Below are comments from students reflecting on their experiences:
Guatemala July 2009
Students traveled to Guatemala to participate in two projects. One group built a classroom in a rural area, while the second group, occupational therapy students, taught basic therapy skills, hosting clinics for disabled people and conducting a workshop in an elderly daycare setting.
- "It was an absolutely incredible moment. We all really started to open up and learn from each other," said Erin Sargent '10, a physical therapy major. "We felt honored that they wanted to include us in traditions that are so native to their land and it is hard to even express in words what it felt like."
- "Showing these people that Americans actually care about their culture, and overall well being, was a challenge that we were excited to take on," said management major Chris Tsagaris '10. "My experience in Guatemala is something that I will treasure and look back upon for the remainder of my life."
- "The opportunity to go to another country, work to give the people something they need, and learn about the culture is an experience that cannot be matched," said history major Brian Walach '10. "It's imperative that we continue the work we're doing and let anyone who will listen know that they, too, can have a part in changing the lives of others."
Nicaragua May 2009
Eleven law students and a professor spent eight days in Nicaragua, examining the practice of law outside the United States. The group's agenda included a visit with sugarcane plantation workers who are fighting back against their exposure to internationally-banned pesticides; meetings with law students and faculty; and visits to non-governmental organizations to learn about political and social issues in the country. Watch a video about the trip on YouTube.
- "We went down to try and draw attention to the issue, lay the groundwork for future communication and see what we can do to be of assistance," said Alicia DeSouza-Rocha JD '10. "We're trying to get their legislature to find a way to justly compensate them for the illnesses that they have and what their families have gone through and help raise money for food, medicine and uncontaminated water."
- "The criminal system is very different from ours," said Danielle Robinson Briand JD '10. "It was really interesting to us."
Nicaragua March 2009
During spring break five undergraduate students in the master in teaching program were among a group of 31 who traveled to Nicaragua. The students hosted a three-day leadership conference for local teachers. Watch a video about the trip on the University's YouTube channel.
- "It solidified my decision to become a teacher. It made me realize we have so much we take for granted," said Jen Walts '10, an English and music major in the secondary education program.