It’s a new semester, a new year, and a new start for everyone at Georgetown. As we’re trying to figure out if we can manage all the classes we’re expected to take along with everything else we have to juggle in our academic, professional, and personal lives, Kandya, Denisse and I have chosen to take up another important task. This semester, we are taking over the leadership positions of the Transformaciones blog.
I first heard about Transformaciones during my orientation into the Master’s in Latin American Studies program last August. Andrea and Ana-Sofia came to talk to the first years about starting the program. They also introduced the blog and explained that they were looking for new students to join them. I volunteered, hoping to get more involved with the Latin American community here at Georgetown. At the first meeting, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. I read all of the blog posts (which I recommend sometime when you’re procrastinating on homework!) in anticipation of having to come up with ideas or ask my classmates for specific blogs on topics that Transformaciones wanted to cover. As I quickly learned, the purpose of Transformaciones is actually much different. Rather than another assignment or responsibility, students choose their own topics, and even the language that they write in. This blog is a space to exercise the reason that we put ourselves through the struggles of higher education – the passion that we share for Latin America and the Caribbean.
The longer I worked on the blog, the more excited about it I became. Not only did we provide a space for students to discuss their personal experiences and interests, we were able to create a space for conversation by holding coffee hours and social gatherings with other students, both those within CLAS and those from other departments. From what they’ve told me, this function that Transformaciones fills is important to other students as well. The past semester alone, we provided a forum for discussion on corruption issues in Brazil, held a meeting with a Guatemalan activist, and celebrated the Day of the Dead with traditional Mexican foods and calaveritas . Most importantly, Transformaciones helped to create a community to interact and learn from each other as peers.
I’m happy to say that Mary, Andrea, and Ana-Sofia will continue working on the blog this semester. Honestly, I’m dreading their graduation this spring – it’s always hard to say goodbye to friends, and more so knowing that they have been the main facilitators of this project. However, we’re learning from them and taking over responsibility for the blog now to make sure that the project that they started won’t fizzle out once they graduate. I hope that Kandya, Denisse and I can continue the work that they started, and make Transformaciones an institution that the next set of MALAS students will cherish and continue after we leave Georgetown. We’re anxious to fill these expectations, as well as those of the other students who have enjoyed this space and the gatherings that we have organized. Thanks for being a part of Transformaciones, whether it’s been reading posts, writing them, or participating in our coffee hours, we hope that you’ll continue to support and work with us in the coming months!
Best of luck this semester, saludos!
Rachel, Denisse, and Kandya
Rachel is a first year in the Master of Latin American Studies program at Georgetown. Her concentration is Security issues, with focus on citizen security and Central America and Mexico. This is her second semester working with Transformaciones.