I chose the region of Latin America and the Caribbean for the reason that I have traveled here, will most likely travel here in the future, and am interested in the culture of this region. I studied Spanish during my high school and undergraduate work and would love to utilize and refine my use of this language personally. Children in this region are effected by poverty, HIV and aids, among other diseases, unhealthy development and high death rate, chronic malnutrition, low enrollment and completion of primary education programs, violence and abuse, and gender inequalities (UNICEF, 2011).
These experiences could have a profound impact on children’s development and wellbeing in that children experiencing poverty are more likely to have developmental delays (Trustees of Columbia University, 2010). Violence and abuse take an emotional toll on children during their early years of development as well. For children with emotional abuse “negative early experiences can impair children’s mental health and effect their cognitive, behavioral, social-emotional development” (Trustees of Columbia University, 2010). “The infant is embedded in relationships with others who provide the nutrition for both physical and psychological growth” (Trustees of Columbia University, 2010). Negative effects like the ones experienced by so many children of Latin America and the Caribbean can seriously affect healthy growth and development. Children experience both emotional and mental disorders due to this kind of trauma (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010). These traumas can also effect children’s trust, emotional stability, and ability to learn and retain information at a normal rate.
Personally, the more I read about the region of Latin America and the Caribbean, the more my desire grew to return to this region and help in making a positive impact on children there. It also humbled me because so often, teaching in impoverished areas, I feel overwhelmed by the effects of poverty. However, so many children in this region experience poverty as a side effect of the multiple other issues they deal with on a daily basis. Professionally, I want to continue learning about poverty and how to counteract the negative effects it so often has on my children in order to become a more effective, empathetic anti-bias educator.
Derman-Sparks, L., & Edwards, J. (2010). Anti-bias education for young children and ourselves. Washington, DC: NAEYC.
Trustees of Columbia University, The. (2010). National Center Center for Children Children in PovertyPoverty (NCCP). Retrieved from:http://www.nccp.org/publications/pub_882.html
UNICEF (2011). Retrieved from: http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/