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Douglass Global Village Service Learning Trip: Cuba and Puerto Rico

Douglass Global Village Service Learning Trip: Cuba and Puerto Rico

Over the winter break, two groups of Douglass College women were selected to study abroad in Cuba and Puerto Rico through Douglass’ Global Village Program. The Global Village program is a living-learning community that uses experiential learning to immerse students within a chosen field from a global perspective. Every year, two houses from the Global Village are selected to study abroad. 

The Medicine House visited a nursing home in Cuba, where they interacted with medical professionals, assisted staff, and connected with nursing home residents. Students helped to fold sheets and clothes for almost 400 nursing home residents, took walks with those who were wheelchair-bound, and lent a listening ear to residents in need of companionship. In addition to serving the community, Douglass women also toured the Ecolodge where they met with a rural doctor, who uses both traditional medicine and modern medicine.

Douglass student Cristiane Salcedo DRC’20 says of her experience in the Global Village program, “Being a part of the Global Village I have found a tight-knit community within a large university. The Global Village has allowed me to learn more about my passions outside of my major by opening me up to new ideas and introducing me to people with different backgrounds and interests. It has also pushed me to learn more about the world outside of Rutgers and introduced me to new people, who have become lifelong friends and mentors.”

The Human Rights House was selected to go to Puerto Rico. Dean Litt and her family, joined Douglass College students as they immersed themselves in their service-learning project, completing home rehabs on two homes in Loiza, PR that were affected by Hurricane Maria and serving at a domestic violence center. Asked why she feels this is an important experience for students, she said “Learning through direct engagement and immersion is one of the most powerful ways to educate students.” Students also discussed the economic impact of the hurricane and its effects on women in Puerto Rico, and made presentations based on their findings. 

These experiences are sure to make a lasting impact on both students and the community. Alexis Mullins DRC’19 says, “My travel to Puerto Rico changed my perspective and a myriad of ways. Traveling to Puerto Rico opened my eyes to cultural and historical differences that are present on the island, this left me re-invigorated by the opportunity to serve local communities.”

The Global Village is part of our Power of 100 Years Campaign. To support this program give here under Educating Women Global Leaders at Douglass