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"Living on One Dollar" is a documentary that was filmed by four college students who decided to venture down to Guatemala to understand what it would be like to live like one of the 1.1 billion people in the world that live on "one dollar a day". To make matters more realistic, they made sure to let viewers know that these farmers and artisans really live on $1 one day, $0 the next, and $5 the day after that. They're never guaranteed to make a consistent amount of money day by day. During the 56 days they were there, they gained knowledge on how people balance how they afford to feed entire families, pay for school, pay for supplies, take care of medical emergencies and so much more. 

Sometimes more fortunate people tend to believe that others in poverty choose to live this way, are too lazy, or have some other excuse to why they don't live the life of luxury. Zach and Chris prove that this stereotype is completely wrong by showing that they lack vital resources that most Americans take advantage of everyday. Basic things like clean water, easy transportation, money security, education, a bed to sleep in, grocery stores, larger than one room houses, electricity... the list goes on and on. They interview and observe men and women who are a part of the local microfinance center in the village who pay back loans to start their own businesses. One woman was able to return back to school and had hopes to graduate and pursue higher education after she used a micro loan to start her own weaving business. With access to these loans, individuals are able to pull themselves out of the vicious cycle of poverty. 

After returning home and finishing the documentary, they were given the opportunity, by the Whole Planet Foundation to travel the country by bus to cities and towns to share what they learned. Myself and a few other KSC Fair Trade Club members drove two hours down to Boston College one Thursday night to watch and see what they had to say. It was amazing to see an entire auditorium filled with hundreds of students gathered to learn more about this lifestyle that more than a billion people experience everyday but billions of others don't understand. At the end of the film, every single person in the room stood up and applauded for minutes. Tears were shed and the entire room was completely inspired. I am lucky enough to live in a very caring, open-minded generation. 

I get asked a lot, why would I go to help people in another country when I could be helping others in need in America? I think that this film does a great job answering that question. For the most part, there is much more support and security for those living in poverty in the states than some other nations. Seeing what simple systems like Fair Trade, Microfinancing, and direct trade can do for an individual who has never had the chance to take a warm shower or sleep on a mattress is something I see as being simply amazing.

website link: LivingOnOne.org
Facebook link: HERE 

 


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    Kelsey

    Novice spanish translator, adventurer, student, passionate life lover

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