HARRISON — Over spring break, March 3-10, a group of 12 MMCC students traveled to the Dominican Republic and earned two college credits for teaching English literacy at orphanages. The trip integrated community service with meaningful learning while also giving students a firsthand experience in a foreign culture.
Lucy Andarcia, MMCC Foreign Languages instructor, and Chris Goffnett, Dean of Instruction at MMCC, accompanied the college students, overseeing and organizing trip details. While in the Dominican Republic, students taught at the Jaibon orphanage, a home for 22 orphaned boys and a school for an additional 700 grade school students from the surrounding community.
“Since I came to MMCC, it has always been my dream to meaningfully involve students in their global community,” said Andarcia. “This trip required students to solve real-life problems and become active participants in serving and teaching others. For students, the experience combined critical and reflective thinking with personal and civic responsibility.”
Outside of the service projects that MMCC students took part in, they spent a free day touring the Dominican Republic, practicing their Spanish, and going to the beach.
“It was such a privilege to go with our students on this trip,” Goffnett commented. “It’s hard to give students a real appreciation for the struggles of other countries while they’re sitting in the comfort of their American classrooms. Trips like these provide fast and meaningful growth and perspective.”
MMCC plans to offer yearly service trips to different Spanish-speaking countries in future years. For more information about MMCC’s Foreign Studies programs and the college’s study abroad trips, contact Lucy Andarcia at (989) 386-6622, ext. 290.