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Top 3 Reasons You Should Go On An Immersion Trip

Last winter break, I had one of the greatest experiences of my college career participating in a Center for Public Service (CPS) Immersion Trip to Guatemala. These trips focus on various social justice and human rights issues such as discrimination against indigenous and minority groups, women’s rights, immigration, education, and environmental issues while also teaching about culture, arts, and religion throughout the United States and other countries. As a lover of travel and with an interest in human rights, this seemed like a perfect opportunity for me and ended up teaching me more than a regular class usually would.

The trip I participated in was about the the civil war and genocide in Guatemala, how indigenous Mayan peoples’ rights have been affected by the war and what activists do to overcome it. We traveled to various towns and cities and had home stays with Mayan families while reflecting on what we had learned and seen.

Here are a just few reasons why I loved going on this trip and how it was a worthwhile experience.

1.) Educational impact:

There is a lot to take in from visiting various people who spoke about their lives enduring the brutality of war, the history of the war, and how the US government foreign policy took part in it. By learning the history of this country I have learned much about my own country as well and what isn’t usually taught in history classes.

2.) Adventure and exploring:

We went out and explored the cities we stayed in, seeing them come to life after dark with music and dancing, then shopped in the colorful markets during the day, went sight-seeing, tried new foods, and met many new people.

3.) Friendships:

My roommate and I kept in touch with our host family via email. My group also became really close after spending so much time traveling together and sharing our reflections. Even after the trip was over it was something we kept talking about and sharing our experiences by presenting research and creating a video about it.

This trip was an opportunity that anyone who loves learning about social justice and engaging in discussion about global issues should partake in.

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