BY GABBY RAYMOND ’20
On Feb. 15, Fulbright students from Argentina, in conjunction with the Living Learning Community and the Spanish floor advisors hosted the second annual Argentina Night, held in the common room of Mead Hall.
The Friends of Fulbright scholarship gives its scholars full tuition to participate in an exchange at an American college for five to seven weeks. “Our scholarship was given to us by the education secretary of Argentina — we were chosen because of our high grades and our financial need,” said Nadia Chalín, one of the scholars. The students who come to study at Mount Holyoke have the opportunity to study multiple subjects that they might not have been allowed into Argentina. “Once you pick the career you want to pursue when you start college, you can only take classes in that subject,” said Michaela Dellavedova, a senior who is studying social science. Dellavedova continued, saying, “Here I am taking gender studies and I really like the feminist topics we are exploring.”
Another Fulbright Scholar, Carla Guglielmo, said, “I feel very comfortable here. When we are in classes we share a lot with other students and they share with us. I think we enriched our cultural experience on both sides.” Issa Zuluaga ’19, who works on the Spanish LLC agreed that the students brought enrichment the school was lacking. “I think it’s great to have a Latin American student presence at Mount Holyoke,” said Zuluaga. “Latin American students are able to give a different perspective on what it means to be American, which is important because even though we have a large international community, we don’t have much Latin American representation.”
Flavia Cunha, a director of the Spanish Floor, said, “This is the second year we have hosted this event. We always try to highlight different things about the culture that people wouldn’t necessarily know. And of course share some food — it wouldn’t be a cultural night without food.” In fact, food and drinks are a big part of Argentine culture. “Torta fritas [Argentine fry bread] is very typical to have with mate [tea], that we share with friends and family,” said Dellavedova. “We also have alfajores [cookie filled with dulce de leche] almost every day.” While at Mount Holyoke, the Fulbright students continued some of their usual food rituals, such as making mate. “We use mate as an excuse to get together and talk, so we often brewed mate in the kitchenette and people would come and ask us about it,” Guglielmo said.
Since the students will be leaving this week, it was important to have one last event for students to come together to share their culture. “We are from Argentina, a different country, and there are few of us at Mount Holyoke — but we want people to know that we were here and sharing our food and dancing was the best way to leave our mark,” said Virginia Guevara, another one of the Friends of Fulbright scholars. The food, dancing and Carnival mask-making allowed students to participate in the Argentine culture. Michelle Cubillo, ’17, who also works on the Spanish floor said, “I think this type of venue was fitting for the very open and welcoming Argentine culture. It’s a good balance that allows for conversation and you can interact with the students themselves, which makes it more beneficial than just watching a cultural show.”