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13 Reasons Why Dr. Zurek Is Happy

Posted on 3/15/2014 7:38:00 PM

Guatemala Study AbroadPictured from left: 

Back row: Mackenzie Harris, Dr. Raquel Green, Nick Cipollone, Janet Gervais, Moira Melidosian, Shae McPherson, Ryan McLaughlin, Dr. Jerry Zurek 

Front: Mariel Delacruz, Anie Jamgocian, Jaime Viggiano, Madison Milano, Marina Haley, Caroline McCarthy, Abby Pressimone 

Jerry Zurek, Ph.D., chair and professor of communication, spent spring break with students in the Western Highlands of Guatemala.  

The group worked alongside indigenous Mayan people at the San Lucas Toliman Mission to learn their way of life, hopes, and struggles.

Zurek was so moved by the experience that he composed a social media post that quickly went viral: 

 13 Reasons I’m Happy Today 
 Spring Break in Guatemala with 13 Cabrini students who: 

  1. are willing to take chances 

  2. open their hearts to new people and new experiences 

  3. ask uncomfortable questions 

  4. learn from Guatemalan people that satisfaction comes from caring about others more than yourself

  5. refuse to be a clique 

  6. build houses and safe stoves along with people from the community 

  7. reflect deeply 

  8. talk to people rather than look at their smartphones 

  9. choose to live lives for others 

  10. see beauty all around them in people and nature 

  11. don't whine, ever! 

  12. work until jobs are done to the best of their ability 

  13. want to Do Something Extraordinary with their present and future!”

Study Abroad     Study Abroad 2

Study Abroad 3     Study Abroad 4

Zurek and Raquel Green, Ph.D., assistant professor of romance languages, accompanied 10 undergraduate and three graduate students to Guatemala as part of an ECG class “Working for Justice in Guatemala.” 

The course explores the culture and bloody history of Mayan repression and resistance. 

From their week-long experience working alongside the Mayans, students will take what they’ve learned and, in partnership with Catholic Relief Services, go to the U.S. Congress in Washington, D.C.

The students will advocate for long-term development aid to help Mayans and other poor and vulnerable people around the world.