Chasing Away “Discapacidad”

By Riana Hardin, volunteer with the Community-Based Rehabilitation Program for children with disabilities in San Martín, Peru

A visit to one of the students who requires more one on one rehabilitation services
A visit to one of the students who requires more one on one rehabilitation services

If there is one thing that I have come to struggle with since coming to Peru and working with Paz y Esperanza is the word discapacidad. Indeed, I realize that the word cannot help but be what it is, but I cringe at the contamination that a person is somehow lesser of a human because of a difference that they had no control over. After having spent a large chunk of last semester, monitoring disability issues in India, I am well aware of the second class status “disability” carries in most of the world. But that doesn’t stop me from wanting to cry out an ocean of tears for the careless discard of untapped potential and ability to contribute and participate in the human experience.

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