International Experience: Ecuador

A blog post from SOLES MA in Counseling, Clinical Mental Health specialization Ambassador, Becca Byler:
Being part of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program provides you with opportunity to take a class that allows you to immerse yourself in another culture. My Multicultural Counseling class gave me the chance to go to Quito, Ecuador and gain a new perspective into the lives of the individuals there.
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We stayed at the Working Boys’ Center where we helped the children with their English, we helped a family improve their house, we shadowed the volunteers there, and we were able to explore the sights of Quito. The longer we stayed at the Center, the more we became acutely aware of the injustice and inequalities that take place in that country. We found ourselves becoming cognizant of all of the sacrifices that the families make in order to ensure that their children get an education, that they get the food they need, and that they have a place to stay.
I found myself reflecting on all of the privileges that we have in the United States. Unfortunately a lot of my classmates, including myself, left with more questions than answers. One thing that I do know for certain is that this opportunity has given me a new perspective into the field of counseling. Yes, they tell us that we have to take into account the culture that our client is in, in order to better understand the client, but actually being in that situation allowed us to put that into practice.
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