Spanish  
 

 

 

AQ Difference - Aquinas in New Mexico, “The Land of Enchantment”

 
During the spring 2014 semester, the Chicano Literature class taught by Dr. Shelli Rottschafer, Associate Professor of Spanish, went on a culminating service learning trip to New Mexico to visit all of the places studied in the course.
 

 

Rehoboth School

 

Maddie Dekker ’16, a Spanish and business major, said her experience at the Rehoboth School was a challenge that she never would have undertaken if she hadn’t taken this course. “While at Rehoboth, we volunteered in Ms. Hannink’s Pre-K classroom. We coordinated activities with the kids in an energetic pace. The dynamic with working one-on-one with students was a new experience.”

Rehoboth School
 
Española Valley Animal Shelter

 

Española Valley Animal Shelter

 

Emma Brick ’15, an international studies major minoring in art history and Spanish, enjoyed her time volunteering at the Española Valley Animal Shelter. It was her first experience at an animal shelter and while there she played with the cats, walked the dogs, and learned about the advocacy projects the shelter puts on to educate the community.  Emma saw the effects of these programs in the high number of animals going to good homes.

 

 

Author Levi Romero

 

In addition to service learning projects, students also met one of the authors studied in class, Levi Romero. Sydne Harris ’14, a Spanish and community leadership major, appreciated the unique opportunity to have breakfast with the poet. Several students, including Peri Erhan ’14, a Spanish and psychology major, shared a poem with Romero.  Erhan’ poem was titled “Soy de aquí, Soy de allá” / “I am from here, I am from there.” She also enjoyed getting feedback from a professional and well-known poet on the new poetry she was writing. Erhan was proud to share her story of her background and cultural differences with Romero.

Author Levi Romero
 

Church Rock

 

Tent Rocks National Monument
Church Rock
Another portion of the Chicano Literature excursion to New Mexico was an introduction to the landscape.  Eva Borquez ’15, an international studies and Spanish major, enjoyed hiking in the Church Rock and Pyramid areas near Gallup.
  Tent Rocks National Monument
Jenna Ambrose ’16, a Spanish and business administration major, enjoyed the Tent Rocks National Monument in the Cochiti Pueblo.  The group hiked the sacred land to a mesa top to take in the spectacular views.  “Although the sandy trail was challenging and the heat draining, the view from the top was well worth it.”
 

Overall, the Chicano Literature class and excursion celebrate the Aquinas charisms of service study, and community.  Taylor Truttschel ’15, an international business and Spanish major, enjoyed her service learning experiences throughout the trip. “It was really interesting to visit the places we studied and read about in class.  The community established alongside my fellow classmates broadened my knowledge and global perspective after being immerse in the Chicano culture.”

 

Spanish and biology major Amanda Avella ’16 said, “I was able to put in context the lessons learned in a solid and concrete way while in the southwest. The New Mexico state motto is, ‘The Land of Enchantment,’ and I agree.”