Exploring the Truth

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When I first heard about the TCU Global Academy, I was informed that the program was designed to explore the issue of sustainability. Although I had little familiarity with sustainability, I felt the responsibility as a journalist & citizen of the world to learn more about this topic. Before coming on this trip I was aware of the topic we would be exploring, but I did not know what to expect. However, something deep inside told me that this was where I was meant to spend my spring break. The past few days have opened my eyes and mind to truly understand my role and responsibility as a citizen of the world.

Working with Wetlands International has been transformational in more ways than I ever imagined. Having the opportunity to work alongside passionate people has not only been refreshing, but also inspiring. In a matter of two days we were able to visit areas around Panamá that clearly reflect the threat environmental degradation poses on the community and the ecological system.

As a journalist, it is my responsibility to inform the people about issues affecting their community.  A journalist should provide people with facts about an issue and allow them to make the last judgment. These past few days I enjoyed hearing from Panamanian journalists and their stories as they go out and cover stories on environmental issues.

I particularly found a story shared by one of the journalists extremely fascinating (photo on the right, by Sander Carpay). Working for the most respected daily newspaper La Prensa, he had covered a story about the construction taking place in the Panamá Bay area. In his article, he quoted community members, simple fisher folk, whose house was burned down by the police to make space for the construction taking place in that area. This planned construction was violating environmental laws and regulations, which was confirmed by the national environmental authority´s director in the article.

What was interesting about his story was that within days after having published the article, a private news organization, in which the owner of the construction company has shares, published an article which argued that the initial article was not factual, claiming that the journalist should go back to school. However, the journalist who works for an independent newspaper followed through with his duty and continued his fact-finding investigation. As a result, his follow-up article with more official quotes and more concrete proof of the violations served as the best source to back up his initial article.

Overall, working with Wetlands International taught me so much about the environment. These past few days I gained a much clear understanding of the urgent need for action that must happen in order to conserve the beautiful ecological environment in Panamá and around the world. As a citizen of the world, I also feel the responsibility to use the knowledge gained this past few days to take action and protect an important part of our world and our everyday life; the environment.

Janette Quezada

TCU Global Academy

Photos by Janette Quezada

Jimmy Greene – Culture Quest Seeking Global Sustainability

Ethan Murray – Panamá

Katherine Pfeiffer – Exploring Panamá

Devin Rayburn – Learning and Fun in the Wetlands

TCU360 – Students reflect on Central American spring break

Ciudad del Saber – Presentación de estudiantes de TCU para la comunidad Ciudad del Saber (Spanish)


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