We are only 23 people from Latin America and Caribbean, representing our countries. Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Jamaica, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela. Sometimes, it seems there is no future for these countries. Or, sometimes, the only hope is that there is a future that never arrives.
From a Secretary of Productive Development from a small province in Argentina to an urban planner from the National Port Authority of Argentina, a journalist who created a woman network in news and a business incubator coordinator. From a future mayor to a head of public leadership development. From a professor educating about disasters’ protocols to a venture capitalist focus on human development. From a nature lover and caring to a senator. From an advisor for the government to a social entrepreneur. From a public sector leader to a foreign policy lecturer. From behavioral economics specialist to an entrepreneur ecosystem leader. From a researcher to a social entrepreneur. From a councilwoman to a non-profit program leader to an advocate to increase infrastructure in LATAM.
These are people who, despite the situation, work every day to make their countries a better place. Not only form themselves, but also for their people. They are all leaders, who are dreaming, inspiring, but most importantly, connecting with their people and making the hope a reality for them.
We, the 2019 Latin America & Caribbean Fellows enjoyed a long weekend in the Pennsylvania wilderness at the Shawnee Inn Resort and Golf Club. We drove golf carts around the camp, we politely raced a non-declared competition, but most importantly, we met the amazing Kirkwood Family. We had the opportunity to meet every family member and talk to them during the whole period there. We connected with them, shared our stories and listen carefully to their stories. Thank you for the hospitality and the love you gave us.
Some of us hiked the Appalachian Trail, connected with nature, but more importantly, we bonded with each other. We practiced mindfulness and talked about well being, but more importantly, we shared our ways to take care of ourselves with one another.
During the first day, I heard that someone likes to feel small and tiny. I’ve never thought about it, and I agree. I like to feel small and tiny. This means that I’m surrounded by giants. And these people are giants. They are souls of the world and leaders of the change. They are not afraid of what is coming. They are here to impact lives. They already impacted mine. I now carry themselves with me and they are already part of who I am. And part of whom I am becoming. Thank you, guys. Thank you Eisenhower Fellowship.