Scuola Italiana di Montevideo
Scuola Italiana de Montevideo serves students as young as infants through high school. Montevideo has a large demographic of people with Italian heritage (roughly 45%), with large populations immigrating between 1870 to 1960. Scuola Italiana has been operating since 1887. As a trilingual school, students spend a majority of their day learning in English and Italian, as well as their native Spanish.
The relationship between Park Tudor and SIM has exceeded two decades. Until the last five years, this trip was taken by our 4th and 5th grade students. The School has since decided to drop 4th grade, and bridged departments to include Middle School aged students in grade 6.
Each year, middle school students from Scuola Italiana de Montevideo visit Park Tudor School and stay with our families to experience life in Indianapolis. In return, Park Tudor School visits our friends at SIM every other year.
Montevideo is located about an hour across the river from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Montevideo is rated one of the safest cities in Latin America and consistently ranked as one of the highest qualities of life for a Latin American city. About ⅓ of the population of Uruguay lives in the capital city of Montevideo (1.3 million people - excluding metro). Indianapolis is over 5x the size of Montevideo, but has only about 820,000 people (excluding metro).
Montevideo was established by the Spanish in 1724. The Portugeuse had also settled the area across from Buenos Aires in 1680, but were conquered by the Spanish.
Tango is a very popular style of music and dance.
Uruguayans are very proud of the fact that the first FIFA World Cup was played in Montevideo in 1930 (students get to see this stadium). The major futbol teams there are Penarol and Nacional.
Uruguay is known for having large livestock farms. A popular style of cooking meats, known as “asado”, is a social barbecue on a grill or open fire. Typical meats prepared are chorizo, beef, pork, chicken, and morcilla. Milanese, a breaded meat cutlet, is similar to a Hoosier tenderloin, and a popular dish. Dulce de leche (slowly heated milk until it has a caramel taste) and alfajores (dulce de leche cookies) are popular sweets in Uruguay. Mate is a bitter tasting tea (made of yerba mate) that is caffeine rich and is popular in Uruguay and Argentina, and other South American countries.
Students on this trip typically visit the historic Colonia, the first settled area of the Montevideo area. They learn about the history between native peoples and European immigrants, and about the history of occupation by Spain and Portugal. Students also visit local artists’ galleries such as that of Joaquin Torres and Casapueblo, famous government buildings, stadiums, cathedrals, local merchant shops and restaurants, parks and museums.
Families in Uruguay typically live in smaller homes that here in the midwest. Parents at Scuola Italiana generally own their own cars and drive students to school each morning and pick them up each day.
The flight to Uruguay is typically just over thirteen hours long, and typically an overnight journey. The time difference between the two countries is minimal, and usually only an hour different.