While South Dakota is a very rural and out-of-the-way state, we get a lot of visitors at St. Joseph’s Indian School who are passing through in the summer on their way to visit the Badlands, Black Hills and Mount Rushmore. There is also a great interest in Native American culture, and our Akta Lakota Museum and Cultural Center receives a few hundred visitors each day during the summer.
We’ve noticed many visitors from Europe but recently, a groups of six Spanish-speaking tour guides stopped in to look at our museum. There is a great interest in travelers from South America as well, and they plan to bring folks from there our way this summer.
I dusted off my rusty Spanish to welcome them and say a few basic things about campus, which made them feel more at home. A guide from Argentina studied with the Jesuits, and shared that his best teacher was Jorge Bergolio, now Pope Francis. I called Fr. Jose over to the museum since he is fluent in several languages and he spent more time helping them tour and become familiar with what we can offer visitors.