Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

"Over the summer we hope to start a cultural preservation project and we will be aiming to get their language written down in its entirety. Currently, because their language is not written, they face a lot of obstacles in obtaining a formal education."

-Amalia Perez '18

Student Spotlight: Amalia Perez '18

Name: Amalia Perez '18

Concentration: Political Science and Development Studies

Hometown: Washington, DC

What is your approach to learning about Latin America?

I am really trying to incorporate my interests in international development, journalism, the political economy of the development Latin America in one. In that vein, over the summer, I will be interning at the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) office in Buenos Aires. I am excited for it because I think it will help complement my localized understanding of Central America with a top-down approach to South America's "Cono sur", in pursuit of a holistic understanding of Latin America's unprecedented regional diversity and country-specific political economies.

At the end of my summer I will also be heading to Ecuador with Hugo Lucitante, a Cofan indigenous member who currently attends Brown. Together with some other Brown students, we started the Cofan Brown Student Alliance. This semester we are doing an independent study through which we have been learning about the Cofan people and their history and stories of resistance. Over the summer we hope to start a cultural preservation project and we will be aiming to get their language written down in its entirety. Currently, because their language is not written, they face a lot of obstacles in obtaining a formal education.

It seems very paradoxical to be working with the IABD and then going to Ecuador with the Cofan for two weeks, but I think this implies my commitment to understand issues on macro development processes with a complementary understanding of the micro.