Q: Hannah, what are you majoring in and what are some of your research interests?
A: I’m a Latin American studies major, with a concentration in Spanish. I’m really interested in exploring different avenues regarding community development, poverty alleviation, and social policies in Latin America. For my major’s research requirement, I wrote a paper analyzing Ecuador’s human and social development progress from 1990 to 2010.
Q: What is your personal interest in Latin America?
A: I grew up in Texas, where I was surrounded by Hispanic influences and debates on immigration. But I first fell in love with the culture, language and people of Latin America after spending a summer in Nicaragua when I was 16. I go back whenever I get the chance! I’ve been lucky enough to spend the past two summers working for Amigos de las Americas, coordinating community development and youth leadership projects in the Dominican Republic and Ecuador. Besides meeting some amazing people, I’ve also learned to make delicious tostones and dance bachata. I studied abroad in Ecuador my junior year and learned about Andean and Afro-Ecuadorian cultures. And after living in Latin America and collaborating with the people there, I’ve become really passionate about exploring ways to reduce inequality and poverty in the region.
Q: You’ll be graduating May 26. What are your plans after graduation?
A: About five days after I graduate, I’ll be heading to Coclé, Panama, where I have a summer job as an associate project director with Amigos de las Americas. I also recently received a Princeton in Latin America (PiLA) Fellowship to work as the Program Director at an amazing non-profit called Building Dignity next year. I’ll be moving to Lima, Peru in September, which I am very excited about!
Q: So you’re from Texas. What attracted you to Wesleyan? What will you miss most about campus life?
A: I was born and raised in Austin, Texas, but I really wanted to go somewhere new for college. As a pre-frosh I came to WesFest, sat on Foss Hill, and talked with random students about their experiences here. Everyone I met had so much passion, humor and creativity. The people who go here are my favorite part about Wes, and I will definitely miss the inspiration and energy that I am surrounded by daily. So many students here want to—and will—change the world for the better.
Q: What are your favorite classes this semester?
A: I’ve enjoyed all my classes this semester, especially “Sites of Memory and Resistance: Theater, Performance and Political Consciousness in Contemporary Spain” with Professor Bernardo Gonzalez and “Latin American Economic Development” taught by Professor Melanie Khamis. (more…)