Proposal Title

Cross-Cultural and Cross-Generational Service-Learning in Belize

Proposal Abstract

This poster illustrates the service-learning goals of a cross-cultural and cross-generational study abroad program to Belize. The 3 partners in this alternative spring break program included faculty and students from a state university; students and staff from a Spanish Nazarene school/church in Belize; and a group of individuals sponsored by two churches in the university’s community. The unique church/state partnership and the relationships that developed among the leaders from these 3 institutions have produced a rich, positive learning experience. Trust and willingness to acknowledge expertise among the leaders contributed to overall group cohesiveness.

Preliminary research based on written reflections from the university students and discussions among the U.S. church members indicates that learning happened in reciprocal ways. First, with a variety of mentors from the local church, university students were able to identify different qualities and types of leadership skills within the group. Second, the adult participants from the churches observed and learned to appreciate the work ethic and character of university students who embrace service-learning.

The Belize service projects helped the school move toward sustainable agriculture education. The service-learners recognized the value of culturally and geographically appropriate solutions.

Location

Rooms 113 & 115

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Mar 25th, 5:00 PM Mar 25th, 6:00 PM

Cross-Cultural and Cross-Generational Service-Learning in Belize

Rooms 113 & 115

This poster illustrates the service-learning goals of a cross-cultural and cross-generational study abroad program to Belize. The 3 partners in this alternative spring break program included faculty and students from a state university; students and staff from a Spanish Nazarene school/church in Belize; and a group of individuals sponsored by two churches in the university’s community. The unique church/state partnership and the relationships that developed among the leaders from these 3 institutions have produced a rich, positive learning experience. Trust and willingness to acknowledge expertise among the leaders contributed to overall group cohesiveness.

Preliminary research based on written reflections from the university students and discussions among the U.S. church members indicates that learning happened in reciprocal ways. First, with a variety of mentors from the local church, university students were able to identify different qualities and types of leadership skills within the group. Second, the adult participants from the churches observed and learned to appreciate the work ethic and character of university students who embrace service-learning.

The Belize service projects helped the school move toward sustainable agriculture education. The service-learners recognized the value of culturally and geographically appropriate solutions.