As I reflect on my first day in India, I wanted to take some time to introduce myself. My name is Jonathan Paz and I am beyond excited to see what this summer has to offer. Before I talk about my internship, I want to list some relevant information about myself:
School at Penn: College
Major: Philosophy, Politics, Economics (PPE)
Partner Organization: Lend-A-Hand India
An important detail about myself, is the fact that I grew up in (and continue visiting) Bolivia. I was born in Boston but when I was baby, my parents took me there to grow up with the rest of my family. When I was 8, my parents brought me back to the US.
The reason why I mention Bolivia is because it has a lot to do with why I am interning in India. Growing up, I was not privileged, to say the least, so when I arrived at Penn, I knew I wanted to learn more about social and economic inequalities and more importantly, development. Today, my intellectual agenda consists of understanding international development through the wider context of globalization and justice/ethical frameworks.
This summer, my central questions relate more to management and empowerment: what daily practices can a non-profit fulfill to fully empower its community members? What are the dynamics behind this relationship and how can they be maintained? These questions extend from my past work in Peru. Over the past couple years, I have been privileged to work in two villages in Trujillo, Peru where we provide work opportunities and health care to our respective communities.
In many ways, working in Peru has made me more curious about how other organizations interact with people and how they go about creating social change. For this ( and many more) reason, I find myself in India. I am thrilled to be in a place that is vastly out of the range of my life experiences – Latin America has been the center of my academic and professional work- and am excited for the challenges ahead.
I will part with two things: Shout out to the amazing people at Penn who have made such an unimaginable thing possible…I am pretty sure I am the first person in my family to make it to India. Words cannot describe my gratitude!
Lastly, a quote for the soul: “The planet does not need more ‘successful’ people. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds. It needs people to live well in their places. It needs people with moral courage willing to join the struggle to make the world habitable and humane and these qualities have little to do with ‘success’ as our culture is the set.”-Dalai Lama
Thank you for reading 🙂