University of Arkansas, Fayetteville


I first got the idea for my thesis studying Spanish in Costa Rica in the fall of 2006. Not long after I arrived at my host family's home, my host mother asked me whether or not I was "evangelica". I was somewhat confused by this question because it went against my previous assumption that the majority of Latin Americans-or at least Latin American Christians were Catholic. Knowing a minimal amount of Spanish and very little about the culture, I answered yes, essentially translating "evangelica" as "Protestant". I would soon learn, however, that the term "evangelica" had much deeper meaning and held quite different connotations to my host mother and to many other Latin Americans than my definition of Protestant did to me.