To fulfil my SASAH experiential-learning requirement, I worked as an intern at the Stratford Festival Archives in 2017 and travelled to Ecuador as part of a Women’s Empowerment trip in 2018. At the Festival, my colleague and I were responsible for designing the Archives’ first-ever digital catalogue. We researched the provenance of each costume piece, which often included looking through design bibles and conducting informal interviews. We then photographed and wrote detailed descriptions for each costume piece. By the end of the summer, my colleague and I had written over 300 complete entries, laying the groundwork for future interns. My trip to Ecuador consisted of two days in Quito, a week in Chimborazo, and a week in the Amazon rainforest. The aim of this trip was cultural exchange: our group would meet with local women’s groups to discuss the challenges each group faces and how we are both empowering ourselves and our communities. In addition, we also 1) worked on build sites under the leadership of local build crews, 2) learned about the local flora and fauna with our jungle guide, 3) learned about Ecuador’s colonial history and the ongoing environmental destruction with a leader from one of Ecuador’s indigenous communities, and 4) learned about agricultural practices in relation to Ecuador’s economy from a local farmer. This trip was the first step on my journey to becoming a global citizen and taught me important lessons about intersectional feminism and positive global-development practices.
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