Caitlin Tatarek – Spotlight

October 17, 2016




Caitlin is from Springfield, IL.  She is a senior studying Biology Pre-Medicine here at Mizzou. Caitlin loves watching Chicago sports, mainly the Chicago Bears and Blackhawks! She was a competitive gymnast most he life and is now a coach for gymnastics here in town. She went on our Medical Brigade to Panama in January of 2016. Caitlin is Mizzou Global Brigades’ current Recruitment Chair. 



What was your favorite thing about working in country?

“My favorite part about working in country was the hands on experience. I was able to actually take patients vitals, fill prescriptions in the pharmacy, and teach the local people about dental hygiene. While I was getting this hands on experience, I was also able to meet and learn more about the local people! The relationships I made and the things I learned are something that I will carry with me for the rest of my life!”


What was a memory that you made while on the brigade?

“My favorite memories I made while on my brigade was the time that we spent with the children in the community after working in the clinic all day. One of my favorite memories was visiting with a little girl whose vitals I had taken earlier in the day. I let her listen to my heartbeat in the stethoscope and she shared her stickers with me! She also helped me with my horrible Spanish while I taught her English words!”


What was your favorite food served in country?

“Fried Chicken”


Do you have any advice for new brigaders?

“My advice to new brigaders would be to embrace every aspect of the trip from the start! Even though there may be a language barrier, try to learn about their culture and their language. It will make your relationship with the local people that much for more rich. Also, really get to know the Global Brigades people you are working with in country really well, like your translators. You can learn so much from each other and it will make your experience the best that it can be!”


What is something funny or odd that happened to you in country?

“Something funny/odd that happened to my brigade while traveling to country was that we almost missed our flight to Panama. Our travel plans were St. Louis to Newark to Panama. The flight in STL was delayed due to rain and ice and we already didn't have that long over a layover in Newark.  I still to this day can remember sprinting through the Newark airport feeling like I was in a Home Alone movie. It was a very chaotic and overwhelming situation but I can definitely say that it bonded our brigade from the very start!!”



"Global Brigades has transformed the way I view the world and my day-to-day life, I returned to the United States inspired by the happiness of those who live so simply."




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