Sean D'Alfonso, '11 is graduating from Loyola with a Global Studies major and two minors, one in Spanish and one in Latin American and Latino Studies. Sean became interested in the lands to the south after visiting Peru during his senior year of high school, in 2007. That Andean country, the home to the ancient Inca Empire, sparked an interest in the culture, history and literature of Latin America. A number of classes at Loyola and a return trip to Peru and Bolivia in 2009 helped to create a strong connection between his studies and real-life application of the material. Sean explains that he chose the LALS minor "because I want to continue to appreciate Latin American history and culture and to continue my study of the Spanish language. In the 21st century, Latin America is poised to become a major power in global relations, and therefore it is extremely beneficial to learn more about its society." During his time at Loyola, Sean also tutored English at the Esperanza Center where in his words, he was introduced, "to the incredibly difficult challenges and oftentimes prejudices that Latin American immigrants face when coming to the United States."
Yet Latin America is no mere intellectual exercise for Sean. When asked what was gripping about the region, Sean replied, "One of the most compelling aspects of Latin America is its beauty: its people, geography and culture are incredibly vibrant, colorful and welcoming. While some North Americans view Latin America as 'too familiar,' it presents extremely diverse and rich cultures that are intriguing to study." Learning about Spanish-speaking countries in the Western hemisphere is not a one-way street. Sean adds, "In my experiences with citizens in Latin America, I’ve been introduced to their incredible respect for another, for their culture and heritage and for their faith. Furthermore, North America is much younger than its sister in the South, and we have many lessons to learn from its impressive culture, history and traditions."
After graduating in May, Sean D'Alfonso will be a Teach for America Corps member, teaching in Baltimore until 2013. After his stint with TOA he hopes to attend graduate school or a service program that incorporates his global studies major and LALS and Spanish minors. We wish Sean well with all of his future endeavors as he graduates from Loyola University Maryland!