Colonization in 21st Century#Peru&Community based projects

#Part 1

Last winter semester for me was  totally a radical experience  .  I was in Cusco ,Peru   for almost 4 months in different socially responsible projects . These has improved my Spanish skills and global citizenship skills .  Being an Asian , the experience I had in Latin America was totally different .   However I was able to immerse into their culture through their hospitality ,love and compassion.

My key learning was about the cycle of colonization in Peru  . In ancient days Peru was ruled and administered by Inca empire  . We still can see the ruins of the Incan  culture in Peru . In 18th Century , country was flourishing in all dimensions  . However seeing the natural resources of Peru  ,Spanish started their colonization in Peru in terms of Christian missions . Spanish has done all crooked ways to get dominance over Incans . While I was in Cusco , I realized all the current church was once the palace of Incans . However there was enough wars and fights during this time period .  Through this colonization ,Spanish has taken all the raw materials and natural resources to their country .The major natural resource was the wool of Alpaca . In 1824 , after series of battles , Incan has got independence from Spanish . By that time , Spanish language  was very common in Peru instead of Quechua.  After this decolonization country was more independent ,but due to lack of good leaders and vision country was not progressing .Even though they had natural resources ,They were not aware how to use in global market .

In 20th Century , colonization was slowly coming back in Peru through globalization and industrialization instead of church mission .    The major players in this game of colonization was MNCs  ,World Bank,IMF and other financial and charity organizations.They came offering financial aids and white color jobs .  The ultimate agenda of this was to gain dominance of Peru market and get the natural resources in a modern  strategical ways instead of wars and battles .Through  this MNCs  has created lot of sweatshops in Peru which runs at cheap labor costs and most unethical ways    .This had very adverse effect in traditional and local communities. Traditional market and products has been taken over globalized products . For Example  , A baby Alpaca sweater which is authentic and handmaid  by local communities may cost around 400soles (120USD)  .On the flip side we can get globalized mechanized sweaters which is made up of plastic and synthetic around 40 Soles (12USD) which is not all eco friendly  and can cause lot of natural  problems  such as pollution and physical effects .   Most of the people  seeing the cheaper rate prefer globalized plastic sweaters compared to Alpaca sweaters which adversely affect the sustainability of the earth . It will also directly impact the traditional markets and local communities which forces them to change their culture ,professions  and also even forced migrations for Income generations .

In the last 10 years ,Peru has slowly changed from their tradition and culture to western and capitalist style . Now  we can see branch of KFC ,Mc Donald, Starbucks , North Face  , Adidas ,etc …. in Peru ,which are main products of globalization which can kill authentic Peru market .

In conclusion ,globalization is the  new way of colonization in a systematic and organized way . In my view , we cant stop globalization but we should also consider strategic ways to improve local and domestic markets which can empower ground level communities .

 

#Part 2

I was working on 3 different socially responsible  and innovative  projects in Peru which was totally challenging for me .

 

Project 1#  Community  Economic Development # Fair Trade

This  was basically designing a new project which is executed by  local communities based on their assets which will create income generation in the community . Since the community was expert in knitting in Alpaca wool , I have done series analysis and try to contact different Fair Trade organizations which can support the community to compete with MNC Products .

 

Project 2# Community based tourism .# Fathom# Carnival Tourism# Travel Deep

Cusco ,Peru is the best place in the world ,I have ever visited .  According to UNWTO(United Nations World Trade Organization)  in 2017, 3,835 000  foreigners has visited Peru which makes Peru 4th Mostly visited South American country after Brazil,Argentina and Chile  . The Impact of tourism to the community is very significant .

However there is problem underneath . The main capital flow is happening in only to gigantic tourist companies  and big hotels . Even from the airport pick up  to drop off;these companies are operating which is readily available in online . This may create some jobs and income to small portion of population . But local communities may not have much impact. To tackle this , I have designed community based tourism in collaboration with  Carnival tourism which welcomes tourist to the local communities and spending time in micro level projects . This  can increase cash flow to local communities  and empower them to fight against global giants.

 

 

Project 3# Social marketing and fund raising.

This was based on the orphanage which I was working with in Cusco . I have created online funding page through Go Fund me application which has been spread over different networks for collecting donations and gifts for the orphans .  Through digital marketing and boosting , I was able spread the news among different stakeholders .  The amount collected was used for buying books and stationary products for the orphans which can eventually reduce their poverty burden.

 

 

 

 

You can contact me anytime regarding Peru !

Jofin T Lorance

jyjofintlorance@gmail.com

Finding A Voice and Becoming a Leader

It took me a while to find my voice in Nicaragua. In a group of 23 leaders, it was difficult to feel like I had a say or could sway an opinion. We had a few group members who were obviously born to be leaders; They had strong, confident and inclusive personalities that made everyone feel heard. I have always found that when no one is willing to step up and take a lead, I will happily take on the role. However, with so many people eager to fill that position, I was finding it hard to speak up. Throughout the week I began to remember that I was chosen to take part in this GCELE for a reason.  I grew more confident as the week went on, and began to feel more comfortable speaking up and working as a leader. I remembered that I am a good public speaker, and fortunately, I had plenty of opportunities to use that sIMG_5499kill on this trip. It was very rewarding to collaborate with all of the unique and inspiring personalities involved with this GCELE, and we all had a chance to merge as leaders throughout the week. Despite all of our different leadership styles, we worked together and taught our health initiatives successfully. Not only were we able to help a community, we were also able to grow as a group and as individuals.

  • Amy Mepham, Nicaragua 2015

I’m Afraid of Bugs, Dirt, and Germs (& I can’t swim). Was Caño Palma has Tough as I Thought it Would Be?

As part of our GCELE experience we have to blog about our experiences in Costa Rica. The posts have be short which makes sense, so I picked 3 very specific topics. If you have any questions about things I didn’t cover, feel free to reach out @AmeliaR_N. These blogs will also be reposted on my personal blog.

Before Cano Palma people who knew me would crinkle their faces and respond with “Why are you going?” or worse, they’d smirk and say “You’re going to die.” I’m not very big on the great outdoors.

When I got back most people would say “You survived!?! Was it as bad as you thought?”

Here’s the thing. It was amazing and I’m extremely proud of the work I did there. That being said it wasn’t like I showed up and was greeted by a 5 star or even 2 star resort. Conservation work is extremely hard and when you Google ‘how many Sea Turtles are left?” or some other question, the amount of work that went in to that answer you searched in 0.40 seconds is staggering.

fbpost^As soon as I got WiFi I wanted to tell the world what was happening.^

Here is a list of some of the tougher things we experienced on our trip ( a small look at all the work conservationist do):

  • Washroom Things
    There was no hot water –ever. To conserve water you flushed by pouring half a bottle of rain water into the toilet. The water on base tasted heavily like metal. I used very little water to shower or brush my teeth (which I did in the company of giant bugs).

washrom

  • Bedroom Things

It was always hot in the rainforest and never dry. We had a fan we could use if Necessary. Since people worked all hours of the day and night, the rooms were almost always dark (so people could sleep whenever) and very quiet. We slept in bunk-beds which we had to cover with Mosquito nets. Those nets made it extra hot but it was either that or get eaten alive –your call.

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  • Workload Things

The shifts were varied and 24/7. Patrolling the beach to protect Sea Turtles, Hiking in the jungle to track animals and record data, working in the community, tagging trees, maintenance around the station. The chores were endless, usually very physical, and never ending. We were told that Centennial’s presence was a big help because it allowed overworked-scientists to catch up on rest and recover from illnesses.

workload^Wearing dark clothes with long sleeves for the hot Night patrol (can’t scare the turtles away!)^

  • The Nature Thing

It was always hot and always wet.  Clothes never dried. Shoes and feet were always damp. This meant you were always, damp, itchy and sore. Bugs might not be a problem for everyone but the bugs were huge. A bird flew in the room once which was cool until I realized it was actually just a big bug.walk^My regular walk from the dorms to the kitchen^

  • The Isolation Thing

WiFi was scarce and you were working nonstop but in the few off times you’d sometimes notice how out of touch you were with your ‘home-life’ and while it’s not always a bad thing, it can be lonely.us^IT HELPED THAT THESE GREAT PEOPLE WERE HERE.^

Stay tuned to read about my favourite part of the trip!

@AmeliaR_N

Balie Tipico de Costa Rica by Llano Bonito Elementary School

First rehearsal of Costa Rican traditional dance, Balie Tipico, proudly presented by Grade 3 students from Llano Bonito Elementary School. Enjoy 🙂

Created July 2015
Beidi Zong

Music “This is my song” by Mindy Gledhill

Plantains Patties from Backyard to Kitchen

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Making plantain patties at my homestay family kitchen. Simple recipe: unripe plantain, oil to fry, and salt. Other condiments can be added as well for your own taste, such as hot sauce or sugar.

Plantain Patties from Backyard to Kitchen

Just the other day I was in my homestay family kitchen.  I was shown and taught how to make a snack that consisted of unripe plantains, salt, and oil.  The plantains were freshly picked by my homestay family.  As the vegetation here provide many bananas, berries, cherry tomatoes, avocado, lime, lemon, rosemary, mint, chamomile, oranges, mangoes, and other fruits as well.  Along with flowering hibiscus, roses, coffee bushes, poinsettias, and amaryllis.  The “backyards” of the homes in Llano Bonita is literally a field of banana trees, coffee plants, avocado, mangoes, lime, and lemon trees, etc.  Along the road you will find the odd tomato plant and black berries bushes.  Sometimes, I would help my host family pick them and bring them home for them to make fresh fruit juices or milkshake out of it.  What I notice is that Llano Bonito is a biodiversity within. As mentioned in one of my earlier post, Proal believes that nature and humans are in the same circle of life. Would you like to imagine a world where everyone and animals do not have to go hungry?  Imagine having a feast of plentiful fruits and vegetables growing naturally and freely for all to enjoy at a shared “backyard”.  Well, I believe Llano Bonito is the living proof of this.  And if you plant and take care of one living plant to share your harvest, what would it be?

From the mountain top of Llano Bonito,

Sherry

Guatemala: Heart of Maya World

I was thrilled to hear my professor Marg announce that she would be going back to Guatemala to continue her work. I submitted my application on the very first day, and was already planning my trip before the acceptance letter. A few months later, I landed at Flores airport. That was unreal.

The purpose of our trip was to teach the local midwives how to use a birthing simulator MamaNatalie, teach the local women how to make reusable menstrual pads, and provide First Aid training to the local health promoters. We visited six different communities throughout our stay, and each community was unique in its own way. Most of the communities we visited are Q’eqchi’, the Maya people, hence it requires double translation from English to Español, then to Kekchi. It was challenging, but in a positive way.

I didn’t really experience “culture shock,” definitely some “culture surprises” during our stay in Guatemala. Photos speak a thousand words, hence I will walk you through our wonderful journey through photos. Have some tortilla chips ready, sit back and relax.

Day 1: Our flight is TO -> Miami -> Guatemala city -> Flores, then finally a two-hour bus ride to Sayaxche, It was tiring, but we were warmly greeted by the heat wave in Guatemala.

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Landed at Flores airport at night. Finally! Everyone was exhausted after a long ride.

Day 2: Flores -2 hours smooth bus ride to Sayaxche
Meeting with Apidec (Programa Integral de desarrollo Christiano) & World Renew staffs. Had a crazy ride in a “cage” to our first village. I was chosen to be the first to do MamaNatalie (meaning I have to fake birthing). I knew I did an awesome job because everyone outside heard my screams from the classroom. Some said my hysterical screams scared some babies and kids oops. There is  no bridge to cross the river in Sayaxche, so we had to take the ferry. Unfortunately on our way back to the hotel, a truck was stuck on the ferry and we waited for an hour before crossing a small river. Apparently the government made big profits from the ferry, so bridges are unnecessary. We had to hide in the jungle for toilet break! We were still full of awesomeness but began to feel the heat wave eating away our energy.

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Typical Guatemala food: red beans, rich, eggs and salad. Thank all the communities for the lunches 🙂

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I was demonstrating MamaNatalie, a birthing simulator helps to create realistic training scenarios, it was awkward doing it but so much fun!

Day 3: Meeting with the Ministry of Health of Guatemala (Gobiernode Guatemala Ministerio de Salud Publica y Assistencia Social) in the morning. Visited our second village “San Juan Acul” in the afternoon. This village has a huge shelter outside. Sweat was pouring down, but the hot & humid breeze meant so much to us! I’ve said “mi nombre Beidi” so many times. Awesome but the heat was unbearable. We definitely had an awesome time at this community all thanks to the shelter that they have.

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Meeting with Ministry of Health. Learned a lot about Guatemala from this meeting.
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Roya was teaching First Aids to the local health promoters.
Muchas gracias shelter!
Muchas gracias shelter!

Day 4: Third village “Herencia Maya” meaning Heritage Maya. Most residents only know Kekchi, a Mayan language, so we have to translate from English to Spanish then to Kekchi (most communities we visited are Q’eqchi’ so triple translations hence triple the fun, and most of the communities were receiving visitors for the very first time, not to mention first foreign visitors). I used leftover fabrics to make  and stars to the kids and they love it so much. This heat was overwhelming… people were starting to get sick 😦

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DSC_0882 Both girls and boys were so helping with menstrual pads. Muy bien! 🙂
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Group photo time! Wearing scrubs wasn’t that bad at all. Slowly getting used to the heat.

Day 5: Visit to Tikal, the Mayan ruins! Everyone was excited though we were not feeling well. The heat was not bad, bearable. Awesome day!

Scary stairs, took us forever to get down.
Scary stairs, took us forever to get down.
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Guatemala national tree: Ceiba

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Amazing view of Tikal

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Tour guide & selfie stick

Day 6: Boating to the zoo in the morning, and had a fabulous view of Flores from far. Was a little upset that we had to cancel our afternoon trip to another ruin 😦 but at least we went to a good restaurant and I got a super yummy chicken sandwich and a Jamaican Rose drink. Got a super-itchy spider bite, and the rash was crystal-like. Finally started raining on the way back to Sayaxche, it cooled down the heat.

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Flores island

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Day 7 & 8: Can’t remember what exactly happened during these two days. I was drained, and totally shutting down. I remembered the tables were so small and low, I have to bend down all the time while surrounded by groups of women and children. The noise, the heat, and the environment was sweeping over me like waves after waves. Due to the heat and long bus ride, more people felt unwell. I forced myself to drink lots and lots of water, and I survived the hardest period during this trip.

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UV light our water
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Teaching CPR

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Day 9: Visited the last community! The kids there were overwhelming. They dragged you everywhere, touched your hair, put their little hands in your pocket digging for stuffs. I went to the bathroom with ten kids surrounding the door. Last time using MamaNatalie, my energy level left only 10% while doing it. A long day ended with kids holding my hands, grabbing my leg, and singing my name.

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Day 10: Meeting with Ministry of Health again with reporters, and many cameras. Seemed like we’ll all be in Peten news! Our efforts had been paid off. Our MamaNatalie, menstrual pads, and First Aid sessions benefited the locals so much that the MOH will continue teaching the midwives and women with MamaNatalie and menstrual pad making. I felt so grateful. Drove back to Flores and finally SHOPPING TIME!!! (didn’t buy a lot because I was… exhausted). Day ended with a two-dollar ice cream.

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Team work makes the dream works!

Day 11: Guatemala City was raining and flight was delayed. Almost missed our Miami flight back to Toronto because of that. One American said “look at those crazy Canadian girls running in airport.” First thing back home is feeling extremely cold in 20ish temperature, but home sweet home :”)

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5am at Flores, adios Guatemala!

I have to thank Centennial College for this amazing opportunity.Thank all the staffs from World Renew. Thank you Marg, Roya & Jo! Although we faced many ups and downs in this trip, extreme deprivation of veggies, tears and laughter, it was an experience that could only be experienced. It made me question my values, tested my limits, and forced me to grow. Thank you Guatemala! Someone told me this quote during this trip “You have to do other won’t, so you can have other can’t.” and of course my own quote “IT’S ONCE IN A LIFETIME!!!

Cheers hasta la próxima!

Beidi Zong

Nursing Student Centennial/Ryerson

here’s a little more amazing photos, enjoy 🙂

Last day at Guatemala
Last day in Guatemala

DSC_0974 (2)our daily breakfast

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first night!
first night!
Halo Marg!
Halo Marg!

Flores street

Even the Pastor was working with us making the menstrual pads. A big THANK YOU to you Sir :)
Even the Pastor was working with us making the menstrual pads. A big THANK YOU to you Sir 🙂
hahahaha our feet were swollen, have to lift it UP!
hahahaha our feet were swollen, have to lift it UP!

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Waking Up with the Natural Universe

My first video blog and moving images that I had captured while I am here in Llano Bonito.  I invite you to listen and see what I am experiencing and be apart of it as well.

Waking Up with the Natural Universe

Every morning I arise to the sound of the Rooster in LLano Bonito.  My first morning here, I was woken up by the sound of the Rooster, house cats, the school children, and cars zooming by the house.  I live in front of an elementary school, and the students usually starts class at 7am in the morning.  I can hear them recite and repeat speeches in unison.  This school is also where I will be assisting the students.  I had attended a bullying intervention at this school.  The activity was an hour long and was facilitated by the University students of Costa Rica.  I had visited two other schools as well.  One of the school, I will be helping the students with an upcoming English festival, that includes a spelling bee, an impromptu, and a theatrical speech.

Early in the morning around 5 am here, birds are singing and chirping happily.  There are many hummingbirds, tiny creatures that flutters their wings in lightning speed while drinking the nectars of the purple butterfly bush.  I also wake up to freshly new insect and mosquito bites.  What is helpful is wearing light clothing, long pants, shirts and pants helps to deter them from doing this.  Living higher in the mountains, it gets cold here at night and early mornings.  But the late mornings and afternoons temperature increases.  The sounds, sight, taste, and smell while living here is new to me but is very natural.  What senses that trigger special moments in your life?

Until next time, Hasta Luego!

Sherry Ing

Massage Therapy student at Centennial College

¡Exactamente!

Sherry Ing International Internship Llano Bonito Costa Rica Electricity Project
Beyond the mountains lays the electricity power project below in Llano Bonito, Costa Rica, the future of electricity power for the community. <<<<<Más allá de las montañas establece el proyecto de electricidad a continuación en Llano Bonito , Costa Rica, el futuro de la energía eléctrica para la comunidad.<<<<<

¡Exactamente!

I had a days in at Proal the day after my arrival. I had the chance to observe the ladies at Proal provide a bio-energy assessment.  Bio-energy assessment that the ladies at Proal utilized originated in Japan. They use a copper rod to assess the body starting from the head and moving inferiorly. Herbal medicine are used during this assessment as well. I am learning more and more about this throughout my time at Proal.

At the end of my first day at Proal in Llano Bonito, Costa Rica, I had the chance to do an active, passive, and resisted range of motion on a forearm.  I was able to eliminate the possible cause produce the pain and what muscle is affected. ¡Exactamente! exclaimed the person, as I pinpoint the area that is affected.  The extensor digitorum muscles that extends digits 1-4.  During the assessment, digit 1-3 reenacted the pain in the forearm area. What I learned from my Clinical Anatomy and Orthopaedic & Biomechanic program classes were very helpful to help me figure this out.  The days are going by quickly, and I am learning more and more of how I can utilize my learning in the Massage Therapy Program at Centennial in Proal in Llano Bonito, Costa Rica.  Having to trust myself with independent research, getting feed back from my classmate and another student in the health related program at Centennial, figuring it out and building confidence in myself is a challenge. Have you been in a situation where its up to you to figure things out?  How did you feel?  What steps did you take?

In Llano Bonito, Costa Rica,

Sherry Ing

Massage Therapy student at Centennial College

TOP OF THE MOUNTAINS

Sherry Ing GEO Internship Summer 2015 Costa Rica Top of the Mountains Sunset
At the peak of a hill in Llano Bonito, a district in Costa Rica that is known for its coffee farming, as its the main source of employment here. I am admiring the sunset among the clouds. <<<<<<<<<En la cima de una colina en Llano Bonito , un distrito en Costa Rica, que es conocida por su cultivo de café , ya que su principal fuente de empleo aquí . Estoy admirando la puesta de sol entre las nubes. <<<<<<<<<<<

TOP OF THE MOUNTAINS

Proal is a health based association that marriage the idea that nature and people are in the same circle of life. I and a fellow Centennial student are doing our internship here. On the day of arrival in San José, the Capital of Costa Rica, we landed in the Juan Santamaría International Airport. Our pick up ride was awaiting for us with a sign written with Centennial College and our names.  

We quickly exchanged our American dollars into Costa Rican Colones at a bank between the ride from San José to Llano Bonito. I soon figured that it is easier to exchange the majority of my American dollars into Colones because I will eliminate the need to calculate the exchange rate when I purchase something here. From there we headed to our homestay family and it was quite the sight through the twist and turns of the mountains among the rain. At one point the hills were so steep that we had to back track and give more gas to drive up the hills that also lead to a sharp turn.

When the rain stops, a misty cloud covers the mountains, but soon clears out and several mountains peak appears again. Would you consider living in a mountain?  Why and why not? Comment below and I look forward to hearing what you have to say. 🙂

Living in the mountainous Costa Rica,

Sherry Ing

Massage Therapy student at Centennial College