On January 2nd, 2018, Sagal Hadafow ‘19 (Life Science Teaching Grades K-12 major and a minor in Teaching as a Second Language) embarked on her first ever study abroad journey to Guatemala. The Global Search for Justice (GSJ) is a capstone of the St. Kate’s career taken by juniors and seniors. This particular GSJ course focused on the women’s work and health in Guatemala: Global Search for Justice: Women’s Health and Work in the Land of the Eternal Spring. The class covered the history of colonization, the indigenous people of the country and the culture and spirituality of the Maya in the country.
Sagal was able to travel to different locations during her time in Guatemala: Guatemala City (visited United to Live Better Women’s Organization, Chichicastenango (participate in Mayan ceremony), San Lucas Toliman (visisted a coffee co-op), and many more places, which included a site where she got to see a volcano! But her favorite place on her trip was her homestay in Santa Anita. She was paired up with another student in her class and they were invited to stay in the home of the family who were hosting. The time they were in Santa Anita was for three days. During this homestay, Sagal did whatever the family was doing. “We’d go with our host dad and pick up coffee in the fields,” she explained. Sagal’s trip to Guatemala reminded her of her home back in Kenya. “There were similarities from my culture and life. The best part of it was the familiarity, but at the same time it was nice experiencing new things from a different perspective”.
Before going on the trip Sagal didn’t have many or any expectations. She’s never been abroad and didn’t know what to expect. If you’re planning on a GSJ, Sagal suggests you go with the flow if it’s your first time. She also recommends that more people of color take this experience. “There is growth that comes with this experience, especially if you’re involved in social justice. It opened my eyes to the impact of globalization and economics on racism, oppression, and environmental injustices.”