Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Reflects on Migrant Education Internship
From Kesiah Bascom, our Migrant Education Intern:
Two months ago I returned to the hustle and bustle of American life after two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nicaragua. Having lived in a small community of 160 Spanish speakers I was instantly overwhelmed by the fast paced lifestyle of American culture. Luckily a friend suggested taking on a month long internship at Mano en Mano and I have since found myself a little haven in Downeast Maine.
One thing that shook me upon re-entering the USA was the lack of community among fellow citizens. I visited Boston, MA for a few days and was astounded at the realization that people didn’t even know their neighbors. However, here in blueberry country, we from many different cultures are unified by a single fruit.
Though only here for a month, I have felt honored to catch a glimpse of an America that many don’t see and I have felt empowered by Mano en Manos vision to unify people from diverse backgrounds and to provide educational services. As an intern I have enjoyed working in the Blueberry camps and hearing the stories of the many Passamaquoddy, Hondurans, and Mexicans that work there.
My next steps will lead me out to East Palo Alto, California to a tiny organization called Collective Roots, whose focus is on sustainable agriculture, community and youth development. All of my experiences at Mano en Mano have taught me the importance of communication, bridging the gap between different cultures and the beauty of diversity. Hopefully I will have the opportunity, in my following job, to use these learning’s as they are a key part to building a stronger community.