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Privilege

Written on: Tuesday November 11th, 2008

A journal entry from: Sayula, Jalisco, Mexico

This journal entry is a response to http://lahlissa.blogspot.com/2008/08/assignment-6-privilege.html.  As a University student, and as a recipient of a grant to hold an internship abroad, I know that I am somewhat "privileged". I think that, while addressing my privileges in the Sayula community can be helpful to my self-reflection on the trip, it can be limiting to my view of the experience in its entirety.  Also, addressing my experience by commenting on "white privilege" (as mentioned in the journal responding to) is something I choose not to do.  I choose instead to comment on my trip to Sayula as an honor for me, and, hopefully, a benefit to the Sayula community as well.  

 

Sayula, a small town of 30,000 in the Sierra Madre mountain range, is not the most popular destination site.  Most international visitors to Sayula are of Mexican descent and are there to visit family members.  It is uncommon to find a Canadian student or a visiting environmental activist in the town.  Because of my visit to Sayula being something out of the norm for the community members, I was treated as a "privileged" visitor to the town. I was a guest speakers at all of the schools in Sayula, I was interviewed and re-interviewed for the community newspapers, and I was even was invited to meet with the town mayor to discuss making environmental improvements.  Yet, although my status as a foreign student gave me a voice within the Sayula community, my willingness to act is what really showed my dedication to the environmental campaign.  This inspired others to get involved in clean ups and other environmental activities.

 

Regardless of what my "privileged" status may have been within Sayula, I was treated as an equal.  A daughter to some, a friend to many, and a hard worker to all.  I was willing to help Sayula to the best of my ability and I think that that speaks more strongly than the color of my skin and my educational background.  I am anxiously awaiting my return to Sayula, my host family, and volunteering with Amigos.

 

From Anna P. on Nov 12th, 2008

Hey, it's really amazing that you were able to meet with the mayor and get so much done. Sounds like you helped out a lot!

From Willie on Nov 17th, 2008

How about an update on weather, cost of living, etc.? Thanks

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