This post was written by Middle School English and Literature teacher Sarah De Gasperis:
It all began back in late November. For three whole months Mayatan students had been preparing, practicing, studying and putting in extra hours in order to represent Mayatan proudly at the annual Spelling Bee and Speech competition in Honduras’ capital, Tegucigalpa.
The nine hour trek to Tegucigalpa from Copan Ruinas isn’t an easy journey. Yet somehow, the time seemed to fly. Approaching Tegucigalpa, the students brought out their spelling words and started quizzing each other. Students who normally don’t interact with each other were bonding over their passion for English.
The weekend began with a quick trip to Chiminike, a children’s museum. The highlight of this attraction was a house built on a 22 degree angle – the students were amazed! A lowlight of the museum was when a student experienced a quick electric shock. Don’t fear; no students were harmed throughout this trip. The excitement didn’t end there. Everyone piled into the bus and experienced the sights and sounds of the mall. Pizza Hut, Walmart and shoe stores galore! As you can imagine, it was quite difficult getting the younger students to sleep after indulging in chocolate and ice-cream.
The competition was held at the Discovery International School, a renowned educational facility in Honduras. The sheer size of this school and the resources that it possesses is enough to make anyone nervous. After hearing inspirational speeches delivered from ambassadors from both Spain and the United States, the students separated based on their grades to participate in the spelling bee.
After two practice rounds, our students battled against over 30 other students who came from all over Honduras. Mayatan students held their own. Our third grade students, Kency and Nahomy, were our shining stars, coming in a respectable 4th and 5th place overall.
Meanwhile, the three speech competitors spent the morning bracing their nerves and practicing their speeches. Come one o’clock the spelling competitors were on the bus back to Copan, while the pressure was put on the speech competitors to bring home an award for Mayatan.
The competition rules clearly stated that each competitor needs to have three printed copies of their speeches to give to the judges, but none of the Mayatan students had brought print outs! Mayatan was off to a rough start. This minor set-back, however, did not prevent Jose (9th grade) and Sergio (11th grade) from each taking home a 3rd place prize! And trust me, their fellow competitors came prepared with speeches ranging in topics. Students presented on bullying, the importance of reading, and the magic of music.
Overall, Mayatan couldn’t be prouder of our 14 students who gave it their all in the capital city of Honduras.
Congratulations to all Mayatan's participants in the annual ABSH (Association of Bilingual Schools of Honduras) Spelling Bee and Speech Competition (grades in parentheses):
Spanish Spelling Bee: Nahomy (3), Ana Cecilia (4), Stefany (5), Elvira (6), Angie (7), Fidelina (8)
English Spelling Bee: Kency (3), Jade (4), Ritzy (5), Nilvio (6), Elsa (7)
Speech Competition: Sara (6), Jose (9), Sergio (11)