Bienvenidos to our new students!

It is a pleasure to introduce to you the students participating in Casa de la Mateada for Spring 2014 (well, North American Spring–here we are still in high summer, and soon to be heading into Autumn). We are still getting to know one another, but already we can tell this is going to be a wonderful cohort: they are open, curious, adventuresome, good-humored, and willing to enter fully into all that is unfolding before them here in Córdoba. In the weeks and months to come, you will be hearing more about them, and from them, concerning their life here; their adventures, their struggles, their learning, whatever emerges as significant and meaningful for them. For now, here is a brief introduction to each of our seven new students–based on interviews the students did with one another and also composed by them. Enjoy!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAbbey King is a sophomore at Regis University in Denver, Colorado studying Peace and Justice, as well as History. Having lived in Denver for her entire life, she excited to spend time in Córdoba, Argentina this semester. She is particularly drawn to the Praxis experience, as she feels it is an ideal model for service. Abbey loves the outdoors, especially spending her time hiking and enjoying the mountains, but she also loves exploring new cities. One of her goals is to develop fluency in Spanish sarcasm.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAdrianna Frazier is an English major and Dance minor at Loyola Marymount University. She is the most fun-loving, adorable, and caring young woman you will probably meet. Her favorite subject in high school was mathematics, but somehow she became an English major (probably because she loves reading so much). She is a food enthusiast; her favorites being Mexican food and fruit. A fun fact about Adrianna is that she is a Starbucks Gold member and would drink a Starbucks hot chocolate every morning if she could. Adrianna is most excited about learning Spanish while being in Argentina and getting to spend time at her Praxis site.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMichelle Almanza is a Psychology major and Spanish and Dance double minor at Loyola Marymount University. She loves to eat bread, which is great in the Argentine culture. Michelle enjoys enthusiastically diving into a bowl of chocolate, or really any dessert, but also likes being active, especially doing yoga. She loves to spend time with her three-year-old niece, Dalia (Most people don’t know that Michelle loves spending time with kids). She’s also looking forward to building good relationships while she is in Argentina.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKrista Chinchilla is a Psychology and Theology double major at Loyola Marymount University. Her favorite activity is swimming. Although she is from Guatemala, some may mistake her as British because of her unhealthy obsession with coffee/tea and scones. She also loves frozen yogurt and enjoys cheesy puns. Krista has two younger sisters, whom she loves and cares for very much. She is excited to work and spend time with her Praxis community while in Argentina, and is very much looking forward to continuing to travel.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACoco Freling is currently a sophomore Business Marketing and Economics Major at Loyola Marymount University.  Coco is a spontaneous, intelligent and fun-loving hipster cowgirl from Dallas (D-Town) Texas. She has practiced ballet for 17 years and enjoys free styling to hip-hop from her middle school days. An avid traveler, one of Coco’s most memorable moments is snorkeling in the Red Sea. Coco is excited to explore Córdoba and its rich culture. She is intrigued about being in Córdoba during a time of economic upheaval, and plans to learn more about agriculture in Argentina.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASavannah Varela is a sophomore Psychology major at the Loyola Marymount University. Savannah has been to over ten countries, including France, Belgium, England, and Ireland. Needless to say, she is excited to be in Argentina. In addition to immersing herself in the Córdoba culture, Savannah is looking forward to her praxis site, getting to know and learn from the people she will meet there. She hopes to learn Spanish fluently so that she may be sassy in (at least) two different languages. She is secretly a gangster and loves listening to music, especially Wu-Tang. Savannah is a Southern California native and hopes to live there once she graduates from college.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMolly Egilsrud is the senior most member of our cohort, a junior at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. studying Science, Technology, & International Affairs with a concentration in Energy & the Environment. She is a native of St. Louis, Missouri and loves the Cardinals, “the greatest baseball team in the world” (apparently she is also slightly delusional…), red meat, scrapbooking, and Catholic theology. A typical American college student, she likes to “hang out with people” and she is thrilled to be in Argentina so that she can absorb as much language and culture as possible.