Students dressed in traditional attire from Mexico.

September 15 - October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month, and all month long students in Buncombe County Schools (BCS) are experiencing the traditions, food, dancing, and much more from other countries. 

First grade Dual Language teacher Ana Esparza, from Candler Elementary, is originally from Mexico and brought a piece of her culture to the classroom. Students danced, ate tamales, read books, and sang traditional songs from Mexico. Ms. Esparza loves being able to share a small piece of the world with young learners. 

“It’s a great cultural experience for them, and for me it is like having home with me, especially when I show them pictures of my family celebrating our traditions,” she explained. “The fact that some of them talk about wanting to visit Mexico when they grow up, makes me feel like I am spreading the love for my country, and it melts my heart.”

Ms. Esparza has a passion for not only teaching about culture, but other spanish-speaking cultures as well. 

“I want my students to learn to treasure other cultures and expand their perspective,” she said. “ I want them to see the world fully and be globally aware. One of the greatest benefits of learning a second language is that students learn to value their own and others' cultures as well as build a stronger sense of identity.”

Ms. Esparza has been with the BCS Dual Language program for five years. For her this program has been a dream come true. 

“I taught English to kindergarten students back home, and now I have the opportunity to teach my native language,” she said. “This has helped me grow personally as a teacher, and has taught me a lot of invaluable skills.”

BCS offers the Dual Language Spanish Immersion program in the following districts: Enka, Roberson, Erwin, North Buncombe, Owen, and Reynolds. Students are taught literacy and content in both English and Spanish languages. 

If you wish to learn more about the program please visit:

Ms. Esperza showing the students a traditional dance.