My name is Esmeralda Campos and I am currently a first-generation student at Indiana University studying Comprehensive Design in hopes of pursuing a career in architecture. I was born and raised in northern Indiana in a city called Elkhart. I grew up around the St. Joseph river but never used it for any type of recreational activity mostly due to the fact that it is recognized as a “rich” activity and because this river has had environmental issues in more recent years.
In this group project, we came up with the idea of researching a body of water that each of us is familiar with. For example, I grew up around the St. Joseph river which is a tributary to Lake Michigan. Besides recognizing the location and size of these bodies of water, we researched the history of pollution in these rivers, and how they have created social issues that affect African American communities, and we also took out own personal photos of the river so we could discuss our personal experiences and connections with water. I personally took the liberty to read data and documents that explained how the St. Joseph river came to be and how this river has changed over the years. I also tried my best to collect my own data by examining the sounds, the colors, and the smell of the river I grew up around. We created a website that shows each of our rivers and our research is done on them. This project could really be seen by everyone and anyone. Residents of Indiana, specifically people who live around these rivers would benefit the most from looking through our website primarily due to the fact that they could learn more about the history that surrounds them but also give these rivers the help it needs to help other communities further. With this information, I feel like any young adults can spread the word that any rivers around them may not be as clean as they think which could ultimately affect their well-being.
Personal Relationship To Water
My personal relationship with water is a short one. I grew up in a small but diverse neighborhood and my family was privileged to have a pool in our backyard. Although we took advantage of that privilege and used it as much as could, my parents made it clear that wasting water, especially during summertime, was absolutely prohibited. This included only being allowed to swim for a certain amount of time or even showering for a certain amount of time. I have always loved water and felt extremely grateful to have easy access to it. I still use these rules in my everyday life even if I am far from my parents because I know that every last drop of water counts.
The first time I watched Pumzi, I honestly was confused about the message it was trying to send to watchers. I did understand the plot of it but I still felt confused at the end. However, the second time watching it, I caught small things I did not see the first time. The ending for example had a great impact on the entire film because it shows that if you keep pushing forward, you will be able to find what you’ve been searching for all along. This film offers an eye-opener especially in our world today. This film, this class, and this project have made me realize that our water is more in danger than we realize and without doing anything to prevent it, something like Pumzi could actually happen.