Hispanic Heritage Month at MECA (featuring Mr. Cordero)


Image by Samantha Ordanes

Cordero teaching his Period 8 Spanish II students a new lesson on the preterit past tense of regular verbs. 

Hispanic Heritage Month lasts from September 15 to October 15, 2022. Johan Cordero, Spanish I and II teacher here at Mt SAC Early College Academy (MECA) is finding ways to incorporate Hispanic culture into his lessons.

One way he incorporates Hispanic culture into his classes is teaching his students the geographical location of Spanish speaking countries. “It’s important to know about those countries, and the first thing about knowing the countries is their geographical location.”

Sophomore Ava Rojas, who has been a student of Cordero for two years says, “I feel that I’ve better understood Hispanic culture in his class because I’m not usually exposed to it.” Rojas thinks that he integrates a more fun aspect into his lessons. “He’ll even let us watch movies related to Hispanic heritage and take notes about the traditions and culture shown.”

Cordero knows plenty about the locations of Spanish speaking countries as he lived in Colombia and Spain for years before becoming a teacher at MECA.

“When I was younger I lived there [Colombia], and I’m very proud of my roots, in terms of being able to identify as a Colombian and having a dual nationality.” Some of his favorite Colombian cultures include, “Colombian Independence Day, foods, dances, and festivals.”

After living in Colombia, he spent some time living in Spain during his college years.

Cordero posing in front of Plaza de Oriente in Madrid, Spain.

His favorite part about living in Spain was the, “simple life. It’s not like here in the United States where it’s very fast paced.” He goes on to say that, “for me it was a fun experience. I was in college, it was entertaining and fun.”

However, he thinks that trying to adjust to a new country’s environment would be a difficult feat for anyone. “I feel that as an adult it would be much different now if I were to move to Spain and live there and try to adapt to their culture.”

The one thing that I give everyone the advice of is that, yeah of course Spain is beautiful, it’s wonderful, but when you move to a different country, it’s totally different then what you’re used to.

— Johan Cordero

Cordero enjoying the popular Spanish style architecture behind him.

Cordero has lived many experiences and holds a sense of pride in his own heritage, and continues to show that to his students through his teachings.