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Tailor Campbell

What drew you to apply for this educational tour?

It related to a lot social justice issues, which I have always been interested in learning more about, especially with regards to developing countries like Panama and Costa Rica. It was also the first time a trip like this was being offered to Practicum students. I am someone who enjoys taking advantage of opportunities, so I thought it was be a great way to get ahead and grow both academically and professionally, as we had access to a wide variety of people in different career paths.

Do you have a moment that stands out for you? Why has it stuck with you?

A moment that really stood out for me was when we went to visit the Ngobe-Bugle Indigenous people. They had been somewhat isolated and had just started working with the research team Acción Cultural Ngóbe (Ngóbe Cultural Action, or ACUN), a few years ago, and those were the only people outside of their community that they had really been exposed to. Coming in as visitors, we were not sure what to expect, but the community was very welcoming. They fed our whole group both days we were there, they taught us a dance they had done for their elders, and they openly accepted us. Some of the community travelled for an entire day just to come see and meet us. During our time there, they explained some of the hardships they had been going through and it was some of the same issues the Indigenous people in Canada had been going through; this really stuck with me. Taking Indigenous Studies, my eyes have been opened to many Indigenous issues I had not realized were occurring before. To hear about those issues happening in another country really made me realize how universal the problems are and how reconciliation needs to be done to solve these issues, not only in Canada, but in other countries as well.

How do you think this experience will affect you in your future career endeavours?

I think this experience helped me confirm I am on the right track both professionally and academically. Before this, I was pretty sure I wanted to be a social worker; after going on this trip and meeting the people I did, it just further confirmed that social work is the profession for me. It also has inspired me to look into some kind of volunteer experience in the future to help more organizations like the ones we visited. I was looking into possibly joining Social Workers Without Borders or doing another Horizons trip to learn more and to help those in need, whether it be in Canada or another country. 

What would you say to future students who are thinking of taking part in this sort of experience?

Definitely apply because it is worth it in every way. This opportunity is like no other; all six of us became better versions of ourselves in just those two weeks. Some of us learned more about ourselves than we knew before, some of us shared stories and found similarities with one another so we gained friendships, and some of us were so impacted by some organizations that we became emotional. I think that is part of the growth we were meant to experience on this trip. If I had not gone on this trip, I would not have new friends, learned about the struggles and organizations trying to aid in those struggles in other countries, or been as inspired as I am now to help change the lives of others.

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