"How can I complain about living in a small dorm room when these children live in cramped conditions ... and wear the same clothes basically every day?" asked Margaret White (at right), one of 11 Gettysburg College students who participated in the James Heston Experience, a summer service-learning opportunity in Nicaragua and Adams County, Pa. Learn more
Spanish Prof. Paula Olinger received a lifetime achievement award for her social justice work, including the founding of The Center/El Centro, a community center for disadvantage children and families in Gettysburg. Learn more
Coordinating volunteers for an organization that helps inmates reintegrate into the community was an enriching experience for Spanish minor Patricia Goebel. "Not only have I continued to develop professionally," she wrote, "but this experience has opened my eyes to so many social justice issues." Learn more
Latin American Studies and Spanish major Kate Sweetland-Lambird took the lead in developing a writing workshop at a community education program in Gettysburg. She encouraged children to create poetry and prose based on their own lives, and published their perspectives in a book, "A Collection of Voices." Learn more
"I was discovering a passion for becoming an educator, but found myself exceedingly disturbed by the language, class, and racial discrimination I was learning about, and at times witnessing as I did observation and research in and out of the classroom," wrote Spanish major and secondary education minor Emily Davis. "I was not satisfied with telling myself that I could make a difference later, when I had my own class." Learn more
Through her work at a local center for disadvantaged children, Spanish and health sciences major Jennifer Davis said she "gained a better of understanding of why there is a need for programs that provide extra support and opportunities for children who are minorities as well as the societal systems that create this inequality. I have also witnessed the strengths of the community served and have begun to form relationships built on reciprocity and respect." Learn more Davis was also an undergraduate fellow of Gettysburg College's Eisenhower Institute.
Service learning and cross-cultural experiences in Argentina were the centerpiece of Prof. Alicia Rolón's Spanish 207 course.
An intensive summer language course was coupled with a one-week project at a poor rural school in Tilcara, an area with a large Indian population, and a three-week project at an orphanage in the city of Marco Juárez, where students will live with local families.
"Students' exposure to the cultural, social and geographical diversity of a Latin American country will enhance their linguistic and cultural competencies," Rolón said.
Studying in Ecuador "combined my two passions and studies at college, biology and Spanish," said Stephanie Molina. "I did not think that while I was in Ecuador I would find a new passion: photography. I was inspired by the amazing unique creatures I came into contact with." See her photo gallery