Opportunity to help disabled children in Mexico

With the snow finally upon us, many students are wondering how they are going to manage that dream vacation. How about one in Mexico, lounging in the sun, helping children cope with disabilities and learning to succeed in school.           

Six UAA students will be chosen to spend May 14 to May 30 in Mazamitla, Mexico, working with disabled children of all ages. These students will travel with Professor Linda Holloway, at the University of Northern Texas and Associate Professor Susan Ryan, from UAA.

This service learning opportunity is being extended across campus to include both graduate and undergraduate students. No experience working with children who are challenged is necessary, and an interpreter will be provided for those who don't know Spanish. The criteria for being chosen to participate will be based on honesty, good character, responsibility and the willingness to learn about children who experience disabilities. The screening committee, which includes Ryan and Cecile Mitchell from Enrollment Services, will choose the final participants.

The University of North Texas, has invited UAA to participate in this program that takes their students to Mexico every summer. The University extended the invitation through Ryan, who has participated in similar service learning functions in the past. Ryan worked with Mother Teresa in 1996, only a year before her death. Ryan said that she thinks that anyone who takes this challenge will be bettered in the process.

“It has been an interesting experience for me,” said Ryan. “These opportunities give you the ability to learn and grow.”

Mazamitla residents will be hosting UAA students during their stay. Two people of the same gender will live in each of the homes, that have running water and toilets. The students are expected to help around the house with chores and meals, but meals are provided. A host teacher, will help each student work with children for five hours a day.

Students spend evenings in class, where they learn about Mexico and different disabilities. One of two extracurricular trips during the two weeks, includes a trip to the beach.

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The students chosen will receive three upper division credits in education. The cost of the class is estimated at $2,200. This fee includes the cost of the credits, airfare, food, and all accommodations. For students who cannot afford this fee contact Tuition Management to find out if you may be able to spread out the cost over a number of months. For more information on this exciting opportunity to participate in this service learning trip program to Mexico, contact Ryan at 786-4435