An unprecedented journey

Hi! My name is Alexi Chacon, and I’m about to embark on adventure in India this summer. This will be the farthest away that I have ever been from home and I can’t wait to see what unexpected and new experiences are in store for me.

I’m a rising sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences studying Politics, Philosophy, and Economics. These past few weeks have been absolute whirlwind with finals, coming back home in Los Angeles, and getting everything ready for India. Since I have come to Penn, I have felt as if my life has been non-stop in the exposure I get to different experiences, perspectives and people. I am beyond excited to continue this exposure this summer in India.

This summer I will be interning at Shahi Exports in Bangalore. The main focus of the internship is to carry out research in the effort to design interventions that increase the well-being of the factory workers that Shahi Exports employs. When I heard of this opportunity, I immediately applied because the internship would allow me apply my passion for social justice in a completely new setting. Previously, I had advocated for equal access to education both locally and globally through a direct partnership with Human Rights Watch. Coming to Penn, I continued this involvement in global issues particularly human rights issues, by joining the Academic Affairs branch of the International Affairs Association. I also began to conduct research for Perry World House on the topics of migration and urbanization. It’s this research that led me to learn of the struggles that migrant workers face. My goal is to help address the struggles that migrant workers who work at Shahi Exports face. This could be through addressing mental health and community building.

I am so ready to throw myself into the culture that India is so well appreciated for. Since I’ve gotten the internship, I’ve been spending tons of time reading up on the culture and staring at countless pictures of Bangalore. It’s very rare that people get the opportunity to completely immerse themselves into a new culture for an extended period of time. I intend to take full advantage of this opportunity, particularly by journaling.

I can’t wait to share all of these experiences with you! The next time I post, any pre-conceived notion I have of these next ten weeks will probably be altered.

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About Alexi Chacon

Class of 2019, majoring in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. Intern at Shahi Exports in Bangalore, India in summer 2016.