Home visits: a taste of Latin American culture


Since 2008, the program, ‘Home Visits’ has been in effect at Mountain View High School. Once a year, several members of the faculty, including counselors, teachers and administrators, have had the opportunity to visit households and get to know members of the Latino community.  On April 24, this event took place, receiving widespread approval from those who participated.

The primary goal of this program is to provide families with resources to succeed at MVHS while at the same time bettering the faculty’s understanding of Latin American culture.  Fourteen families of current MVHS freshmen, gathered at five households where they greeted Mountain View community members with home-cooked food and warm welcomes.

Bilingual Liaison Carmen Mercado is the coordinator of this program and has seen, firsthand, the impact of Home Visits throughout the years.

“The parents and administration can get to know each other and get to know what students go through,” Mercado said.

World Studies Teacher Sophia Caramagno has been an active participant in Home Visits for the past few years. Through this event, Caramagno has seen the impacts that reaching out to students has on their success in school.

“[Home Visits] helps break down barriers and get people more comfortable asking questions and getting involved,” Caramagno said.

Madeline Miraglia, history teacher and Vice President of the teacher’s association (DTA), enjoyed this experience and the positive relationships constructed because of Home Visits.

“I personally benefitted from the generosity and hospitality shown by the parents.  Having a chance to talk with them highlighted areas of concern shared by both parents and teachers as well as informed me about some aspects of the parents’ experiences with which I was less familiar,” Miraglia said.

Teresa Perez is a Latino parent who has two children who attend school in the MVLA district. Participating in Home Visits proved to be a very positive experience for Perez and others who hosted.

“I now feel more confident about participating and going to the district about any concerns. I really want to encourage Latino parents to go to a home visit or host one. [I] truly believe the results will be beneficial to the Latino community and the school district,” Perez said.