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.
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.
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