Garanimals Blog

October 9th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

The Benefits of Cultural Travel for Kids

My kids and I just got back from a trip to San Diego and since we were so close to the Mexican border, we decided to take a day trip over there. We’re lucky that the family we were staying with for the weekend is Mexican-American and they’re used to traveling from one side to the other all the time.

Although we were only there for one day, my kids got to live a completely different experience. First of all, Spanish was spoken everywhere and by everybody. From the stores where we shopped to the restaurants where we ate and the places we visited, my kids loved being able to speak in Spanish to everyone in sight. My children even got a chance to play with the daughter of one of the employees at a coffee shop where we hang out for a bit.

Secondly, they got to experience some real authentic Mexican cuisine and drinks. I mean, it’s not like many of the dishes are not available in the U.S., but there’s something about eating certain foods at the places where they come from originally. We had some tasty tacos de barbacoa and some delicious and very fresh seafood.

We also got a chance to go to a couple of bookstores where I bought my kids some books and board games in Spanish and we were able to visit a local market, which made for a very fun and colorful time. The whole trip was also a great opportunity for me to talk about the border, what it must be like to live there and how culturally different (and similar) San Diego and Tijuana really are. Once back in San Diego, my kids couldn’t stop talking about the experience!

Roxana A. Soto is the co-founder of SpanglishBaby, the go-to site for parents raising bilingual and bicultural children. She’s the co-author of her first book, based on her blog. Roxana is also a staff writer for MamásLatinas.


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