Our new intern, Matt McClure, is graduating from the State University of New York College at Geneseo this month with a bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature and French. Growing up speaking Italian and going back and forth to Italy sparked his love for language learning, and studying abroad. During his time at Geneseo, he studied for more than a year abroad, in Haiti, Vietnam and French-speaking Canada. His experience as a teaching assistant and intern as part of SUNY Geneseo’s Global Service Learning program inspired Matt to pursue a career in international education or international development.
During his time with Enlace Project, he will focus on marketing, trip management and the continued development of our English program. We recently had a chance to chat with Matt about his plans for the internship.
Q: Why do you want to work with Enlace Project?
A: Because of the work and the community in El Sauce. I am excited to be an integral part of the team here. The breadth of the internship allows me to participate in many aspects of international partnerships that Enlace helps create. I am particularly interested in the international and intercultural component of our work, leading groups in Nicaragua and teaching English to our El Sauce partners.
My friends, family and classmates who have worked with Enlace have been encouraging me to come to Nicaragua for years. During this first month, I have a wonderfully warm welcome. Every day I am learning more about the community and more Spanish!
Q: This is your first time in Nicaragua. What is your favorite place so far?
A: I really enjoyed my first trip to Ocotal, which was a striking contrast to El Sauce. The cool air, mountainous terrain, beautiful panoramas, quiet woods and the smell of pine trees were quite refreshing. I am not a big coffee drinker, but the fresh-brewed coffee after my first coffee tour was a treat.
Q: What are your goals for your time here?
A: First of all, I want to understand and immerse myself in the rich web of connections that Enlace has created. With this understanding, I look forward to strengthening and expanding our work as part of the Enlace team.
Personally, I want to improve my Spanish and learn some Latin partner dances. I am an avid swing dancer and I am ecstatic to be in a country with such a strong culture of social dance.
Photo credit: Kris Dreesen