Student Cultural Exchange Program

In 1974, Joe Diaz and his wife, Marie — founding members of the HBSCA — started an exchange program for seventh and eighth graders in Hermosa Beach and Loreto. The program was a huge success and continues as the longest-running student exchange in this age group, even receiving recognition from the US Congress.

In 2009, we expanded the program to include students from other south bay beach cities, including Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, El Segundo, and Torrance.

Joe and Marie Diaz, Founders of the Student Cultural Exchange Program Loreto Airport Arrival 2018 Coronado Island 2018 Kayak 2018

Program Details

For over 40 years, our cultural exchange program has offered a life-changing opportunity to middle school students throughout the beach cities. Beginning in the fall, we recruit students from the South Bay cities — primarily Hermosa, Manhattan, and Redondo, but also El Segundo and Torrance — to participate and experience the many organized activities of the student exchange program. As part of this program, students also learn and practice Spanish language skills by living with a Loreto, Mexico, family for one week.

  • South Bay Students Visit Loreto - March 30-April 6, 2024
  • Loreto Students Visit South Bay - July 27-August 3, 2024

About Loreto

Loreto, Mexico, is a safe and beautiful town located on the Sea of Cortez. During Spring Break, American students are escorted by adult chaperones from LAX to Loreto (a short, two-hour flight) and stay in the local homes of their respective host families. All activities are chaperoned by HBSCA adult members and the parents of participating Loreto students.

Typical weekly activities in Loreto include:

  • Boat Ride & Snorkeling at Coronado Island
  • Visit to Local Beaches & Sports Activities
  • Visit to Local Missions
  • Visit to Working Ranch
  • Meals at Local Restaurants
  • Fiestas & Family Time

Local Exchange Details

Later in the summer, South Bay students and their families will host their Loreto student to share our beach cities culture. All activities are chaperoned by HBSCA adult members and the parents of the students participating in the exchange program. Typical weekly activities include:

  • Welcome & Farewell Parties
  • Day at Disneyland
  • Visit to CA Science Center & Hollywood/Santa Monica
  • HB Kiwanis Picnic & Soccer Games
  • Beach Day & Volleyball
  • Strand Bike Ride & Redondo Pier Visit
  • Shopping at the Mall
  • Other Activities TBD by the Students/Families