Bethany Long – Summer 2015 (Guatemala)

19 May 2015

My major is Health and Human Performance with a concentration in Applied Exercise Science. I want to continue on to graduate school and hopefully become an occupational therapist. It may not seem like this service trip could possibly help me reach those goals but that is very far from the truth! A few years back I was able to go on a service trip to Nicaragua with another organization not campus affiliated and fell in love with the Spanish culture. Since this time, I have picked up a Spanish minor in hopes of becoming fluent in Spanish so that I can go to Central America on various other service/mission trips and be a translator.

When I found out about this trip, I instantly knew I had to go. This trip has helped me refresh my Spanish vocabulary and practice in real life. I really enjoy the Spanish classes at Austin Peay however with this opportunity, I was able to use what I have been learning in real situations. This not only improved my ability to hear the accents of those speaking the language but also rekindled my love for the Spanish language.

My interest in Spanish also really helped me be able to communicate with the locals as well as those on the job site. With the basic Spanish that I know, I was able to help the other students on the trip as well to do simple tasks because I could translate and understand what was being asked of us.

I’m very thankful for the time that I have been given to be able to come down here and work on my Spanish speaking skills, learn more about the Guatemalan culture, and understand the Spanish speaking world a little better all while being able give back. I really look forward to more international alternative break trips in the future.

-Bethany Long

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