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PCC Community Education Builds Projects in Mexico
Photos and Story by James Hill
PORTLAND, Ore. – A partnership between Northwest Medical Teams and Portland Community College is giving people life-changing adventures in Mexico. Together, they sponsor trips each year to the remote Oaxacan mountain villages in southern Mexico to work with Northwest Medical Team members in assisting with village projects for the residents.Cecelia Barry, Community Education manager at PCC who leads the trips, will conduct an informational session about the trips for those interested, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12 in Room 7 at Lake Oswego High School, 2500 Country Club Road. During the session people will meet the trip leader, go over the itinerary of the trips and see slides of past trips."This work runs parallel to the PCC goal of promoting service learning and cross-cultural awareness,"said Barry. "No one walks out of this trip unchanged. Everyone walks out feeling awed, humbled and touched by the people. Our daily routines involve working alongside local villagers and establishing those relationships."This year, PCC’s Community Education department will sponsor one-week trips from June 29 to July 26 and Nov. 23-30. The cost of the trip is roughly $480 and does not include airfare, food or accommodations. The medical team will build a campsite to live in and will work arm-in-arm with villagers on projects to improve the village, like constructing cooking stoves. Team members will get to step away from their own culture during the trips and appreciate another. This endeavor helps not only the villagers but also the students as they build teamwork and awareness of the culture.Barry, a Lake Oswego resident, added the trips to Oaxaca on PCC’s non-credit travel education program in 1996. For more information, contact Cecelia Barry at 503-731-6621.