In the morning I went to Juan Pablo II. It is a public school that many of the children who live in Pacifico De Villa attend. The participants were split into pairs and given a classroom of 20-30 students. They taught the 5 W’s and how, some basic question phrases and how to say the time in English. Many of the participants struggled with there first class because they had no previous teaching experience but by the time they taught their second class things went smoother. Katie Moore said, “I have never taught before so it was a little bit challenging with the addition of a language barrier but the students were really enthusiastic to try new things.” Jared Eidt also shared that “It was good to see how excited the staff and students were to have us teaching English. It made me feel like a celebrity when all the students swarmed us and asked for our autographs.” Teaching at Juan Pablo II was a unique experience for many participants but by the end of the day they had learned a lot.
The afternoon and morning was especially difficult for some of the participants who were involve with the health campaign. The campaign required participants to collect data that will later be analyze to assess hygiene in Pacifico De Villa and what can be done to improve it. We collected the data by touring houses and taking photos and notes of what we saw. This afforded many participants the opportunity to view members of Pacifico De Villa’s houses but it was hard to comprehend how some of the community members could live in such a way. Many of the houses did not even have basic things like a shower, seperate bedrooms, privacy and a bathroom that is inside the house. I talked to Darcee Carnes, Erica Matthews and Madison Scott about there experience today and here is what they had to say:
“It was a very heavy morning but it was something that I needed to see. Its one thing seeing the shanty town from the outside but seeing the inside and how much worse it was in some of the homes was just shocking. Though it was very discouraging to know and see that people live like that it showed me that even the smallest things will help them and change their lives in big ways. I can’t even express how shocking and upsetting it was and I hope the best for the community.”
“It was incredible the difference between houses that were side by side. One had running water and the other didn’t. It was shocking to see the difference. I felt bad because [the home owners] were embarrassed.”
“It was breathtaking but not in a good way. It was definitely emotional and its something you have to experience to understand.”
I think the experience of seeing the inside of the houses will be one that stays with the participants forever. It was eye opening to see how truly lucky we are to live in a country where even the poorest people do not live like some of people we saw today.