Fourth-year Benjamin Gilvar-Parke hopes to dive into Colombia’s politics and education system as a Fulbright English Teaching assistant.
A creative writing and comparative literature major from Olympia, Washington, Gilvar-Parke will serve as an English language assistant at a public university in Colombia. He says he plans to study the country’s education system through a public policy and peacebuilding lens.
“My hope is to dive into Colombia’s politics during a period of serious upheaval following the signing of peace accords in 2016,” he says. “I’m most looking forward to the music in Colombia. It’s the ‘land of 1,000 rhythms,’ and every region in the country has distinct folk music traditions.”
While at Oberlin, Gilvar-Parke spent two summers and two winter terms in Guatemala through Oberlin Students in Solidarity with Guatemala and the grassroots organization DESGUA.
“I had the opportunity to engage with Guatemala’s past and present struggles for justice and draw connections between U.S. policy in Guatemala and the current inflow of Guatemalan migrants and asylum seekers at our southern border.”
Gilvar-Parke is a member of Harkness co-op and has participated in Spanish in the Elementary Schools and America Reads.
“Oberlin has prepared me for this experience by providing funding to go abroad for summer internships,” he says. “My experiences in Guatemala have been invaluable to me and would not have been possible without institutional support.”
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