Global Service Scholar: Evelyn Mendoza
Country: Paraguay

I will never be able to fully express my gratitude for being given the opportunity to be in this program, nor will I ever be able to fully express just how much of a positive impact this past month has had on me. Before the trip, I was excited thinking about what experiences awaited me, but I never imagined they would be so profound.

By having long days and working alongside the agricultural school’s students, I was reminded of the importance of having a hard work ethic and the importance of collaboration. I was always in awe of the level of maturity each student possessed and the great deal of responsibilities they had. It was incredible to see how everyone’s contribution and help allowed the school to flourish. Being able to see how much the students were able to accomplish in one day helped me recognize that many opportunities are hidden in each day – each day comes with a new opportunity to help others, work toward something great and make a positive change.

One of the most heart-warming experiences was an afternoon in which I, along with my two other group members, Celine and Edith, had the opportunity to visit an indigenous community. There, we met an incredibly kind and humble man who proudly showed us his vegetable garden and his beehive boxes and spoke about how happy he was to be able to provide food for his family. He thanked us for our visit and said that he was always appreciative of and welcoming of foreigners who paid him and his community a visit and said that he felt that the three of us had good spirits and would bring blessings to his crops (our visit would help them flourish). Then, he apologized for not having the means to pay us a visit in our country. Seeing how prevalent poverty was in his community yet he be so incredibly kind and positive both broke and touched my heart.

August 2019 will forever hold a place in my heart. During this month, I lived in a beautiful country, got to experience its rich culture, and met many incredible people. This trip showed me how large the world is, how beautiful it is, and how much in need it is. Now being back in the United States, all I keep thinking about is: What are other ways that I can help others?

Rohayhu Paraguay (I love you, Paraguay)