Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Latino Empowerment Project 2012

There were a couple reasons why I chose to live in Lancaster after my time abroad in Bolivia-
  1. Proximity to my lovely partner
Well, if I am being completely honest, that was my main and only reason.  The things you do for love after being abroad for a year! 

I had some friends in the Harrisburg/Lebanon area that I would be close to but I was fairly unfamiliar with Lancaster, PA. Despite this reality, I was excited to get to know the city and the culture.

I always knew somewhat that there is a large Latino community within Lancaster city but I wasn't fully aware of how prominently the culture is represented here. As my father puts it, "It is like little Puerto Rico here." But not only are there many Puerto Ricans that live in Lancaster, but also Mexicans, Central Americans, Dominicans, Cubans, and so on. And it would be ignorant of me to not make mention of the growing Nepali and Bhutanese population.  Lancaster is quite a diverse place for such a little city.  I also have to give a shout out to my hipster buddies who also populate the city!

Anyway, this is a place where I see myself staying and raising a family. I currently work within a community that reflects so much of my personal story and background.  And I hope to continue to work within that community.  

In order to be an effective leader, I am always looking for ways to continue informally educating myself by engaging with others from different backgrounds/perspectives, reading a book, or watching a documentary.  

Recently, I have the opportunity of being accepted into the Latino Empowerment Project of 2012 this spring.  There are eight sessions within this project where a small group of Latinos/Latinas will be meeting. The sessions start this Saturday and will occur every Saturday morning until April 21. We will be covering various topics of discussion while fulfilling the vision which is-

"While cultivating collaboration among Latinos, our vision is to inspire members to embrace their identity in developing habits of leadership so they can go forth in creating a platform for social change by engaging the broader community"

Not only I am exciting for my personal journey in what I will learn from these sessions, but also in networking and getting to know others from the community who have similar goals. 

I will definitely update on these sessions and on all that I am learning and exploring.  

Cheers to empowerment, leadership, and becoming an agent of change!


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