Giving back in Guatemala

Over winter break 2011-2012, 17 undergraduates from the honors program in the Lundquist College of Business traveled to Guatemala to help build homes for two families, through the University of Oregon’s international exchange and service-learning program and Habitat for Humanity.

"The experience was truly life-changing," said participant Ryan Dingler. "It enabled me to think more about the possible repercussions of future business decisions and how they may affect other parts of the world."

Though only a few of the students spoke Spanish, the language barrier soon melted away. "I experienced how everything communicates: your attitude, your body language, and your hand motions," said student Abby Carrier. "This was something I learned in my marketing communications class just weeks before."

Indeed, students put their business training into practice preparing for the project by raising money and applying for scholarships through a new fund for international business studies generously donated by Tracy and Oystein Harsvik '88.

"Our goal is to educate business leaders who are prepared for the global environment, understand the impact of their business decisions, and who value service to the community. Programs like this emphasize these values and make them real to our students," said Jeanne Coe, interim assistant dean for undergraduate programs, who worked alongside the students.

Project participant Tyler Woodke produced the video.