Alexia Baker ‘19 describes the groups experience doing community service in Oaxaca.
Today in Oaxaca, after our usual morning classes, we split into two groups to take part in an afternoon of volunteer work and community service. One group went to a local hospital to serve food to the needy, and the other (my group) went to a botanical garden to provide our help where needed.
Though the purpose of this trip is primarily to immerse ourselves in the “Language and Culture” of Mexico, an important aspect of Deerfield and the Center for Service and Global Citizenship is to prepare students “for leadership in a rapidly changing world that requires global understanding, environmental stewardship, and dedication to service”, and that’s exactly what we did today.
At the botanical garden we were again broken up into smaller groups. Most of us helped rake the large amount of leaves that had fallen from the countless trees in the garden. Others, helped dig to create a space for a soon to be planted tree. The people who worked in the garden were very nice, helpful, and supportive. It was fun to be able to help do small tasks that could possibly make their work easier. Even through the wild range of sun and light rain we received, we were all more than happy to lend a few extra helping hands.
Next week, we will be doing this volunteer work again, and those of us who were at the garden will go help at the hospital, and those at the hospital will help in the garden. I enjoyed seeing the beauty of the garden today and helping making it look even more beautiful. I am excited and looking forward to the change of scenery and the opportunity to help out at the hospital next time.