Friday, January 15, 2010

POL 324 - Lessons in Lynn

Assistant professor of political studies Ruth Melkonian-Hoover shares today's entry from students in POL 324 (Latin American Politics). This is a compilation of reflections on the Latin American immigrant experience.

When you have taken something for granted your entire life, it is always humbling to witness the sacrifice others are willing to make for that same privilege. In early September my Latin American Politics classmates and I spent three hours in an auditorium full of hundreds of Guatemalans making their way through various checkpoints and receiving various forms of identification. They had been sitting patiently for upwards of six hours by the time we arrived at 9 a.m. The City of Lynn La Vida program set up a mobile office for the Guatemalan Consulate at St. Joseph Catholic Church, and we were there to help in any way we could. What compelled them to risk the journey here? What was their life like in America? And for some, what did it feel like to live without a form of legal identity? We were overwhelmed by a sense of inadequacy in knowing how to best help, how to truly make a difference, to share the love of God with these beautiful people who are truly strangers in a strange land. Some of us played with children as their parents waited in line while others facilitated the flow of traffic in the auditorium. Mostly we observed.

Compiled from student essays written by Brenna Case (a junior from North Canton, OH); Janelle Corsaro (a senior from Laguna, CA); Stephanie Laurence (a sophomore from Hopkinton, MA); Alec Lewis (a senior from Manchester, VT); Kyra Sliwinski (a junior form Copley, OH ); and Anne Wright (a senior from Yarmouth, ME). Latin America Politics considers development and political governance in the unique historical and cultural context of Latin America. The course combines discussion of history and theory with study of individual countries. Included are analyses of regime change, social movements and U.S. foreign policy.

1 comment:

Community Colleges said...

It's always good to reach out and sacrifice for other people. I find it very rewarding.