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April 2014 YES Abroad Student of the Month


Catherine hiking down into the Chefchaouen medina to the hammam.

Congratulations to Catherine Cartier of Portage, MI, a creative, inquisitive, and thoughtful YES Abroad student studying in Rabat, Morocco. Throughout the year, Catherine has designed and implemented a lecture series on U.S. American culture for Moroccan students participating in the ACCESS program, a State Department-funded English program for disadvantaged students. Catherine volunteers as an English teacher for middle and high school students. She visits classes, assists the teachers, and has become part of the Moroccan students’ classroom experience.

In addition, Catherine has been independently researching the Moroccan hammam (traditional bath house). She has visited 15 bath houses in the Rabat/Sale region and is studying the architecture, the division of labor, social culture, the traditional practice, and its unknown future as the affects of modernization start to take hold.  She has been conducting interviews with Tayaba’s (the women who work in the hammam) and is documenting their stories. Through her study, she has made many new friends and has been invited into their homes to share tea. Local women are amazed at her interest in the hammam and it has brought many of them a sense of pride.