Why I Chose Ecuador and Global Citizen Year.

I’ve always had a yearning to learn the Spanish language. Something about it drew me to it. My mother’s side of the family is from Spain. When they came to America, they weren’t too keen on the fact that they were “different.” They stopped sending tortillas with my mother to school, and refused to speak Spanish to her. My grandmother inadvertently cut my mother and me from our Spanish heritage.

I’ve striven to learn Spanish so I can reconnect to my heritage and teach it to my children, but Spanish classes in America aren’t always the strongest. My oldest sister, Hallie, took a gap year with the American Field Service (AFS). She, like me, had a thirst for Spanish. AFS gave her the opportunity to quench that thirst. They sent her to Ecuador, set her up with a magnificent family in Cuenca, and taught her what it meant to be an international leader. With Global Citizen Year, I won’t only learn what it means to become an international leader, but with my learning of Spanish and South American culture, I will be taking one step closer in diminishing the lingual and cultural gap between North Americans and South Americans.