January 15, 2015 (Jupiter, FL)–– Fabio M. Rosa, a junior student from Brazil at the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College of Florida Atlantic University who is concentrating in business administration, was thrilled by the idea of going to Guatemala during his winter break. He looked forward to learning about the Mayan culture, practicing his Spanish, and having the opportunity to aid the local community. For approximately nine days, Rosa lived in Guatemala and helped build fuel-efficient wood-burning cook stoves for local Guatemalan families.
Unlike most stoves that are used by families in the area, the fuel-efficient wood-burning stoves consume less wood and are much more safe and efficient. In order to get the heavy wood needed for stoves, families must travel a long distance, which can take an average of two hours. A more efficient stove decreases the number of times families need to take this tedious trip to chop down wood. The new stoves also produce a lot less smoke, which helps reduce breathing and lung-related issues among members of the community.
Rosa confessed that one of the most challenging parts of this incredible experience was realizing and understanding that there are a lot of individuals who face countless difficulties on a day-to-day basis. “Many of these families live in harsh conditions and are unable to live a dignified life, which seems to be a privilege for only some—this trip was with no doubt very eye opening,” said Rosa. The service project made Rosa even more appreciative of the opportunities and accommodations that he has been fortunate to have. The experience ultimately motivated him to strive for a better world with less social and economic inequality. “To be able to help those in need and bring a little joy to those people suffering has no price,” he explained.
Upon graduation, Rosa plans to acquire more experience in the field of business administration and eventually open his own business, where he can continue to help others. He believes that knowledge makes us better people and grants us the chance to pay it forward. “If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you,” said Rosa, “but if you are determined to learn, no one can stop you." From this experience, he learned that what matters most in life is knowledge, gratitude, determination, and friendship, which is why he is very excited to be a part of the Honors College community. “Most of my classmates are very hardworking and determined students of honor. The professors and students are always teaching me something new and sharing their very own experiences with me,” he stated. Rosa strongly encourages other students to participate in service learning.
“In Brazil there is a saying that says, ‘Eu Sou brasileiro e não desisto nunca,’ which translates to ‘I am Brazilian, and I never give up,’” shared Rosa. The Honors College welcomes Fabio Rosa to the MacArthur Campus community and is very excited to see what this tenacious student will continue to accomplish throughout the rest of his undergraduate career.
About Florida Atlantic University: Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of three signature themes – marine and coastal issues, biotechnology and contemporary societal challenges – which provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit www.fau.edu .