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I have returned to my hometown of El Paso, and I feel a deep sense of longing for Oaxaca. Life’s structure is much more rigid in nature, and a void of the collectivist ambience that thrived in Oaxaca exists. Nevertheless, I am content to have returned home and to bear the lessons of my incredible journey.

Firstly, after visiting the migrant shelters in Oaxaca and in Ixtepec, where I learned about the multifaceted network of issues that defines immigration, I was inspired to create a positive impact. After listening to countless stories of struggle and hardship, but also of hopes and dreams, after playing soccer with children who are no different than I am but are migrating across Mexico in search of a better life–I feel that it is my moral obligation, as a bearer of these experiences and unique knowledge, to move forward utilizing my platform to advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves.

I intend to make a difference at my university, primarily through proactive fundraising that will be dedicated to the migrant shelters, and through education. It is imperative that people develop an understanding of the unjust issues that confront thousands across the border. Despite the difficulties that lay before the global community regarding immigration, there is hope! And I intend to capitalize on people’s good will.

Secondly, I have learned to further embrace my hispanic culture. I am prouder now than I have ever been to have Mexican blood running through my veins. The Mexican culture is defined through perpetual struggle where the product of such conflict ridden history is abounding culture, identity, and strength. For only through effusive love of corn and all food,  and love of passionate music, and love of the romantic nature of the Spanish language, and collective adoration for all Mexicans can the people overcome such a historically conflict driven country!

Viva La raza!