On December 8th, 2022, SPA 101 students had the opportunity to put their first-semester Spanish skills to the test by listening to Peruvian medical doctor and researcher Malena Martinez speak about “la huatia”. In an effort to bring the world to the classroom, SPA101 lecturers carefully prepared the students for the event.
A native of Lima, Perú, Dr. Malena Martinez talked about la huatia, an ancestral artifact used by native Peruvians, and an ancient technique that involves cooking under the soil. Dr. Martinez explained that this type of Andean cooking is usually prepared when harvesting tubers and potatoes. She also explained in detail the process of preparing this ancestral Andean technique: “A circular hole is dug, and a pyramid is formed with the clods. Then it is heated with ichu (Quechua for straw). Once the oven made with the clods is hot, the ingredients are placed without destroying the pyramid. In the upper part, a small hole is made to place products such as potatoes and tubers. Once everything that is going to be cooked is placed, it is covered with aromatic herbs”.
Dr. Martinez's talk aligns with the SPA 101 program and students’ semester-long project where they explore a
cultural artifact of their choice that represents a particular community or society of the Spanish-speaking world. Dr. Martinez kindly tailored her talk to the proficiency level of the students who were able to not only follow along with her but also ask questions in Spanish.
Organizing committee: Daniela Salcedo; Paloma Moscardó, Luis Gonçalves, Adriana Merino
SPA 101 is taught by Adriana Merino (course head); César Romero; Daniela Salcedo; Luis Gonçalves; Nick Figueroa; Nora Renee Muñiz; Paloma Moscardó-Valles and Rubens Riol.