Alex McCarty is a senior studying Business Administration with an emphasis in Management and a minor in Entrepreneurship. Alex led Mizzou's first Microfinance trip to Honduras with Global Brigades in Spring of 2015. He currently serves as Co-President of the Mizzou Global Brigades chapter. Alex has recently returned from Panama on the Business Brigade in January.
What was your favorite thing about working in country?
"On the Honduras trip, my favorite thing was talking to the different families and finding out how people in rural Honduras actually live. I was amazed by their honesty and openness when discussing financial matters with near strangers. And when they listened to our advice, they hung on every word as if each detail could be the key to their survival.
While in Panama, our group had the opportunity to work with a local farmer named Lucia. Along with her husband and son, she oversaw the farming on over 12 acres of land - soon to expand to 18 acres. We worked directly with her during the week, learning her personal story and sharing in her hardships. Seeing the pride in her face when she talked of her success and all those she was able to employ left a lasting impression on our entire group. "
What was a memory that you made while on the brigade?
"While in Panama, our brigade played soccer against another brigade staying at our compound (and their interpreters and coordinators who have played soccer most of their life). It was entertaining to see our volunteer group become instantly competitive and bond together in our desire to defeat the other school."
What kind of realizations did you have while on the brigade?
"I realized the importance of teamwork and the rate a community can grow when everyone works cohesively. We found the Honduran community so eager to learn and everyone was willing to make sacrifices for the betterment of the group.
In Panama, we witnessed the drastic effect one successful individual can have on the livelihood of an entire community. Our client that we assisted will be providing jobs for nearly 30% of her community in the coming months."
What was your favorite food served in country?
"Coffee. Honduras has by far the best coffee I have ever drank. Highly recommend.
Panama has amazing rice; one day I ate a plate and half of rice. I have no regrets."
Do you have any advice for new brigadiers?
"Keep a journal or some kind of records of what you did in country. It may seem trivial at the time, but it is enjoyable looking back on what you did on the trips and who you were at the time."
What is something funny or odd that happened to you in country?
"In Honduras, I had this running joke with the in-country coordinator about wanting to drive on the muddy roads. As a compromise, he found a donkey for me to ride out of the village."