Hello, my name is Julia Perez. My role for a day was to be the Lider del Dia for Aid and Development Day. I am one who finds pride in helping the people that surround me in my everyday life. In choosing this day to be leader, this would not only benefit my development, but it will also allow others to gain the development they deserve. Our day began with eating delicious, traditional breakfast that consisted of Panamanian chorizo and ojalda, which is very good and you should research it ;). After putting on plenty of bug spray and sunscreen, we traveled to Escuela Paris de Parita, an elementary school that has grades first to fifth graders. This informative visit was very eye opening and definitely created a greater connection within the group, allowing us to discover the problems that could have been fixed forty years ago. It especially proved how hard working and strong the minimum amount of students and the three teachers are.  They are going through hardships due to the environment they work in. After this eye-opening mission to support the school, we returned to our hotel to brainstorm ways we can give back to the school, of course for their most necessary needs. For instance, repainting the dining hall and creating a colorful mural as well as providing reading books that will support with educating the children. This also motivated our group to do all we can to provide a service that will help work towards meeting the needs of the school and the community. Of course, the best part of this day is reflecting on the good and the bad, especially maintaining a positive attitude about our opportunity to be of service. This day truly opened my eyes, especially my peers eyes, into pushing for a better community. As Sulak Sivaraksa said, “True development must be in harmony with the needs of the people and the rhythms of the natural world,” a statement that should be taken to account globally. If we want to see positive change in the world, we must have a vision and take the initiative to make an impact (even small ones). Compassion, courage, and commitment are all the key elements in taking the first step to change!

“True development must be in harmony with the needs of the people and the rhythms of the natural world.”