An undergraduate student at New Mexico State University will give the first “Global Connections” presentation of the fall semester about her experiences in Costa Rica.
The talk is scheduled for Wednesday, September 26 in Domenici Hall, Room 102 at 5:30 p.m. The “Global Connections” series is free and open to the public.
Desiree Sanchez is a junior majoring in physics with a minor in studio art. She went to Costa Rica in an 11-person group in spring 2018 as part of the Aggies Go Global student organization at NMSU.
“My presentation is called “How You Can Travel the World Tomorrow,”she said. “It was my first time out of the country.”
This is the seventh year the College of Arts and Sciences has offered its “Global Connections” series, which had featured faculty members’ trips around the world. This fall, the series is including students’ experiences as well.
The purpose is to provide an opportunity for members of the campus and surrounding community to learn about the kind of global first-hand experiences they might never otherwise encounter.
One aspect of the trip was to immerse the students in the Spanish language. The students took Spanish classes each morning before going out to do service work.
“We lived with host families and I stayed with an older woman who only spoke Spanish, so that really challenged me,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez’s efforts to communicate with her host in Spanish made her think she should try as hard to communicate with her own family in Spanish.
“We worked on a coffee farm and learned about sustainability,” Sanchez said. “We worked alongside Nicaraguan workers who worked on this farm carrying bags of compost.”
The students also went white-water rafting in the Río Pacuare.
“I hope the audience at my presentation will learn that you don’t have to travel out of the country to have meaningful experiences,” she said.
Over the nine-day trip, Sanchez said, the structure was very similar to how a lot of students live at school: They woke up in the morning to go to Spanish class, then went to work on the coffee farm, then afterward hung out with friends and their host families, and occasionally did activities like the white-water rafting.
“And it was really an incredible trip, but it made me think, “Why can’t I have experiences like this back at home?” Sanchez said.
“And the answer, I think, is you have to live in the moment because the present is all we have. And with this presentation, I’m going to talk about ways people can live in the moment.”
Author: Billy Huntsman – NMSU