"...We are both extremely grateful for all we learned through Calvin's Spanish Department and all the support we received from professors and department staff ..."
Alumni: Elise Ditta & Julia Riddell, '10
Majors: Elise - International Development Studies and Spanish; Julia - International Relations and Spanish
Minor: Elise - Sociology
Current Positions: Elise - Association for a More Just Society in Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Julia - TEFL volunteer for the Peace Corps in Costa Rica
Hi there Spanish Department!
Elise and Julia here ('10), reporting from Central America! Both of us have great memories of Calvin and the Spanish Department, as we took almost all our Spanish classes together and bonded over many things from studying for grammar quizzes in 301 and Grammar Interim, to deciding what to write for our Capstone projects. Both of us studied abroad in Honduras at different times but we connected over our love for Central America and our crazy adventures there.
The two of us returned to Central America after graduation and are currently serving here in different capacities.
Elise has been working for the past two years in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, sponsored by the Mennonite Central Committee to work at the Association for a More Just Society (http://ajs-us.org/). She works mostly in communications, sharing Honduran justice workers' stories with supporters, and planning and hosting exchange events, like learning trips, academic seminars, and conferences. She especially enjoys how she can connect people all over the world with the exciting work being done in Honduras because of her Spanish and English language abilities.
Julia has been serving with the Peace Corps in Costa Rica as a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) volunteer for the past two years and is planning on extending a third year. She works with local English teachers at the elementary school as well as providing youth and adult English classes to community members no longer in school. She also enjoys working on secondary projects with local counterparts. She most recently organized the very first 5k race in her community! She lives in the urban-rural community of Upala near the Nicaraguan border. Spanish obviously came in handy for integration into the community, the school, and with local counterparts, though all the Honduran slang learned in Tegus had to be switched to local Tico vocabulary. :)
We've managed one visit so far, as Elise happened to have a conference in Costa Rica! Still working on the reverse visit.
We are both extremely grateful for all we learned through Calvin's Spanish Department and all the support we received from professors and department staff (shout out to Nora! hehe).
Saludos y Bendiciones,
Elise Ditta and Julia Riddell