Latin American Movies on Netflix: What to Watch

Latin American Movies on Netflix: What to Watch

 Inside: The best Latin American movies on Netflix

 

It can be overwhelming to sit down for a night of Netflix, especially when you’re trying to sift through lesser-known films. I’ve spent the last month marathon-ing my way through Spanish-language movies and shows, and this post focuses on titles related to Latin America. 

 

 

Latin American Movies on Netflix

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

 

Argentina

There are quite a few titles available, so it’s probably easier to jump over to my post on the Best Argentinian Movies on Netflix

Mexico

There are lots of Mexican movies as well, so I’ve got a post on Mexican movies on Netflix coming your way as well. I will link to it as soon as it’s live!

 

Guatemala

 

Ixcanul

An indigenous Guatemalan family arranges a marriage for their 17-year-old daughter, Maria, to the foreman of the plantation. Maria, however, is in love with another worker and wants to escape with him. What follows is a clash of modern-day and traditional life: beautiful, sad, and compelling, both cinematographically and story-wise. The movie was filmed in Kaqchikel, which all of the actors natively speak. 

Info: Drama | Kaqchikel Audio, Spanish Subtitles | 2015

 

 

LIVING ON ONE DOLLAR

Four friends leave the U.S. and plan to live on $1 per day in Guatemala. Although this film can reinforce the storyline of interpreting poverty and Latin America only through the eyes of foreigners, it’s an interesting watch. 

Info: PG | English Audio | 53min

 

 

Chile

 

Sin filtro

Pía is surrounded by people who take her for granted and take advantage of the fact that she doesn’t speak up for herself. One day she can’t take it anymore, and sees an alternative Chinese doctor. He administers a dubious treatment that turns out to be extremely effective: now Pía can only say exactly what’s on here mind. 

(Heads up– there’s a somewhat explicit sexual scene near the end that I found a little disturbing. It’s meant to be uncomfortable, but just letting you know.)

Info: Comedy | Spanish Audio, Spanish/English Subtitles | 2016

 

 

Venezuela

 

To Be a Miss 

A look into the famous beauty pageant industry and process in Venezuela, through the eyes of three women. 

Info: Documentary | Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles | 2016

 

 

Colombia

(Beyond movies, there are also some great shows set in Colombia. You may want to check out La niña, and Pablo Escobar: Patron del malo.) 

 

Entre nos

An indigenous Guatemalan family arranges a marriage for their 17-year-old daughter, Maria, to the foreman of the plantation. Maria, however, is in love with another worker and wants to escape with him. What follows is a clash of modern-day and traditional life: beautiful, sad, and compelling, both cinematographically and story-wise. The movie was filmed in Kaqchikel, which all of the actors natively speak. 

Info: Drama | Kaqchikel Audio, Spanish Subtitles | 2017

 

 

Carteristas (Pickpockets)

 

A group of teens in Bogotá are mentored in the art of stealing by an expert thief, in a gritty, coming-of-age sort of story. 

Info: Crime, Drama | Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles | 2018

 

 

Colombia magia salvaje (Colombia: Wild Magic)

 

A group of teens in Bogotá are mentored in the art of stealing by an expert thief, in a gritty, coming-of-age sort of story. 

Info: Crime, Drama | Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles | 2018

 

 

Cuba

 

Cuba and the Cameraman

A look into Cuban life and changes, over several decades, through the eyes of three different families. 

Info: Documentary | Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles | 2017

 

 

El Che

Mexican writer Paco Ignacio Taibo II retraces the life and journeys of Che Guevara. (It was difficult to find the trailer, so below is a section of the documentary itself.)

Info: Documentary | Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles | 2016

 

 

Peru

 

Peru, Tesoro Escondido (Peru, Hidden Treasure)

A group of teens in Bogotá are mentored in the art of stealing by an expert thief, in a gritty, coming-of-age sort of story. 

Info: Documentary | Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles | 2017

 

Asu Mare 2

Machin, who comes from humble origins, is now dating the girl of his dreams– who happens to be in a wealthy family. Machin

Info: Comedy | Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles | 2017

 

GHOSTS OF MACHU PICCHU

Discover the mysteries and marvels of Machu Pichu in this doucmentary from PBS. 

Info: PG | English Audio | 53min

 

 

 

Of course, there are many Latin American movies that aren’t available on Netflix. Here are some famous titles:

    

 

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Latin American Movies on Netflix

Ideas Para Día de la Madre in Spanish Class

Ideas Para Día de la Madre in Spanish Class

Inside: A collection of ideas para Día de la Madre. 

 

Mother’s day is a big deal around the world, and a huge deal in Latin America. Whether you’re a dad hoping for some ideas, or a Spanish teachers looking for activities to do in class, I’ve found lots of fun ideas to celebrate moms/mamis/abuelas this year. 

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

Ideas Para Día de la Madre

dia de la madre

Books / Libros

 

Easy & Fun Ideas

 

 

  • Make cards! Make acrostic poems from the letters in “MAMA” or use one of the freebies below!

 

Día de la Madre Cards in Spanish

 

Tarjetitas para ‘El Día de la Madre” from Fun for Spanish Teachers

Gorgeous printable cards for Día de la Madre from Spanish Playground

List of Phrases for Mother’s Day in Spanish from Spanish Playground

Regalos para Día de la Madre

 

 

 

 Songs/Canciones and Videos

 

Mamá te quiero mucho – Mother’s Day Song in Spanish 

 

 

Mamá yo quiero

 

 

Mami

 

La canción del Día de la Madre – Song for Mother’s Day

 

 

¿Dónde está mamita linda?

 

 

El día de la madre – La Colmena Feliz

 

 

Día de la Madre en Juarez, Mexico

 

Ideas para Día de la Madre 

 

What other ideas do you love for celebrating Mother’s Day in Spanish? Let me know in the comments below!

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Spanish Romantic Movies on Netflix

Spanish Romantic Movies on Netflix

Inside: A list of Spanish romantic movies on Netflix. 

 

Spanish is one of the most romantic languages out there. So as I made my way through Spanish-language movies on Netflix, I obviously needed a list of romantic comedies and dramas!

 

Spanish Romantic Movies

 

Remember that Netflix regularly adds and pulls shows– just let me know if you catch something I should update!

This list was NOT made with students in mind! I’ve included ratings and links on each titles to help you decide what to watch. See my Spanish movies and shows page for tons more suggestions for Spanish-language titles, and of course let me know if I missed one of your favorites. 

 

1. CORAZÓN DE LEON (HEART OF A LION)

 

León finds a lost cell phone, and calls the owner, Ivana. When they chat, there’s an instant connection, so he asks her out. There’s just one detail she doesn’t know: he’s only 4.4 feet tall. The rest of the movie explores whether or not they can make it: is their mutual attraction enough to overcome shallow societal expectations?

Info: Comedy, Romance | Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles | 2017 | NR  | Argentina

 

 

2. PERDIENDO EL NORTE (OFF COURSE)

 

A light-hearted comedy about two Spaniards who move to Berlin in hopes of finding work, only to end up with humble jobs in a café. They navigate cultural differences, confront their new economic reality, and meet new people, all while hiding their actual circumstances from family back in Spain. Things get complicated when one of them falls for another Spanish girl living in the new city.

Info: Romantic Comedy | Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles | 2015  |   |  Spain

 

 

3. Como agua para chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate)

 

A luscious, sensual tale of food and passion in the tradition of magical realism this iconic work by Mexican author Laura Esquivel was adapted to screen by Esquivel herself. A young woman, Tita, falls in love with Pedro but isn’t allowed to marry him. He ends up married to her sister, and Tita directs all of her emotion into the food she prepares. 

Info: Drama Romance | Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles | 1992 | R | Mexico

 

 

4. Estar o No Estar (To Be or Not to Be)

 

Augusto, a single man in his 40’s, moves back to his hometown– a small Mexican town. He meets two women: a friendly neighbor, Ludivinia, and a local Russian waitress with whom he falls madly in love, Nástenska. 

Info:  Drama, Comedy  |  Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles  | 2016  |  NR  Mexico

 

 

5. Órbita 9 (Orbiter 9)

 

A young woman has lived her entire life in a space pod, orbiting towards a distant planet and faces staying there, alone, for another 20 years. When an engineer visits to make a repair, she quickly falls for him and he can’t shake the their interaction either. When he makes the bold decision to go back, she begins to learn her life is not what she thought.

Info:  Romance, Sci-Fi  |  Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles  |  2016  |   |  Spain

 

 

6. NUESTROS AMANTES (OUR LOVERS)

 

Different from the usual rom-com storyline, this romantic “dramady” follows a couple who meet in a coffeeshop and decide to maintain an out-the-box-friendship: no exchange of personal information, and no romance. Things go beautifully until their personal lives intersect with fantasy, and they must confront reality.

Info:  Romance, Comedy  |  Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles  |  2016  |   |  Spain

 

 

7. SPANISH AFFAIR (OCHO APELLIDOS)

 
 

“Cuando el sur y el norte chocan, el conflicto alcanza proporciones épicas.” Spanish culture collides when a Sevillian falls for a woman from Basque– even though he’s never before left his hometown. The sequel (which I thought was better) is also on Netflix!

Info: Romance, Comedy |  Spanish Audio  |  2014  |   |  Spain

 

 

 

8. Elvira, te daría mi vida pero lo estoy usando

 

Elvira’s husband leaves one night to buy something at the drug store, and doesn’t come back. Reeling from shock, confusion, and fear, she takes matters into her own hands and launches a search to find him and figure out what happened. This movie kept surprising me, right until the end. It’s not your classic rom-com at all, but a good watch. 

Info: Comedy, Romance | Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles | 2017  |   |  Mexico

 

 

 
 

9. PALMERAS EN LA NIEVE (PALM TREES IN THE SNOW)

 

A Spanish woman travels to Africa in hoping to unearth old family secrets, after finding a letter her dying father left behind. The story moves between her search and forbidden love in the time of colonialism. 

(Trigger warning– there is a lot of violence, including a rape scene.)

Info:  Drama  |  Spanish Audio, Subtitles in English/Spanish  |  2015  | NR  |  Spain

 
 

10. ¿Qué culpa tiene el niño? (Don’t Blame the Kid)

 

The plot here has been done before: a one-stand results in a pregnancy, this time between a successful professional and an irresponsible young man. 

Info: Comedy, Romance | Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles | 1992 | R | Mexico

 
 
 
 

11. Spanish-language movies on Netflix

 

An epileptic man and a woman caring for her suicidal mother meet and begin an intense affair– the way many romances begin. As real life sets in, they have to decide if they will give each other a real chance to fall in love. 

Info: Drama, Romance | Spanish Audio, Spanish/English Subtitles | 2015 | NR | Mexico

 

 
 
 

What other Spanish romantic movies did I miss? Let me know in the comments below!

 

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Spanglish Movies and Series on Netflix

Spanglish Movies and Series on Netflix

Inside: Spanglish movies and series on Netflix. 

 

In the U.S., languages other than English have a way of dying. By the second or third generation, Italians and Swedes had generally lost their native speech, but some speculate Spanish may prove to be the an exception

Spanglish could be seen as a slippery slope of mixed language, such that heritage speakers lose their Spanish. If that’s all kids hear, it’s certainly a possibility. But for my part, I love the influx of Spanglish into American media and pop culture. Spanglish is my life. A third pure English, a third pure Spanish, and a third Spanglish. 

So when Netflix start airing shows with Spanglish families like mine, I watch. I like seeing my world on screen and I think it says to my kids: Spanish is something to celebrate. Multilingualism is a great thing. 

And also… some of you are in Spanglish relationships. You may love Spanish-language shows, but perhaps your partner isn’t so excited about reading subtitles for the next month. Here’s your compromise!

 

Spanglish Movies and Shows

 

 Remember that Netflix regularly adds and pulls shows– just let me know if you catch something I should update! This is a mix of family-friendly series and not-so-family-friendly, so please be sure to click on the title and check ratings. See my Spanish movies and shows page for tons more suggestions for Spanish-language titles, and of course let me know if I missed one of your favorites. 

 

1. Jane the Virgin 

 

Three generations of Latinas living under one roof star in this amazing Spanglish show. Jane’s world is forever turned upside down when she’s accidentally inseminated by her gynecologist. What ensues is a mostly light-hearted (but often poignant) story of how different generations, cultures, and genders come around Jane’s new life and baby. Anyone who has watched telenovelas will appreciate the purposely humorous and dramatic references throughout the show. 

 

 

2. Un Día a la vez (One Day at a Time) 

 

It’s hard not to love this show! Again, here we have three generations under one roof, this time a Cuban-American family, working out life, culture, and family together. This is truly a Spanglish show, with dialogue going back and forth between languages as different generations communicate. This is a family-friendly show (TV-PG) you might be able to watch with your older kids. 

(One thing I love is that several characters try to learn more Spanish, and are shown making an effort to keep up with their heritage or new language.)

 

 

3. Narcos

 

Completely switching genres, Narcos follows the pursuit of Pablo Escobar and other drug lords in Colombia. Unlike several previous shows, this one is told entirely from the American perspective. Gritty and suspenseful, Narcos is one of those series that pulls you in and is hard to turn off. 

 

 

4. Casa de Mi Padre

 

Ok, Casa de Mi Padre is technically all in Spanish, but since Will Ferrell isn’t a native speaker I’m claiming it as Spanglish material. Playing on every telenovela stereotype out there, this one will be funniest for those who are familiar with both U.S. and Latino culture and humor.

How to know if you’ll like it? Well, if you like both Will Ferrell and Gael García Bernal… this one’s for you. 

 

 

5. Entre Nos

 

Based on a true story, a Colombian mother travels New York with her two children, only to be abandoned by her husband once there. She must improvise and find a way to survive on her own, by collecting cans in the city trash.

 

 

6. Ladrones

 

When a wealthy woman steals land from a group of hard-working Texan families, they seek help from a legendary Robin Hood pair in Mexico to steal the title back. A funny, action-packed movie not meant to be taken too seriously. Watch when you’re in the mood to watch the good guys triumph and the bad guys get what they deserve. 

 

 

What other Spanglish series and movies can I add to the list? Let me know in the comments below!

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Spanglish shows on Netflix

 

 

The Best Netflix Movies Set in Spain

The Best Netflix Movies Set in Spain

 Inside: The best Netflix Spain movies. 

 

Netflix, with its ever-expanding range of options, has a growing selection of made-in Spain movies and shows. I’ve got some great titles for you here, whether you’re a native speaker or looking to keep up your Spanish skills. See my Spanish movies and shows page for tons more suggestions for Spanish-language titles, and of course let me know if I missed one of your favorites. 

 Remember that Netflix regularly adds and pulls shows– just let me know if you catch something I should update!

 

NETFLIX SPAIN MOVIES

 

Ready? Let’s get started.

 

1. Contratiempo (Invisible Guest)

 

A wealthy businessman is accused of murder and seeks the help of a famous lawyer to mount a defense as the last hours of his trial wind down. His storytelling of those events takes us down a darkening path of twists and turns, and unexpected revelations. I multitasked quite a bit while preparing this blog post and watched movies, but this movie had my full attention, and me on the edge of my seat. If you like suspense, this is a must-watch with incredible acting.

Info: Mystery, Thriller | Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles | 2017

 

 

2. Perdiendo el norte (Off Course)

 

A light-hearted comedy about two Spaniards who can’t find a job in Spain (despite being over-qualified on paper). Fed up with Spanish life, they move to Berlin in hopes of finding work, only to end up in a café. Life in Berlin comes with new romance, but also a host of cultural differences to navigate.

Info: Romantic Comedy | Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles | 2015

 

 

3. Fe de etarras (Bomb Scared)

 

Four Basque terrorists are trying to plan an attack on Spain. They wait for orders from “above,” in a Spanish apartment, and have to deal with everyday life and neighbors while unsure of the future. A dark comedy that was surprisingly compelling and funny. 

Info:  Comedy  |  Spanish Audio, Subtitles  |  2017

 

 

4. Ocho apellidos (Spanish Affair)

 

“Cuando el sur y el norte chocan, el conflicto alcanza proporciones épicas.” Spanish culture collides when a Sevillian falls for a woman from Basque– even though he’s never before left his hometown. I didn’t love the chemistry between the main actors, but still enjoyable and cute. 

Info: Romance, Comedy |  Spanish Audio  |  2014

 

 

5. Ocho apellidos catalanes (Spanish Affair 2)

 

The couple we met in the Spanish Affair (Rafa and Amaia) have broken up. Amaia is engaged to a Catalonian her father doesn’t like, so he enlists help from Rafa to win her back and break off the new engagement. I enjoyed this one more than the first and found it more convincing, especially the storylines between the supporting characters. If you like the Spanish Affair, definitely follow up with this one.

Info: Romance, Comedy |  Spanish Audio  |  2015

 

 

6. 100 metros (100 Meters)

 

Based on a true story about a man with a young family who is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Determined to resist the disease as long as he can, he commits to training for an Ironman– with the help of his father-in-law, who has troubles of his own. I sobbed by the end; keep tissues nearby for this heart-wrenching and inspiring story.

Info:  Drama  |  Spanish Audio, Subtitles in English/Spanish |  2016

 

 

 

7. La reina de España (The Queen of Spain) 

 

It’s 1956, and an American film company is making a movie about Isabel and Ferdinand, at the request of Franco– and Macarena Granada, now a big name in Hollywood, returns to her native Spain after 20 years to star in it. I found it slow and forced overall, but there’s a deep undercurrent of complicated Spanish history and a cast of actors that many viewers will enjoy nonetheless. 

Info:  Drama  |  Spanish Audio  |  2016

 

 

8. El bar (The Bar)

 

A group of people are trapped in a bar in Madrid, after two people are shot and mysteriously disappear. As they try to figure out what is happening outside– terrorism? the end of the world?– tensions and suspicions rise inside the bar.

Info: Comedy, Horror, Thriller |  Spanish Audio, Subtitles in Spanish/English  |  2017

 

 

9. Ahora o nunca (It’s Now or Never)

 

A couple who got together in a fairytale high school romance is getting married. The week of the wedding turns nightmare as everything goes wrong, quirky friends and family in tow. 

Info: Comedy |  Spanish Audio, Subtitles in Spanish/English  |  2015

 

 

10. Nuestros amantes (Our Lovers)

 

Different from the usual rom-com storyline, this romantic “dramady” follows a couple who meet in a coffeeshop and decide to maintain an out-the-box-friendship: no exchange of personal information, and no romance. Things go beautifully until their personal lives intersect with fantasy, and they must confront reality.

Info:  Romance, Comedy  |  Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles  |  2016

 

 

11. 7 Años (7 Years)

 

Four friends are in business together, and have committed tax fraud. If one of them volunteers to go to jail for seven years, the company came remain intact and the other friends can walk free. The question is which one? They hire a consultant to help decide who it should be. 

Info:  Drama  |  Spanish Audio, Subtitles in English/Spanish  |  2016

 

 

12. Palmeras en la nieve (Palm Trees in the Snow)

 

A Spanish woman travels to Africa in hoping to unearth old family secrets, after finding a letter her dying father left behind. The story moves between her search and forbidden love in the time of colonialism. 

Info:  Drama  |  Spanish Audio, Subtitles in English/Spanish  |  2015

 

 

13. A cambio de nada (Nothing in Return)

 

A coming-of-age story about a troubled teenager figuring out life and getting into trouble with his best friend. Poignant at times, tough at others, A Cambio de Nada explores adolescence in the context of trouble at school, trouble at home, and finding friendship.

Info:  Drama  |  Spanish Audio, Subtitles  |  2015

 

 

13. Secuestro (Boy Missing)

 

A young boy is kidnapped, and his suspected kidnapper gets off on a technicality. The boy’s mother, a respected attorney, takes matters into her own hands and events soon spiral out of control. (I didn’t actually watch this one– after becoming a mom I just can’t handle scary things involving kids!)

Info:  Drama  |  Spanish Audio, Subtitles  |  2015

 

 

13. El guardián invisible (The Invisible Guardian)

 

A young woman’s body is found in the woods, and female inspector Salazar is put on the case. As she investigates the murder and begins to follow the case of a serial killer, she must confront her own past. (I didn’t watch this one either, but if you like serial killer murder-mysteries, this one’s for you.)

Info:  Thriller  |  Spanish Audio, Spanish/English Subtitles  |  2017

 

What other Netflix Spain movies do you recommend? Let me know in the comments below!

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Netflix Spain movies

Food Truck Day: A Fun Field Trip Idea for Spanish Class

Food Truck Day: A Fun Field Trip Idea for Spanish Class

Inside: Looking for field trip ideas for Spanish class? Try a food truck day!

 

I am so pleased to share this guest post from Courtney Nygaard at Field Trip Spanish! Instead of trying to take your classes out on a field trip, bring the field trip to you. Getting started will be easy with her (very organized) ten steps to making it happen. Enjoy!

Are you interested in hosting a Food Truck Day at your school? For the past three years, I have planned a Food Truck day for my high school Spanish students and it has become one of the highlights of the year. All year long my students ask me if we are going to have our Food Truck Day again. I know the idea of planning an event like this can be overwhelming, but don’t worry! From the experience I’ve gained over the past three years, I’ve come up with ten steps to planning a Food Truck Day at school. In this post, you’ll learn how to successfully organize a Food Truck Day and additionally, how to use it as a fundraiser.

 

1. Get it approved by your principal.

 

It may seem obvious, but the first thing you need to do is make sure hosting this event is approved by your principal. You want to make sure you are complying with school rules and aligning the event to the school calendar as best as possible. Nothing worse than planning a large event only to find that students have standardized testing or a field trip for another class.

 

red taco truck

 

2. Plan Teacher Supervision During Lunches

 

This step will depend on how your school’s lunch schedule is set-up. At my school, we have three lunches. I coordinated with the other Spanish teachers to make sure that someone was outside during each lunch. One thing I did to ensure teacher supervision at all times was physically bringing one of my classes outside to sit on the lawn and work on their assignment. They enjoyed the chance to be outside for the hour and I was able to supervise the event. If this won’t work for you, you may need to request that your school provide a substitute for the hour you will be outside supervising the event.

 

students in line for a taco truck

 

3. Survey Students

 

I survey my students using a Google Form before I contact the food trucks. I make it clear that students will need to pay around $10 for their lunch which influences some students’ decision, depending on their economic situation. Of course, I wish every student could participate, but ultimately this event is a fundraiser which ends up funding other activities for all students later on in the year. If students choose to not participate in the event they simply attend lunch in the cafeteria as usual.

In the survey, I ask them for their name, what lunch they have, and if they plan to eat at the food trucks that day. This survey is conducted before I contact the food trucks, because in order to get a food truck to agree to attend, they need to know the approximate amount of students they will be serving. This survey also informs me how many food trucks I need to contact.

At my school, our lunches are very short (about twenty-five minutes). It’s important to know how many students will need to be fed in the amount of time you have allotted for your school’s lunch. Knowing this information allows the food truck (who is well versed in their serving capacities) to know whether or not it is possible to serve the number of students you have, in the amount of time your school allows.

 

tacos with beans and rice

 

4. Contact the Food Trucks and Set a Date

 

Now that you have an approximate student count for who will be eating lunch at the food trucks, you can begin to contact food trucks in your area. The first year of setting this up is always the trickiest. Food trucks need to be sure that it will be worth their time and can be hesitant to come to an event that will also have another food truck. In my case, I had 181 students that planned to eat lunch at the food trucks all within an hour and a half time span across our three lunches. So I needed two food trucks.

If you need multiple vendors, find food trucks that are available on the same date and inform them of the number of students, the time crunch, and arrival details. Be sure to ask about their electrical needs so you can be sure that they are close enough to the building to run an extension cord if they don’t have a generator.

It must be worth their time. The following year, a food truck actually initiated contact with me because they wanted to do this event again. The second year I hosted this event I asked if they would be willing to do this as a fundraiser for our Spanish classes. They were more than happy to donate 10% of the profit to our Spanish classes! This was great because we have been able to use the funds earned from our Food Truck Day to pay for our Three Kings Day party with our students.

 

field trip ideas for spanish class

 

5. Alert Necessary Personnel About the Event

 

Now that the date is finalized, you will want to alert necessary personnel. Contact the city about the area in which the food trucks will be parking (this may or may not be necessary for you). Put in a request to your custodial staff for several large garbage cans to be placed nearby on the day of the event. Also, make sure to contact your lunch monitors about the passes you will be using for students to be excused to leave the cafeteria for the event.

 

quesadilla

 

6. Contact Parents

 

Your event is starting to take shape! Send out an e-mail to parents alerting them of the event. Some parents may need extra time to get $10 together, so it’s important to be conscientious of all income levels. Attach the food truck menus, along with the prices. Inform parents that this event is optional; their son or daughter does not need to participate, and that if they prefer their child to each lunch in the cafeteria like normal, they may.

 

purchasing from a taco truck

 

7. Make Passes

 

Because of the time crunch, it’s likely that students will need a late-to-class pass. They may need an extra fifteen minutes of lunchtime so they can order their food, and have the time to eat it. If you would like a free download of these late-to-class passes and an event checklist you can get those here.

Something new that I’ll be doing for my Food Truck Day this year, is color coding the lunch-passes according to the lunch time-slots. This pass will be used to show the lunch monitors that a student is free to go outside for lunch. Additionally, this pass will help in identifying which students belong at each lunch as there tends to be a time overlap outside. Basically, if a student has first lunch, I want to quickly identify that they do not belong outside during third lunch. This will prevent students from abusing the system, skipping class and staying outside too long.

This event is exclusive for Spanish class students (or whichever language department is hosting your event) so passes work as an effective way to easily tell who is supposed to be there.

*Note: I don’t give students the late to class passes in advance. I give these to them if and when a particular lunch is ending, and they are still eating outside.

 

late to class pass for Food Truck Day

 

8. Go Over the Menu with Students

 

You will want to go over the menu and prices with students ahead of time. Remind them to bring cash and make sure students who have food sensitivities or allergies are aware of what’s on the menu. This is a great time to go over the vocabulary and key phrases for ordering food in Spanish (or again, whichever language department is hosting this event).

 

pouring hot sauce on tacos

 

9. Survey Students Again

 

The week of the event, survey students again in order to give a more accurate number to the food trucks.

 

picking up the order

 

10. Contact School Lunch Staff & Teachers

 

With the latest numbers, notify the school lunch staff of how many students will not be eating lunch in the cafeteria that day. This helps the school reduce food waste.

Send out an e-mail to all teachers letting them know some of their students may be arriving late to class (with a pass) that day. Attach a photo of the late-to-class pass in this email. This will give teachers an idea of what to look for in the event a student were to arrive late to their class.

Also, inform teachers that they are more than welcome to purchase lunch at the event themselves. Notifying them additionally, that the best time-frame to do so will be before/after normal school lunch slots if they prefer not to wait in line. Some teachers have prep during those times. The lines will most likely be long during lunches, and it is always a good idea to look out for your colleagues.

 

Three Mexican style tacos with lime and radish on the side

 

Final Tips for the Day of the Event

 

The day of the event I have a Bluetooth speaker outside playing upbeat music in Spanish, which always adds a nice vibe. Since students eat out on the lawn, some of them bring blankets to sit on, which I think is a great idea!

As lunch times change, ask students to show you their pass, so you can verify whether or not they should still be there. If they need more time to finish eating, give them a late-to-class pass.

Final note: You may be concerned about students who cannot afford to eat lunch at the food truck. As this event is a fundraiser, you could use the funds you raise this year as scholarships for next year’s event. So in the year following, the students’ whose family may not be able to afford it would simply need to check a box on the Google Form survey stating that they would need a scholarship in order to participate.

You should be able to prepay with the vendor in order to get pre-paid tokens allowing students to order pre-determined food options. Pass the tokens out to your students the morning of the event. At this point, you should be set for a cultural experience you and your students can thoroughly enjoy!

 

students with taco truck

 

 

Courtney Nygaard is a high school Spanish teacher in Minnesota. She also runs a website for Spanish learning called Field Trip Spanish and a travel blog called Travel For Days. You can find Courtney’s teaching resources for your Spanish class at her Teachers Pay Teachers store – Field Trip Spanish by Profe Nygaard.

 

 

 

 

Do you have more fun field trip ideas for Spanish class?

Leave a comment below and tell us about them. 

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