CLAYSS

Centro Latinoamericano de Aprendizaje y Servicio Solidario

What is “service-learning”?

Learning to Serve, Serving to Learn

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The concept of Service and Solidarity
    • “Solidaridad” (solidarity) is a common term in Spanish, as in Portuguese and other languages. In Latin America it usually means “working together for the common good”, and is not, in our context, a ‘radical’ term - as it sometimes sounds for US or English speakers- nor can it be literally translated as ‘service’ or ‘care’ (Tapia, 2000). That is why in Latin America, when referring to the “service-learning” pedagogy, we prefer to use the expression “aprendizaje-servicio solidario”, adding to the “service” the adjective “solidario”, to underline that we are not referring to a traditional, paternalistic, occasional or superficial kind of service, but to a more horizontal bond between peoples and communities working together for the common good.
      To read more about these two concepts, please go to:

      1. 'Servicio' and 'Solidaridad' in South American Spanish. Service Enquiry, 2003
      2. Zygmunt Bauman, Solidarity: A word in search of flesh.