Tricia Johnson ’11, Campbell, Calif., is an Amigos Fellow in El Salvador with EcoViva, an organization that supports environmental sustainability, social justice and peace in Central America.
“I have always been passionate about sustainable, community-based development and this experience has reaffirmed that,” she said. “Dealing with so many different communities and ideas can be difficult, but it is incredibly rewarding to see the finished product, whether it is a cooperative dedicated to sustainable fishing practices, or a community-based resource management plan.”
Johnson took an interest in sustainable development as a volunteer with Amigos de las Américas in Nicaragua, where she lived with a host family and facilitated community-based projects. She studied Spanish in Guanajuato, Mexico, for a semester and worked on the program staff at the Cuernavaca Center for Intercultural Dialogue on Development, facilitating discussions and workshops on social justice issues. She also interned with the Guatemala Human Rights Commission in Washington, D.C. After graduating, she spent a year teaching at a bilingual school in San Marcos, Ocotepeque, Honduras.
In El Salvador, Johnson is EcoViva’s eyes and ears on the ground. She gathers information about projects, attends meetings, writes blogs and takes pictures.
“Because of my time at CLU, I am here living in El Salvador, working in the position I always dreamed of,” said Johnson, who has decided to extend her time with EcoViva through April.
“Wherever I am, I know that I want Spanish to be a big part of my work, whether that means working here in Latin America or back home with immigrant communities,” added the young alumna. She credits her CLU professors, mentors and friends for encouraging her to go out and do whatever she felt called to do.
To read her posts and view photos, go to http://vivaecoviva.wordpress.com/author/triciajohnson13/.