SOCASTEE, SC (WBTW) – As our area grows more diverse, Socastee High School looks for new ways to celebrate their cultural diversity.
“All of us have come here but all of us are very happy that everyone who is native to this area have been very welcoming,” said Javier Vega.
Vega is one of Socastee’s ESOL teachers, an immigrant from Puerto Rico and the man behind the high school’s first World Culture Day.
“It just draws people together when they’re able to break bread together,” said Vega.
Students and parents brought in some of their favorite dishes and they danced to some Mexican music.
According to the U.S. Census, Latino’s are the fasting growing population in the area. From less than 700 people in the year 2000 to more than 2,100 in 2010.
Signs of diversity are easy to spot in Socastee, along Highway 707 are many businesses that were opened by immigrants.
“And naturally were seeing a reflection of the children of those business owners coming here into Socastee High School,” said Vega.
Students like Angela Jimenez, whose father owns a tax consulting business and whose mother designs textiles.
“They’ve always taught me to be a hardworker humble, honest, and that’s what I’m strving for,” said Jimenez.
Jimenez grew up hearing more Spanish than English, but says the lessons her parents taught her are universal.
“They’re actually teaching me a little of what they do, but I’m going more for medical field,” she said.
“The message is that education is the key to the american dream,” added Vega.
Vega said he started the cultural day because he wanted to make sure that all students feel welcome and comfortable in the classroom.
“Then more students will graduate; be engineers, be doctors, and that’s exactly what we need,” he said.
Vega says he hopes there will be many more World Cultural Day’s to celebrate in Socastee in the years to come.