Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter August 25, 2010

Listening to Santa Rita: A Critical Examination of Service-learning Practice

Peter C Mather, Brandi Givens, Angela Lash and Katie Hendrickson

While participating in a short-term service-learning based course in Honduras, the authors interviewed residents of Santa Rita, a small high poverty village, concerning their perceptions of the impact of service groups working in the community. This article presents the interview findings interwoven with the authors’ personal reflections. One author addresses the question of whether service work is fostering dependency among community members. The second author describes her awakening to the reality that her initial perception of the community’s values and needs differed from those of community members. The third author describes the community members’ lack of awareness that the act of service and the relationships built across borders is as much a gift for those providing service as for those receiving it. Following the reflections, the faculty director provides implications for effectively leading service-learning programs.

Published Online: 2010-8-25

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