An Once in a Life Time Experience

If I could describe my GCELE experience in one word it would be unforgettable. Prior to my departure to Cuba, I had anxiety of about if I would fit in with the group or if I would be able to adapt to a new culture. Even though I had anxiety, I’m extremely grateful that I was apart of this GCELE. I had such an amazing time learning about Cuba’s history, culture and the concept of permaculture. Permaculture is focused on design elements of agriculture ecosystems that support each other and a sustainable human habitat.

During this GCELE, we learned about different design layouts that were used in the permaculture sites. The two designs that I was able to contribute to was the mandala and the spiral.

While I was working on these design elements, I was amazed at how the local Cubans who helped us were extremely fit and hard working. It was nice to see the community support and help one another. This also made me realize how hard some individuals have to work in order to be food secure.

This experience taught me how to be humble, resourceful and insightful.  I am thankful that I was able to be a part of this once in a life time experience. I was able to meet amazing new people and learn how I could apply permaculture elements in my own garden. If you’re thinking about applying to any GCELE, I say go for it! You get the chance to learn something new in another country and the opportunity to experience a different culture.

Elizabeth H.
Social Service Worker Student

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