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: