Roanoke College Junior will Study Abroad in Puebla, Mexico

by roanokecollege on November 6, 2012

Photo Credit: Israel Espinosa López, Wikipedia


Charla Henley (junior) presented her Summer Scholars research project, “The Economic Role of the Mexican Sweatshops: Exploitation or Saving Grace?”, at the RC Family Weekend Showcase of Research & Creativity. Charla is a Business and Spanish double major and she has been involved with research opportunities since her freshman year when she started out as a URAP student. Charla explains that “Research has always been something I was interested in, even in High School. It seemed natural to continue my research in college.”

Charla’s topic is concerned with the economic impact of the Mexican sweatshops in the communities of Northern Mexico. For many years these sweatshops were believed to improve economies and living conditions because they gave employment opportunities to thousands of people who either did not have an educational degree and/or were living below the poverty line. On the other hand, these sweatshops have been greatly criticized in recent years because they employee people at low wages, for long hours, under bad conditions and it is believed that they are exploiting people in need of a job to support their families. Charla became interested in this topic from a subtopic that she learned about in her Micro Economics class. Charla’s faculty mentor was Dr. Bañuelos and Charla states that “It was great to have someone with such a great base of knowledge on my topic at my fingertips.” Charla will soon be continuing her research by studying abroad in Puebla, Mexico where she will get to see firsthand what the conditions are like in the Mexican Sweatshops. Charla also hopes to continue her research interests in graduate school.

Charla’s message to freshman considering research is “Do it! If nothing else, it’s at least a great experience to put on your resume.  You’ll learn your strengths and weaknesses, be better able to complete projects for class, and may find something you’re really passionate about in the process!”

For more information on research opportunities at Roanoke College please check out:

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