Misael Beltrán Guzmán
Gabriel Rivas Orellana
Anne Marie Dooher
Students of Latin American Studies at Colby College have a diverse range of interests and pursuits that reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the program. LAS majors have studied throughout the region, and many will go on to pursue careers and research opportunities within the field.
For Jan Plan my senior year, I travelled to Santiago, Chile with Professor Adam Howard in the Education Department to conduct research for his ‘Globally Elite’ research project. During this month, I was the only member of the team that spoke Spanish, and as a result I was the translator for every aspect of our trip- whether that was explaining menus or communicating with members of the field site. Though our goal was to study and examine elite education in Chile, my knowledge of Latin America undeniably came into use. I was extremely familiar with the history of the country, especially with regards to the dictatorship and their esteemed literature, which provided the entire research team with a solid background on the country and its social context. I was confident that the information I relayed to the team was insightful and accurate, and this was a direct outcome from my LAS courses at Colby.
Sophie Bartels (MSPH) is a third-year PhD student in the department of Health Behavior at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC. Before starting this program, she worked for two years as a research coordinator at Dartmouth College on an implementation science mental health project in Colombia. Her research at UNC is centered around using a mixed-methods approach to understand the association between pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) stigma and PrEP acceptability, and evaluate strategies to promote engagement with a smartphone app for PrEP use among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Guatemala City.
Lina holds a BA in Latin American Studies and Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies from Colby College and an MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
She has dedicated five years to the non-profit sector, supporting organizations that promote gender equality, eliminate gender-based violence, foster community-led initiatives, and advocate for homeless women. She has lived and worked in Argentina, Mexico City, and London.
Currently, Lina is a Principal Consultant at The Social Innovation Partnership, leveraging her experience in international development to disrupt the traditional grantmaking and community engagement space.
During Jan Plan, I interned at a law firm in my hometown, and I had a chance to explore immigration law first hand. I spent the month translating documents from Spanish into English, drafting visa requests, and working with many Latino clients. As an LAS major, the most meaningful part of my internship was learning how I could support the Latino community in my home community. An extreme amount of bureaucracy is involved with visa applications, which results in a considerable waiting period for visa renewal and approval. By using the skills I have learned in my Latin American Studies classes, I helped shorten this waiting period with my translating skills and drafting letters requesting for visa approval. The quicker those documents are created, the quicker they can be compiled and sent for review. I also learned about the variety of visas that are available, which broadens my perspective of how exactly people can obtain legal residency in the United States and why this is such a crucial part of people’s lives. I am extremely grateful for this experience, as it has shown me a way in which I can act as an ally for the Latino community.
Catharine graduated Colby in 2019 with a double major in Latin American Studies and Government. Catharine is currently a policy analyst at the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), a refugee resettlement agency, and she covers a portfolio that includes unaccompanied children, Temporary Protected Status (TPS), Latin America and Ukraine. She previously worked at the Inter-American Dialogue, a think tank focused on policy in the Western Hemisphere, as a program assistant in the Peter D. Bell Rule of Law Program. The program is concentrated on democratic governance, anti-corruption and citizen security in the region.
My name is Nancy Mateo. I graduated from Colby College in 2019 as a Government and Latin American Studies Major. My current job title is Removal and Criminal Defense Case Manager for a private immigration and criminal defense law firm in Orange County, CA. The majority of the people I assist are unaccompanied minors who recently entered the United States and are facing removal proceedings with the Immigration Court. As case manager, I help them file and complete their asylum applications and help them prepare to appear before an Immigration Judge. Part of building an asylum claim includes researching and keeping up to date with factors that influence migration so I frequently review current country conditions, local articles, and evidence the minors bring with them from their home country. It’s important to note that most of the minors I work with are from the Northern Triangle. I have always had a passion for immigration and I am proud to be able to help people who are seeking a better future in this country.