Christina Fetterhoff

Christina Fetterhoff (Center for Economic and Social Rights, Ecuador): Christina was involved with human rights in Latin America long before she undertook her AP fellowship. She lived and studied for six months in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she researched the role of Argentine human rights organizations during the 1976-1982 military dictatorship. She also traveled to Cuba as a delegate for MADRE, a women’s rights and humanitarian aid organization. Christina graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 2003 with a B.A. in Political Science. At the time of her fellowship, she was studying for an M.A. in Latin American Studies through Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

Just Because I Speak Spanish Doesn’t Mean I Understand

15 Jun

Understanding language and understanding culture are two very different things. Now that I have been in Ecuador for a week, I am feeling much more comfortable speaking in Spanish, having re-acclimated myself to it. However, I am also learning that just because I can understand what people are saying to me and respond in kind, does not mean that I understand where they are coming from. I am not only dealing with the culture of a country different from my own here, but also the culture of an organization that has been established for about 10 years.

People, myself included, are often afraid of change, even when that change may prove to be for the better. Information sharing is an integral part of any non-governmental organization. I came here with the intent of helping the office organize their contacts in order to better communicate the goals and work of CDES with the rest of the world.

However, it is always difficult to change one’s perspective–to realize that changing a current system that people are used to may in the end benefit all. But, in the end, information sharing will allow more people to know about the wonderful work that CDES does and this should be our ultimate goal.

Sometimes you have to take a step back in order to take two forward. At this point, I am realizing that I do need to take that step back in order to gain a better view of how I can truly make a positive contribution to CDES and its work for the realization of economic and social rights for all.

Posted By Christina Fetterhoff

Posted Jun 15th, 2004

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