I first became interested in international development in 2004 when I was participating in a service project with the Girl Guides of Canada in one of the four Guiding and Scouting World Centres in Mexico. While there, I was exposed to poverty for the first time. I remember seeing houses constructed out of cardboard boxes with tarps being held down by rocks and tires that served as roofs. I will never forget the faces of the many children who were no more than 4 years of age selling gum and other sweets to people on the street. The thought that these children could be picked up and taken away by anyone was sickening. It left a lasting impact on me.
A few years later, I was privileged to have the opportunity to spend three months volunteering at a medical clinic in Conocoto, Ecuador. That is when I fell in love with the beautiful Spanish language and the many cultures that share it. During the three months in Ecuador, I became incredibly attached to my very large and dynamic host family, who I plan on visiting in the next few years.
Ever since these incredible experiences, I have been volunteering in other countries and continuing to deepen my understanding of global politics and development issues. I am currently in my third year of study at the University of Ottawa in International Studies and Modern Languages and will continue to study and specialize in International Law once I graduate.
I am ecstatic about this phenomenal internship opportunity in Guatemala where I will be working as a Touristic Development Adviser with La Red Nacional de Grupos Gestores. I am looking forward to working with an NGO and gaining invaluable field experience while at the same time helping to improve and develop the local community’s sustainable economic capacity, so that the community can achieve its goals!