Service-learning course to work with youth in Baja California Sur

Colorado State University students are invited to enroll in a new 3-credit service-learning program at the CSU Todos Santos Center in Mexico during the first two weeks of summer break 2017.

The idea is for CSU students to engage local Mexican youth in the process of addressing concerns that affect their community, said Anne Van Arsdall, M.S.Ed., director of Undergraduate Advising in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies.

“Students will gain cultural and Spanish language instruction and have direct and rich engagement with the community.  Students will also gain skills in program development and delivery.  What they learn from this experience will be directly applicable when providing intervention programs in the United States, particularly with clients from the Latino community,” Van Arsdall said.

Dr. Jen Krafchick, Dr. Janina Fariñas, and Van Arsdall will be teaching the service learning course, HDFS 482 Youth and Family Engagement in Mexico, which is open to all undergraduate students and fulfills the AUCC Global and Cultural Awareness requirement.

The CSU Todos Santos Center conducted a comprehensive Community Needs Assessment in 2015, which clearly identified youth engagement as a primary goal of the community. The course is in direct response to that community-identified need.

The instruction team met with representatives from local schools, non-profit organizations, governmental agencies, and health clinics in Todos Santos, as well as in the neighboring town of El Pescadero, prior to determining how to structure their course. The group found many assets in the community, including identified youth leaders, an infrastructure for youth to complete required community service hours, and available public health resources – and are excited to share the community with their students and have an exchange of knowledge.

“Our goal is to approach this project in a very culturally respectful way, engaging the families, school and community agency representatives to support the program, where local youth leaders can help support their peers and connect them with available resources,” Van Arsdall said.

HDFS 482 Youth and Family Engagement in Mexico

3-credit course

May 2017

Knowledge of the Spanish language is not required, although students with some Spanish language ability are encouraged to apply. The course will provide varied language instruction to accommodate a range of language proficiency and to provide support for the technical language needed for communicating about the specific topics of the program.


Attend an information session:

January 25, 2017 @ 4:00 p.m.
February 1, 2017 @ 12:00 p.m.

457 Behavioral Sciences Building