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05/22/2013

Students Experience Guatemala with Common Book Author Kelsey Timmerman

Quick Facts

 Students spent seven days in Guatemala, visiting fair trade cooperatives and coffee farmers and touring the area.
 Kelsey Timmerman wrote the 2012-13 Common Book, "Where Am I Wearing?"

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Timmerman with students
ROCK HILL, S.C. — In last academic year’s Common Book, “Where Am I Wearing?” author Kelsey Timmerman travels the world to discover where his clothes are made and to meet the people who made it possible.

Through a partnership with The Village Experience, seven Winthrop University students and study abroad coordinator Jennifer Sandler followed in Timmerman’s footsteps earlier this month, accompanying him to Guatemala. The students blogged about their interesting experiences on Timmerman’s website.

The students who participated in the trip are:

Marie Rose Tumaniec, a sophomore English major from Fort Mill, S.C.
Anita Harris, a junior mass communication major from Lancaster, S.C.
Fatima Castro ’13 from Charlotte, N.C.
Brianna Williams, a sophomore math major from Easley, S.C.
Lauren Miller, a sophomore biology major from Summerville, S.C.
Alexandra Lee Jensen, a junior biology major from Des Moines, Iowa
Callan Gaines, a sophomore interior design major from York S.C.

During the 7-day trip, the students met with garment workers and coffee farmers, visited fair trade cooperatives and toured Antigua and Lake Atitlan.

Gaines said she has always wanted to travel, and this trip only reinforced that desire.

“The experience helped me learn more about the world and myself as well,” she said. “I gained some really special friends on my journey, and I became more grateful for the things I have here in America.”

Her favorite portions of the trip were touring the rural village of Ceylan and admiring the patterns and colors of the Guatemalan artists.

Sandler said they were excellent ambassadors for the trip’s motto, “Bringing the world to Winthrop, and Winthrop to the world.”

“The students were exposed to so many new experiences, ideas, situations and people, and they were nothing but engaged and enthusiastic the entire program,” she said. “We were all sad to leave Guatemala, but I firmly believe that the students’ fire for travel and international experiences has been stoked, hopefully never to be extinguished.”

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