Nadia was born in Cusco, Peru. She attended the Universidad Andina del Cusco, where she graduated as a psychologist. After graduation she started working at Cusco’s Social Security Hospital, where she led different clinical programs to assist the elderly. She moved to the States in 2000. Currently she works as a teacher at a school with a bilingual program for toddlers. She has been working in that field for the last 8 years, in addition to teaching Spanish classes for adults the past 3 years. Nadia loves teaching and is very happy to share her knowledge with everyone who wants to learn her native tongue.
Carlos, originally from Cali, Colombia studied music at the Conservatorio in Cali. He specialized in music education at the INTEM-University of Chile in Santiago. Carlos also studied archaeology at ENAH in Mexico City. On a fellowship in Madrid he studied Spanish culture. Carlos is a part of the Twin Cities music scene as a composer and performer. He has been a member of the Resource Center of the Americas for many years. His experience teaching Spanish in Minnesota includes all ages, K-Adult.
David holds a degree in Law and a post-graduate degree in Public Administration from his native country of Colombia, where he served as Dean of the Faculty of Law at the Universidad del Atlantico and was later appointed Director of Human Rights. Mr. Fernandez has written articles on Colombia and spoken in various forums. In Columbia he taught Administrative Law and since arriving in the United States he has become an experienced Spanish teacher.
Justo is from Colombia, South America. He has a degree in Biology and has been teaching Spanish, science and math since 1998. Justo has been a Minnesota resident since 2000 and works mainly in public health and numerous social services programs. Currently he is enrolled in a food science and nutrition program at the University of Minnesota. He enjoys teaching Spanish and making students laugh.
José Luis López Méndez was born in Guatemala and moved to the US in 2008. He holds a degree in Elementary Education. Luis also received a certificate for teaching Spanish as a Second Language (E/LE) for adults from Enforex and The Cervantes Institute jointly with The Alcala de Henares University Spain. Luis also received his Masters degree in Linguistics from Mariano Galvez University. Prior to moving to the US, Luis spent 8 years teaching Spanish as a second language and working as the Spanish Curriculum Developer in one of the top Spanish schools in the country. At his school, Luis also worked at instructing new teachers on how to teach Spanish as a second language. Luis has a passion for the Spanish language and for teaching it to students from beginner to a mastery level. Luis enjoys reading, cooking, spending time with his family, and anything involving fútbol (soccer).
Silverio holds a BS degree in Industrial Engineering from the National Polytechnic Institute in Mexico City, where he is originally from. He first started teaching Quality Assurance and Quality Control at a Technical College two years prior to graduating from college. Mr. Rios co-founded a Spanish group at the Basilica of St Mary in Minneapolis shortly after his arrival to the US and started teaching Spanish ever since, first tutoring one-on-one to a broad base of professionals, then teaching to large groups for the Saint Paul Community Education at Ramsey Jr HS; where he developed his own curriculum. He later created Voces del Español, a one-week Spanish Immersion program to learn Spanish in Querétaro, Mexico. He enjoys teaching the language and sharing the culture of his native Mexico.
Leticia obtained her teaching degree in Uruguay, her country of origin, and moved to the United States in 2005. She worked as a teacher in Montevideo for 7 years and held various jobs in education in Minnesota. She worked as the Latino Liaison at North St. Paul schools and she’s currently working at an alternative high school in Minneapolis. She has been involved with the Resource Center since 2005 where she volunteered, taught and was a board member. At present she’s leading the Intercambios on Saturdays.
Sandra L. Uribe began teaching Spanish when she was very young in her birthplace, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico. The legacy of Spanish education in Cuernavaca inspired her to begin her career as a Spanish teacher. Her experience as a teacher has spanned more than 25 years. After getting her bachelor's degree in Pedagogy, she began teaching a variety of subjects to high school and college students, including Communications, Education, Language and Spanish Literature. She came to Minnesota in 2001 and taught Spanish and Literature courses at the Resource Center of the Americas from 2003 to 2007 and during 2011 when the RCTA merged as La Conexion de las Americas. Over the years, she has taught all levels of Spanish to both adults and children and developed curricula for Spanish Literature courses and Grammar Workshops. More than anything, Sandra loves to transmit her passion about Spanish language, Latin American culture and literature through her work as a teacher.
If you want to expose your children to other cultures in a way that is more real, in-depth, personable and memorable – by working in community with them rather than just traveling – this is the way to really learn about another culture.
We were exposed to something few of us get to experience. Most often we simply drive through communities. This time we got to meet and really get to know people, and they were so generous. We got far more out of the experience than we gave.
Kathy P., Rock Point, AZ (family of 4)
This was our best family vacation and a phenomenal experience. I feel extremely fortunate that I was able to do this with my children. My children realized that although the people in the community we visited didn't have a lot of material possessions, they had some things we didn't. The community members were funny, loving and generous.
The group experience was what made it so great. The team leaders were remarkable. They never passed judgment and treated my children like full members of the group, so they acted that way. The experience made them more confident and more excited about taking other travel adventures.
Marcy G., Xiloxochico, Mexico (family of 6)
Volunteering in Tanzania was a life-changing experience that opened my eyes not only to the needs of our fellow global citizens, but also to the lovable and exhilarating culture of Bukoba.
Megan age 19, Bukoba, Tanzania
GCN wasn't just a volunteer trip but instead a life altering two weeks that helped me discover myself.
Shannon age 15, Bukoba, Tanzania
Our GCN sponsored program in Tanzania wasn't a vacation but rather a deeply moving experience our family will cherish for a lifetime.
Sean, Dad, Bukoba, Tanzania
Working side by side with my husband and children, helping, reaching out, and learning from people in a culture vastly different from our own together as a family was one of the most valuable experiences of my life. We are already planning our next volunteer vacation.
Karen, Mom, Bukoba, Tanzania
This experience changed all of us. Nothing can compare with it. It's made my kids into global citizens. Before we left for Kenya, I was concerned that my kids were getting spoiled, but the trip showed them how happy people were, even though they had so little by comparison. They also discovered how much more important it is to have experiences instead of things.
My kids are so mature now as a result of the trip. They have a new and broader world view.
Nancy F., Maili Tatu, Africa (3 time repeat participant with 2 kids)
I took each of my two granddaughters on a trip when they turned 13, as a rite of passage. It was tremendously bonding for us. It deepened our love and our relationship, but it also sensitized the girls to different cultures and helped them gain an understanding and empathy for others.
One of my granddaughters was extremely wary. She said, "I don't know how to do this and I don't want to be there." But by the end, she was begging to stay. She had formed some amazing friendships. It was quite a transition.
My advice to families considering this kind of trip is this: Even if you have some hesitation, trust that the experience will be transforming for your child and for your relationship with your child. My two granddaughters are totally different personalities, but the same positive transformation happened for both.
We had so many one-on-one reflective conversations about what we were experiencing and learning. It's a different and more intimate way of being with children.
The team members were incredibly kind to my teenagers. The leaders were such good role models -- caring and inclusive.
Meg V., Rock Point, AZ 2003; La Push, WA 2007
The truly amazing thing about this community is the pride, character, and sense of respect you feel being with them. They carry themselves with esteem. Being with them, you know they will not only survive, they will succeed, collectively using the resources available to them for the good of the whole.
Joyce, Pennsylvania; Kenya Participant
With the beauty, the simplicity, the strength and comedy of this place, each day becomes an adventure to be anticipated.
Gladys, Ontario; Kenya Participants
I learned much more that GCN is about the process of building long term relationships with communities, not necessarily about the process of "building!" It was truly priceless to be allowed to be on the 'construction site' with a bunch of indigenous people in Mexico. Tourists DO NOT get that opportunity-nor should they. We all believed WE TRULY MADE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF OTHERS.
Diana, Colorado; Two-time Mexico Participant
I have just this last hour arrived back home after what can only be described as an experience of a lifetime, the people at Jampaling were wonderful and I return with a feeling of accomplishment, and everlasting respect for a group of people who work so hard with such limited resources to achieve their goals.
David, Ontario; Nepal Participant
As a GCN volunteer you expect to fill the role of giver, giving of your time, efforts, money and heart. During a recent trip to Nepal, I felt more like a wide receiver for a pro football team, with countless blessings being passed my way! It started before I even left with support from a bunch of people, some of whom I don't even know, my sponsors through fundraising.
Cherril, New York; Nepal Participant
A positive growing experience that will unfold as time moves on. I do appreciate the warm hospitality of the local Navajo people and thank them for all they did to open our eyes and heart to their life, culture and values.
Jerry, Minnesota; New Mexico volunteer
It has become the most meaningful thing I've experienced in my life. It was more than a casual cultural exchange. I never felt like a tourist - I felt like I was coming home.
Ted, New York; New Mexico volunteer
The trip to Rock Point was a wonderful experience for me. Our team really "connected" and are talking among ourselves of doing other trips together! We all agreed we haven't laughed and sung songs like we did there for a long time. The Navajo people are wonderful, and we were able to share songs, dinner with them and they with us. We were able to complete the projects they had for us and still have lots of time for culture exchange.
Lynne, California; Arizona volunteer
My goal was to get lifted out of my personal and professional rut, to have my head and heart spun around and to land more solid and grounded. For the most part this happened.
Nancy, Vermont; Guatemala volunteer
Because of a scholarship provided by Global Citizens Network, I was able to spend two weeks volunteering in Guatemala, in a rural village called Llanos de Morales. This was my second trip volunteering in a developing nation (I went to Nicaragua two years ago), but my first time working with GCN. My experience was unforgettable and I would recommend it to anyone!
The best thing about the trip was getting really close-up pictures of horses. The hardest part of the trip was leaving Chirapa
Tana-Isabel, Washington; Peru youth volunteer
I wanted to be "in the middle of nowhere" and enjoy it as well as learn about the Quechua culture. My comfort zone has expanded and I enjoyed getting to know the people!
The most inspiring moment for me was receiving a genuine Quechuan percussion instrument as a gift from the community. It showed me that the community valued my presence and it is something that I will never forget.
David, University of Minnesota Participant; Peru volunteer
As I zipped into my sleeping bag, I reflected on this totally crazy, awesome experience, and in many ways wondered how (why) we are having so much fun. This is -- by far -- the best trip we have ever taken as a family and perhaps even my best trip ever. Everything is an adventure. We are living it rather than observing it. Amy S., Chicago, Guatemala volunteer