Summer Solidarity, Service and Cultural Immersions

Posted: June 6, 2012

Bellarmine's immersion program embraces the Ignatian cornerstones of faith and justice as inspired by the Gospel call to love and serve our neighbor, especially the poor and marginalized. Eighty students, two alumni and ten faculty members participating in one of six immersions, this month and next, accept this challenge as they embark on their journeys to Appalachia, El Salvador, Mexico, South Africa and India.

Appalachia Service Immersion - Ten students are joining faculty members Bernadette Troyan and Andre Mathurin. The group, which left the Bay Area on June 3rd and will return on June 9th, will participate in “urban” service within an Appalachian community, as well as rural service that includes making and delivery meals in the "holler". They will also tour mountain-top mining sites and meet with experts from Wheeling Jesuit’s Appalachian Institute, local government officials and activists

El Salvador Solidarity Immersion - The Bellarmine contingent of 11 students, led by faculty members Vern Cleary and Michael Serrania, will be in El Salvador from June 3rd through June 15th. The group will live in solidarity with our sister community of Agua Escondida, which continues to suffer from poverty, injustice and war. They will also examine the history and influences of the Jesuit martyrs, and visit with members of the two major opposing political parties.

Mexico Service and Cultural Immersion - Faculty member Tyler Hansbrough will lead two immersion trips through Mexico. Forty students, along with alumni Jack Mohr '08 and Julian Howard '08, journey to Mexico City, Puebla and Guanajuato. Beginning and ending in Mexico City, the group will experience the smells, sights and sounds of the metropolis. They will spend six days living and working in solidarity with the boys at the IPODERAC orphanage on the outskirts of Puebla before visiting the colonial city of Guanajuato, where they will visit nearby attractions and reflect upon their experience at the orphanage.

South Africa Immersion - Eleven students and three faculty members, including President Paul Sheridan, S.J., Katie Passalacqua and Louie Agelson, will travel to both Johannesburg and Cape Town from May 30th through June 14th for Bellarmine's inaugural South Africa Immersion. The Bellarmine community is invited to share in the experience by visiting the group's blog which will chronicle their travels and impressions of their days.

India - Eight students and faculty members Paul Spitzmueller and Chris Wolf will travel to India July 1st through 15th. The group will share their experience, via photos and reflections, on their blog.

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