I’m from "El Barrio" a community in Manhattan, New York. I’ve spent most of my academic years in New York and my summer terms in Puebla, Mexico with my mother. Therefore, my perspective of viewing the world is influenced by both living in an urban atmosphere as well as growing up with cultural traditions and the country lifestyle in Mexico.
New York City in itself is composed of diverse cultures and also composite with immigrants ranging from Latin America to Africa and even Europe. Besides enjoying Global Studies in High school I specially wanted to be a CLAS minor because I wanted to further my knowledge on Latin American and Caribbean countries that are not often spoken about. Throughout my time abroad and on campus I started to connect the dots historically and have become more aware about different cultures and how America plays a major role in the lives of many immigrants. Thus, being a minor in CLAS is a personal influence as to the kind of social inequalities I’ve faced being duel citizen of America and Mexico. I have come to understand my world and becoming more knowledgeable.
Spring of my sophomore year I took La Frontera, an elective course that become one of my favorite classes because it taught me of the history of the Mexican presence mostly in the West of America. Chicano studies are one of the many devalued history events that is not taught in schools especially on the East Coast part of America. It is why taking this course in Canton, New York makes it rare and worth learning about. This course definitely helped me develop a better understanding of the schizophrenic relationship that America and Mexico have constructed over the years. Furthermore, this course had a one week travel component to El Paso, Texas. I was able to make connections with the local people I met and till this day I keep in contact with. This course really took a radical impression of my personal ideologies and inner identity; it really opened my eyes to current issues that are not publicly discussed in the main stream media.
I also spent a whole semester in Trinidad and Tobago. I learned about its history, its religious celebrations, ecological issues and their multiethnic diversity. I'm glad to have spent a whole semester in Trinidad! My semester in Trinidad and Tobago was one of my best experiences where I created some unforgettable memories.
After my experience in Trinidad I traveled to Yucatan, Merida for a short summer term. It was also once of a life time experience in which I was able to visit a different region of Mexico! Although, my parents are from Puebla, Yucatan was different. It was different from any other place in Mexico I'd seen. I learned so much about the cultural ecology within the Yucatec Mayan communities.
This trip helped me formulate a thesis senior topic which focuses on a small case study of three young men who are migrant workers and their journey to working in a dairy farm for the past three years, located only within a few a miles of the St. Lawrence Campus.
Studying abroad also made me more mature, social, and it also made me appreciate what I have and being more open-minded. I'm extremely grateful for the support I have from Professors and the CIIS office that really helped me make these experiences possible.
My goal after graduation is to do an internship at the Annunciation House located in El Paso, Texas. I eventually want to earn my Master’s degree as a social worker or work for legal services in America.