Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Spring 2015: We've only just begun...

Our first student blog post of Spring 2015 comes to us from Jon Thornton. Jon is a Junior at Wheaton College in Illinois, studying Communications and Anthropology.

The beautiful opportunity to experience a new culture, to learn from a new perspective; just two weeks in San José and we LASPers are settling in poco a poco.
    The city of San José is located in the Central Valley of Costa Rica, a highly elevated area of the country surrounded by mountains and volcanoes. In other words, the views are striking. Taking the bus home, one might look over a downward slope of red, green, and grey-roofed homes to see a distant mountain shrouded in clouds. However, one may also struggle trying to explain this same view in Spanish. Language, basic communication even, has been a consistent challenge. If Spanish is the language of love (as so many ticos insist), then we LASPers have just re-entered the awkward, sometimes-daunting phase of pre-teen romance.
Our group is eleven strong with the women leading the men by one (6 women; 5 men). We come from schools and universities all across North America, from the Southeast of the United States to the Northwest of Canada. With majors ranging from Spanish to Biology to Religious Studies to International Politics, our small group is about as interdisciplinary as a group of eleven can be. Each person brings her own context into conversations to make the learning process very interesting. Also, we like each other, which helps a lot.
     However, it is not simple to describe in a blog post the new relationships, new information, new understandings, etc. that come with this type of “abroad” experience. Gallo pinto, its taste and its importance, can’t fully be described in a sentence or two. The lessons we are learning through dialogue with our Costa Rican friends and family and professors is difficult to relay in text without omitting a great amount of valuable detail (please ask us about these lessons). What can be said is this: the study of Latin America and of Spanish challenges us, as North Americans, to think outside our own context. It forces us to pursue the intricacies of our own life actions and their impact of the world at large.
     This is the beginning of a semester we all know will pass too quickly. As relationships with our families deepen and opportunities for cross-cultural dialogue increase, we pray that we would be receptive to the truths God reveals. Please think of and pray for us as often as you can, so that this semester would be a reflection of God’s glory. More to come…. LASPers Spring 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

Welcome to Spring 2015!

Hola and a special welcome to our Spring 2015 students and their "followers"! If you've already been following our blog updates, you know that we work to create a LASP Update every 2-3 weeks to share with interested applicants for coming semesters, and to keep those who love LASP up-to-date on current happenings. If you have any advice, ideas, or updates of your own to share, don't hesitate to send them our way: We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Mission Statement Mondays

You may have recently seen this blurb posted to our Facebook page...
CALLING all alumni! We’re starting a new blog campaign called “Mission Statement Mondays” to hi-light for future LASPers our commitment to our convictions as reflected in our mission statement. Please help us share how the program has accomplished these goals in your lives by contacting us at !
LASP's mission is “To cultivate a Christ-centered community of critical thinking learner-scholars from multiple disciplines that seeks to expand global awareness and integrate Kingdom values via experiential learning in the Latin American context, challenging students to respectfully engage our host cultures and strive for academic excellence."

Our goal in starting this new initiative is to connect our amazing alumni with potential students who are interested in learning more about LASP. We also love to hear stories about the real-life impacts of LASP and want to share them with the world!

So, if you're interested, send us your pictures, thoughts, quotes, current readings, work/life/random stories; anything you'd be willing to share with us! It is our hope that this will help create a more connected LASP community that continues to inspire faith and action.