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"My team was in Guatemala" - Influential Experience: Brown Supplemental Essay.

plittplatt11 5 / 29  
Dec 30, 2010   #1
Tell us about an intellectual experience, project, class or book that has influenced or inspired you.

I picked Jacquelina up again, twirling her around. I returned her to the ground where she dizzily stumbled, causing her nearby friends to break into fits of giggles. They soon were asking for me to pick them up as well and I obliged, playing with them until the sun fell behind the mountain. This was just one afternoon out of the ten that I spent in Guatemala offering my time, hands, and heart to Las Granadillas, a village perched on top of an isolated mountain.

My team was in Guatemala for one reason - to teach. We taught the village's children, helping them understand math, body parts, and the occasional English word. I gained confidence in my Spanish capabilities, acknowledging that four years of learning from books would not have benefitted me without real world experience. We improved the living standards of the village, renovating the school building, and providing new equipment to the villagers. Our main objective was to teach and help the Guatemalan people, however, the villagers taught and helped us much more.

The ten days I spent in Guatemala opened my eyes to a new world. Guatemala was a country where poverty ran rampant, sanitation was basically nonexistent, and the government was inefficient. I saw firsthand the effects a poorly run government has on its citizens. Schools that were supposedly free were forced to make families pay for their children's education because the government didn't provide them with money to sustain educational programs. Some children in Las Granadillas couldn't attend school, and sat outside of the building, hoping to learn something from the carrying voices of the teachers.

This unfair and unjust world that I was in made me question things: why couldn't the government do its job? Why did its citizens have to suffer? It was because of this firsthand experience that I realized what I was passionate about: I was inspired by the people of Guatemala to learn more about government, so that one day I could work to improve conditions such as those that the Guatemalan people were forced to live in.
ivygirl22 2 / 12  
Dec 30, 2010   #2
They soon were asking for me to pick them up ...

We taught the village'svillage children, helping them ...

i truly love your essay! I think your first paragraph is the best of all! I didnt find any errors to be honest so thats good!

good luckk(:
OP plittplatt11 5 / 29  
Dec 30, 2010   #3
thank you so much!!

any other feedback would be appreciated!
swoosh18 4 / 40  
Dec 30, 2010   #4
You could maybe elaborate on how you have and will show your interest in government in the conclusion.
Anonymoussenior 17 / 133  
Dec 30, 2010   #6
just say village children

last sentence is kind good but you may want to make some changes. maybe say: I was inspired by trip to Guatemala to pursue my passion in government and to work to improve unstable governments not only in Guatemala, but also in other struggling countries.

not that sentence exactly but just expand past Gratemala to show that you plan to make a substantial difference worldwide.

Nice essay. Please read my Notre Dame and rochester essay they are 150 words or less.
somewherefun 1 / 11  
Dec 30, 2010   #7
This is a really good essay! I agree with the above posts about slightly changing the last sentence, but other than that, I loved the details incorporated in this essay. Well done!
ludus 1 / 2  
Mar 13, 2011   #8
This is good!

Your message is clear and concise, just a few things though...

Your "team," who is that? Is this a school trip? A mission trip? Church people? Be more specific as to your purpose of the visit (aside from the obvious to-help-the-village reason), and this will give the essay markers more insight into your overall reason for writing the essay, which I assume is to show your passion for humanities and such?

Oh, and don't use the word "basically". Saying that sanitation is nonexistent is sufficient.

One last thing, what's the purpose of this essay? Was there a word/character limit? If not, I really feel as though you need to expand on your second-last paragraph, about the lessons that the village showed you. You mentioned three points about Guatemala, so why not give three examples relating to those (poverty affecting families, sanitation affecting families, and the effects of inefficient government)? This will give your essay more depth, make it longer, and also give it more information!

Pretty good overall though!

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