Written by Olivia Gardiner, MUN Journalist
Eduardo Salgado Diaz is a teacher at Anderson United Community School. In his first year at Anderson, he instilled a Model United Nations program, but with a new twist. Mr. Diaz has the 20 participants speak in Spanish. Mr. Diaz’s students speak Spanish at home, but once they are in school where they speak English, they start to abandon it. This Spanish-speaking MUN allows the kids to start speaking academic Spanish.
The United Nations Association of Minnesota (UNA-MN) held its first Model UN Spanish State Conference in 2011 with three participating schools. This was the first and remains the only Spanish Model United Nations conference in the country. This year’s conference on April 11th, 2016 is another milestone: we have a record seven participating schools with 285 students attending the conference. This program in the past two years has grown by 88%. The conference is held entirely in Spanish. Not only is Spanish one of the official languages of the United Nations, it is important to UNA-MN to provide resources and an outlet for Latino students and those fluent in Spanish to represent their countries and have a platform where they can put into practice what they have been learning in the classroom.