I’m going to be honest, these past two weeks in Peru have really opened my eyes to my privilege. Growing up, I had seen and understood this level of poverty in the Philippines - though having food on the table was never a worry for me. Both my parents have degrees, taught at University and had good paying jobs when we lived there. We may not have been ‘rich’ by Western standards, but at the least, they had the means to help us migrate as a family. My parents’ hard work and determination afforded me this privilege.
What is privilege? Why do I think it’s hit me in Peru, and not when I go home to the Philippines? Privilege is an advantage that a person or group has because of their social position or economic status. Even though I have called New Zealand home for the last 27 years, I have been back to visit the Philippines since. It’s not that I turn a blind eye to the poverty or social injustices, we just grew up accepting that it’s the way of life. The culture is so ingrained that to affect change will be multi-generational, way beyond my own.