Fellows (2015–2016)

Bolivia

Emily Gray

Is a senior at the George Washington University majoring in International Affairs with concentrations in Latin America and Conflict Resolution and a minor in Spanish. She is passionate about addressing gender and socioeconomic disparities in Latin America through community development and women’s and youth empowerment programs. Emily became interested in Latin America in 2015 while interning for a magazine in La Paz, Bolivia, where she learned about Bolivian culture and social issues through her research for several articles she authored. Since then, Emily has interned with the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center, where she researched inequality and citizen security issues in Mexico and Central America. She has also interned with the Global Women’s Institute, a research and advocacy organization focused on reducing violence against women around the world. There she assisted with the research and evaluation of gender-focused violence prevention programs abroad. During her semester abroad in Argentina, Emily explored gender inequalities in the Southern Cone through her capstone thesis about the challenges facing female Paraguayan migrant workers living in Argentina. While at GWU, Emily has engaged with various social justice initiatives through community organizing and service-learning experiences in Puerto Rico and El Paso, TX.

 

Partner Organization

Colombia

Christina Welch

Christina grew up exploring the beaches and rivers of northern Florida.  Her love of the outdoors motivated her undergraduate degree in Environmental Science from the University of West Florida. Since then, she developed her GIS knowledge by completing remote sensing projects for NASA DEVELOP. Most recently, she completed her master’s degree in International Water Cooperation and Diplomacy, a joint international program which involved study in Costa Rica at the University for Peace, in the Netherlands at IHE Delft Institute for Water Education and in the U.S. at Oregon State University.  She will apply her education to implement food and water security projects for The Nature Conservancy in Cali, Colombia this year. She will devote her free time to dancing Salsa and Cumbia.  

Nicolas Zevallos

Is a senior at Yale double-majoring in Global Affairs and Economics. A first-generation American from Los Angeles, he is interested in the fields of development, economic policy, and international security. He had the unique opportunity to complete pre-professional programs at Harvard Business School and Stanford University, as well as coursework in international relations at the London School of Economics. Outside of the classroom, Nick has been primarily involved with student government and nonprofit organizations. He has served as Student Life Policy Director of the Yale College Council, a Community and Consent Educator, New Haven Outreach Chair of his residence hall, Treasurer of the Freshman Class Council, counselor at Camp Kesem, and Chair of the New Ideas Fund—a student government initiative he created to allocate money towards innovative student projects that emphasize community building. Additionally, he’s worked at multiple nonprofits, first helping clean water social enterprises in Haiti, Rwanda, and Kenya with the Archimedes Project and later creating a strategic plan for a large, health care-focused nonprofit as an Associate Consultant Intern at Bridgespan. He is passionate about the social impact sector and is excited to pursue a career in international development.

Partner Organization

Costa Rica

Alina Ruxin

From the Boston area, Aliana is senior at Northwestern University studying American Studies, Environmental Policy and Culture, and Creative Writing. She is conducting an honors thesis on seed saving, focusing on the role of stories of time, place, and relationships encapsulated within a seed. Focusing her senior thesis on food studies links her interests in the environment, social justice, community relationships and development, public policy, and public health. At Northwestern, Aliana is on the leadership team for Campus Kitchens, a student-run group that recovers leftover food from campus dining halls to package and deliver to food-insecure Northwestern and Evanston community members. She also leads the student-run garden, building on agriculture skills she learned from a gap year in southern Ecuador. Aliana returned to Ecuador as a community-based research fellow investigating the impacts of oil related infrastructure on a Kichwa community in the Ecuadorian Amazon. A member of an inter-cultural team of two Americans, two Kichwa, and the Quiteña research lead, this project inspired further engagement with cross-cultural connections, research, and learning. She is excited to continuing engaging with the intersection of environmental fieldwork, food justice, public policy, and community organizing. Aliana also loves hiking, biking, and every intramural sport.

 

Partner Organization

Emma Farris

Emma is a graduate of the George Washington University with a major in International Affairs with concentrations in Latin America and Security Policy and minors in Spanish. She spent her junior year in Latin America, studying in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Barranquilla, Colombia. She has focused on peace-building in post-settlement societies and the effects of illicit activity on Latin American economies and institutions. In Colombia, she conducted an independent study on the Colombian Transitional Justice System, which was published in the 2019 GW Undergraduate Review. This year, her internship at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington, DC has piqued her interest in the incentives and deterrents for Latin American businesses to participate in the formal economy. Volunteering at a secondary school in Colombia, Emma experienced the impact of collaboration and problem-solving, working to reduce bullying through dynamic projects focused on students' values and family structures. After graduating, Emma seeks to focus on community-building in Latin America so as to gain further insight into the region, one that has given her so much. Apart from her academic interests, Emma loves to run half marathons and travel. She is currently learning Portuguese in order to expand her communicative reach.

 

Julia Matteson

Originally from the Washington, D.C. area, Julia Matteson grew up in a diverse community that prides itself on public service. Her interest in Latin America reaches back to her elementary school education, during which she attended a Spanish immersion program. In order to unite her Spanish skills and her growing interest in the environment, Julia pursued a degree in International Development and Sustainability, with Honors, at the George Washington University. She spent her junior year in Quito, Ecuador studying political trends, development paradigms and indigenous cosmovisions. After returning to D.C., Julia worked with the Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture teaching low-income students, from Latino households, about food systems. With Arcadia, Julia also worked at farmers’ markets that accept food assistance benefits to provide fresh produce to local residents throughout the city. Currently, Julia works at Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), implementing USAID grants to improve agriculture in developing countries. Following graduation, Julia hopes to return to Latin America to improve the environmental conditions of communities in the region and gain valuable in-country experience that will inform her career in sustainable development.

 

Partner Organization

Dominican Republic

Alyana Guidotti

Alyana graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2018) as a triple major in Spanish, Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian studies, and international studies with a certificate in educational policy and extensive study of the Arabic language. After an educational trip to Guatemala, Alyana fell in love with the Spanish language and its diverse cultures. She studied at the Universidad de Sevilla in Spain during her junior year of college, where she contributed to an ongoing project creating didactic materials to revitalize Tuun savi, an indigenous language of Oaxaca, Mexico. The following Summer, she received an internship grant to work as an English teacher and educational assistant at the Centro Ecuatoriano Norteamericano in Guayaquil, Ecuador. As a first-generation college graduate, Alyana knows both the value and the struggle of finding one’s place in the academic world. Inspired by her own experience, she spent four years tutoring for a college-pipeline program for low-income students and students of color. Alyana now hopes to continue uplifting and supporting students as a PiLA fellow at El Liceo Científico.

Amelia De Paola

Amelia graduated Georgetown University with a B.A. in Spanish and a minor in Science, Technology & International Affairs, focusing on global health. She was a member of Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honors Society, and won the Faculty of Language & Linguistics Award for Academic Excellence. As an undergraduate, Amelia served as an Emergency Medical Technician, gaining firsthand knowledge of the public health challenges that providers face. Passionate about global public health, Amelia joined Global Medical Brigades and traveled to Honduras, interned for Global Health Narratives for Change, blogged for Shatterproof and worked as a research assistant at Children’s National Medical Center. Amelia was named a McDonald Leadership Fellow in 2015 and co-authored a piece for The New York Times In Education on the value of cross-cultural immersion in high school curricula. Most recently, Amelia worked on family planning and polio eradication as an Advocacy & Communications Fellow at Global Health Strategies, a global consulting firm that leverages strategic advocacy and communications to fuel action on pressing global health issues worldwide. She firmly believes that investing in health, education and opportunity for young girls can change the world and is beyond excited to join Mariposa DR Foundation through Princeton in Latin America.

Partner Organization

Amy Belfer

Is a senior at Elon University majoring in Human Service Studies with minors in Poverty and Social Justice, Peace and Conflict Studies, and Theater Arts. She believes in using an asset-based lens when working with communities and is passionate about fighting for human rights and helping people. Amy spent a semester in Ecuador studying Spanish and interning with organizations that work with people with intellectual disabilities. She’s passionate about advocating for immigrants and has done so through interning for the International Rescue Committee, volunteering with a humanitarian aid organization along the U.S.-Mexico border, serving as Director of Human Rights for Elon Volunteers, working for a theater company that advocates for immigrants rights, and co-founding Immigrant Realities. Immigrant Realities is an organization at Elon that works to empower immigrants, educate the community about immigration, advocate for immigrants rights, and eliminate the stigmas surrounding immigration. At Elon, Amy served as an Executive Director of Elon Volunteers, where she oversaw 140 student leaders and over 30 community partnerships. Amy has also worked with children at a sleepaway camp. In the future, Amy hopes to continue her work with immigrants and refugees by becoming an immigration lawyer.

 

Partner Organization

Anant Pai

Born and raised in sunny Los Angeles, Anant has spent much of his life navigating his American and Indian identities while feeling personally close to his home’s vibrant LatinX community. He had to brave the seemingly endless winters of the American northeast while at Harvard. He will graduate (2019) with a B.A. in Applied Mathematics and Sociology. His senior honors thesis uses Natural Language Processing to analyze the mission statements of advocacy NGOs in the United States. In the past, Anant has worked in international development from a variety of perspectives. At Human Connections, an NGO in Bucerías, Mexico, he worked to connect indigenous artisans with the local tourism sector. Through the Latin America and Caribbean region of the World Bank, he analyzed the effectiveness of health policies in Central America. As an intern for the US State Department, he worked on a team that was harnessing the data revolution for sustainable development by looking at indicators of mental health illness around the world. Most recently, Anant found himself at McKinsey and Company, learning about the private sector. Anant has been deeply committed to public service from a young age and in the future can see himself working in international development through a multinational agency like the UN or directly with communities. He hopes to use PiLA as an opportunity to learn about strategies to make an effective difference.

Partner Organization

Anna Savage

Originally from the Washington, D.C. area, Anna Savage graduated from Wesleyan University (2017) with a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies and Comparative Politics. Having grown up amongst a vibrant Latinx immigrant community and tutoring in under-funded D.C. public schools, Anna recognizes unequal access to quality education as a significant obstacle affecting immigrant communities. At Wesleyan, Anna tutored and mentored at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School, a maximum security juvenile detention facility. She went on to study abroad in Costa Rica (2016) and Chile (2017), becoming a yoga instructor along the way. In 2018, Anna interned at CARECEN, the D.C. Central American Legal Resource Center, as the Citizenship and Civic Engagement coordinator. She is thrilled to now be joining the Mariposa Foundation team in the Dominican Republic as a yoga and music teacher. Her professional interests include holistic health, immigration law, and music and movement therapy.

Partner Organization

Beatriz Duran Becerra

Beatriz graduated from Columbia University (2018) with a B.A in psychology. Born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico, Beatriz immigrated to the U.S with her mother and older brother when she was 12 years old. Living in the U.S as a low income-immigrant and with a mother who did not speak English, Beatriz quickly became aware of the inequalities in the U.S healthcare system. This motivated her to work towards improving the health services offered to immigrants. At Columbia she volunteered as a Spanish medical interpreter at a free clinic for immigrants and as a coordinator for a mentoring program for children at risk. In the summer of 2017, she conducted a needs assessment to identify the sexual and reproductive health needs of young men in La Romana, Dominican Republic. This experience further developed her interests in health disparities with a focus on the sexual and reproductive health of minorities in Latin America. Beatriz can’t wait to join the Mariposa Foundation in Cabarete this year! She ultimately plans to pursue a master’s in public health, enroll into medical school, and work to reduce health disparities in Latin America.  

PiLA and Beatriz gratefully acknowledge the support of the Amy Adina Schulman Memorial Fund in making her fellowship possible.

Partner Organization

Eamon McGoldrick

Eamon graduated from the University of Georgia in May, 2017, earning a Master’s Degree in International Policy as well as Bachelor’s Degrees in International Affairs and Spanish.  While in school, Eamon was able to study Latin American literature and Cuban society and culture at the Instituto Juan Marinello in Havana, Cuba as well as visit the U.S.-Mexico border in Nogales to better understand the scope and human impact of U.S. immigration policy.  In Athens, he volunteered as a tutor for underserved children at Oasis Católico Santa Rafaela and assisted with adult ESL classes for immigrants in the community.  Upon graduation, Eamon joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps to work in solidarity with marginalized communities and advocate for social justice.  Through JVC, he was placed as a Tenant Organizer with Tenants & Neighbors, where he had the privilege of organizing and working with tenants across different affordable housing types in New York City to advocate for better building conditions, better tenant protections, and deeper affordability.  These experiences helped foment a belief within Eamon that community-level action can spark human connection across sociocultural boundaries and create meaningful and positive change, all of which he hopes to achieve as a PiLA Fellow at Yspaniola in Batey Libertad this year.

Partner Organization

Elizabeth Prosser

Elizabeth Prosser graduated from Davidson College in 2018 magna cum laude with a B.A. in Hispanic Studies and a minor in French and Francophone Studies.  She wrote her thesis on the subject of Latina migrant and immigrant workers in the United States, and the role of narrative in their representation, earning high honors for her work and winning the Mundo Hispánico award for the Hispanic Studies Department.  A lover of languages, she also studied Arabic and searched for ways to use her language skills outside of her course of study.  During her time at Davidson, she worked as a Spanish and French Assistant Teacher, volunteered at the local elementary school teaching a Spanish class, and worked as a trip leader for Davidson Outdoors.  She spent her junior year abroad, studying in Arequipa, Peru for one semester and Tours, France for the other semester.  While in Arequipa, she looked for ways to get involved with the community and volunteered with the Rayo de Sol bakery and school and created a self-defense seminar for women who were survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault at the Hogar de María.  As a PiLA fellow, Elizabeth is excited to work with Yspaniola and hopes to learn more about the community of Batey Libertad how this education-focused nonprofit works.  After PiLA, Elizabeth will pursue a master’s degree in Latin American Studies at Stanford.

PiLA and Elizabeth gratefully acknowledge the support of the Amy Adina Schulman Memorial Fund in making her fellowship possible.

Partner Organization

Emma Wingreen

Emma graduated from Princeton University in 2017 with a degree from the Woodrow Wilson School and certificates in Latin American Studies and Spanish Language and Culture. At Princeton, her academic work largely focused on human rights and social policy. Emma first visited Latin America on a volunteer trip to Peru with her high school Spanish class. After graduating high school, she took a gap year in the Dominican Republic and Spain where she volunteered at local elementary schools teaching English and Spanish. During college, Emma spent a semester abroad at the University of Havana with the Princeton in Cuba program. She has also interned at non-profit organizations in Chile and Argentina. Emma has spent the past year working at Mariposa DR Foundation, where she implemented a digital literacy and intro to STEM/Robotics program for girls and young women. She is excited to stay on for a second year at Mariposa DR Foundation, where she will be the Monitoring, Learning, and Evaluation Fellow. 

Partner Organization

Gina Morales Taveras

Gina Morales-Taveras is a graduate from the College of the Holy Cross. She majored in History, with a thematic concentration in Race and Ethnicity while concentrating in Africana Studies and Latin American Latino Studies. She was raised by her mother in the small city of Lawrence, Massachusetts, and attended Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School. Gina is of Dominican and Puerto Rican descent. Her passion for studying race and ethnicity in Latin America has led her to engage in supervised research projects, the Latin American Student Organization, and inquiries on Afro-identity and the marginalization of Afro-descendent populations in the Caribbean. Inspired by her work at Holy Cross she became a Princeton in Latin America Fellow in 2018 will be staying on a Senior PiLA Fellow at Dream Project in Cabarete, Dominican Republic as the Marketing Coordinator. Gina is very excited to work as the new public relations and social media manager! Post-fellowship she hopes to continue her work in afro-descendent communities in the field of publicity.

Partner Organization

Johana Mata

Johana Mata graduated with a B.A. in International Relations and French from Wellesley College (2017). A native of Mexico, Johana was raised in Houston, Texas with a strong emphasis on maintaining her cultural roots. While at Wellesley, Johana was a founding member of the Wellesley chapter of Nourish International and helped establish connections to an NGO based in Tamil Nadu, India focused on women's health initiatives in the community. She also participated actively in the Latinx student group on campus, and during her undergraduate studies interned with FIEL, an immigrant’s rights organization in her hometown of Houston dedicated to advancing the DACA act and improving the lives of its recipients. As a first generation college graduate, Johana is a strong believer in the power and value of education, further amplified by her work as an elementary school teacher her first year after Wellesley. She will be working with the Mariposa Foundation in Cabarete, Dominican Republic this year, and is excited for the opportunity to support an organization dedicated to advancing girls’ education and breaking the cycle of generational poverty. She hopes to continue working on behalf of girls’ education and immigrant’s rights in the future, and also pursue a graduate degree in international affairs one day.

Partner Organization

Kelly Johnson

Kelly is a native of Reading, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Ursinus College in 2017 with a BA in Spanish and Peace & Social Justice Studies. During her undergraduate career, she initially became interested in social justice issues in Latin American countries through participating in the Bonner Leader program, where she had the opportunity to mentor and tutor young Latino students as well as coordinate an ESL program for the Spanish-speaking cleaning staff at her college. After studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and conducting ethnographic research on discriminatory representations of Bolivian migrants living in Buenos Aires City, she knew that she found her academic passion and vocational call in Latin American Studies. For her senior honors thesis, Kelly conducted a comparative analysis between Bolivian migration to Argentina and Mexican migration to the United States, focusing on disparity between migration laws and lived experiences of migrants in these two countries. This past year, Kelly undertook a yearlong fellowship with Border Servant Corps in Las Cruces, NM. Through this program, she had the opportunity to facilitate educational programs and occupational workshops at La Casa, Inc., a domestic violence shelter, as well as provide hospitality for asylum seekers from Central America as they await relocation with a sponsor. Kelly looks forward to learn and grow in her role as an English teacher at Liceo Científico in La República Dominicana this coming year as a PiLA Fellow.

PiLA and Kelly gratefully acknowledge the support of the Amy Adina Schulman Memorial Fund in making her fellowship possible.

Madison Sweitzer

is currently a senior at University of Richmond who will graduate in May of 2019, with a double-major in LALIS (Latin American, Latino, and Iberian Studies) and Global Studies, with a concentration in Development and Change. Her love of Spanish began after growing up in Puerto Rico, an experience that has always led her to carry her learnings in the classroom to challenging opportunities beyond, including studying abroad for 6 months in Buenos Aires, Argentina, interning for the summer in Xela, Guatemala, and volunteering with Latinx immigrant high school students in the Richmond Area. Madison thrives in community settings and has loved serving as Class President during her freshman, sophomore, and senior years. Her passion for Spanish and Latin American Culture, combined with an enthusiasm for community and peoplefocused work, has contributed to her plans to pursue internationally-focused, non-profit work after graduation. During free time, Madison can be found happily showing off her love for University of Richmond as a campus ambassador in the office of admissions, training for her third half marathon, or attempting to cook in her apartment.

 

Partner Organization

Mia Lopez Zubiri

Mia graduated from Georgetown University (2018) with a major in Government and minors in Sociology and Justice and Peace Studies. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she became exposed to social justice through her family and Spanish-immersion school program. Once at Georgetown, her commitment to this work grew as she became involved in her university's Alternative Breaks Program (ABP) and several on-campus organizations that work to further reproductive and educational equity. Through ABP, Mia participated in and lead several trips that traveled throughout the United States to study the historical evolution of organizations and movements that fight for housing and racial justice. While at school, Mia also had the opportunity to study abroad in Buenos Aires, where she explored her Latinx heritage and solidified her interest in returning to Latin America. During her final year at Georgetown, Mia interned for a health justice organization that partners with grassroots organizers to build power for health in marginalized communities. She hopes to utilize the experiences and skills she has acquired over the past four years to maximize her impact in the Dominican Republic. 

PiLA and Mia gratefully acknowledge the support of the Amy Adina Schulman Memorial Fund in making her fellowship possible.

Partner Organization

Miranda Christ

Is a senior from Bloomington, Indiana. She is working on the ethics of belief for her senior thesis in the Department of Philosophy. During her time at Princeton, Miranda has worked as a teaching assistant, studied with Princeton in Argentina, volunteered for primary care clinics, and pursued biochemistry research. She has also acted with Princeton’s Spanish theatre group and served as music director and co-president of Princeton’s African singing ensemble. Before the start of each academic year, Miranda leads first-year students on community service trips through Community Action. She is also an officer of the Human Values Forum, a weekly philosophy discussion group. After graduation, Miranda hopes to serve Latin American immigrant populations in the U.S. as a primary care doctor.

Partner Organization

Nicole Jakabcsin

Is driven to promote human rights through building upon economic, political and communal agency and leadership. She believes that human rights advocacy that is consistent, multilateral and diverse can foster positive change throughout the world. As a graduate of Stanford University with a degree in International Relations with a concentration in ‘Social Development and Human Well-Being’ she is passionate about ethical, community-led growth throughout Latin America. She has developed competencies in policy research and analysis, project management, communications, and English literacy instruction. In her work in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at the Government Subsecretary for Human Rights and Cultural Pluralism, she managed multiple projects including a report exploring the needs of migrant women that will serve as the basis for a larger forum to be launched next year. In her role at the Fundación Mujeres por Africa in Spain she conducted extensive policy research on education equity disparities by gender in sub-Saharan Africa. This research was combined into a final report to serve as a reference for multiple departments within the foundation. In her role as an Education Partnership Fellow at Stanford University, she organizes and leads an early literacy program for thirty low income, immigrant youth.

Partner Organization

Nicole Waddick

Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Nicole attends the University of Notre Dame, where she studies Political Science and International Development. She discovered a love for Latin American culture and the Spanish language early in her undergraduate career, electing to study Spanish beginning in her sophomore year of college and pursue courses, research and study abroad opportunities in the Latin American region. This decision has greatly enhanced her undergraduate experience, through which she engaged in summers of independent research on the Dominican-Haitian experience in the Dominican Republic and a semester studying abroad in Mexico. Through conversations and relationships with Dominicans of Haitian descent, Haitian migrants, and Mexican migrants, she found her passion for understanding the structural inequalities impacting migration processes, particularly in Latin America. On campus at Notre Dame, she serves as Co-President of GlobeMed, where she coordinates a partnership with PEDA, a health-focused NGO based in Laos, and leads forums for discussions on the importance of community driven development and partnership. The combination of her experiences abroad and her on-campus activities have driven her desire to be engaged in partnership driven development that aims to address the structural inequalities she witnessed through her own research.

 

Partner Organization

Nina Rosenblatt

Nina recently graduated from Brandeis University with a major in Psychology and a minor in Hispanic Studies. Throughout Spring 2018, Nina studied in a direct enrollment program in Mérida, México, taking project-based psychology courses while volunteering in an after-school program for children whose families worked in the marketplace. She coordinated a student-run volunteer organization, SPECTRUM, where she created and implemented curriculum for weekly programming with children with Autism and their siblings. She has spent two summers living alongside incoming Chinese students at Brandeis, helping them navigate academic and social environments, and works as an Analytical English Tutor for some of them during the school year. For three years, she worked in a cognitive psychology lab investigating anxiety and depression in college students and completed her senior thesis on maladaptive and adaptive stress coping strategies in the face of depression. In her senior year, she interned at a domestic violence agency, creating the first ESOL course specifically for immigrant survivors in the state of Massachusetts. She is interested in pursuing a career that supports the mental health of immigrant families, especially those living along the U.S.-México border. She hopes to help migrant children and families work within the system through direct services and work to change system itself through policy advocacy.

Partner Organization

Victor Filpo

Victor graduated from Middlebury College in 2016 with a concentration in Japanese and minors in Portuguese and Education Studies. At Middlebury, he co-founded a dance team, worked closely with residential life, and took an active part in many affinity clubs. His love for Middlebury encouraged him to stay an additional two years at his alma matter, where he worked as an Admissions Counselor who recruited and helped select each incoming class. Outside of the classroom and office, Victor loves to train in martial arts--which he has been practicing for over ten years--and dance to Latin American/Hip-hop music. Although a proud New Yorker from Manhattan and The Bronx, he has also lived in Dominican Republic, Florida, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and Vermont. Victor looks forward to his work at the Mariposa Foundation as a martial arts and dance instructor (and to new adventures in the Dominican Republic!).

Partner Organization

Victoria Anders

Victoria is a global health activist devoted to grounding health policy in the grassroots efforts of communities, health practitioners, and care recipients. She has a special interest in and experience with migrant health. She is a graduate of Pomona College in Claremont, California (2018) with a B.A. in Public Policy Analysis concentrating in Biology and a minor in Cognitive Science. Her senior thesis was entitled: “No Mandate Without Acceptance: Lessons and Recommendations for HPV Vaccination Legislation in California,” and provided an extensive overview of the barriers to Human Papillomavirus vaccine acceptance and use nationally and practical policy recommendations to increase vaccine use for various stakeholder groups. She has interned in various domestic and international governmental and private organizations. She worked on reproductive rights and children’s health programs in the office of US Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT); translated for and provided short-term insurance registration services to limited English speaking immigrants at the major hospital in Pomona, California; carried out research on migrant health service provision in Central Asia while interning for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Vienna, Austria; and helped develop policy to prevent intimate partner violence and promote HPV vaccination at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Victoria has also carried out extensive ethnographic and qualitative research, including on primarily Sub-Saharan migrant access to healthcare in Morocco and the importance of peer health educators while studying abroad in Rabat in 2016, and most recently for her senior thesis. She is fluent in Spanish and German, and has studied Mandarin Chinese and Arabic. Originally from Washington, DC, she lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina as a child. She is thrilled to return to Latin America and join the DREAM Project’s team in Cabarete to work in support of several of their programs, focusing on youth health education and documentation issues.

Partner Organization

Ecuador

Lucy Miller-Suchet

Lucy is passionate about systemic healthcare policy reform, including complete access to basic care. Simultaneously, she believes change requires grassroots mobilization beginning with youth empowerment and education. Lucy grounded her interests by studying Health: Science, Society & Policy, International & Global Studies, and Economics at Brandeis University. Throughout Spring 2018, Lucy lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina and learned about their intricate, public healthcare system and conducted an independent research project on the barriers in access to healthcare for Bolivian immigrants. As a World of Work fellow, Lucy helped individuals in low-income communities learn how to make sustainable behavioral changes. She worked directly in a re-entry housing community and in operations to recruit staff members, write a three-year strategic plan, and publicize their innovative model. Lucy’s knowledge extends beyond healthcare to include funding for international grassroots organizations and database management through her work in finance and administration. She also has three years of experience with career planning as an advisor at the Hiatt Career Center. Finally, she carried out her belief in youth mentorship and education as the lead program manager of the Brandeis Big Siblings Program through which she evaluated and reformed the university’s relationship with the local chapter.

Partner Organization

Guatemala

Adam Wagner

Is an adventurous, enthusiastic, and caring young man who lives by his values. He seeks to listen and to better understand the world, and is particularly passionate about racial injustices and wealth inequality. He demonstrates initiative, perseverance, and the ability to think critically. Adam’s willingness to listen and his leadership qualities make him an effective collaborator on projects. His analytical skills and impact-driven approach to work have greatly increased the productivity and cohesion of teams he has worked with, both professionally and in school. Adam loves the outdoors, and spends a few days each summer backpacking on the Appalachian Trail with his family. Adam also highly values authentic friendships. He does not mind trying things that may embarrass him, whether that be participating in a dance performance, making silly jokes, or taking on challenges out of his comfort zone. Adam believes that it is when we drop our pretenses that we truly connect as humans. Adam is an energetic young man who adheres to his values and uses his abilities to make the world a better place.

 

Partner Organization

Alex Northrop

An Ohio native, Alex graduated with a B.S. in public health at The Ohio State University (2018) with a concentration in environmental health and a minor in development studies. Alex is interested in investigating health at molecular and macro scales, particularly in Latin America: he has researched HIV antiretroviral drug resistance at Ohio State, waterborne disease outbreaks at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and healthcare disparities in Ecuador. As a senior fellow at the non-profit The Pure Water Access Project, Alex collaborated as a water filter intern with Amos Health & Hope in Nicaragua. In Columbus, Alex has been a longstanding high school mentor through the Community Refugee and Immigration Services program. Alex is excited to work with Pueblo a Pueblo in Guatemala as a grants associate and monitoring and evaluation coordinator. After the fellowship, he aspires to become an infectious disease physician and plans to address the social and environmental determinants of health that affect the transmission of disease.

Ava Scott

Ava Scott graduated from the University of Virginia with degrees in Global Environments and Sustainability, and Spanish in 2019. Her passion for Latin American culture and love for Spanish language sparked the summer before her senior year of high school when she lived with a Peruvian family in Lima and volunteered with the organization Aprendo Contigo as a teaching aide at the Hospital del Niño. During a semester in Buenos Aires, she studied Argentine Literature at the Un​iversidad del Salvador and Political Science at the Universidad Católica Argentina, and played on the USAL women’s soccer team. Ava brings a diverse understanding of the ways in which Environmental Science, conservation and sustainability intersect with today’s most pressing challenges in international development. She has worked with non-profits both in the U.S. and in the U.K on topics related to deforestation, water management and energy access. Her senior Capstone at UVA researched the potential for decentralized sustainable energy systems and community benefit sharing mechanisms in the Andean Amazon Basin. At UVA, she directed marketing activities for Greens to Grounds, a student-led community supported agriculture model. Ava is committed to working with local communities to advance environmental and social change in low-income settings. This year, Ava will join Tuik Ruch Lew (TRL) as a Program Developer. 

Partner Organization

Emily Nagler

Is graduating from Duke University with distinction in Global Health and highest distinction in Public Policy. Raised by a family of public servants, Emily always envisioned her own career in service. Through her time at Duke, she stumbled upon her passions for sexual and reproductive health and rights. She traveled to Ecuador to contribute to a peer-based sexual health education program for adolescents and now serves as president of Peer Advocacy for Sexual Health, through which she connects Duke students to sexual health resources. As an intern at the United Nations Foundation, Emily worked on high-level policy advocacy for funding for international reproductive health. She now interns at a local nonprofit, Curamericas, supporting their international work to improve maternal and child health. Whether in Ecuador or rural North Carolina, Emily is fascinated by the lives of those around her and always eager to strike up a casual conversation, or even a formal research interview. She is especially passionate about improving access to voluntary family planning, to the extent that her family now jokes that she’s majoring in “Birth Control.” In her free time, she enjoys dancing and choreographing for her student-run dance group and immersing herself in historical fiction.

 

Partner Organization

Jioni Tuck

Is a senior at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, USA. She is majoring in Government and minoring in Public Health. She is passionate about international development and public health. She wants to see more community-led development programs as well as more rigorous monitoring and evaluation mechanisms in the development field. She has experience living and working in Panama, Nicaragua, Tanzania, and Argentina. Jioni is an experienced research assistant and has skills in youth engagement, project management, data management, and data analysis. Jioni is the Co-President of the VOX: Generation Action club at William and Mary, an organization affiliated with Planned Parenthood that leads education and advocacy related events on campus. She is also a research fellow on the MANOS research team that does community based participatory research with a rural community in Nicaragua. Last year she interned at Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania and worked on an RCT on mobile phone ownership and women’s empowerment. Over the summer she interned at DAI, a development consulting firm, in their global health department and worked on data management and learned about USAID contracting.

Joseph Wood

A Toledo, Ohio native, Joe graduated in 2018 from Princeton University with a degree in International Relations and Public Policy. He received certificates in Global Health Policy and Latin American Studies, and has spent much of his time at Princeton promoting better health policy in Latin America. With the Honduras-based non-profit Unite for Sight, he volunteered in 2015 with an eye clinic, focusing on rural outreach. The following summer, he interned with Wits University in rural northeastern South Africa, assisting with annual census recordings and various health research projects. For eight months during his third year of college, Joe studied at the University of Buenos Aires and interned in the city’s largest slum, with the intent of providing social services to vulnerable pregnant mothers and young families. For his independent work junior year, he also researched provincial health interventions to Chagas disease in the country’s north. For his senior thesis, Joe would return to Argentina to study the health and socioeconomics of the infants and their families in the slums he previously worked in, and his work provided the sponsoring NGO valuable data currently being used for future research grants. Joe also prides himself on his activism beyond this particular course of study. Back in New Jersey, for example, he researched the factors that influence tobacco use among Latino youth in Trenton, NJ. Traveling to Israel and Palestine twice during college, Joe also led two-state activism and education on campus. Joe is honored to be given the opportunity to work with Antigua International School in Guatemala, and is looking forward to working as the first service coordinator tasked with providing meaningful service learning opportunity to K-12 international youth. 

Julia Pretsfelder

Born and raised in New York City, Julia graduated from Amherst College (2018) with a degree in English and Latinx & Latin American Studies. From attending a social justice-oriented synagogue to hearing her abuelos’ stories about the free medical clinics they offered on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, public service has always been a cultural and familial part of her life. Julia’s concentrations in the English major were Creative Writing and Digital Humanities, and within the Digital Humanities, she looked comparatively at social movements developing on and offline such as Black Lives Matter and Ni Una Menos. Coming from a half-Argentine and half German-Jewish family drove her to study Latin American race relations and racialization in the United States, and, within the LLAS major, she also conducted research on Afro-Argentines and black space in Buenos Aires along with representations of Latina motherhood on North American television. At Amherst, she sought to fortify spaces for women on the Frisbee team and in the Arts House while seeking to make such communities more inclusive. She is also dedicated to immigration work and served as a hotline respondent for the Pioneer Valley Workers Center where volunteers offered immigration counseling and mutual aid for undocumented families in Western Massachusetts. While studying abroad at the Universidad de Buenos Aires – Facultad de Filosofía y Letras her junior year, she became interested in public memorials about the military dictatorship, and she hopes to think comparatively about memorializing histories of violence while working at Cojolya in Guatemala. As a communications liaison at Cojolya, Julia looks forward to learning more about traditional Mayan weaving, centering the stories of the artists working at the Association, and exploring the surrounding nature.

Lauri Alvarez

Lauri recently graduated from the American University with a major in international studies and a minor in Spanish. She was born in the Dominican Republic (DR) and was raised in a bi-cultural and bilingual home which sparked her passion for Latin America. Lauri recognizes the immense privileges afforded by her adoption and that has inspired her to help those who do not have the same opportunities as her. Throughout her youth, she traveled extensively in Central America and the Caribbean, and early on, developed a passion for culturally sensitive service work. Spring 2017, she studied abroad in Costa Rica where she interned at La Fundación de la Paz y Democracia and investigated peace and progress efforts throughout Central America. That summer she volunteered at the Mariposa Foundation in the DR where she taught a class on activism and feminism. She is excited to build on the fundraising skills she acquired while interning with the Washington Office of Latin America while working with FUNDAL this year in Guatemala!

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Lisa Garcia

Is a Guatemala native now residing in Southern California, but attending the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She is a senior focusing her International and Comparative Studies major on political economies and development. She is also a Graham Sustainability Scholar and is pursuing a minor in Law, Justice, and Social Change. Lisa has been a research assistant since 2015 and her research interests include chronic conflict and resilience. She is interested in aiding the sustainable and equitable development of Latin American countries, as this is where she spent her childhood. Outside of academics, Lisa enjoys volunteering at the Ann Arbor District Library, where she teaches English as a Second Language to high school students. She also serves as the president on the executive board of the Alumni Association’s LEAD Scholars Program. Her passions include dancing, traveling, learning languages, issues of social justice, road trips, and museums. She hopes to continue working with underserved communities and human rights organizations before applying to graduate programs.

 

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Sophie Litwin

Sophie graduated from the University of Pennsylvania (2017) with a double major in Psychology and Hispanic Studies and a minor in Urban Education. She enjoyed teaching art classes in Philadelphia public schools as the Community Outreach Director of the Penn Art Club. Sophie was an Education Policy intern at Ashoka in Mexico City through the Penn International Internship Program and she led a psycho-educational art workshop in Morelia, Michoacán. She studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina and completed two honors theses. Her psychology thesis, a collaboration with the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, was on the impact of visual art on the well-being and cognition of youth, and her Hispanic Studies thesis was on the role of muralism in promoting the well-being of the Hispanic community. After graduation she spent a year in Mexico as an English Teaching Assistant through the Fulbright-García Robles program. She is looking forward to leading art therapy sessions and learning from the social worker and psychologist at Hospitalito Atitlán. Afterwards she plans to pursue a PhD in psychology. 

Tatiana Dalton

Born and raised in Marblehead, Massachusetts, Tatiana is a recent graduate of Northwestern University, where she studied theatre, global health, and civic engagement.  Her interests lie at the intersection of ethical storytelling and collaborative action, particularly through the use of theatre as a tool for psychological healing and sociopolitical change.  Prior to her studies at Northwestern, Tatiana spent a year on the educational staff at St. Innocent Orphanage in Rosarito, Mexico and has maintained a close relationship with that organization during the years since.  During her junior year at Northwestern, Tatiana completed a capstone project in civic engagement to define best practices, assess community interest, and develop programming for a teaching garden on Chicago’s North Side.  She spent the summer of 2017 in Havana, Cuba, studying forms of Cuban healthcare and healing both formal and informal and completing a workshop in Afro-Cuban theatrical forms with Havana-based Teatro Buendía.  She looks forward to joining the team at Pueblo a Pueblo for this upcoming year.

Mexico

Alec Armon

Alec graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Madison (2018) with degrees in Political Science; International Studies; and Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies. His academic interests center on the politics of poverty alleviation and Latin American economic development. Outside of his studies at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, Alec worked to reduce food waste by leading the Food Recovery Network - UW Chapter, which takes excess food from campus dining halls and redistributes it to food-insecure members of the university and surrounding community. He spent his third year of college in Santiago, Chile where he took classes, interned at the Fulbright Commission, and lived with a Chilean host family. In his final year as an undergraduate, he conducted a thesis project, funded by the University of Wisconsin, which took him back to Chile to do archival research on the historical development of social work alongside social policy in the country. Alec hopes to continue engaging with issues of economic justice and learning more about economic development in his upcoming PiLA fellowship year at Endeavor in Mexico. 

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Bob Zeng

Is passionate about promoting inclusive growth in developing countries through empowering social enterprises and strengthening the cooperation between various stakeholders. A graduate of Pomona College, Bob has developed competencies in organizational development, analytical research, and outreach marketing. He founded his college chapter of Project Pengyou, a national organization dedicated to mobilizing US-China bridge-builders. To broaden the chapter’s social impact, he launched community service initiatives, including organizing education projects at elementary schools and citizenship workshops at legal aid organizations. For his field work with UNAIDS in Panama, he served as a liaison and forged strategic relationships with civil society activists to build a consensus on global health issues. During his semester abroad in Buenos Aires, he examined the socioeconomic impacts of Chinese commerce and investment in Argentina for his research project. He continued to develop regional expertise through his internship with the Inter-American Dialogue, where he tracked China’s engagement in Latin America and researched extensively on corporate social responsibility. He currently works as an Outreach Coordinator at Jeenie, a startup that connects travelers to live interpreters via its mobile platform. A quadrilingual himself, Bob is excited about the prospect of furthering cross-cultural communications by highlighting the value of human element in translation.

 

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Elizabeth Marin Torres

Born in the border town of Nogales, Arizona, Elizabeth’s life has been marked by the dualities of the cultures she was born into and the culture of her parents. After living in Mexico, Ecuador, and Argentina, Elizabeth saw how children of immigrants deal with their identities and social positions. Motivated by this, Elizabeth’s interests focus on immigrant youth and children of immigrants. At Dickinson College, Elizabeth rebuilt a community service program that helped ESL middle school students advance their English skills in a nurturing after-school environment. Elizabeth also spent a summer at Church World Services, where she worked with newly arrived immigrants and refugees. In this position, Elizabeth understood how policy affects people’s lives, and this inspired her academic research on migration and cross-generational experiences. At Dickinson College, Elizabeth majored in Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies with a minor in Portuguese and Brazilian Studies. As a PiLA Fellow, Elizabeth will be working with Worldfund in Mexico City as an IAPE Program Assistant.

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Vivian Overholt

Vivian was born in Manila, Philippines and grew up in Chiang Mai, Thailand. She studied history, international studies, and Spanish at Wittenberg University (2017), where she fostered her love of intercultural exchange and dialogue through her work at the Office of International Education and as the president of the American International Association on campus. She first traveled to Mexico to study Spanish the summer of 2015, where she then volunteered with an organization promoting food sovereignty in Oaxaca. She then returned as an exchange student to Puebla where she also taught English to preschoolers. Vivian recently completed the two-summer US Foreign Service Internship Program which took her to Washington, DC and Lisbon, Portugal to work primarily on program management (highlights were helping with the Mandela Washington Fellowship Presidential Summit and the Women in Leadership Seminar by the Association of Women Ambassadors in Portugal). Most recently she has found herself in the classroom again working for her local Head Start program. In the future Vivian seeks to combine her varied interests by pursuing a degree in education or law with the hope of a career in helping others.

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Nicaragua

Hana Tomozawa

Hana graduated from Williams College with a B.A. in Psychology and a Certificate in Spanish. At Williams, she was captain of the varsity women’s soccer team in 2014 and helped her team reach the National Championship for the first time in the program’s history. Hana spent her junior semester studying in Santiago, Chile and Buenos Aires, Argentina, analyzing the educational systems of both countries in a comparative education and social change program. Since September of 2015, Hana has been an analyst on the Emerging Markets International and Local Sales teams at Goldman Sachs. In her free time, Hana is a mentor and soccer coach to a group of fifth- and sixth-grade girls through a female empowerment program called ZGiRLS, which teaches girls how to cultivate self-esteem, positive body image and confidence. Her hobbies include hiking, learning various Latin dances, and playing as well as coaching soccer. This year, she is looking forward to learning how to use finance as a tool to support scalable solutions to poverty with Global Partnerships.

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Peru

Ana Teresa Gutierrez

Ana Teresa Gutierrez earned a B.S. in Biomedical Sciences, with a master's certificate in Advanced International Affairs from Texas A&M University (2017). Born and raised in Venezuela, she witnessed economic instability and widespread corruption crumble the country's societal infrastructure, awakening a desire in her to protect her surrounding communities through a career in social justice. Through her affinity for the health sciences in college, she volunteered in a community clinic as a translator for Hispanic residents of low socioeconomic status and organized for medication to be delivered to pediatric oncology patients in Maracaibo, Venezuela. Additionally, her volunteering experience with victims of human trafficking in Nicaragua and India paved the way to an internship within the Harris County District Attorney's Human Trafficking Unit. These interactions with marginalized men and women have since narrowed her professional intentions to increasing access to health care, primarily within reproductive health services for women. Following recent experiences working at a Manhattan law firm and a political campaign in Houston, Ana looks forward to learning about the financial aspect of NGO development through her role as a Sustainability Fellow for The Nature Conservancy in Lima, Peru.  

Jonah Watt

A Boston area native, Jonah graduated from Bowdoin College with a degree in Latin American studies and a minor in earth and oceanographic science. At Bowdoin, Jonah conducted an honors thesis on the history of the Chilean student movement following a semester abroad in Valparaíso, Chile, where he studied at the Universidad de Playa Ancha and conducted an internship with an organization dedicated to science and technology education and outreach. While at Bowdoin, Jonah interned with the Maine Mobile Health Program, which provides mobile medical care to Maine's migrant and seasonal farmworkers, many of whom are from Latin America and the Caribbean. Jonah also led his campus’s climate action group for four years, where he combined his passion for community organizing with his commitment to climate justice. He is thrilled to spend the next year in Lima working with Building Dignity, and he looks forward to learning about social justice and community organizing in Peru.

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United States of America

Claudia Lievano

A Miami native of Colombian heritage, Claudia's interest in international sustainable development began in the summer of 2013 when she traveled to the Dominican Republic and built an aqueduct in a remote village to provide accessible clean water to over 105 local families. Since then, Claudia has had extensive experience in the fields of environment and education in Latin America. In 2015, she moved to Porto Alegre, Brazil where she was a full-time student at Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul. Claudia also worked for a nonprofit called EduAction, hosting personal and professional development workshops to adolescents in different public schools throughout the city of Porto Alegre. In the summer of 2015, Claudia completed her minor in International Development and Humanitarian Assistance through a study abroad program in India, where she worked alongside multiple NGOs to see the direct impact they had on India's people. In 2016, Claudia graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Telecommunication and a focus in Latin American Studies and International Sustainable Development. A month after graduating, Claudia relocated to Washington, D.C., where she began her career as a public school teacher teaching 8th grade English Humanities at a bilingual school. Claudia is extremely excited to continue growing her passion for diversity and sustainable social change with The Nature Conservancy as a Content Marketing Fellow through the Princeton in Latin America program in Arlington, VA.

Lizabelt Avila

Lizabelt Avila was born in Cuba and moved to Miami with her family when she was twelve. She double-majored in international and area studies and political science — with a focus on human rights, at New College of Florida. She dedicated a year and a half to her honors thesis, which investigated the extent to which human rights education programs from international organizations, NGOs, and secondary schools are effective. Lizabelt has gained experience working and volunteering with non-profits and NGOs in the United States and in the Netherlands, especially those supporting immigrant, refugee, or Latin communities. In the United States she drafted student mentorship materials for UnidosNow, investigated and reported on violence against women and human rights violations in Mexico as a U.S Department of State VSFS intern, and facilitated access to legal services for the immigrant community in Sarasota, Florida. In the Netherlands she volunteered as an event planner with UnicefNL and worked with The Humanity Formula providing direct aid to refugee camps. Lizabelt is thrilled to gain more professional experience in the Latin America region and support NGO projects through The Nature Conservancy.