Guest Post by: Marketing and International Business Sophomore America Perez. She is a Global Business Center Study Abroad Scholarship Recipient who participated in the Exploration Seminar Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences Brazil: Afro-Cultures of Brazil in Early Fall 2018.
This program was absolutely amazing. We were able to meet activists that are constantly working in the Black movement in Brazil. They are amazing people but the people that impacted me the most on this trip were from a Favela. At the Favela, we helped out at a local school where although it wasn’t in the greatest location, it had the greatest kids that made my heart ache and feel full of hope. I was amazed that the school provides medical services for not only the students but their families as well. In addition to medical services, they provided food, taught students that income disparity is systematic and encouraged students to pursue whatever career they wish. This school was in the middle of a Favela with limited resources yet I believe they provide more for their students than the middle school I attended ever could.
Something I never expected to see was the benevolent interaction between the Community Police Base CALABAR and members of the community. In the US, we are accustomed to police not interacting with pedestrians, especially in low income communities. It was truly amazing to see police actively partake inbettering the community through education in music, sports, and tutoring.
Experiencing this, I believe this is something the United States could emulate to better our communities. Both the school and CALABAR were funded independently by either the people or large companies and because of this; they have complete control over their programs. In my opinion these organizations were the highlight of the trip. We had amazing opportunities to go to islands, visit tobacco companies, and even go zip-lining but involving myself with the people within the region really opened my eyes. My experience was spectacular, and I cannot wait to study abroad again.