Journal Title

Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement

Publication Date



The move to “internationalize” United States universities has contrib-uted to increased interest in global service-learning. This article presents qualitative data collected by a team of faculty and students during a ser-vice immersion in Nicaragua. The solidarity model of service-learning attempts to address shortcomings of earlier approaches and deserves fur-ther examination. This study illuminated the dynamics of solidarity from a largely unexplored perspective: host families and community leaders. The analysis revealed that difference and inequality are salient themes and shape the relationships and possibilities for joint action between U.S. students and their hosts. A typology is suggested that includes symbolic, instrumental, and pragmatic performances of solidarity. By highlighting the perspective of Nicaraguan hosts, this study fills an important gap in the literature on service-learning. It also contributes to the conceptual elaboration of an often heard but rarely defined concept: solidarity.


Cultural Differences; Service Learning; Student Attitudes; Teacher Attitudes; Undergraduate Students

Publication Information

Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 2014, Volume 18, Issue 3, 57-82.

© 2014 University of Georgia

Archived version is the final published version.



Document Type

Journal Article