Program Offers Activities to Bring the Spanish Language Alive


Highlands Photo: Highlands Spanish Program students and their professors visit the nearby Pecos National Historical Monument in October 2017 to learn about one of the Hispanic missions in New Mexico.

Las Vegas, N.M – The New Mexico Highlands University Spanish Program is planning activities for 2018 that aim to bring the language alive through enriching students’ understanding of Hispanic history and culture in Northern New Mexico and the U.S.

“We’re offering activities like a field trip to the Taos Pueblo, Hispanic movie nights, guest speakers from Colombia and other countries, and game nights in Spanish,” said Edgar Vargas, a Highlands Spanish pr0fessor who directs the Highlands University Language Learning Center.

Vargas and fellow Highlands Spanish professor Norma A. Valenzuela are organizing the Spanish enrichment activities for the 2017 – 2018 academic year.

“This kind of programming gives all students a personal connection to Spanish history and culture that is invaluable in their university education,” Valenzuela said. “This is especially true for Hispanic students from Northern New Mexico who learn how their local community connects to the larger Hispanic world.”

Vargas said that since August 2016, more Spanish enrichment activities have helped significantly increase the number of students majoring and minoring in Spanish at Highlands.

“It’s exciting that our Spanish classes are full to capacity this semester,” Valenzuela said.

Vargas said fall semester 2017 Spanish language enrichment programming included events like a Spanglish Writing Contest, Day of the Dead Celebration, a guest speaker from Spain, and Karaoke in Spanish.

The Spanish Program at Highlands is part of the Department of Languages and Culture. For more information about the spring enrichment events, contact Vargas at or Valenzuela at