The Dump. This is the place where my fellow Glimpsers and I spent our day learning about the poverty here in Panama. We all were smacked with reality when seeing people scavenging through the garbage and faced, head on, the environmental and poverty issues that Panama is facing today. We took a tour of the dump and witnessed many things that we mostly likely will never experience again in our lives. We walked on actual landfill, defended ourselves from the all the flies, and stayed away from the many vultures near by. However, we kept the positive vibes going and found the value of this experience and took back a few life lessons.

The lessons taken from this experience is to really be appreciative for what you have. At the dump, I saw a kid helping their parents scavenge through the garbage to find things they can make money from later. When I saw the kid helping his parents; my heart immediately dropped. No one should ever have to rummage through garbage in order to provide for their family or themselves. After seeing the kid, I began reflect and realized how privileged I truly am and that I should not take anything for granted. Although, I do not live in a really big house or come from a lot of money, I am grateful for everything I have. I have amazing people in my life, I have a roof over my head, and food in my belly.

The other lesson I took from this experience is to be proud of who you are. Society today looks down the people working in garbage dumps because “anyone can pick up garbage”. False. These people work countless hours and wear out their bodies to make our communities clean. I know this from a first hand experience because my father is a garbage man and I see the toll it has taken on him. His hands are full calluses and how worn out his feet are; this is not an easy job. Despite these challenges, he always remains positive and proud of who he is. He talks about the caring community you make when working and the recycler community at the landfill was no different. My fellow Glimpsers and I witnessed how helpful everyone was when someone new came to the Dump to start looking for something to take home. Whether that be offering a hand to help move something or a cold drink; everyone was happy and getting along really well.

With this experience, my fellow Glimpses and I can truly say we got out of our comfort zone and took a lesson from this. Whether that be a big lesson or a small lesson, we all got something out of this once in a lifetime experience. Stay tuned tomorrow to see us starting our CAP project and making a difference in a local school, Instituto Panameño de Habilitación Especial.