Caitlyn Lili Davis is a sophomore at Cottey College in Nevada, Mo., who has spent five summers at El Lago del Bosque, the Spanish Language Village, at the Bemidji, Callaway, and Cass Lake, Minn., sites, first as a villager and then as a staff member. Lili studies Global Studies with an emphasis in education and literature. Currently, she is studying abroad in Central America, visiting Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua.
“These summer experiences have not only allowed me to continue increasing my vocabulary, but served as encouragement to use that language ability to explore the world and to be a true global citizen,” says Lili.
In particular, Lili related a story of teaching camping songs to Guatemalan elementary students at recreo, or recess.
“The songs, all brought from camp, were a big hit and my host siblings were singing them as we walked down the dirt road through the cornfields back to their house after the night of fun,” she says.
Lili brought other traditions from El Lago del Bosque to her experiences in Chwitzirib’al (chu-eet-zuri-bal), a rural community in Guatemala, such as singing songs before making snacks around a campfire. There, on her last night, she practiced her “Spanish camp song teaching skills,” introducing to members of the community songs from El Lago del Bosque.
“The infamous El Mamut Chiquitito [a song from the Village] made his appearance around the campfire,” says Lili, “while we made improvised s’mores out of Chickys, a chocolate covered shortbread cookie popular in Central America, and Angelitos, a brand of colorful, flavored marshmallows.”