Fellows (2015–2016)

Argentina

Jaysel Shah

Jaysel Shah

Jaysel graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in December 2015 with a degree in International Economics. In college, he was involved in several student microfinance clubs, a student investment fund, and an Indian dance team. During a semester abroad at the University of Buenos Aires, he volunteered as a loan advisor at a local microfinance nonprofit. This year, Jaysel is returning to Buenos Aires to work with high-impact business ventures to learn about entrepreneurship on a much larger scale at Endeavor Argentina.  Prior to starting the PiLA fellowship, Jaysel worked in transfer pricing at Deloitte in Washington, D.C. and spent a summer interning at Citi in Latin American finance. In his free time, Jaysel enjoys learning new languages, running, and hiking in his native York, Pennsylvania. As part of his latest challenge, Jaysel has dedicated himself to the lofty mission of finding the best piece of meat in Buenos Aires.

 
Partner Organization

Bolivia

Adam Barton

Adam graduated from Georgetown University (2016) with a degree in Spanish & Portuguese Studies and Education, Inquiry, & Justice. While at Georgetown, Adam taught English and coordinated language tutoring and wraparound support services for recently arrived English language learners and their families. In the process, he discovered a passion for education and language access, which he brought to the interior of Southeastern Brazil as a volunteer English instructor in the summer after his freshman year. He returned to Brazil the following summer to conduct ethnographic research on best practices in early childhood community health education while coordinating the program through which he’d taught. Returning once more to his host community in Brazil as an independent-status study abroad student, Adam spent his junior year teaching English in a rural public middle school, conducting ethnographic research on educational purpose and promise as Georgetown’s David Andretta Fellow, and leading the re-founding of Learning Enterprises Brazil. Adam looks forward to marrying his passion for education and language planning with a deep interest in Latin America as an advocate and researcher with and for learners in the States and abroad.

Deidre Beck

Deidre Beck

Deidre Beck graduated from South Dakota State University (SDSU) in May 2016 with a double major in civil engineering and Spanish. During her undergraduate studies at SDSU she was very involved in the SDSU chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB), serving as president and project lead. The chapter is currently working to provide clean drinking water to the Unidad Academica Campesina (UAC), a rural university in Carmen Pampa, Bolivia, through the implementation of chlorination and slow sand filtration. Deidre is very excited to continue to work with the UAC and SDSU EWB as Director of External Relations in the coming year. When she returns to the US, Deidre plans to pursue a career in water/wastewater engineering with a focus on sustainability. She also hopes to continue her involvement with developmental engineering projects, through programs such as EWB.

Brazil

Gabriela Weldon

Gabriela Weldon

Gabriela Elena Weldon (Gabi) grew up in Boulder, Colorado and graduated from Harvard College (2016) with a degree in History and Literature of Latin America. Her mom is Brazilian, and her interest in Latin America was sparked at an early age through visits to her extended family in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She studied and interned in the region throughout her time in college, working in areas related to human rights and education. Gabi wrote her senior thesis about the evolution of contestation in favelas in Rio through music, literature and film. She is very excited to be working in São Paulo this year with Worldfund, a non-profit that works to improve public education in Latin America.

Partner Organization

Chile

Ava Zhang

Ava Zhang

Ava graduated from Harvard College (2015) with a major in psychology and a minor in government. In college, Ava served as Director of Content for the Harvard International Review, co-directed a peer counseling group focused on sexual and reproductive health, and interned for a summer in the Office of the Secretary General at the OECD. As a research assistant for the Harvard Humanitarian Institute, she helped to produce an impact evaluation report on UNICEF’s Peacebuilding, Education, and Advocacy Programme in Uganda. She spent the summer before junior year volunteering with a community development NGO in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and left determined to find her way back to Latin America after graduation. She is excited to learn about the role of entrepreneurship in spurring robust and sustainable development during her year with Endeavor Chile. Having grown up in Toronto and spent college in Boston, she is also looking forward to her first winter without snow.

Malcolm Flynn

Malcolm Flynn

Malcolm Flynn graduated from Columbia University (2016) with a major in economics and minor in Latin American Studies. While there, he concentrated on the effects of crime and private enterprise on economic development in Latin America. His interest in the region came from a clichéd reading of One Hundred Years of Solitude; his interest in economic justice and criminality came from multiple trips to El Salvador, where he worked with U.S. manufacturers actively engaged in fighting gang-related poverty and violence. He’s excited to continue exploring the link between business and economic development with Endeavor Chile in Patagonia. In his free time, he enjoys skiing and surfing—two activities that, thanks to Chile’s unusual geography, are rarely more than a couple of hours apart.

Colombia

Karessa Irvin

Karessa Irvin

Karessa grew up in Brooklyn, and earned a Masters in Social Work at Smith College (2016).  At Wheaton College she majored in African, African-American, and Diaspora Studies (2013) and took several Hispanic Studies courses. Karessa studied abroad in Puebla, Mexico and remembers asking herself, Where are the black people? This started her quest to learn about the African diaspora in Mexico. Karessa visited Afro-mestizo towns and learned that people of African descent have a rich cultural heritage in Mexico, despite being a marginalized group. Her experiences there were definitive in development of Spanish language skills, expansion in her worldview, and have motivated her to want to continue to travel and connect to the larger world. Karessa is proud of the mentoring programs she has been involved in, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters. She believes that it is her responsibility to give back to others. It is her life’s mission to help other people of color—particularly youth of color who come from urban, low-income neighborhoods. She served as an AmeriCorps Massachusetts Promise Fellow at Sociedad Latina, a youth development organization in Boston. She developed the organization’s first alumni program providing opportunities for alumni to receive employment and college access opportunities.

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

Partner Organization

Costa Rica

Abyssinia Lissanu

Abysinnia Lissanu

Abyssinia Lissanu of Somerset, Kentucky is a recent graduate of Princeton University (class of 2016), with a major in Politics and a certificate in Spanish Language and Culture. At Princeton, Abyssinia focused on education and human rights in coursework and community service. She has volunteered extensively domestically, leading a mentorship group for Princeton middle school students and overseeing student education groups at the Pace Center for Civic Engagement. She also volunteered abroad as an English teacher during her study abroad program in Barcelona, Spain, where she later returned to conduct research on immigration for her senior thesis. During the summer of 2015, as the Frank C. Carlucci’52 SINSI Scholar, Abyssinia interned in the U.S. Department of Education at the Office of English Language Acquisition. This year, she is excited to embark on a new journey in Costa Rica with the Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress, where she will be working on projects related to human rights and vulnerable populations. Abyssinia is an avid reader and marathon runner, and hopes to fully enjoy the pura vida that Costa Rica has to offer!

Dominican Republic

Anjelica Neslin

Anjelica Neslin

Colorado native Angie Neslin graduated summa cum laude from Columbia University in 2016 with degrees in Hispanic Studies and American Studies. She believes everyone has a story and is committed to giving others the tools and spaces to share theirs. This commitment inspired her work with Youth for Debate, a nonprofit providing free debate and public speaking instruction at underserved schools in New York City, and with the Freedom and Citizenship program, which prepares high-achieving low-income high school seniors for engagement in American public life through a philosophy seminar taught by Columbia professors. During her semester abroad in Buenos Aires, she fell in love with Argentine rock music and wrote her honors thesis in Spanish on rock nacional as an emerging element of mass culture in post-dictatorship Argentina. She hopes to pursue a PhD in Latin American Studies and is thrilled to be joining the team at Fundación Abriendo Camino in Santo Domingo.

Danielle Coony

Danielle Coony

Danielle graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2016 with a major in Political Economy and a concentration in International Development. Frequently traveling across world’s busiest border from her hometown in San Diego County, her interest in Latin American language and culture began at an early age. During her time as an undergraduate, she furthered that interest while studying abroad in Santiago, Chile, where she had the opportunity to conduct human rights-focused research regarding Chilean immigration law in association with the Human Rights Center and faculty at the Diego Portales University School of Law. While back in the Bay Area, Danielle held administrative positions at a workers’ rights advocacy organization and at the UC Berkeley School of Law; interned with the Center for Law, Energy and Environment; contributed to the Daily Californian as an avid sports reporter; and served as a tutor at Berkeley High School’s English Language Newcomers Program. She is excited to work with the DREAM Project in the Dominican Republic and learn more about nonprofit management before pursuing a career in immigration and refugee law.

Partner Organization

Emma Shoaf

Emma Shoaf

Emma graduated from Western Kentucky University with double major in International Affairs and Spanish, and a minor in International Business (2016). While at WKU Emma volunteered within two refugee resettlement organizations where she focused on job development and cultural orientation. Emma continued to explore the relationship between forced migration and economics as a project intern within the NGO Cives Mundi in Spain, where she collaborated on development projects to promote economic recuperation in Lebanese refugee camps. Emma spent her last semester studying Latin American culture and economics in Buenos Aires, Argentina where she focused on the relationship between economic growth and wealth inequality. This year, Emma is excited to work Mariposa Foundation where she will focus on developing job training and financial independence courses for girls as they prepare to enter the workforce.

Partner Organization

Jacob Phillips

Jacob Phillips

A native of Kingston, Jamaica, Jacob graduated from Macalester College with majors in International and Hispanic Studies and a concentration in Human Rights. A desire to promote regional integration and development in the Caribbean has long motivated Jacob. He has worked at the University of the West Indies’ Latin America Caribbean Centre (LACC)-dedicated to enhancing interconnectivity among Latin American and Caribbean Higher Education Institutions- as a research assistant, English tutor and interpreter. In 2015, Jacob interned at the Jamaican embassy in Washington, DC where his work with the mission to the OAS further sensitized him to the challenges facing citizens in Latin America and the Caribbean. He later created a database of educational opportunities in the US for Jamaican youth, which he shared with his government’s scholarship unit. Fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese, Jacob volunteered at the Jane Addams School for Democracy in St. Paul, MN, helping Latino/a immigrants navigate the resettlement process and prepare for their citizenship tests. In the future, he hopes to pursue a career in law, but is currently excited about returning to the Caribbean and joining Yspaniola’s team in the Dominican Republic.

Partner Organization

Kayla Lemus

Kayla Lemus

A San Francisco Bay Area native, Kayla Tamara Lemus was raised by her single mother, who instilled in her a love for Spanish and the Mexican culture.  As a child of a Mexican immigrant, Kayla became increasingly aware of discrimination towards Latino immigrants in the U.S.  It was through this recognition of prejudice that she became interested in education and foreign language learning as a means of promoting equality and intercultural understanding.  A Scripps College graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish and French, Kayla has also pursued foreign language study outside of her major including Modern Standard Arabic, Moroccan Arabic, and Portuguese. During her time at Scripps College, Kayla studied abroad in Morocco and France, worked as a French and English teacher to both children and adults, and interned as a translator for Libraries Without Borders in Paris and l’AMSAT in Rabat.  In addition, her growing interest in NGO work led her to intern as a grant writer for Claremont Heritage in Claremont, California.  The intercultural exchanges she has had and the relationships she has developed within these communities has enriched her understanding of these regions’ histories and socio-political issues.  As a Latina, these realizations have inspired her to return to her roots in Latin America, where she will be working for Yspaniola, an educational non-profit in the Dominican Republic that serves Haitian migrants and Dominicans of Haitian descent.

 
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Pranayeta Shroff

Pranayeta Shroff

Pranayeta  "Shonty" Shroff graduated from Smith College (2014) with a sociology major and a Spanish minor. Her interest in the economic, social, and cultural development of marginalized communities in Latin America stems from a summer learning from activists and community organizations in Costa Rica. After spending 4 months in Spain solidifying her Spanish, Shonty worked with Latin@ communities in the US through education­ based internships. At a GED training center for Puerto Rican populations in Western Massachussets, she executed an independent research project on how identifying and deploying already­ existing community assets in the classroom motivates students. She was subsequently able to practice the pedagogical strategies she researched while teaching English in Cali, Colombia, as part of a government program aimed at job creation. In her free time, she likes to run, read, dance bachata, and be an overly enthusiastic fan of Cali's football teams.

 

Partner Organization

Tiffany Brown

Tiffany Brown

Originally from Warner Robins, Georgia, Tiffany graduated from the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish (2014). As a UGA student, in addition to studying educational methodology and pedagogy, Tiffany became involved in the local Hispanic community and developed a passion for addressing concerns affecting the community. After studying abroad and interning at an international school in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tiffany developed an interest in narrative creation and popular portrayals of minority experiences. She received a research fellowship to return to Argentina and study the Afro-Argentine consciousness movement, there she interviewed grassroots organizations about their efforts to increase their visibility in the national Argentine narrative. Following graduation, Tiffany moved to Medellin, Colombia and started working as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant at Universidad de Antioquia. There, she continued to nurture her interests in language and community narrative creation through her student and wider community interactions. She hopes to one day found a comprehensive Family Literacy Center and offer study abroad scholarships to students from underrepresented backgrounds. Tiffany is thrilled for the opportunity to bridge her interests in Latin America and community education through her work with Yspaniola.

Partner Organization

Ecuador

Theresa Renker

Theresa Renker

Tess graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2014 with a major in Spanish and minor in Latin American Studies. As an undergraduate student she studied abroad in Cuzco, Peru, an experience that launched her interest in Andean literatures and cultures, particularly the experiences of Andean youth. While in Peru she researched the impact of Peruvian reality television programing on youth identity formation, and upon returning home completed a senior honors thesis on the discrimination of Peruvian Quechua-speakers. Tess recently completed an M.A. in Spanish at UNH where she continued her study of Andean youth culture and the performance of cultural identities. Tess is excited to return to South America and continue her exploration of Andean cultures, and is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with CENIT. In her spare time Tess enjoys reading, trail running, and taking care of the animals on her family’s small farm.  

Guatemala

Ana Molina

Ana Molina

Ana was born in Mexico but raised in Dallas, Texas by two immigrant parents from Panama and Honduras. She grew up spending her vacations in Panama and in Honduras. Ana graduated with a BA from Columbia University in 2016, and she double majored in Political Science and French. During her years at Columbia, Ana interned at various nonprofits in the Dallas area that aimed to help undocumented immigrants with legal representation and provide other critical services such as food and shelter. She has always had a personal and academic interest in Central America; as a child, Ana organized an annual school supplies drive for Panama. In college, she wrote many research papers about the interaction of political, social, and economic factors in Guatemala and Honduras, in particular. This long enduring passion for Central America led her to intern for a fair trade nonprofit in Brooklyn that sold indigenous women’s textile work from Panajachel, Guatemala. Thus, Ana decided to move to Guatemala to work at Cojolya Association of Maya Weavers in order to continue expanding fair trade opportunities and economic independence for women in the Lake Atitlán region. Ultimately, Ana plans to attend law school and specialize in immigration law.

Delaine Winn

Delaine Winn

Delaine is a native of Northampton, Massachusetts and a graduate of Wesleyan University (2016), where he majored in Latin American Studies and Biology. He spent the fall of 2014 studying in Havana, Cuba, where he was immersed in wonderful music and frequent reminders of his inability to salsa. Delaine’s professional interests stem from a commitment to socially and environmentally conscious community development as well as local and indigenous empowerment. He is thrilled to spend the year at Hospitalito Atitlán learning to put these values into practice in public health work. Delaine also can’t wait to hike Atitlán’s many volcanoes and get to know the Tz’utujil culture (and hopefully keep improving his salsa game while he’s at it) during his PiLA year.

Emily Nuss

Emily Nuss

Emily graduated from Middlebury College (2015), majoring in biology with a minor in global health. Her interests in health equity, global health, and the social determinants of disease inform her passion to become a physician. Her experience working with marginalized communities in the Dominican Republic led her to co-found Kids Connect (kidsconnect.org). She was co-director of development of GlobeMed at Middlebury for two years, where she wrote grant proposals to support its partner organization, Gardens for Health International in Rwanda. Studying with a School for International Training public health and traditional medicine program in Chile deepened her interest in Latin America, learning directly from indigenous leaders and health care workers about the health disparities in marginalized indigenous communities. Emily also volunteered as a medical interpreter for the Open Door Clinic in Middlebury, which provides free health care to uninsured adults in Addison County, Vermont, many of whom are migrant farm workers from Mexico. She enjoys running, swimming, playing soccer, and exploring the outdoors.

Haley Bliss

Haley Bliss

Haley grew up in Burlington, Vermont, and graduated from Tufts University (2016) with a double major in biology and community health. In college she began exploring interests in the social determinants of health and health equity with GlobeMed at Tufts, where she led fundraising efforts for Nyaya Health, the chapter’s partner organization in Nepal. While at Tufts, she also worked as a research assistant for the Health Quality of Life Lab and taught English as a Second Language to Central American immigrants. In her junior year, she spent a semester studying public health and traditional medicine in Chile, and completed an independent study of women’s health in an indigenous Mapuche community. Haley is excited to spend the next year working at Hospitalito Atitlán, where she will be able to combine her interests in community development and public health before pursuing medical school. She enjoys painting, playing piano, and figure skating.

Julia Levy

Julia Levy

Julia graduated from Brown University (2016), concentrating in Economics with a focus on development in Latin America. Throughout college, Julia worked at the Capital Good Fund in Providence as a bilingual financial coach for low-income community members.  During her junior year, she studied for a semester in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she conducted independent research on domestic workers in the informal sector. The following summer, Julia worked at Endeavor in NYC as an intern on the Insight research team. Julia is passionate about innovative, inclusive, and entrepreneurial solutions to sustainable development, and is thrilled to serve as a PiLA fellow at Pueblo a Pueblo this year!

Nami Patel

Nami Patel

Nami graduated from New York University (2011) with a B.A. in politics with a concentration in international development and a double minor in Spanish and gender studies. After her freshman year, she interned at Ixchen—a women’s rights organization in Granada, Nicaragua—where she conducted rural workshops on reproductive rights and helped organized a nationwide march for gender equality. Throughout college, she continued to work and volunteer with mission-aligned organizations such as MADRE, the International Rescue Committee, and Girl Rising. After graduating, Nami joined an immigration law firm where she was able to work on pro bono cases assisting victims of domestic abuse in Latin America. Eager to return to her nonprofit roots, she then began working with New Women New Yorkers—a startup nonprofit providing leadership training and development to young immigrant women. Most recently, she managed communications at Hudson Guild, a social services nonprofit organization serving the low-income public housing population on the West Side of Manhattan. These experiences have all informed a passion for and interest in social justice and community development, and Nami is thrilled to join Starfish as its Communications Coordinator.

Partner Organization

Rachel Ozer-Bearson

Rachel Ozer-Bearson

A San Francisco Bay Area native, Rachel Ozer-Bearson graduated from Macalester College in 2016 with a major in International Studies and minors in Hispanic Studies and Latin American Studies. During her time at Macalester College, Rachel developed her passion for social justice and education. She collaborated with community partners while working for the Civic Engagement Center, completed an intensive teaching fellowship with Breakthrough Twin Cities, and taught English classes for adult English language learners at the Minnesota Literacy Council. During her senior year, Rachel expanded upon research from a semester abroad in Buenos Aires to write her senior capstone which explored the relationship between contemporary Senegalese immigration to Argentina and the historic invisibilization of afro-Argentines. Rachel is very excited to join Antigua International School, where she will be teaching middle-school social studies.

Rachel Pak

Rachel Pak

Rachel graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park (2016) with a B.A. in Government and Politics and dual minors in Spanish and Law & Society. Rachel’s interest in Latin America first developed in high school, when she volunteered annually at Academia Natanael to help with educational development in the Yucatan peninsula, later completing a three-month internship onsite in 2012. In 2015, she spent time traveling and studying political science in a Spanish immersion program in Argentina. Rachel’s personal and professional interests lie in gender development and she has demonstrated her commitment to combatting violence against women and girls through her work experiences. While at UMD, she completed her Honors Citation capstone project on sex trafficking policy in the U.S. and interned with nonprofits such as Restoration Ministries and the Tahirih Justice Center in the Washington, D.C. area. In the future, Rachel plans to enroll in law school, pursuing a career of public service providing humanitarian legal aid to refugee women and girls, especially within Latin American populations.

Mexico

Annie Austin

Annie Austin

Hailing from Littleton, Colorado, Annie Austin graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in May of 2015. At Georgetown, she studied Culture and Politics with a concentration in Political Economics in Latin America. Through a desire to promote social and economic development in distinct countries as well as Latin America as a whole, she studied, interned, and volunteered in the region. Annie paired those formative experiences with rigorous academic courses: she attained Spanish and Portuguese proficiency, while also matriculating into courses such as “Drug Trafficking in Latin America” and “Poverty, Well Being, and Social Exclusion in Latin America.” Dedicated to returning to the region post-grad, Annie pursued the opportunity to work alongside an organization promoting sustainable development: Endeavor Organization. At Endeavor Mexico City, she will be supporting social entrepreneurs as they refine and pitch their business model to the Endeavor team. Annie can’t wait to return to Mexico and explore the successes and challenges that Endeavor Mexico City faces.

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Camila Velasquez

Camila Velasquez

Camila grew up in Quito, Ecuador. She graduated from Kenyon College in 2016 with Highest Honors in Anthropology. In addition to her academic coursework, Camila pursued her interests in education and research while at Kenyon. She served as a Spanish Teaching Assistant and a Writing Center Liaison and Tutor on campus and spent one summer in Quito as a full-time middle school teacher. For the past three summers, she has undertaken research opportunities nationally (with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and internationally (in Mexico in 2014 and in the Philippines in 2016). In the future, Camila hopes to combine these two strands of experience through a career in educational research.

Nicaragua

Mackenzie Welch

Mackenzie Welch

Mackenzie graduated from Swarthmore College (2015) with a B.A. in political science and minor in Latin American studies. She has taught in Guatemala, worked with families displaced by guerilla and paramilitary violence in Colombia, supported programs at the Ecuadorian Fulbright Commission, and spent eight months with an organization serving 30,000 indigenous clients in an environmental lawsuit in Ecuador. On the policy side, she has interned for the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington, D.C. and the U.S. State Department in Peru, where she updated the human rights portfolio and screened potential recipients of U.S. funding for human rights violations. She spent the past year studying Portuguese and law in Rio de Janeiro as a Boren Scholar. Mackenzie hopes to more effectively support institution building and equitable economic development in the Americas.

Partner Organization

Niki Hrusa

Niki Hrusa

Niki understood from a very young age the importance of education as a means of creating opportunities in a person’s life, especially in the developing world. A dual Honduran/USA citizen Niki grew up in an agricultural town in southern Honduras before moving to the capital city of Tegucigalpa as a 16 year old to live with family friends in her strive to attain a quality education. She found leaving her family difficult, but she felt it was worth it, and she was accepted at Vassar College right out of high school. At Vassar, Niki majored in International Studies with an emphasis on Political Science and Education and a regional concentration on Latin American. She was also an involved member of the student body at Vassar, working for the Office of International Services in support of the college’s international student community. After spending a semester abroad in São Paulo, Brazil Niki began to realize that her wish to help Latin America through education was becoming a passion. Niki will be testing her passion with Project Alianza in Nicaragua, where she will be helping sustain schools in rural coffee plantations.

Partner Organization

Ronald Quintero

Ronald Quintero
Partner Organization

Peru

Eve Woldemikael

Eve Woldemikael

Eve Woldemikael grew up in Irvine, California and graduated from Brown University in 2016 with a BA in Africana Studies. Eve is passionate about learning languages and is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, and French and also studied Arabic. While at Brown, Eve became particularly interested in the subjects of race and identity, black feminism, migration, anti/postcolonialism, and community development. Through studying abroad in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for six months, Eve developed an interest in Latin American cultural politics and antiracist feminist activism in the region. In the summer of 2015, Eve received a research award and returned to Rio to study the politics of forced labor in Brazil. She is committed to social justice and seeks to dismantle oppressive systems of all forms. Eve is excited to serve as the new Program Director at Building Dignity and learn about activism and community development in Villa El Salvador.

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Uruguay

Gabrielle Girard

Gabrielle Girard

Gabrielle earned a B.A. in history and Spanish with a minor in Latin American studies from Cornell University (2015), graduating Phi Beta Kappa. Four summers of work at a nonprofit pre-K program in her Northern California hometown inspired her interest in social justice and Spanish. She has pursued these interests through coursework at Cornell and through interning with a French international law firm. As an undergraduate, Gabrielle served as a Cornell University Ambassador to prospective students, and as chapter president of her 160–member sorority. She also spent a semester of her junior year studying in Buenos Aires. Upon returning, she researched the effects of U.S. solidarity movements on government policy towards the Chilean refugees that fled the Pinochet regime, a project published by the Cornell Historical Society. 

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Karl Pielmeier

Karl Pielmeier

Hailing from Palmerton, Pennsylvania, Karl Pielmeier graduated from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University (2016), majoring in culture and politics with a concentration on the spatiality of technology and globalization. For a semester of his junior year, Karl lived in Argentina, where he and his cohorts created and mapped social development indexes at the University of Buenos Aires. He looks forward to returning to the Southern Cone once again – this time, in Paysandú, Uruguay – to work alongside the students and faculty at Liceo Francisco. In his free time, Karl enjoys swimming, reading, and making pysanky eggs.

Ricardo Gonzalez

Ricardo Gonzalez

Ricardo grew up in Brownsville, Texas, along the U.S.-Mexican border at the center of coexisting cultures and traditions. He began engaging with issues of Latino leadership and education in high school with the National Hispanic Institute. He graduated from Southwestern University with a B.A. in Political Science in 2015. During his time at Southwestern he participated in the Paideia Program dedicated to civic engagement and intercultural learning. In 2014 Ricardo studied abroad in Buenos Aires where he was able to travel across the region including Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia, and Peru. The following semester he interned at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, a Washington D.C.-based think tank where he was able to research and publish several articles reporting on hemispheric relations. After graduating Ricardo returned to South Texas to work at International Trading Services, Inc. an import-export house business.

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