Santa Clara University

Casa de la Solidaridad

Current Students

Fall 2014


Back row (L-R): Jill Murray (Santa Clara University), Elizabeth Orem (University of Notre Dame), Matthew Smith (College of the Holy Cross), Joseph Bartoletti (Marquette University), Alec Kwo (Santa Clara University), Nicholas Endo (Fordham University).

Second row (L-R):Stephanie Maniglia (Loyola University Maryland), Jessica Dworak (Saint Louis University), Theresa Martin (Saint Louis University), Caroline Belden (Saint Louis University), Emily Haas (Saint Louis University), Elizabeth Hughes (Saint Louis University), Andrea García (Santa Clara University), Mikael Stovarsky (Santa Clara University).

Front row (L-R): Sydney Groll (Loyola University Maryland), Hannah Olsen (Saint Louis University), Hannah Morin (Marquette University), Alyssa Crooke (Santa Clara University), Melissa Lundberg (University of San Francisco), Jazmin Maya (University of San Francisco), Gianna Carleo (Regis University).


Current Student Bios


Joe Bartoletti

Marquette University

My name is Joe Bartoletti and I am studying Biomedical Sciences and Spanish for the Health Professions at Marquette University. I love being active outdoors in a variety of ways from biking, running, slacklining, and exploring new trails. While studying abroad, I hope to learn through immersion into new communities. I feel as if the best lessons learned in life come from people and experiences. I look forward to walking alongside and learning from those around me. Learning amidst the realities of others will be one of the most important aspects of this shared experience.


Emily Haas

St. Louis University

Hello! My name is Emily Haas and I am a Junior at Saint Louis University studying Psychology, Spanish, and International Studies with a minor in Urban Poverty Studies. I like sunsets and long walks on the beach…just kidding. I actually do like those things but less for the romantic aspect of a dating website and more because I see God in nature ☺ Other than climbing the volcanoes and riding waves in the ocean here in El Salvador I love getting to know the people- both the people I live with in the casas and the people of this country. I’m from the beautiful city of Milwaukee, WI (seriously I really love it there) and this semester I will be accompanying the people from Santa Maria de la Esperanza. Cheers to a semester of learning, living, and loving more fully than ever before!


Nick Endo

Fordham University

Hola! My name is Nick Endo. I am currently a junior studying International Political Economy, Theology, and Spanish at Fordham University.  Fordham Inspires! Go Rams! I’m originally from Southampton, Pennsylvania, but since no one knows where that is, I usually say I’m from Philadelphia. My favorite pastimes include reading, making pasta, lying in hammocks, breaking it down on the dance floor, and finding God in all things. This semester, I am blessed to be accompanying the people of La Valencia, San Ramon. I am so very grateful for this opportunity to live, learn, and love here in El Salvador.


Beth Hughes

Saint Louis University

Hello! My name is Beth Hughes and I am a junior at Saint Louis University studying Physical Therapy. I am originally from the town of Fox River Grove, a small suburb of Chicago. I really love to be active in sports, hiking, biking or anything outside really. I am beyond grateful for this opportunity to be here in El Salvador and am looking forward to live in the unique culture here and grow and be challenged in many ways. Besides hoping to meet a fellow red head, I am excited for my time here accompanying the medical clinic of FUNDESO and the community of San Bartolo. From a sign I saw at the UCA, "entramos para aprender, salimos para servir" !


Caroline Belden

Saint Louis University

Hola! My name is Caroline Belden, and I am a junior at Saint Louis University studying Theology and African American Studies with minors in Spanish and Urban Poverty Studies. Some of my favorite things to do include writing, reading, going to concerts, and eating macaroni and cheese. During my time in El Salvador, I hope to learn more about the art of storytelling. Through my relationships with the other students in the Casas and the Salvadorans, I want to better understand what it means to love by sharing stories. I will be spending my semester in accompaniment with the Mariona community, and I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from and share in their realities. So here’s to many adventures to come!


Elizabeth Orem

University of Notre Dame

Hello hello, I’m Elizabeth Orem and I’m a junior at the University of Notre Dame, studying Spanish and English with a minor in Latin American Studies. I am SO happy I decided to study abroad with the Casa program, because my Spanish is improving every day and I’m building such incredible relationships with my fellow students, with the wonderful Salvadorans, and with God. My praxis site is Las Nubes, and though we have to trek up a volcano to get there, every day is an amazing experience.


Theresa Martin

Saint Louis University

Hello! My name is Theresa Martin and I’m a junior majoring in Theology and International Studies. I’m thrilled to be a part of the Casa program in El Salvador this semester! Originally, I am from San Francisco, but I’m currently studying at St. Louis University in Missouri. When I’m by the bay, I enjoy biking through the fog, journaling on the beach, and singing anytime anywhere. I aspire to write like Hafiz, to speak like Andrea Gibson, and to love like Mama T. I’m looking forward to accompanying my community in San Antonio Abad, and, as a sage once said, “Cool runnings!”


Sydney Groll

Loyola University Maryland

Hola, my name is Sydney Groll! I am currently in my third year at Loyola University Maryland, studying Psychology and Spanish. Originally from Minnesota, I am happy to be in a warm climate far from snow this semester. I'm very blessed to be spending my time at La Valencia and can't wait to get to know more of my favorite people--KIDS! My passions include service, social justice, soccer, learning, and just being with those around me. I look forward to creating another home for myself in El Salvador and sharing the love every step of the way... Please feel free to follow me on this incredible journey by checking out my blog at


Melissa Lundberg

University of San Francisco

Hi, Im Melissa Lundberg I am in my third year at the University of San Francisco studying sociology with a focus on Latin America. I love learning about different cultures, and the warm people and climate of El Salvador provide the perfect place for that! I decided to come to El Salvador with the CASA program to learn in a more focused community living setting. It has provided a whole new perspective on learning in the class room and learning on site, you are able to see what you are reading—how it affected people, and continues to affect people of El Salvador today. It is a great opportunity and a learning experience unlike any other!


Jessica Dworak

Saint Louis University

Hey there, I'm Jessica Dworak. I am a junior studying Physical Therapy at Saint Louis University with a minor in spanish. I'm from Rochester, Minnesota. I enjoy spending personal time with friends. I love everything outside; I find so much peace in nature. I can't wait to see how I am going to grow and be shaped during my time here in this loving casa community. My praxis site this semester is Zacamil, where I will be speeding time with my beautiful new Salvadoran family who have more than welcomed me into their lives.


Andrea Garcia

Santa Clara University

Hi! My name is Andrea Garcia, and I am a sophomore at Santa Clara University majoring in English. This term, however, I am not in sunny California, where I was born and raised, but in the land of the pupusas… El Salvador! I am fully me in spaces of warmth and creativity, like a lively kitchen cooking and sharing a meal or a playground. I am excited to be here in El Salvador where I have found a space to share stories, hold others' stories, and be gentle with my own, as it unfolds amidst a community much greater than I ever imagined.