As an undergraduate, Stella Duong studied genetics and completed certificates in global health and business.
Where: She traveled to Ecuador with the “Microenterprise and Health in Ecuador” field course. The course partners with an indigenous Ecuadorian women’s group called Sumak Muyo, and students learn more about Sumak Muyo’s projects and how this small business has the potential to empower women through economic freedom.
The Power of Communities: “This course was the last requirement for my global health certificate, so I have taken plenty of ‘public health’ classes; however, nothing in any textbook or newsletter could prepare me for the poverty and injustice that resonated throughout the communities we visited. Nothing prepared me for meeting Betsy, a soft-spoken woman, left to care for her son in a town that does not even have clean water. Nothing prepared me for meeting Juan, who is about to celebrate his first birthday, because his family finally had money to host a small gathering. Yet, in the midst of many forces of oppression, these communities have unmatched motivation and creativity. Furthermore, even in poverty, these communities are truly communities. All profits are shared among community members and the trust among community members is remarkable — doors are unlocked, everyone knows everyone, cooperation among all.”
Advice: “Take time to hear everyone’s story — you will not regret it.”
By Olivia Riedel / May 25, 2016