JUNTOS teens revel in food, fun and field trips

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By Carol A. Clark

Good-natured chatter flowed amongst a gathering of Los Alamos and Española teenagers as they discussed spending a long weekend together.

The seventh- through 12th- grade students are members of JUNTOS and met at Española Valley High School Jan. 5 to plan a student exchange activity in which students from Los Alamos will spend the weekend and a Monday morning with students and their families in Española.

“I think it’s important that whichever community you visit - that you are able to experience all the things in that community,” JUNTOS concept creator Lori Heimdhal Gibson told the teens.

The student exchange is being set up to allow the youth an opportunity to experience life with the Española Valley students, enjoy special foods and observe family customs. The teens will also attend class with their counterparts on Monday morning.

This event is planned for April. A second outing will follow for Española youth to shadow Los Alamos students.

New Coordinator Jen Bartram attended the meeting as did Los Alamos High School counselor Diane Toups and County Councilor Sharon Stover in her capacity as a youth advocate.  Gibson credited Stover with being instrumental in the creation of JUNTOS.

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