Baltazar Gives Greenies a Taste of Spain
Trip abroad has become a tradition for Christ School instructor
Call it a rite of summer for Spanish teacher Marshall Baltazar. Every year for the past decade, Baltazar has journeyed to Salamanca, a city in northwestern Spain. "It's rejuvenation, a chance to recharge my batteries," he said. It is also not purely a vacation. Rather, it is a chance for Baltazar to better himself as an educator at Christ School.
Baltazar designed The Ambassador Program to Salamanca 10 years ago in conjunction with the Colegio Delibes school. The Ambassador Program to Salamanca is a three-week study abroad experience. Of the 17 students who accompanied Baltazar this summer, 12 were boys from Christ School. Those students were James Turley '17, Thomas Hoefer '17, Joey Cinque '17, Chuck Bolick '17, Holden Hutto '17, Harry Zimmerman '18, Lawrence Freeman '18, Charles Redhead '19, Will Clarke '19, Jay Kelligrew '19, Tyler Haldeman '19 and Max Masiello '20.
The contingent of Greenies had lots of time to learn and explore between July 1-22. In addition to tours of Salamanca, known for its ornate sandstone architecture, the boys got to take excursions to Madrid, Avila, Segovia, and Portugal. They attended cooking classes, took part in Salsa dancing, and toured Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, which is home to the Real Madrid soccer team. Baltazar set aside some time for himself each day to do research.
"I was just so proud of the dignity, respect and overall manner with which our students handled themselves," Baltazar said. "They were so polite, considerate, and motivated to give it one hundred percent. They went for all the right reasons. They learned a ton and had a blast." Baltazar is originally from Chicago and has been a member of the Christ School faculty since 2010. He said The Ambassador Program to Salamanca is intended to not only focus on language acquisition through immersion and knowledge of the culture, but also to enhance sensitivity in international relations with an emphasis on diplomacy.
"The kids love it, they don't want to come home," Baltazar said. "Every year I get the most amazing emails from parents. Their kids love meeting people from all over the world who are studying Spanish. They make contact with people who they stay in touch with for the rest of their lives."