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Source: Office of international programs, 785-532-5990.
News release prepared by: Beth Bohn, 785-532-2535, bbohn@k-state.edu

Friday, May 28, 2010

K-STATE GROUP IN GUATEMALA SAFE FOLLOWING VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS IN CENTRAL AMERICAN NATION

MANHATTAN -- A group from Kansas State University on a faculty-led study abroad trip to Guatemala City, Guatemala, is safe following volcanic eruptions in the Central American country Thursday and Friday.

K-State's Socorro Herrera, professor of elementary education and executive director of K-State's Collaborative Intercultural and Multilingual Advocacy Center, and Linda Trujillo, assistant professor of elementary education, are teaching English as Second language and cultural courses in Guatemala City to a group of 31 K-State students. They are being assisted by one K-State graduate student.

The group left May 17 and is due back in the U.S. June 4.

Herrera contacted staff at the Collaborative Intercultural and Multilingual Advocacy Center Friday to let them know the group was safe following eruptions of Guatemala's Pacaya volcano, which is about 15 miles south of Guatemala City. Herrera said that the group's host families have assured the students of their safety at this time. She also said that students have taken every precaution to be safe and have found the whole experience fascinating.

Both Herrera and Trujillo have led several study abroad groups and are well prepared to handle emergency situations, according to Kristine Young, program administrator for K-State's office of international programs.

"As faculty members develop proposals for their study abroad trips, we work with them to prepare contingency plans for emergencies," said Kristine Young, assistant provost, office of international programs. "In addition, all faculty and students on study abroad trips are required to have a special insurance policy that covers health care and emergency medical assistance."