Eight of our employees had an experience of a lifetime this past July. Every year, Christopherson sponsors a group of employees to travel with CHOICE Humanitarian to volunteer on one of their international work sites. Their overriding goal is to end extreme poverty and improve quality of life through a bottom-up, self-developing, village-centered approach. Christopherson has been involved with CHOICE for more than 20 years and is also a corporate sponsor. This small group of volunteers provides one week of service on one of Choice’s international work sites. This year, the group volunteered their time in Piura, Peru. While there, our team built clean burning fire stoves, created a garden, and finished a child health care center in the community of Caserío Miguel Seminario Mendoza, in the Municipality of La Arena. Our account manager, M’Liss Hunter, joined the trip this year. Read more about her personal experience:
So many previous expedition team members have said that these CHOICE trips are life changing. I was skeptical of this statement as I have traveled to many countries and seen how a lot of cultures live. Boy was I proven wrong.
Going to Peru with CHOICE and Christopherson was indeed life changing for me, however that can mean so many different things depending on how the experience is viewed. For me, it was realizing how far-reaching the modern world’s technology touches other countries and yet–they still live in poverty. Not only did the village we worked in have electricity, they also had cell phones and internet. But they did not have clean running water, indoor plumbing, or modern structures. It was all such an oxymoronic experience.
But to understand the lives of these villagers was to know that what they did not have did not detract from their quality of life. The people were all joyful, happy, and grateful to share their lives with us for a short time. What they lacked were only things Americans have the privilege of owning; what they owned is what is so lacking in America. It is not the material things that bring joy, happiness, and gratitude in life, but our experiences, community, and sharing with others.