Allison Gloor traveled to San Jose, Costa Rica for five weeks. While in San Jose, Allison took a basic Spanish class and an elective taught in English entitled, “Human Rights in Latin America.” Allison’s language skills and familiarity with Costa Rican culture were enriched by staying with a local family and three other students from the U.S. Allison felt engaged with Costa Rican culture because her host family prayed at every meal and told the story of why Catholics in Costa Rica take a pilgrimage to Cartago every August 2nd. She was able to see people walking on their way to Cartago, where the Basilica de los Angeles is located. Allison was able to travel downtown with her host family to watch the soccer team return from the world cup in Brazil. During her international experience, Allison learned about the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and observed human rights abuses firsthand. She met people from many different walks of life and traveled to some common tourist destinations including a waterfall and canopy tour. As a result of her international experience, Allison solidified her career goals and passions.
VIH scholars from Thiel College, Sara Toombs and Allie Gloor, led a panel discussion in November 2014 on the impact that lack of education has on young women and global problems. They facilitated their project with chapters from the documentary, “Girl Rising”. Some of the specific topics discussed were global poverty, bonded labor and human trafficking, child brides, and poor or no education. Campus Coordinator, Dr. Cynthia Sutton, was present to add to the discussion. A woman from the local safe house for victims of human trafficking was present as well as another woman from the nearby domestic violence prevention agency. The two women were able to assist students in gaining insight on global crises. The audience participated by reading statistics cards and answering thought-provoking questions. During the CEE, Sara and Allie briefly discussed their study abroad experiences and the direct witness of troubling problems in the countries of Morocco and Costa Rica, respectively. The event goal was to have 50 people learn about the impact of education on girls and young women and to encourage global discussion. Sara and Allie exceeded their goal and felt that it was a profoundly moving event for all who attended. Overall, the CEE was a success with many people learning about global issues and being made aware of sharing with others what those problems are.