by April Nwatah
My name is April and I’m a junior at UIUC. I’m majoring in Global Studies with an area concentration in Latin America and a thematic area in Social Work. I’ve been studying Spanish since the 7th grade, but I hadn’t really had a decent command of the language until I came to college. Before Spanish 232, I had taken Spanish 103, 141, and 200. In the spring of my sophomore year, I studied abroad in Ecuador. While I attended an Ecuadorian university in Cumbaya (an upperclass suburb of Ecuador’s capital city - Quito) I lived with a host family in Lumbisi (a small semi-indigenous town). While in Ecuador I was also able to volunteer at a community center teaching English to a bunch of 8 and 9 year old kids. It was a crazy-awesome time!
After being in Ecuador, taking my classes with other Ecuadorians, and volunteering I came back to the United States wanting to continue to use Spanish. Last summer I worked at the YMCA as a day camp counselor. At camp, I was the only staff member who spoke Spanish so I ended up spending a lot of the summer doing translations. I wanted to continue my work with Spanish speakers here at U of I so I decided to take this course.
I hope for this project to open the door for me into the Spanish-speaking world of Urbana-Champaign. I hope to meet and be able to assist the Spanish speakers of the area. Ultimately, I hope that this is a mutually beneficial experience. Not only do I want to help through my volunteer work, I look forward to learning from conversing with the people that I work with.
Until next time!