring together students who are interested in the Spanish language and culture,” said Lisa-Fernandez. “During the meetings, the goal will be to offer exposure to the Spanish-speaking world and its diverse cultures.”
According to Lisa-Fernandez, club members will be exposed to the rich Hispanic culture found in our increasingly bilingual nation, and the global community. The intent is to be both educational and fun, so members can “look beyond the doors of their own homes and school, and become more tolerant of differences regarding race, language, and customs.”
“I joined the Spanish Club because I thought it’d be interesting to find out more about Spanish things,” said Jaylinn, 10.