"My decision to spend a year as a volunteer was met by quite a bit of resistance," he says. "Everyone was asking the same question—'Why?'"
But for Rottaro, who is now back in Pasadena and completing his senior year, it just seemed like the right thing to do. As a native of Venezuela, he attended a bilingual school as a young child and felt a strong desire to give something back to a similar community.
"In retrospect, I guess being a bilingual teacher is such a huge sidestep from physics, but I figured it was my own unique way of feeding my will to do charitable work," he says.
So, in July of 2010, he set out for Cofradia...