Dual Language SchoolsMusical and Cultural Celebrations at La Cosecha

Author Photo: Guero Loco

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It’s almost that time of year again-La Cosecha time! As I’ve previously written, La Cosecha, which will be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico this year, is one of my favorite bilingual education conferences that I am privileged to be a part of. A major reason is their emphasis on culture and music, which will be one of the many highlights throughout the entire event, to go along with their main focus of best classroom practices to help our students to become multilingual and multi-literate. This year, the hosts, Dual Language Education of New Mexico (DLeNM), did not disappoint with their musical line up. La Cosecha is set to be jam-packed with multilingual live music for educational purposes, social justice, and to kick back, relax, and enjoy yourself.

This conference always does a great job of highlighting the local student talent in Albuquerque and Northern New Mexico. Various forms of student-led music and dance will be on display including ballet, folklorico, mariachi, flamenco, and American Indian dances. The student performances will be happening at different points during the entire conference. Be sure to catch them when you’re able to.

Edutainers will also provide sessions for educators, parents, and administrators. Some of these sessions will include musical power couple, Stanley and Yolanda Lucero of Lucerito Music who will once again be at La Cosecha serenading the attendees with music geared toward childhood and child development. The couple has worked to inspire our youth for generations and it’s always great to see them in action. Their passion for children and bilingualism is on display each time that they perform.

Dr. Gilberto Soto of the University of North Texas will be in the house with a session geared toward using movement and music for early childhood development. His energetic and dynamic sessions, which have centered around using music as a learning tool, are always fun, informative, and filled with lots of movement and laughter. Otilio Ruiz will also present on "Musicalizando la literatura," showing how to utilize music in the classroom. Carolina Gonzalez and Tamarah Lucero will provide a session for using mariachi to teach music in English and Spanish.

Coming off his third Latin Grammy nomination, Colombian-born 123 Andres is scheduled to be at La Cosecha on Friday the fifteenth for a celebration of his music and methods for encouraging young children to be bilingual. Andres will exhibit his musical methods for entertaining the kids and the teachers with his performances.

My session (Guero Loco) will center around utilizing music as a tool for teaching language, socio-cultural awareness, and kindness. Using hip-hop and reggaeton to inspire the next generations is one of my passions. Promoting bilingualism, biliteracy, and social justice, while building bridges between various communities, has become my life mission.

Building on the theme of social justice, La Peña Musical will take place in the Hotel Andaluz Lobby on Thursday evening from 6:30-9:30. La Peña is a mashup of professional artists and whoever wants to get up and jam out with the group, effectively making it “the biggest sing-along in Albuquerque.” It’s a truly great experience to see so many powerful artists come together through their music. This year, the activist group Lasotras has La Peña Musical focused on supporting the newly formed advocacy group: Teachers Against Childhood Detention.

I definitely recommend stopping by La Peña Musical before heading on over to the main musical event of Thursday evening featuring Ozomatli. Based out of Los Angeles, Ozomatli’s rebellious fusions of rock, hip-hop, cumbia, and various other genres has set them apart as pioneers of Latin hip-hop and social justice music. Their passionate live performances tend to pull the audiences in quickly. They will be joined by Reviva Band and their reggae rhythms to open up the live performances. Best of all, all proceeds will go to support scholarships for future dual language teachers and the Janet Montoya Schoeppner Scholarship Fund. The Ozomatli and Reviva Band experience will begin on Thursday, November 14 at 7:30pm. in the Kiva Auditorium- for more info and tickets click on: https://www.lacosechaconference.org/ozomatli

One of the events that I am most hyped up about is the Social Powwow which will be held on Friday, starting with the Gourd Dance from 5 to 6:45, and the Grand Entry at 7. Everyone is welcome to attend. Indigenous dancers and performers have been invited for this gathering in honor of Native American Heritage Month. Participants from the Albuquerque, Comanche-Kiowa, Diné, HoChunk/Zuni, Zia Pueblo, and Jemez Pueblo communities are all confirmed to perform this cultural celebration of American Indian culture.

La Cosecha seems to really pride itself on celebrating culture and language; it’s a big part of what makes this conference so impactful and inclusive. It’s where we come together to learn about and celebrate differences. It’s where music has just as much place in our classrooms and lesson plans as it has in our everyday lives once we step out of the classroom.

For more information about La Cosecha and for a detailed listing of the events, go to: www.lacosechaconference.org