The first service-learning course in Spanish was developed in 2004 with a grant from the Duke Clinical Research Institute to improve the knowledge and understanding of the local Latino/a community and address needs within health care. Currently there are five service-learning courses regularly offered in Spanish and many other Spanish courses that integrate community-based learning.

VIDEO: Faculty, students, and community partners discuss the objectives of "Health, Culture, and the Latinx Community" (SPANISH 306).

Here are examples of how the community has collaborated as co-educators in the following courses (not all are current projects):


  • A literacy building program for Latino families at George Watts Elementary and Morehead Montessori Elementary. (Spanish 204: Advanced Intermediate)
  • Adult ESL tutoring with Gente Aprendiendo para Nuevas Oportunidades (GANO) (Spanish 308S: Latino/a voices in Duke, Durham, and Beyond)
  • Tutoring Latino children at LEAP (Latino Educational Achievement Partnership), Immaculate Conception Church, Riverside High School students, E.K. Powe Elementary School, (multiple courses)


  • Mentoring middle school Latino/a students at Durham School of the Arts through Enlaces and Foundations (Spanish 307S: Issues of Education and Immigration)


  • “Making the Invisible Visible,” a series of conversations with the professional community of translators and interpreters. Translating Spanish-English and English-Spanish (Spanish 310: Advanced Spanish Translation)
  • Shadowing Medical Interpreters at Duke Hospital (Spanish 310: Advanced Spanish Translation)
  • Serving as interpreters for parent/teacher conferences at Maureen Joy Charter School (Spanish 310: Advanced Spanish Translation)
  • Translating stories for Forest View Elementary students (Spanish 310: Advanced Spanish Translation)

Interactions with the Community


  • Students translated documents and recruited Latino families for a faculty research project run by Dr. Christina Gibson-Davis and Dr. Anna Gassman-Pines to study the impact of the delivery of educational materials to parents through texts impacts academic readiness for kindergarten. (Spanish 312: Community-Based Research with Spanish Speakers)
  • Spanish 306 students have assisted the coalition of public health organizations designing Sugar Smart Durham, a social justice-oriented campaign to build awareness about the impacts of sweetened/sugary drinks in communities of color, in a variety of ways. Examples of the tasks include: a literature review related to consumption of sweetened/sugar drinks, research on advertising in Spanish-language media, translations of focus group guidelines, facilitation of story circles with Latinx communities, canvassing of local businesses to assess product placement and poll consumers.


  • Interviewing and editing stories for website: Latinos in/en Durham (Spanish 303, 308S, 313, 390S)
  • Creation and publication of Mariposa Stories Project, a bilingual coloring book series for elementary school students (multiple courses)

Other Service

  • Childcare for Latina Support Group at Durham Crisis Response Center (Spanish 313: Bridging Cultures: Latino Lives and Experiences in NC)
  • Facilitating Wellness Activities and Orientations at Bull City Fit (Spanish 313: Bridging Cultures: Latino Lives and Experiences in NC)