Working closely with the Institute of Technology of Costa Rica (TEC), Sacred Heart University has developed programming that includes multiple departments, colleges and student groups. The Office of Volunteer Programs & Service Learning supports multiple aspects of the collaboration between the two universities. During the spring break service program, each SHU student is paired with a TEC student, and the pairs work on various projects including supporting local environmental conservation organizations, working in local schools, and volunteering for various social service agencies. SHU students, in groups of two, live in a local home where they become part of a Costa Rican family. SHU students share meals, go on local outings and learn firsthand about Costa Rican culture from their host families.
As an alternative spring break, a SHU delegation travels to the province of Chimaltenago, Guatemala, to support the Guatemalan non-profit CERNE. The CERNE nutrition center and school are located in a rural area of the province that is surrounded by sugarcane and rubber tree plantations. SHU students, along with advisors, aim to support CERNE as it meets the educational and community needs of the local households. SHU students plan physical education activities, teach English and assist with remodeling the small, one-room school. Past projects have included painting the school and helping out with the reconstruction of the school’s roof. Also, SHU students provide local children with games and organized activities, as well as spend time getting to know the families that live nearby. The SHU delegation spends a day in the town of Antigua where they explore and learn about various aspects of Guatemalan colonization by the Spanish, the sociological impact of natural disasters and the rich and complex Guatemalan indigenous history.
Applying & More Information
Applications for the International Service Immersion programs are accepted in September of each year. For more information on these programs, email Arlete Carmona at firstname.lastname@example.org.