In my work as the Field Coordinator for Philanthropiece Foundation, I spend a lot of time in poor, rural Latin American villages.  While in these villages I find myself perched in living rooms, schools, baseball fields and most importantly at the kitchen table, where I excel at eating the local foods; where the conversations can range from loans to the baseball team to the hottest “telanovela” (soap opera).  Surprisingly this is part of my job: listening, connecting, observing and more listening.  With that information, I relay it to the Philanthropiece team and we strategize on how best to develop or support programs.   I have found that it is crucial to at least attempt to walk in the shoes of the local people with whom we work.  Below are questions that I ask myself to help best inform how we at Philanthropiece engage in international community development and empowerment.

Try placing yourself in a community like this or this and ponder the questions below:

1)      How would my life be different?

2)      Would education be my priority?

3)      Would I follow the local trends?

4)      How would I raise myself out of poverty?

5)      What would I think about Westerners from the developed world? My neighbors?

6)      Would I care about the environment?

7)      Would I get involved with politics?

8)      Would I cheat/lie for the betterment of my family?  My community? For a cause I believe in?

9)      What would I change about the community?

10)   What would be the goals for my family? The community?

I’d be interested to hear how you would answer these questions – post your responses in the reply section below and let’s start a dialogue.

As the Field Coordinator for Philanthropiece, Jordan Bailey is responsible for the logistics of the programs that Philanthropiece offers in the countries where we work (Guatemala and Mexico).  He jets here, he jets there, and when he’s not travelling he can be found exploring the myriad of outdoor activities available to him in Boulder, CO.