My homestay is in the same community as my internship. I teach ESL to people in the community. Also, if they are planning on migrating, I can help find resources in the U.S and Canada for them. I think this has been a great way for me to be involved in the community. I can go to peoples' homes and sit and talk with them for hours. In many ways, I still have to build a lot of trust with people and some of my longer goals would take over a year to really see the progress. I’m the outsider and I think in many ways that can be ok when doing research, but I have to be aware of the fact, that I’m not living in Amatlan to write reports and do research about migration. I want to emerge myself in the culture and really learn from the people around me. I think I’m extremely blessed to have met so many wonderful people on this journey. I have made some connections for life. I have realized how to really open my mind and take the time to grow and learn from the people around me. I have found ways of being more flexible and passionate about whatever the day brings my way.
I have always loved to help people, that's the reason I decide to go back to school. While studying social work in a Mexican context it’s obvious that everyone has really expanded on his or her abilities.
Many people think of social work as being some agency job where you sit at a desk in some office building. But this experience has shown me that we as social workers have to really be involved in the community. Many times what communities need are resources and money but they don’t get adequate funding. So your own skills and talents are what you need to bring to the community. I have seen many people in Mexico, that our in poverty and lack basic resources like water, land, food and shelter. So you have to be willing to use all your tools in your toolbox. I think one of my best tools is I know how to build things and like to work with my hands.
By Dylan Peterson