This week we have a post from Earl Cuarteros who writes about his journey into development. The first in a series of posts, Earl reflects on his past experiences that are shaping the way he thinks about helping others and making decisions on his career path.
I have constantly questioned my path in life and how I contribute to humanity. I always dreamt of owning a house and even owning a fancy car, but as time moved forward I became aware and exposed to the belief that not everything we own should have a monetary value. The first time I was exposed to this ideology was during my Sociology 101 class, taught by Mr. Paul Harasha, at Mesa Community College. He always encouraged his students to volunteer within the community and empathize with those who suffered through unfortunate consequences. His lectures always kept my mind challenged, providing a subtle sense of ‘you can make a difference out there.’ Many students took his class as an academic requirement, but I personally took it to enrich my mental health.
Even now, his words reverberate through my mind, as though his teachings are one of a kind. My curiosity drives my way of life. I became a seeker of human connection with self, its drive to fulfillment. Currently, I have a full-time career as a logistician, a fulfilling career? Probably not, but as most people say, ‘it pays the bills’ – I really despise that saying. I have constantly looked for opportunities with that ‘fulfillment’ factor, but like everything in life, it takes time. My friends tell me to watch for signs; the universe will let you know the appropriate time – which seems simple enough.
One day, my partner and I met a friend for lunch. Small talks ensued! We spoke about our careers and lives. I always thought, when I graduated college a path of ever-knowing would pave its way to high enlightenment, but that thought rapidly diminished. Our friend mentioned she had volunteered as a registered nurse at a small village in Guatemala. She would hand-deliver medical supplies, via paddleboat in rural parts of the country. I kept thinking about the positive impact she had given to the villages and its people. I was envious and wanted to obtain the same level of insight she gained. As she and I spoke about our future endeavors, she mentioned an organization I should look into called Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)/Doctors without Borders. I was a bit perplexed, I told her I was far from being a doctor, but she eased my confusion. She explained that the organization not only appoint medical professionals but also logisticians, finance and human resource personnel. Based on the qualifications stated in their website, I quickly calculated the probability of being accepted into the organization – approximately 72%! Being a logistician is proving to be a great career.
A couple of weeks after I found out about MSF and further exploration into MSF’s ideology, I dove in, head first, and applied. I thought what’s the worst that could happen? The response could be negative or positive – only one way to find out! I’m revealing myself to the universe, it sounds silly, but I truly believe if positive change is in the works, it will grace one’s ambition.
Earl Cuarteros received his Bachelor of Science in Food and Agribusiness Marketing with a minor in Sociology at Arizona State University. He has worked in France as a European and Eurasian Affairs Intern, conducting agricultural research for the southern region of France. His passion in humanitarian aid and sustainable agriculture propels his ambition in creating positive change. He is contactable via LinkedIn.