Cultural organization teaches locals about French culture and traditions – The Prospector


the French alliance, meaning French alliance,is a cultural organization that Was found more … than 100 years ago in Paris To champion of French culture, traditions and the French language, reaching cities across the world, including El Paso.

Governed by a fivemember of the board of directors, Alliance française of El Paso which is the El Paso chapter of ththe international organization, hosts various events throughout eall year To educate Locals on French culture.

Aaccording to Treasurer Josette Shaughnessy, French culture is more than fair his language and this understanding is Something this the Alliance continually pushes for.

“The role here is to promote the French language and culture,” Shaughnessy said. “But IIt is very important to us that people understand the FFrench culture is not only the French language. That we can bridge the communication between the United States and the French peoples. “

Founded in 1964, this local the organization had both Shaughnessy and Maud Snell serving as president and treasurer. Both sometimes change roles because of their expertise and heritage.

The board also includes Hilda Kelley, a retired educator, serving as vice president; Jane Evans, vshair Ilanguages ​​and Iinguistics and aassociate pprofessor at UTEP, portion like sSecretary; and Jerome Dumeusois portion like coordinator schools and advertising.

the Alliance taught inhabitants of the region French for more … than 20 years through informal schoolis lying.

“We don’t have a local building, but we rely on partnerships with our communities and we teach at the advanced, intermediate and intermediate levels. beginner French lessons when we have enough registrations, ”said Shaughnessy. “Then, the goal is to have enough students to join us so that we can offer courses at low cost but at a low cost. break even indicate for the Alliance.

In the past decade, the Alliance has seen its members decline corn nevertheless, he Carry ons promote engaging events.

“It’s always a fight because people want to learn French, but this is not necessarily their priority and we have to make sure that we are able to deliver, ”Shaughnessy saiD.

Evans points out that some students register for Alliance French courses because they are planning a trip to France.

“It’s a popular language (and France) is a popular place to go, too much. So, some people really want to learn some french, so when they arrive France, they feel a little more at ease, a little more accepted and they can understand a little more “, Evans noted.

To finance the operation, organization fundraisings all along the year while remaining to try organize free events for the public.

“Lots of people who don’t attend a lot of events during the year come to our big Christmas party and we try to include the Francophone community of Las Cruces and, sure, the inhabitants of El Paso too, Evans noted.

“In January we usually have a celebration called the feast of the kings, as they have the rosca in Mexico and the French have the circular cake called Gallete des Rois”,Evans noted. “We try to have a major event every month or every six weeks to promote this rich culture.”

One of their next events to celebrate Mardi Gras is a costume event called Ball Mask. The event will take place In late February at the Centennial Banquet and Conference Center.

“The Ball Masque will have a full dinner, costume prizes and a live band called Jazz Unlimited”, Miller saiD. “It will be a great event.

With a membership of 150-200 people, the Alliance is accessible for all Locals who wish To to kiss and includes the French culture.

“El Paso is an international city, so be an international city, you want to have a presence of French culture or any culture ”, Shaughnessy noted. “I think it’s important that people don’t have stereotypes and prejudices. You have so many communities here in El Paso and this is the only way to bridge the understanding, by getting to know this heritage. “

Victoria Almaguer can be reached at [email protected].


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