How one student connected the Cambridge community to the local Honduran community
BY ROCHELLE PEACE
College life can offer endless possibilities, experiences and networks. A desire to begin a local “Intercambio” opened all three for me.
I had wanted to find individuals whose primary language was Spanish and exchange our primary languages. I was not confident in my Spanish speaking abilities, but felt encouraged by my Spanish teacher, “Profesora” Shannon Kirkeide. Kirkeide encourages students to seek cultural experiences.
Beginning in October, I started meeting with local Hondurans I had met at Don Julio’s in North Branch. Fellow Spanish 1101 student Stephen Pearce joined soon after and was followed by Spanish 2201 student Robert Walz, Calli Johnson, Megan Harris, Courtney Bushway and others. What began as a small success soon became more.
Many students joined us on occasion and enjoyed applying what they were learning in class to real conversations. We have been able to help in other ways as well. Currently, we are looking into ESL classes and other resources available in our area.
We were able to connect an expectant Honduran mother to services welcoming her new arrival. What began as a small wish has become a big reality. There will always be possibilities, experiences and networks around us; you only need to seek them. I only wanted help with my Spanish, but what I got was a community.