By Lisa Moser, K-State Research and Extension news service


Manhattan, KS — Preparing Grandmother’s special recipe, observing family holiday traditions and sharing stories are just a few of the ways that cultural customs can be passed down through the generations.


“Cultural traditions will fade in time if they are not intentionally practiced in our culture,” said Elizabeth Brunscheen-Cartagena, K-State Research and Extension family and consumer science agent for Sedgwick County and a native of Puerto Rico.


In honor of Spanish heritage month, Brunscheen-Cartagena is leading a virtual Spanish-language workshop called Connecting Cultures. The workshop is free to attend and will be held Sept. 28.


“In this program, we will explore ways to keep our own cultures and traditions alive, while embracing a new culture,” Brunscheen-Cartagena said.


She said that when non-native English speakers first arrive in Kansas, many of them are limited in their ability to speak and understand the language.


“Many are only able to speak enough English to survive, so by offering this in their native language, participants are better able to understand the information and express themselves when asking questions,” Brunscheen-Cartagena said.


This is one of three Spanish-language workshops that are planned for the fall.


The next topic planned for Oct. 12 is Chronic Disease Prevention and Management.


“Participants will hear the leading causes of chronic disease in the Hispanic population and learn prevention strategies,” Brunscheen-Cartagena said.


The third Spanish-language workshop is planned for Oct. 6 and is called Survive, Fight and Thrive. Brunscheen-Cartagena said this one will arm parents with skills needed to raise healthy, positive children.


Future topics will be posted on the Living Well Wednesday Kansas website.


“These Spanish-language workshops are able to expand our audience allowing us to keep growing,” Brunscheen-Cartagena said. “As a bilingual speaker, I am excited for the knowledge and resources that I can bring to the Hispanic community.”


Cartagena encouraged English-speaking folks to share this information with their Spanish-speaking community members. For more information about how to register for this class, Brunscheen-Cartagena said to call her directly at 316-660-0114.