Hola from Jen and Emily in El Salvador! We are both juniors at Santa Clara and members of the SCU Dance Team. We are here until December with a study abroad program through Santa Clara called Casa de la Solidaridad. This semester we have been learning about the Salvadoran people through first hand experiences and classes at the University of Central America. Every week we visit our assigned community to accompany and immerse ourselves within their reality. Various activities include picking coffee beans in the fincas, teaching English classes, listening to testimonies, preparing meals, reading about Oscar Romero, and also traveling around the country.
Recently we took a weekend excursion to the town of Juayua. We had our first hostel experience, risked eating the local food, and trekked waterfalls. A guide led us through the rainforest, where we saw breathtaking views of four different waterfalls. We even got to swim in one!
|DT in Juayua|
It has been hard for both of us to understand Spanish, but we both hope to improve over the next 3 months. The students in the program all take a Spanish class; in our first session we were lucky enough to see a performance of traditional style Salvadoran dance. The women wore beautiful colored dresses, and the men wore hand-woven shirts and hats. At the end of the performance, we all were invited to dance with them and learn a few moves (look for these in upcoming routines;)). We had another experience with dance when we decided to venture out to the local gym that offers dance class. Our instructor was a flamboyant old man with spandex who really liked to drop it low with a Latin flow. Though we don’t dance like this in the States, this class is one of our favorite parts of the week.
We absolutely love our time here, but we are excited to meet the new members, and return for Winter Quarter! For those of you considering trying out for the SCU Dance Team, know that studying abroad and being on the team are highlights of our college experience thus far. We wish you the best of luck this Fall Quarter; hopefully we will be able to update you throughout our adventures in Central America.
Jen and Em