One of three Catholic schools in close proximity in Inner Southeast, Holy Family School is in Eastmoreland

DAVID F. ASHTON - Representing Mexico, at the Holy Family Catholic School International Fair are, from left: Alejandra Garcia, Gabriella Morales-Cortez, Margaux Johnson, and Pablo Morales-Cortez. For the eighth year, Holy Family Catholic School in the Eastmoreland neighborhood held its annual "International Fair" on Friday, June 2.

Instead of being presented in the school's gym or community room, the fair was held outdoors due to the pleasant weather. "Through this event, we're trying to address peace," said the fair's perennial organizer – and Holy Family Spanish teacher – Susana Parodi.

"Everyone belongs to the same world; at the same time, we're different and everyone can celebrate that difference," explained Parodi. "By showing the different cultures and different things in the world, we're trying to promote tolerance and peace."

DAVID F. ASHTON - All with some degree of Germanic heritage, and telling about Germany at the fair, were Eli Brunelle, Kyle Diesing, and Xander Immorth.  The fair is also intended as a learning experience – with all of the school's classes encouraged to participate, by studying and presenting information about a country. While some students presented information about a country, other students visited the displays, and took notes. Some 27 countries were represented at the International Fair.

"This year we have the Oregon Islam Academy from Tigard attending, as well as two Portland State University international students from Malaysia and China," Parodi told THE BEE. "We also have parents here, who are presenting information about the country of their own heritage.

"My very favorite part of this is seeing that, in talking about other countries, we learn that in the end – we are all the same!" Parodi concluded.

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