Every Summer Has A Story - SOU Portraits: Kelsey S.
1. What's your major and year and where are you from?
I am Kelsey S., originally from small-town Idaho, and now a Senior at SOU majoring in Anthropology, with an emphasis in Cultural Anthropology.
2. In your own words, tell us about the Guatemala summer trip you took with SOU Civic Engagement Program! Why did you choose to go on this trip and what did you learn? How did going on this trip impact you?
As an Anthropology major, I have a love and interest in all things culture. Additionally, I am constantly dreaming of my next traveling adventure, and jump at every opportunity to go somewhere new. So when I heard of the possible opportunity to travel to Guatemala on a trip that would focus on cultural immersion and service, I immediately applied.
Our group of students worked with De la Gente
, an NGO that supports coffee cooperatives. We spent days working in the coffee fields with the farmers, doing service construction work, and spending time with local families while they fed us lunch and dinner each day. We learned about the history of the country, and about the process of coffee, specifically how direct trade helps the farmers get the money they deserve and need to support their families. While spending the majority of our time in San Miguel Escobar, we were also able to see different parts of the country including Antigua, the small rain forest village of Santa Anita, the city of Xela, and the famous Lake Atitlan. Additionally, we had opportunities to hike volcanoes, visit hot springs, and go zip-lining.
I had many different, wonderful experiences on this trip, but I also witnessed and learned about the obstacles and struggles the people of Guatemala live with each day. Getting to know the farmers and their families and hear their stories had a major impact on me. I was inspired by their courage and determination to give their children a bright future. It was a reminder of all of things we take for granted as college students in the United States.
3. Anything you're excited about for this upcoming year at SOU?
As this is my senior year at SOU, I am so excited to begin Practicum and Capstone. This is exciting for me because it will be an opportunity to pursue my interests while connecting with the community and gaining experience that will benefit me after I graduate. I was also recently hired by the Southern Oregon University Civic Engagement Program
and I am so excited to be involved with this program! I can not wait to begin working with the staff to put on more trips such as the Guatemala trip, as well as more local trips, and service learning opportunities for the students of SOU.
Learn more about the SOU Civic Engagement Program here: http://bit.ly/VDFruT
Read more: http://www.facebook.com/sou.edu