Archmere Culture


Brian Carbajal

When one goes to a small, private Catholic school such as Archmere Academy, it is  easy to become comfortable in one’s own bubble and remain in the same comfort zone, not desiring to push oneself to experience new things or meet new people. However, Archmere Academy has continued to strive to push the boundaries of cultural diversity, introducing new, ongoing programs and trips abroad.

Annual trips offered by Archmere include the French Exchange Program, offering a chance for Archmere students to immerse themselves into the French world, to live with a host family, and spend two weeks touring and enjoying the richness of French culture. Similarly, the Spanish trip to Spain is also a great opportunity to get immersed in an all new setting, away from one’s comfort zone. These are just two of the many worthwhile trips abroad offered by Archmere that provides the opportunity to leave behind an easy and comfortable life in America for a completely new country, involved in an entirely new culture.

Although some Archmere trips provide a great sense of educational immersion, the most gripping trips offered by Archmere are those motivated by desires to provide outreach to charities and the underprivileged. One of the most empowering abroad trips of them all is Archmere Academy’s annual trip to India. As recently described, the trip to India is focused around the desire to provide time and aid to Pardada Pardadi, an all girls school in rural India. In India, girls are still oppressed by the patriarchal dominance in their lives and are often stripped from certain rights as opposed to their male counterparts. However, through Archmere’s outreach to Pardada Pardadi, firm relationships can be formed with the girls, providing them a sense of guidance and self worth knowing that there is someone else who cares and wants the best for them. Furthermore, Archmere’s trip to India is not only a substantial outreach to at-risk girls, but it is a way to bridge the gap between their comfortable first world life to the third world, to realize what children living in a third world country experience. Mr. Dougherty states, “What made much of the trek unforgettable was the consistency and the magnitude of the poverty we witnessed… For all I know they have what they need and are satisfied, but for me, and I am sure others of us looking out the windows, the desolation, the rubble, the boy swimming in the filthy river next to the cattle…it all grew heavy.” Thus, the trip to India is not only an enriching service towards the young Indian girls, but also a way to provide awareness about the real circumstances faced by people around the world.

Another culturally valuable tie through Archmere is the organization “Neighbors to Nicaragua.” Similarly, Archmere reaches out through this program to those in a less fortunate, third world country to provide schooling and opportunity to children in Nicaragua. Archmere’s considerable generosity towards this valuable nonprofit is just another way in which Archmere has sought to expand its cultural horizons.

Cultural inclusion and mindfulness of cultural diversity is not necessarily seen solely in these large, global trips abroad. Archmere also has ways in which cultural diversity and cultural inclusion can be celebrated in small ways at home in the Archmere community. Recently, the club DIVE-IN held its first club meeting. It created its own renditions on Papel Picado, a traditional Spanish décor in which paper is cut out to create beautiful images and shapes. DIVE-IN is yet another force in which it can be seen that diversity is all around, that communities can come together and celebrate the cultures and stories of one another.

Archmere continues to strive to reach outside of the comfort zone present in small, private school settings. Taking part in diversity groups and trips abroad, or even seeking ways in which to aid and support the charities to third world countries, are all ways in which to bridge the gap between cultures.