St. Teresa’s International Night a celebration of diversity, heritage and tradition


PAWTUCKET — On Thursday, April 4, students and families at Saint Teresa School in Pawtucket gathered for the school’s annual International Night. Organized by the International Club, the evening highlighted various countries chosen by the students who worked to create detailed informational displays, serve their favorite cultural foods and share the knowledge they learned about their chosen countries with visitors.
Moderated by St. Teresa’s Science teacher and alum Quintin Rocha, the International Club celebrates the diversity of the school and allows a space for students to share their heritage and dive deeper into cultural differences. The International Night gave students the platform to share their own cultures and facts they learned about new countries with their families, friends, and the rest of the school.
When entering the library, guests were handed a “passport” while being met with the sounds and the scents of delectable treats from all over the world. As guests made their way from country to country, they were given a stamp for each country they visited. Students not involved in the International Club were encouraged to participate by receiving extra credit for filling out their passports.
Eighth-grader Joshua Coelho proudly showcased the country of his family’s heritage: Indonesia. When asked an interesting fact about the country, Coelho excitedly exclaimed, “It’s the 14th largest country in the world!” He went on to explain that Indonesia is the largest archipelagic state and that the main islands are densely populated, housing 40% of the country’s population. When asked the best time to visit, Joshua quickly replied, “Anytime!” Joshua’s mother was also present, helping him serve shrimp dumplings, Rujak Serut (or a sweet potato and pineapple curry salad), and rice pudding.
Although most students chose countries that reflected their personal culture, first year International Club members and sixth grade students Cairo Carvalho and Zoey Debrito focused on a country that piqued their interest. When asked why they chose France, Debrito who was wearing a Paris Saint-Germain F.C. jersey, enthusiastically explained that they “admire the soccer teams. They are so good and so powerful.” Their presentation was accompanied by croissants, jam, and various cheeses from France.
Eighth grade sisters and first time International Club members Alexa and Ava Torres donned bright matching jerseys that depicted their home country of Colombia. Across from them, their classmates Sebastian Rivera and Daniel Montolio represented their nationality by doing their project on Puerto Rico. Rivera explained that the “Caribbean is beautiful and the food’s amazing. I’m descendent. My dad’s Puerto Rican and we go a few times a year. The capital is San Juan.”
Other countries that were featured included Italy, Ghana, Cabo Verde, Cape Verde, Portugal, Ireland, Mexico, Denmark, Guatemala, and Kenya.
“It takes a village. All the students had plenty of time and were able to choose their countries and learned a lot while doing it,” said Rocha.