Youths, children and adults can appreciate a different culture through its language, music and culinary styles at the annual Spanish Language and Culture Immersion Retreat (CHISPACampamento Hispano Internacional Siempre Amigos) Oct. 18-19 at West Virginia University.

The WVU Extension Service and the WVU Department of Foreign Languages are sponsoring the event at the National Research Center for Coal and Energy (NRCCE) on WVU ’s Evansdale campus. The annual retreat is an educational and entertaining experience that will teach people of all ages and knowledge levels about Spanish language and culture.

Workshops will be taught by instructors who are natives of Spain, Colombia, Honduras, Peru and other Spanish-speaking countries. Sessions are tailored for various ability levels. Participants can practice conversational skills, learn Latin dances and view Spanish-language movies.

Learning another language is becoming increasingly important in the global economy. Research has shown that learning a second language enhances students’skills in their first language. Career opportunities and job-seeking skills improve for those who know a second language.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, West Virginia’s Hispanic population has increased 10 percent in the last 10 years, and the current U.S. population is 37 million people. By 2050, one-fourth of U.S. citizens will speak Spanish as their first language.

Cost for the two-day event is $98 for adults and $78 for students, which includes the workshops, some meals and instructional materials. Fees for those attending Saturday’s activities are $65 for adults and $55 for students. Senior citizens 60 years old and older are eligible for a fee discount. The registration deadline is Thursday, Oct. 2.

Brochures and registration forms can be obtained through WVU Extension Service county offices. For more information, contact the WVU Extension Service, by mail at P.O. Box 6031, Attn: Suzanne Gribble, Morgantown, WV 26506 -6031, by phone 304-293-2694, ext. 3442, or by e-mail .