“Learning to Serve” Gustavus Spring Break Program in Petatlán, México

Posted on October 17th, 2012 by

Petatlán, México – March 30 – April 7, 2013

The Learning To Serve Spring Break Program in Petatlán has been an amazing experience for many Gustavus students. On the program, students go to Petatlán, México, where they work with the local community, stay as the guest of a Mexican family, and practice Spanish (no matter their current level.) The 2013 program is accepting applications.

Learning To Serve is open to ALL students!  Spanish is helpful, but not
required.  Past student participants with little or no Spanish have
flourished in the program, returning home with very transformative
experiences! All are welcome.

Contact Jeffrey Rathleff (jrathlef)  call him at 933-6011 in the Center for Servant Leadership for more info. Or just keep reading!

The Mission: 
The mission of the Learning To Serve program is to foster mutual understanding, friendship, and solidarity through people-to-people contact for the purpose of building intercultural competence, empathy, and peace between global communities.

What you will experience in Petatlán:
• SERVICE-LEARNING projects that bridge our local and global communities
• Cultural Immersion through a week-long HOMESTAY family experience;
•Opportunity to practice and apply your SPANISH-speaking skills;

The 2013 program will encompass three (3) service-learning projects:

1.  The execution of a health clinic /health promotion campaign in
2.  Language/Culture Buddies exchange with university students from the
Technological University Costa Grande in Petatlán.
3. A Sister City service project building community between St. Peter
and Petatlán.

Additional Program Highlights:
•Participate in HOLY WEEK festivities in Petatlan, including the local fair;
•Visit XIHUACAN – Petatlán’s famous pre-Hispanic archeological ruins;
•Help throw a farewell FIESTA (with dancing, music, and delicious food) for homestay families and local partners;
•Learn about SEA TURTLE CONSERVATION on Petatlán’s pristine Playa Valentín.
•Stay in beautiful beach BUNGALOWS on Playa Valentin!
•Share your experiences in Petatlan with the Gustavus and St. Peter communities!


Petatlán from the Church’s tower


There is still space available for interested students to participate in the
2013 program!  To reserve a spot on the program, please bring a deposit of
$250 and a copy of your passport to Jeffrey Rathlef in the Center for
Servant Leadership.  Deposits will be accepted up to Friday, Oct. 26th by
5:00 PM, or until the program is  filled – whichever comes first.   We will
purchase airfare the beginning of November.

Total Program Cost: US$1375 – $1475. (estimate is approximate due to potential fluctuations in fuel costs – i.e. airfare, ground transportation, etc) Final cost will be determined by February 2013).

Saving sea turtles on Playa Valentín


Students may fundraise for their trip by working shifts in the Marketplace.
Interested students should inform Candy Witte in Dining Services
cwitte@gustavus.edu, of their interest in fundraising for Learning To Serve.
Candy will place them on an alias that sends students open shifts each week,
and students may select and choose available shifts as they arise.  Monthly
earnings will be deposited directly and tracked/deducted from the overall
program cost for each student.

*Past student participants have found this VERY helpful in either
offsetting the cost, or covering it entirely!

Program Staff:

Program Director – Jeffrey Rathlef, Director for Community-Based Service and Learning, and Associate Director of the Gustavus Center for Servant Leadership. jrathlef@gustavus.edu, 933-6011
Language and Culture Project director – Dr. Angelique Dwyer, Assistant Professor , Gustavus Adolphus College Department of Modern Languages (Spanish) and LALACS adwyer@gustavus.edu, 933-7419.
Nursing/Public Health Project Director – Dr. Barbara Zust, Professor, Gustavus Adolphus College Department of Nursing, bzust@gustavus.edu, 933-6097.
Program Coordinator – GAC Student Intern – spring 2013 semester.

Near the beach bungalows on Playa Valentín

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