Indian Hill Elementary school student teaches culinary delight to older Braves

NEWS RELEASE: Heather Higdon, Director of Communications

INDIAN HILL, OH  (January 20, 2021) – Her name is Belen Aragues Alvarez, though she is currently in the fifth grade at Indian Hill Elementary School, she is gaining new friends at Indian Hill High School – as their guest Spanish instructor.

Belen Aragues Alvarez teaching class virtually (Provided)

How did she arrive at this unusual opportunity?

Meet Monica Gibson – the Indian Hill School District ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) specialist who welcomed Belen into the school district when Aragues Alvarez’s family moved here this school year from Spain.

“Belen has a passion for Spanish foods!” said Gibson. “I discovered her passion early on, and she and I decided that it would be awesome to create a website to teach other people about the foods of Spain. Belen created her own site, selected her own images, and authored her own descriptions.”

January 5 and 6, Belen virtually presented her own lesson to Indian Hill High School students with Spanish Language and Literature Teacher Kari Lewis. The students gave Belen outstanding reviews.

“I really liked the presentation and how she added some personal information too, like her favorite foods and how her mom cooks certain dishes,” said IHHS student Gabe Yin. “Also, the addition of images really helped me understand some of the dishes.”

“Pretty awesome to see someone so young have so much confidence,” said IHHS student Jake Fox.

“It was very exciting,” said Aragues Alvarez. “I was a bit nervous at the beginning, but then I had fun and I enjoyed it. I thought it was a difficult thing to do, but after doing it, a lot of people told me that I did a great job. I was very proud and happy.”

“Belen is a remarkable student who I am sure will achieve great things in her life!” said Gibson. “The only hard thing about working with Belen, is that by the end of our work sessions, we’re both salivating, and want to eat Spanish foods!”

Belen’s Spanish Foods Website:

Belen Aragues Alvarez, 5th grade student, Indian Hill Elementary School (Provided)

Indian Hill Elementary School fifth-grade student Belen Aragues Alvarez designed a website dedicated to her passion for Spanish food that she shared with Indian Hill High School students during a virtual class in January 2021. (Provided)