Fulbright to Peacebuilder: Transitioning to a new journey in Mexico.

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I write this blog reminiscing about the last nine months I’ve spent in Distrito Federal (D.F.), Mexico. Excited about the upcoming eight weeks as a Peacebuilder and the stories they’ll bring with them.

I’ve been lucky enough to study in D.F. as a Fulbright Fellow, learning about historical human rights reforms from attorneys, scholars, professors, students and activists, from within the Mexican Supreme Court, U.N.A.M., I.T.A.M. and other local institutions. Coming to question and understand what a “human right” means theoretically and in-practice, within the country’s evolving legal structure. As this journey comes to a close, I feel nothing less than inspired and humbled by the people I have met and worked with, not to mention the honor it has been to experience the brilliance of my mentors. As a Fulbright, I was enthralled with the history, substance and procedure of fundamental legal questions. This took place normally behind the doors of a courtroom, classroom, library, or coffee-shop, hardly ever interacting with the human side of human rights.

This blog marks my transition from exploring human rights in theory as a Fulbright, to encountering their human side as a Peacebuilder. What I look forward to the most as a Peacebuilder is having that opportunity to explore the human right to water rights. Coming face to face with how real individuals are affected by a lack of access to this fundamental living block, and sharing it with the world.

Living here has proven an all around life-changing experience. Though I consider myself a hybrid of sorts (educated in the U.S., but raised on Mexican traditions enforced by frequent travel across the border), I never imagined how much more there was to see, live and learn from Mexico. There’s something extraordinary about falling into the ebb and flow of this vibrant city-life, acquainting myself with its lively sounds, the hustle and bustle of its streets, the warmth of its people, its diverse landscapes, not to mention its endless array of culinary offerings.

Using these experiences as an advantage to my time as a Peacebuilder, I look forward to sharing them with you, as well as with my fellow Peacebuilder Ainhoa Martinez, and using them to explore a new side of D.F. and Mexico. I’m profoundly thankful for this unique opportunity to share these stories. Giving a voice to stakeholders may be the only viable chance they receive to spread word of their struggle, a struggle common to many, many more. I hope to make their obstacles heard, their voices come alive and reach you in time to make a difference.

Hasta la proxima!

Twitter: @jsanchez_int
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