My name is Pablo Humberto Quezada Cortés and I’m from Chile. Born in Santiago, I lived in “the city with winter signs” since I have memory enough to remember. The Andes, the smog and its fast pace were part of my perception on those days, when the mountain range at the east was the only visible boundary over the horizon. A boundary that gives form to this contrasting valley.
Acknowledging in my childhood the recent history of my country and the still-preserved legacy from its dictatorial period, my interest in political and societal development was conceived in parallel with primary notions on social justice. Over the course of years, those developing approaches found in myself raising convictions on the importance of active communitarian participation and socioeconomic equity; convictions that were nurtured by societal segregation and elitism reflected on many economic, political and social structures inside the Chilean State.
Due to those introspections, I got closer to activism. Indeed, my liaison with socio political movements took concrete form over my high school years. As part of a student generation who wants to erase socioeconomic boundaries and the commercialization inside the Chilean Educational System, we found on the streets and public opinion the platform to make heard our demands. The consecutive remarks of this rising Educational Social Movement in the last two decades, especially since 2011, positioned Education as an important political topic that continues at this current time. Hand in hand with mates I learned fraternity on the base of political convictions, encompassing organization and action.
In 2014 I was selected by the UWC Chilean National Committee for a scholarship at the school UWC South East Asia East Campus located in Singapore. In a different context, my focus to study about internationalism and comparative politics increased, getting involved in different groups related with those subjects. This proximity to constant cultural exchange and promoted tolerance opened my perception towards a kaleidoscopic globe, which needs to be understood by every specific and empathetic context.
After my graduation from UWCSEA East Campus in May 2016, I decided to take a year-off and participate in the bridge-year program Global Citizen Year. As a program that offers an overseas communitarian immersion and active social involvement to high school graduates in four different countries (Brazil, Ecuador, India and Senegal), Global Citizen Year was a path to put in practice and context outcomes from my experience at UWC.
Due my participation in the program I lived in Nguéniène (Senegal, Thíes Region) for 8 months, working in two economic sector in town (Agriculture and Carpentry) and learning French and local languages (Wolof & Sereer Sine). Over the course of months, I could see how precepts on development and international aid works, revealing the fragile line between long lasting impacts and forgotten attempts that lacked context and local leadership. In the same way, I could see how neo colonialism and racism still plays a preponderant role over the denotation of a country and a continent and, even deeply, still conditions structures and dynamics over countries.
In Lewis & Clark College, I see an educational institution integrally committed to pursue knowledge through a collective approach. I see an institution that embraces internationalism as a high priority, showing a clear preference to seek the understanding of a diverse globe accurately and deeply. This is why I would like to continue my academic path at this college, pursuing my eagerness to learn and comprehend world’s political and economic structures.