Bijan Sanchez - Ecuador

January 4, 2013

Hello, my name is Bijan Sanchez, and I would just like to recount some of the reasoning’s behind the choices I have recently made that have eventually brought me here to the Andean, indigenous community of Morochos on my Global Citizen Year.

The choice, the choice was always there; such a simple yes or no is granted for me and could be a blessing for someone else. The series of choices we lay in front of us merge from the branching’s of our choices in the past, a simple cause and effect pattern that starts the second we are born. The choices we cannot make lay prior to our birth. We do not choose where we are born, we do not choose when we are born, we do not choose from whom we are born and we have no say in our appearance. That being said, how could anyone be proud of their ethnicity, race, or religion or even judge another for their appearance, nationality, or color when no one ever initially had a choice in the matter. There may be much diversity in the world, but we cannot stray from the fact that we all have so much in common.

Anyway, our choices simply lead us where we ought to go, and our series of choices typically reflect quite well our character. Everything we choose has a reason, be it to act randomly or to move towards some goal, and my particular reason for choosing to apply to Global Citizen Year lies in trust. I will admit to a shallow rational for this major choice in my life. I honestly had no major inspiration or grand motivation to applying; I simply trusted my families input on the matter and followed through with little perspective. My mother recommended I do the program, my sister was in the middle of the program herself and I simply relied on trust that such a program would benefit me as have all the other things my family had herded me through life with. Doing a gap year after high school was certainly not the popular choice but the road less taken gives me a handle on some uniqueness that helps me connect a disconnection in many people’s outlooks that would just make me a bit more interesting. I figured I was raised so well from people who seemed to know what was best specifically for me, and I would follow through just on this one last thing before I inaugurate my new series of self-determining choices as an independent adult.

Later on, I try and find why I had been influenced so much to do this gap year of service. I don’t believe Global Citizen Year was meant to be a practical involvement for what I would be potentially doing in a social service career. Is it meant to be a guide to give me some new perspective on life or just some time to think in an enlightening environment? I believe the purpose was simply to help me find and capitalize on some positive influences this experience would give me, and, presently, I believe I am doing just that. There could of course be other purposes Global Citizen Year or my family had in mind for my specific case, but, besides the rational, the opportunity was there.

The opportunity was there for me and not for millions of other graduating seniors at the time. I may have had similar opportunities that others had, but we may not share the same choices. I have also missed out on millions of other opportunities others had as they graduated high school, be it Global Citizen Year, the Army or an early family with a wife and kids. We all arrived where we are now one way or another based off the expanse of choices we have made in life, and what matters is how we let these experiences influence who we are and how we act, because after all, “No matter where you go, there you are.”


Bijan Sanchez