GPP Reflections

Three months have passed since I returned to the US from Mexico, and I’m currently taking the GPP 196 reflection course this fall semester. In this course, students reflect on their practice experience as it is situated within the larger paradigms of poverty, and explore how issues of global poverty and inequality will shape their future academic, personal, and career paths. In this class, we have reflected on the roles of power, privilege, and our motivations as students in the GPP minor. I constantly think about my PE in Chiapas, the people I met, and the knowledge I gained about poverty and myself. I think I’m currently in the process of trying to figure out some answers to the question “Now what?”

I have also been thinking about access to safe drinking water as a universal issue that affects the health and lifestyles of people all around the world, including people in the US. Poverty exists everywhere; it’s not something that only affects people in so-called “developing” or “third world” countries. If we consider environmental justice in the US, the concept of environmental racism reveals that people of color and those with low socioeconomic status are more likely to live in communities and environments that are in close proximity to toxic sites, such as refineries, pesticides, landfills, etc.

Access to safe drinking water is also an issue in my own community, which is located in California’s Central Valley. You can click on these links to learn more about drinking water issues California:

http://www.kerngoldenempire.com/news/top-stories/high-levels-of-arsenic-in-arvin-drinking-water

http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/7AD3B9A0B9FD52CB85257ED60063DED6

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/03/us/california-drought-tulare-county.html?_r=0

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/sep/11/no-water-to-shower-cook-or-clean-life-in-californias-drought-valley

Week 6 in Chiapas

IMG_2358I would like to thank the Fundacion Cantaro Azul team for being so friendly and helpful to the UC Berkeley GPP students these six weeks

Muchas gracias al equipo de la Fundacion Cantaro Azul por ser tan amables y apoyarnos durante estas seis semanas. Los vamos a extrañar 🙂

Week 5 in Chiapas

This week, I traveled to several communities on a 4 day trip with the FCA Franquicia Social team. The purpose of the trip was to do follow-up visits of three water kiosks and diagnostics of other communities that could benefit from the clean water technology. We visited teams of women that worked in the kiosks in the communities of La Independencia, Nuevo Momon, and Tziscao. This trip consisted of driving various hours to rural communities, participating in meetings with the women, and learning about the conditions of the water kiosks. I learned that each group of women is different and encounters different advantages/disadvantages in their effort to increase the community’s access to safe drinking water. I realized It is important for the NGO to keep this in mind when implementing clean water solutions in diverse settings. Throughout these past weeks, I have had the opportunity to travel to various communities in Chiapas and experience a lifestyle with different environments, people, food, and culture. Overall, I have enjoyed exchanging stories with so many interesting people, including those who are part of the FCA team, and witnessing the great work FCA does as an NGO that recognizes water should be a human right.

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Photos from the trip!

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.” -William Blake

 

Exploring Chiapas! :D

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Cañon del Sumidero                                                  Misol-Ha                                                  Chiapa de Corzo

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          GPP students Lucy & Jeff ❤                                  Palenque                                    Agua Azul w/ FCA staff ❤

Week 4 in Chiapas

This week, we celebrated the 9th anniversary of Fundacion Cantaro Azul. I took some time to reflect on the great work FCA has  done as an NGO to increase access to safe drinking water in Chiapas and other Mexican states. Here is some background info about FCA:

Mission:
Our mission is to improve the health and well being of people that live in marginalized communities.
Vision:
Our five year vision is to develop sustainable solutions that will benefit more than one million people in Mexico and that contribute to strengthening the international water sector.
(cantaroazul.org)
Read about the co-founder and his idea:
Map of FCA’s activities:
mapa

some quotes from TierrAdentro cafe

“Para los pueblos indigenas, campesinos y rurales, la tierra y el territorio son mas que trabajo y alimento: son tambien cultura, comunidad, historia, ancestros, sueños, futuro, vida y madre” -Andres Aubry

“Que mi voz suba a los montes y baje a la tierra y truene, eso pide mi garganta desde ahora y desde siempre” -Miguel Hernandez

“La caridad es humillante porque se ejerce verticalmente y desde arriba; la solidaridad es horizontal e implica respeto mutuo” -Eduardo Galeano

“Los que no nacieron para ver los sueños, no los ven ni de noche ni de dia” -Gioconda Belli

“Y miren lo que son las cosas, para que no nos vieran nos tapamos el rostro; para que no nos nombraran nos negamos el nombre; apostamos el presente para tener el futuro; y para vivir… morimos.” -Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos

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