Duke's Community Based Language Issue (CBLI) co-sponsored a Day of the Dead celebration with the Spanish Language Program. The event invited students and community members to gather around a traditional altar and partake of hot chocolate, special breads shaped in different designs, and tamales. The event also commemorated the 43 disappeared Mexican students in fall 2014.
Alternative Spring Break in Costa Rica
Bethzaida Fernandez has organized an alternative spring break trip to Costa Rica for several years. CBLI is pleased to contribute to the funding of the program. The undergraduate students participate in community-based learning experiences through service opportunities in schools, a retirement center, and a center for disabled adults. They live with families and practice their linguistic and cultural skills through this immersive Spanish environment.
Líderes Unidos Fútbol Club
Líderes Unidos Fútbol Club is a mentorship program that uses soccer to promote leadership and academic achievement of at-risk high school students in the Durham area. The idea first emerged from a dialogue between Duke students and the community, where the students learned that the graduation rate for “Limited English Proficiency” students was very poor (49.5% in 2014). Ivan Almonte, a local guidance counselor for the Durham public school system, was central to mentoring the students through discussions of issues and challenges facing the Latino community. In 2015, Dr. Paredes led a tutorial for a group of Duke students, which planted the seeds for the organization and launch of Líderes Unidos Fútbol Club. Approaching its third year as a fully functioning student group, LUFC has raised over $5,000 in funding and apparel and continues to positively influence the Durham community. Last year, club president Alex Goodman and the executive board worked diligently to add another element to LUFC by partnering with a free, student run tutoring service at Duke (GANO) in order to further promote academic achievement. They will look to grow their tutoring platform in the years to come.