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My Human Rights Story

7 Oct

As for my (delayed) introduction to the blog, I prefer to be straight-forward. Basically my approach to human rights can be summed up by the following: children, education and capabilities. Disclaimer: I am a positive person. My human rights story started in my hometown of Minnesota. I had never considered a career in education until I became a peer mentor in inclusive classrooms my last semester of high school. I discovered I had a passion for teaching and bring positive educational experiences to students. I pursued a degree in elementary education, Spanish and psychology at the University of St. Thomas. As an undergrad, I studied abroad in London and Madrid, so I jumped on the chance to complete my student teaching abroad. I didn’t really care where I was sent – just as long as it was a Spanish speaking country. When I boarded the plane to La Ceiba, Honduras, I knew nothing about the country nor anyone there. I managed to arrive at my host family’s house after a taxi ride through the city that appeared to be stuck in the 195o’s with a driver that I couldn’t understand – although supposedly he was speaking Spanish. I hated my first two weeks in Honduras- the windows had bars, walls were lined with broken glass bottles,  roosters crowed all times of the night (not just at dawn), water and electricity shortages, food contained amoebas and worms, etc!

Despite all this, I spent the next three years of my life in Honduras. I fell in love with the people – especially the children. I started the preschool department at Mazapan school and loved every second of being a kindergarten teacher (yes, even the extremely difficult days)! I found my happy place at La Finca del Nino (Farm of the Child) orphanage in Trujillo. Resources are scarce at the Finca, but what they lack, they make up for in the love and care that they (volunteers and Catholic Sisters) provide for the children. I knew that I wanted to continue supporting marginalized children, so I made the difficult decision to leave Honduras and pursue my Masters in International Education at NYU.

My experience at NYU has strengthened the connection between education, children and capabilities. Based on my experience working at a local NGO in India this summer, I have concluded that the “best” educational experiences aim to enhance and foster children’s capabilities. Where does human rights fit into all this? Well, rights in the sense that everyone is entitled to some good equates with providing education that supports the development of all children’s innate abilities and contribute to the growth of their capabilities set. My future posts will deal more with this subject. My human rights story is by no means finished. I’d like to think of my human rights journey at its initial stages. If you, the reader, have any thoughts or stories to share about children, capabilities and/or Honduras, I’d love to hear them! Thanks for reading!