Holy Spirit Episcopal School has a sister-school relationship with Saint Michael School, a private school located in San Jose, Costa Rica that serves the needs of children from preschool through high school. The relationship with Saint Michael has played an integral role in our students' acquisition of Spanish and their development of inter-cultural awareness.
In January 1994, the owners of the school in Costa Rica and three of their elementary teachers visited Holy Spirit for a week. The following March, we began a student exchange program with Saint Michael School that has been conducted each year since, alternating visits between schools. Costa Rica's natural resources and Houston's technological resources have given each school a set of unique attractions to share with each other.
In the winter of odd-numbered years, middle school students from Saint Michael School visit Houston for nine days, staying with HSES host families. The Saint Michael students share projects about Costa Rica with our students and visit cultural sites in Houston and Galveston to learn more about our culture. During even-numbered years, HSES fifth through eighth-grade students travel to Costa Rica and stay with Saint Michael School host families for nine days. During this visit, our middle school students share projects about Houston, Texas, and the United States with their Costa Rican peers. They also get to explore a rain forest, see a volcano, and experience the Costa Rican culture. This sister school relationship helps our students develop a global perspective and understanding of another culture, as well as provides an authentic experience in which to use the Spanish language.
During the course of the past few years, each school has developed a Culture Course to prepare participating students for the experience. With this additional support, our cultural exchange program has grown to new levels of excellence.
For more information contact Brooke Frank, Director of the Cultural Exchange Program.