GLBL Students Studying and Serving the Global Community in Latin America
Ben Fine, Lynn Donk, Leslie Peterson, Carissa Terry and Laura Bennallack- ESNA
El Salvador - Summer 2012
ESNA stands for El Salvador North American Village Network . . . the program has an in-country office that is run by highly motivated, local individuals that reach out to communities in North America. Their goal is to connect people in these communities . . . . .
The impresion that I was under before I went was that we were going to help people in villages that were really poor and stuck in poverty. However, that was not what I observed when I arrived. These people were strong and motivated to work hard to help their community thrive. . . .What they really wanted us to understand was what had happened in their civil war so that we could connect how their history had impoverished their country. . . . .[Carissa Terry].
Brittany Davis - UnTecho Para Chile
Santiago Chile - Spring 2010
I had the amazing opportunity to work with the organization UnTecho Para Chile (A Roof For Chile) building temporary homes for people that lost theirs in the [February 27, 2010] earthquake. . . .
Un Techo Para Chile [stresses] the importance of interacting with the famillies that we were building homes for. They want us to have conversations with them about their experience and encourage them. . . .
I observed that most families that I worked with had very few posessions and had just endured an extreme hardship, yet they were still positive and so thankful for the help we were giving them. . . .
This experience made me think about aid and volunteer work on a broader level because it taught me that helping people in need is not only for the victims, it is for the volunteer as well. I feel that I received just as much, if not more, from helping these Chilean families. . . .
Colette Bakke - Sadhana Forest
Anse-A-Pitre, Haiti - Spring 2010
The goals of Sadhana Forest are reforestation and water conservation . . . there is also a lot of work done  to maintain a sustainable lifestyle . . . tending to food gardens and composting waste . . . The hope is that when local people see our efforts . . . .they will become curious and learn about our practices so that they can bring them into their own homes.
The project that I was part of  was preparing for, and the planting of, Mayan Nut Trees. . . .This meant that we  needed to build nurseries. . . .raised beds . . . fill them with soil and build shade over the top . . .
I will now have less fear when it comes to traveling alone in strange places. Also, I hope to be more aware of stereotypes . . . I'll never forget how safe I actually felt walking the streets and spending time in town. . . .
there are many things that I can take into other opportunities as I move forward into. . . my future career. I had to work with, and in this case, live with people who I may not have gotten along with very well. Another problem I encountered was having to figure out ways to communicate my needs when there were langauge barriers. . . .
Emily Bridgewater - Vive Mexico Workcamps
Cheyumil Mexico - Summer 2010
The community of Cheyumil proposed to host . . . a summer workshop . . . in which children and young people could learn different subjects such as recycling, languages, arts, and dances from international volunteers. . . .
Some of the most important experiences from this internship abroad were: working through language barriers with others; truly living in a poor country and exepriencing their 'normal'; seeing the gratitude on each parents' face when their child got their certificate of completion from the course; and most of all, truly making a difference in each child's life. . . .
Lauren Wyer Clean - Burning Stove Project
Urubamba, Peru - Winter 2011
In the Clean Burning Stove Project, my roomomate and I were paired together and spent a majority of our time trying to improve the old version of the adobe 'stove.' The main goal of this stove is to not only create a chimney leading out of the house so that there is less smoke inhilation amongst those dwelling within the house but also to lessen the time it takes a family to boil water . . . we did everything from altering the shape of the stove, changing the size of pots . . . .
Another project I worked on was the creation of clean water filters. . . .I also spent time creating a bulletin board  which visually expressed the importance of a water filter. . . .
the trip in general was almost a reality slap from what I had anticipated. . . . where clean water was a luxury and not always available. I felt so spoiled . . . .
Melanie Perez and Max Smoot - ASTOP
Parismina, Costa Rica - Summer 2011
ASTOP, or Asociacio Salvemo Las Tortugas de Parismina  was an organization set up to pretect sea turtles. . . .Volunteers patrol six kilometers of so of the beach at night . .. when a turle lays their eggs, the volunteers take them and hide them or take them to the hatchery . . .
. . . .we worked on establishing a large garden for two purposes: to show the local people what they can do with their limited amount of resources, and to provide food for the families that were hosting volunteers. . . .
my other main duty was picking up trash . . . we picked up an average of eight large bags a day . . . .
It was very sad to see the very few people working hard to take action to protect their community and others just sitting around . . . . it is very hard to get anyone motivated . . . I can see how easy it woudl be to get sucked into the slow life . . . .
This was a much different experience for me now, as a Global Studies Major, because I was able to understand the many contributing factors that kept this place in the less developed realm. . . .