For three weeks, I stayed in a dormitory on the Meeting God in Missions’ compound about half a mile outside of Hato Mayor del Rey, the capital of the Hato Mayor Province in eastern Dominican Republic. Surrounding us for 100 miles in every direction was a sea of sugarcane—sugar that once cut, processed and packaged would end up on shelves in the United States. Turning off of the main government paved roads onto dirt paths that led us deeper into the fields, we came across villages known as bateyes that almost exclusively were Haitian. The men in these Haitian families would work up to twelve hours manually cutting sugarcane with machetes earning 5-10 USD a day—barely enough for one meal for a family. Lacking documentation and money, most batey residents lacked access to any form of healthcare.
While in the Dominican, I traveled to a different batey each day with a team of local translators, American and Dominican doctors, nurses and other volunteers to provide basic medical care. Using my experience as an Emergency Medical Technician, I triaged patients based on their vitals, symptoms and medical history. Working with limited time, medications, and equipment in less than ideal circumstances gave me a new level of appreciation for the complexity of global health issues. It also frustrated me. Science and technology are pushing modern medicine forward at a faster rate than ever before and yet entire villages suffer from unmanaged hypertension and diabetes—diseases that can be easily controlled. Barriers from access to medications to cultural differences prevent improved care for these patients, yet improved living and working conditions alone would rectify most of the situation.
Despite my desire to separate myself from hardships faced in the Dominican Republic, I came face to face with America’s role during my research. After significant pressure from NGOs and advocacy groups, the US Labor Department recognized in 2013 that the conditions in the bateyes violated the free trade agreement between our countries and committed $10 million dollars over the next four years to improve the worker’s lives. Four years later and the bateyes look the same. I found myself questioning what role I as an American citizen, as a consumer of Dominican sugar, and as a healthcare provider play in enabling the continued exploitation of sugarcane workers. I am still asking myself the same questions and most likely will be for a while as I continue to reflect upon my experience.
Read more at my blog: http://uniendolasmanos.middcreate.net/
This project is supported by funding from a Middlebury College Community Engagement Cross Cultural Community Service Grant.
I heard about this great sounding event and wanted to share:
ElectHer is offering a free training for college women on how to run for student government. Sign up for an informational brunch at go/electher
Students will have the opportunity to work at one of the foremost policy institutions consulting on nonproliferation issues. The internship includes direct classroom training by CNS faculty, paid work on professional research projects on a full-time basis, and opportunity to experience top-level policymaking among the key international stakeholders in the nonproliferation regime.
Previous research projects with students range from open source and geospatial methods of identifying nuclear facilities, to a social media analysis of public discourse related to the Iranian nuclear deal. The work that CNS does is broad and interdisciplinary, and ranges from highly technical scientific techniques, to the broader political and institutional factors influencing the global nonproliferation regime. It is appropriate for social science students, as well as natural science students that might have an interest in working on projects in this area
The application deadline is February 16. Now is a great time to consider your professional development over the summer and consider this privileged opportunity to gain important professional experience. You can apply at the following: http://sites.miis.edu/summerintern/apply/
MiddView is Middlebury College’s fall new student orientation program and will include a five-day on campus orientation and three-day trips program.
MiddView Intern: The MiddView Interns are integral members of our MiddView Steering Committee and serve as critical links between student leaders, staff, faculty, new students (first-years, transfers, and exchanges), families, and the Middlebury College community. They are ambassadors of the College and the faces and voices of MiddView. Key responsibilities include developing a vision and schedule for MiddView 2018, communicating with new students and their families, managing the MiddView website, social media, and other communications, planning and assisting with events, managing complex logistics, and training and supervising other student staff. These positions offer employment from March through September 2018. MiddView Interns are expected to work 4-8 hours per week during the academic year and then transition to 37.5 hours per week during the summer (with over-time virtually assured during the week of MiddView).
MiddView Trips Intern: MiddView Trips Interns serve as critical members of the College’s MiddView planning team. They help to design and coordinate all aspects of the MiddView trips; Middlebury’s three day, two-night off-campus adventure that explores Vermont’s cultural, community or outdoor landscapes, providing small-group connections amongst first-year students to ease their transition to college. There are three positions available. Each intern will work on one kind of trip topic: Wilderness trips, Vermont Explorations trips, or Community Engagement trips. All three interns should expect a lot of collaboration between trip types.
Interested? Click on the links above to learn more and apply via the Student Employment Office.
These opportunities sound amazing! TCF likes to call themselves “the 100 year old policy start up”.
Internships vary each year but the research and writing you do help advance TCF’s work, so it really seems like they are intent on making it a meaningful experience.
Internships fall in three broad areas:
- Policy Research and Analysis
- Editorial and Communications
- Nonprofit Management
In the past, our policy research interns have covered topics as various as socio-economic diversity in public schools, the Affordable Care Act, public-private partnerships for building infrastructure, income disparity and U.S. policy in the Middle East.
On the editorial and communications side, interns have developed graphic design projects, built websites, digitally archived old TCF books, and edited the work of fellows and interns.
For nonprofit management, interns will help develop and implement a funding strategy for a particular policy area, or work on a business recovery plan.
Deadline is Tuesday, February 14 so act fast. All details here: http://tcfinstitute.org/
And did I mention it is paid? $5,000 for 8 weeks.
Peter McSherry ’06 hosted a Digital Analytics in Marketing workshop this past November. Click below to access his presentation.