Teaching and Learning Through Service in Mexico
JCCC's international service learning project is based in Santa Rosa, a village inside the larger town of Las Pintas, Mexico.
Begun in 1998, the Las Pintas Project has three goals:
- To immerse JCCC students and staff in a meaningful service project
- To enhance the service-learning program with an international and intercultural component
- To help the community center and the people of Las Pintas
The project works with the community center El Centro Integral Comunitario. In addition to providing medical and social services, the El Centro staff assists residents of Santa Rosa by modeling ways to improve daily life and by mentoring community residents who then help others.
JCCC students and faculty follow El Centro's philosophy of working hard without tangible reward, teaching by example, and respecting and helping others. Recent JCCC teams have provided medical and dental screenings, preventative health care classes, educational programs for parents, educational activities and scholarships for children, and assistance with construction projects.
For students who want a longer program than the Las Pintas Project, the Partnership for Service Learning offers semester-length service learning programs in 11 countries. Students receive academic credit for working in schools, clinics and community organizations while studying the social and cultural issues of their host country.
"This project was a classroom without walls or barriers, as each of us learned valuable, life-changing lessons. Any time you take the risk to step outside your own culture and daily routine, the personal growth you are able to achieve is limitless." -- Graciela Stanley, Las Pintas Program participant