Loyola University Maryland

Center for Community Service and Justice (CCSJ)

Encounter El Salvador Details and Schedule

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Loyola’s International Immersion Programs, sponsored by  CCSJ, encourage applications from motivated sophomores, juniors, seniors, graduate students, faculty, staff, and administrators who have a sincere desire to fulfill the programs’ mission statements, are willing to learn very basic Spanish, have a sincere commitment to social justice and demonstrate maturity, emotional stability and a good sense of humor.

Each team member is asked to leave her/his comfort zone to benefit from the concrete experience of living and working in solidarity with the materially poor of El Salvador. This immersion involves new foods, demanding physical labor and a loss of modern comforts to which we have all grown accustomed. Prior to the trip we focus both on raising funds to bring to the communities we visit, as well as raising our awareness of critical issues of justice and faith through preparation, education and reflection.

Encounter El Salvador Participants Selection Criteria

Since the experience is enhanced by a strong, collaborative and focused team, members are asked to be able to set aside approximately 10 hours per week in the spring semester leading up to the immersion, and 3-5 hours per week in the fall, to the team and the project. We ask that all applicants consider and commit to this time component, being aware of the many other curricular and extra-curricular demands of Loyola. Every applicant should therefore consider whether s/he can make Encounter El Salvador a year-long priority and devote the dedication and time needed to meet the programs’ goals.

The team selection process endeavors to find a diverse and dedicated group who can share their varying beliefs and backgrounds to add to the team’s spirit. Team members should be willing to assume leadership roles in facilitating reflections, organizing fundraisers, educating one another and the Loyola community and various other responsibilities. Spanish fluency, international experience and/or extensive service experience are not strict or exclusive requirements for acceptance.

Applicants may choose to apply for one or the other of the two programs, or may choose to be considered for acceptance to either of the programs. See application for more information concerning this option.

Participants who are accepted for the international immersion programs cannot particpate in Spring Break Outreach the same year, or other international immersion programs scheduled for the same academic year.

Benefits for Participant

  • Life-altering international immersion experience with diverse members of the entire Loyola community
  • Team bonding and friendships with other Loyola members
  • Opportunity to learn first hand about global issues others only read about
  • Opportunity to live in a rural community in a developing world
  • Significant experience to include in your resume
  • Structured reflection, both individually and in a safe group, to help develop one’s worldview based on personal experience

Team Make-Up

  • 9 undergraduate students
  • 4 (graduate student, faculty/staff/administrators)
  • 2 co-coordinators: Andrea Goicochea and David Opitz

Program Fees - $650

$100 deposit upon acceptance to the team, and a balance of $550 to be paid by Nov. 8, 2013. Each team works as a group to raise funds to cover travel and program expenses, and to donate to non-profit organizations and communities with whom we will work and live. Do not let financial concerns inhibit you from applying to the programs! If the individual contribution poses a problem, you are encouraged to speak with the coordinators.

Calendar for Encounter El Salvador - 2013-14

Fall Semester

Date Time/Location Event
Thursday, 9/5 7pm, CCSJ Information Session
Monday, 9/9 7pm, CCSJ Information Session
Friday, 9/13 3pm, CCSJ

Applications are due by 3pm

Monday, 9/16 12pm, CCSJ Applicants can pick up first round letters & sign-up for interviews
Monday, 9/16
 4-7pm, CCSJ
Tuesday, 9/17
11-6pm, CCSJ Interviews
Wednesday, 9/18 11-6pm, CCSJ Interviews
Friday, 9/20 12pm, CCSJ Applicants can pick up final decision letters
Monday, 9/30 8-10pm, CCSJ First team meeting
Monday, 10/14 8-10pm, CCSJ Second team meeting
Wednesday, 10/30 7-9pm, CCSJ Third meeting with PMEX
Friday, 11/15 4-8pm, McGuire Auction!
Wednesday, 12/4 11-3pm, McGuire Holiday Craft Sale
Saturday, 12/7 10-2pm, FAC Team Building Day

Spring Semester

Bi-Weekly meetings in spring until Spring Break (Mondays, 1/27, 2/10, 2/24). Weekly meetings after Spring break (Mondays, 3/10, 3/17, 3/24, 3/31, 4/7, 4/14, 4/28)

Date Time/Location Event
Friday-Saturday, 2/7-2/8 TBD Retreat
Monday-Thursday, 3/17-3/20 10:45am-2:15pm, Boulder Craft Sale
Thursday, 3/20 5-7pm "Fiesta" Fundraiser

Trip Dates

May 20-May 29, 2014 (Be on campus the evening of May 19).