The host school has reached a great level of success, visible by the excellent methods and procedures of the MUN, and the passion shown by the students, their teachers, and the whole administrative staff. A big Thank You to everyone in Cumbres Chetumal, in particular to Fr. Vicente, Miss Martha, Miss Mary, the teachers Shanu, Sadia and Brigitte and also to Daniel.
On the first day, we learned about the way Instituto Cumbres Chetumal has organized their students for participation in MUN debates, followed by a MUN modeling session by middle school students. We continued with the making of a “Position Paper” (a document written by every MUN delegation prior to the actual debate – with the purpose of developing research skills, writing and preparing for the debate) done by the invitees, with the assistance of 10th grade students already seasoned in MUN simulations, playing the role of an “assistant delegate” in order to support the participants.
At the end of the first day, we were pleasantly surprised with a very rewarding experience, a 2 hours long boat-trip on Bacalar’s lagoon - Bacalar in Mayan is: Siyan Ka´an – , which means "birth of heaven - surrounded by reeds,” mind you- and a delicious seafood banquet by the lagoons’ shore.
On the second day, we visited some of the groups where students shared with us their experiences and made some good demonstration of how they are good at debating. Also, MUN’s guests played themselves the role of delegates, taking part in the debates and the creation of Resolution Papers (suggestions and proposals to address and solve the proposed topic) with the reassuring help of the assistant delegates. This strategy was the jewel of the crown since the participants lived every aspect of a MUN simulation in their flesh.
The event closed with a very educational discussion panel involving students, teachers, parents and administrators, and finally a beautiful demonstration of a dance by the students.
Perhaps one of the best learnings we can all draw from this experience is the sharing of the experience itself by the students and their teachers. I will mention just a few comments they made:
- “I feel much more confident now to talk in public.”
- “I realized that I am fluent in English now.”
- “It is difficult to persuade others, but through this experience, I found out I am good at ”
- “I can debate now in English!”
- “Collaboration is key.”
- “It takes a lot of hard but it is so rewarding.”
- “When students participate in MUN, they are covering a lot of the learning outcomes and developing most of the skills required by the Practicum, and also they directly acquire competencies from the exit profile.”
Once again, kudos to Cumbres Chetumal for their event, until the next one!