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Essay Example: Reflection of Immersion Trip to Ecuador

2 pages
460 words
Harvey Mudd College
Type of paper: 
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Though the government in democratic nations is supposed to protect the interests of its people, only an individual can actively identify and address his or her own issues. For that matter, life-long citizenship and civic engagement involving a collection of actions designed to address issues that affect the collective, which can only be achieved by joint participation within community. Citizenship and civic engagement helps the individuals control their fate within a state. For underserved populations such as Ecuador, the quality of life for the collective could be improved along with the attainment of social justice and equitability.

Civic Engagement

At least, the trip to Ecuador was eye-opening and educative for me. Volunteering in community activities is one of the main ways of actively engaging in civic activities that foster community relationships. I encountered a number of people engaging in community activities including cleaning up the communities and distributing drugs to ensure everyone got access to it. Other than that, citizens can play a significant role in promoting the growth of a nation by becoming an employer or employee. Basically, working enables individuals to pay their taxes timely, which is vital for an economys survival and growth. The people can also be involved through participation in political elections.

Benefits and Challenges of Civic Engagement

Public participation creates numerous advantages including the attainment of successful outcomes out of issues. Voting within democratic nations ensures that people are satisfied by the leaders that are elected in to office. Civic engagement also builds a stronger society and ensures that social justice is achieved. Life-long responsible citizenship helps communities to develop and alleviate poverty in the process. Responsible citizens such as the case of Ecuador immigrants will still remember their civic responsibilities and send some of their income back home for developments and improvement of civic life (De la Torre and Striffler 350-351). Lack of civic engagement does make social reforms unachievable. For example, in the case of Guayaquil and the coastal region of Ecuador, social reforms were faint. The social reforms seemed faint as there were no voluntary social organizations to agitate for change, voting and even lobbying given the major percentage of the population was made up of unemployed women and men (De la Torre and Striffler 147).

Civic Engagement at a Personal Level

To address some of the needs of underserved communities, civic engagement at a personal and/or professional level could be achieved by volunteering in activities aimed at the betterment of peoples welfare. Also, engaging in community activities, such as fundraising and charities could also play the role. At a professional level, adherence to taxation standards is important considering that it is the governments main source of income.

Work cited

De la Torre, Carlos, and Steve Striffler. The Ecuador Reader: History, Culture. Duke University Press, 2008.

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