Karen graduated from Stanford in 2016 with a B.A. in political science. During her time at Stanford, she studied in Washington D.C., where she interned at the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and in Madrid. She has also worked as a research assistant for a professor in the History department, assisting in the transcription and analysis of the oral history interviews of Mexican immigrants. Additionally, Karen spent four years volunteering as an interpreter at the Community Legal Services of East Palo Alto (CLSEPA) in her hometown of East Palo Alto. This involvement and her own immigrant experience inspired her to pursue a master’s in Latin American Studies to further her understanding of the intersections between Latin American and United States politics and culture. Karen hopes to later pursue a law degree. In her free time Karen enjoys exploring the Bay Area, going on gastronomic adventures, and spending time with her family.

Gustavo graduated from Stanford in 2015, with a double major in political science and mathematics. Gustavo is from Florianópolis, Brazil, where he lived most of his life. During his time as an undergrad, Gustavo spent two summers in Ecuador with the Stanford program Volunteers in Latin America, returning the second summer as a trip leader. Gustavo has been working as a research assistant at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) at Stanford, with Professor Beatriz Magaloni, on a police violence project in Rio de Janeiro. Gustavo’s personal research interests revolve around this same topic, encompassing not only police violence but also the incarceration system and crime policy in Brazil. Gustavo hopes to return to Brazil after earning his M.A.

Born and raised in Tamaulipas, Mexico, Andrea is passionate about human rights, immigration, drug policy, and sociology. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Emerson College with a major in Marketing Communications and a minor in Political Communications. After earning her bachelor's degree, Andrea moved to Puebla in 2015 and worked with Dr. Louise Greathouse on her B.U.A.P. project titled "Alternatives to Discrimination: Educating for a culture of peace through social participation and inclusion in rural communities". Under Dr. Greathouse's guidance, Andrea tutored children who lived in the community of San Agustín Calvario. During the summer of 2016 Andrea volunteered with Sewa International. She coordinated and tutored in the summer school curriculum for the immigrant and refugee children Sewa works with. Andrea strives to earn a Ph.D. in Sociology to become a researcher and college professor. She also wishes to continue working with refugee and immigrant children, as well as...

Graciela received her B.A. from the University of Central Florida as a History major and an Anthropology minor. She was born and raised in Miami, Florida but feels very connected to her Cuban and Dominican roots. As an undergraduate, she conducted a research project on the indigenous people in the Caribbean (Taíno) and their depopulation upon the European encounter. This project was presented at the Phi Alpha Theta national historical conference. Graciela has also studied Taíno archaeological sites and rock art in the Caribbean. She plans to continue doing research on the Taíno and on colonial Caribbean history as an M.A. student at Stanford.

Andrea graduated from Stanford University in 2015, with a dual bachelor's degree in Anthropology and Iberian and Latin American Cultures. Her interest in Latin American Studies began in high school, where her principal mentor was also her Spanish teacher from El Salvador. Throughout her time at Stanford, she worked in different Latino Communities in the Bay Area, involved in community interpreting and teaching citizenship classes at the International Institute of the Bay Area. Her most recent research was in Esmeraldas, Ecuador concerning the politics of marimba and Afro-Ecuadorian representation. Her broader research interests include education, the African diaspora in Latin America, the politics of cultural expression and their relationship to different forms of environmental exploitation, and issues surrounding human rights and social justice. In addition, she has developed a particular interest in the study of Portuguese and Brazil through academic and language classes,...

A Palo Alto native, Marie Lefebvre graduated with a BA in Geography and Spanish & Portuguese: Luso-Brazilian Studies from the University of California, Berkeley in 2014. Prior to attending Stanford, she was development and external relations coordinator at the Inter-American Dialogue, and before that she worked as a Latin America sales coordinator at Google Apps for Work. As an undergraduate she was an NSEP Boren Scholar to Brazil where she studied at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, and during her year there interned at the Brazilian Biodiversity Fund (FUNBIO) and the BRICS Policy Center. She has also studied abroad in Portugal. Marie hopes to pursue her passion for foreign languages and intercultural communication with a career in public service after completing her Master's Degree. In her free time you can find her enjoying the outdoors, budget traveling, dancing, doing yoga, or playing the piano.

Kai Medeiros  is a third-year joint degree student at Stanford Law School and the Stanford Center for Latin American Studies. HIs interest in Latin America stems primarily from time spent studying legal pluralism in the Tzotzil-speaking township of San Pedro. Chenalhó, Chiapas, Mexico as an undergrad at UCSB. At Stanford, he has worked as a research assistant to James L. Cavallaro, current President of the Inter-American Commission on HUman Rights, directed the Law School's Immigration Pro Bono Project, and in the spring of 2016 worked full-time in the International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic. Among other projects, as a clinical student, he helped litigate three cases before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and visited prisons in Bolivia to study initiatives to reduce pre-trial detention. In the summer of 2016, he interned at the Mexico City-based human rights NGO Centro Prodh, working on diverse topics including economic, social, and cultural rights...

Born and raised in the Baixada Fluminense in Rio de Janeiro, Vanessa worked for over 13 years at SEBRAE/RJ - Brazil's largest organization supporting small business development and entrepreneurship. At SEBRAE, she served as a project manager, working mainly with social entrepreneurship projects and micro-businesses in poor communities in Rio. She also worked as a trade and investment officer at the Consulate General of Brazil in Los Angeles. Melo collaborated with the Program on Poverty and Governance (PovGov) within Stanford University’s Center for Democracy, Development and Rule of Law (CDDRL) for over a year before joining the team full-time in August 2013 as a Project Manager and Research Associate. She manages the projects on police reform and criminal violence in Rio de Janeiro, including an unprecedented study of the impact of body-worn cameras on police use of force and behavior in the Rocinha favela of Rio de Janeiro. She holds a Bachelor’s in Portuguese Language and...

Lenica received her BA in Romance Languages and Literatures with a secondary in Archaeology from Harvard College in 2015. Since her college days, Lenica has traveled throughout Latin America and worked with genocide survivors from the Guatemalan Civil War, documenting the lives and experiences of peace across numerous Mayan communities and with Central American migrants, capturing the impacts of migration in the border town of Chiapas, Mexico. As a California native, Lenica hopes to soak up all the sun and knowledge that the Center of Latin American Studies has to offer in regards to the intersection between politics and the protection of human rights within Guatemala. When she's not traveling, Lenica enjoys reading, playing rugby, and learning new languages.

Holly graduated from Cornell University in 2011 with a degree in Government and a concentration in Latin American Politics. During her junior year, she studied abroad in Peru and fell in love with the wide variety of cultures and landscapes in the country. Following graduation, Holly spent two years teaching in a bilingual Spanish-English third grade classroom in Chicago with Teach for America. After moving to Denver and working in grant writing for a charter school, Holly transitioned to healthcare consulting to learn a new industry, and developed an interest in how nonprofits can parter to provide total health and quality of life programs to populations in need. During her time at Stanford, Holly is interested in how indigenous communities in ecologically sensitive areas are both affecting and affected by natural resource depletion, especially the effects of climate change in both community and ecosystem health.

Sandra Oseguera was born in Mexico City and raised in Cuernavaca, Mor., a small city nearby. Since she was three years old, she started practicing sports, and by the age of 12, Sandra was a track and field high performance athlete in Mexico, continuing until she was 23. Sandra obtained her bachelor's degree in Latin American Studies at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) with honors Magna Cum Laude. While finishing her thesis, she obtained a CONACYT-INSTITUTO MORA (Mexican government) scholarship to continue and expand her research about water management, eco-social movements and conflict resolution. She has recently worked as a research assistant at the National Bureau of Anthropology (Mexico). Her research interests are Latin American environmentalism, political ecology, social movements and political history. After the MA program, Sandra would like to pusue a PhD. Her favorite things outside of school are writing short stories, photography, and cinema.

Marjory Ruiz-Hidalgo graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz where she double majored in Politics, with an emphasis in international law, and Latin American Latino/a Studies. Born to Nicaragüense parents and raised in Miami and San Francisco, her interest in Nicaraguan politics takes on a multi-sited transnational perspective. Marjory's undergraduate paper, 'Me Hize Hombre,' drew on ethnographic data collected Summer 2014 in Nicaragua, to reveal tensions between high ranking Sandinista male leadership and what was once hailed as the 'most progressive feminist agenda in the world.' During her time at the Center for Latin American Studies Marjory will study the intersection of the 'American Dream' as a tool of political discourse, human rights, and U.S. foreign policy in Latin America. In her free time, you can find Marjory nerding out with a good book, spending time with her family and friends, and going to concerts.

Jessica L. Sanchez Flores was born in Guerrero, Mexico. She migrated to California at the age of nine where she stayed with her grandparents in the city of Santa Ana, California. She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a B.A. in Latin American Studies and Spanish in 2016. During her time at UCLA, Jessica had the opportunity to learn two indigenous languages from Latin America: Kichwa and Nahuatl. In the summer of 2014, Jessica had the opportunity to travel to Ecuador through the University of Pittsburg program as a FLAS recipient. She is interested in indigenous literature, the role of women in indigenous communities as well as their representation in literature and cinema. She is very passionate about learning new languages and traveling. In her free time, Jessica enjoys playing with her kittens, going for walks and spending time with her family.

María was born in Lima, Peru and raised in Davis, CA. She graduated from the University of Oregon in June 2015 with a degree in Journalism (Public Relations) and a minor in history. She has spent much time in Peru and remains close to her large family there. She lived for a year and a half in Seville and has traveled extensively in Europe. She looks forward to getting to know other Latin American cultures. Since graduation María has worked and lived in San Francisco.

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