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Travel

Las calles de Habana - Karen Graciela Calderon
Las calles de Habana – Karen Graciela Calderon

As a journalist, travel provides an opportunity to see the world through different lenses. This planet is incredibly vast, a place with enough corners and secrets to keep an inquisitive mind churning until nature calls home. Through cultural immersion and personal connections with native communities across the globe, one can begin to truly understand human nature and the defining characteristics that bind us all together, and that knowledge has no price. After traveling to Cuba in the summer of 2012 to witness and report upon what is widely assumed to be the painstakingly slow death of the 50-year-old socialist stronghold upon the country, it is now my ambition to work as a foreign correspondent in Latin America, specifically in Venezuela. The continent, ignored for its lack of “newsworthiness” to American publications driven by the national thirst for oil and democracy in the Middle East, is slowly becoming a significant global player.

Tourism: Cuba’s newest agent of socioeconomic divide (6/15/2012) – Unpublished

Kawarau Bridge Bungy - Queenstown, NZ
Kawarau Bridge Bungy – Queenstown, NZ

New Zealand was my home for five months in the spring of 2013. I studied Asia-Pacific journalism at the Auckland University of Technology with the Pacific Media Centre, investigating and reporting economic and social issues facing South Pacific island nations. My areas of research included underage prostitution, media freedom, models of journalism education and infrastructure development. Fortunately I was able to visit the Kingdom of Tonga in June 2013 to investigate tourism growth and its impact upon overall national development.

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Machu Picchu in reach after a three day hike to Salkantay Mountain’s summit

In spring 2014, as a last hurrah before graduating from USC and getting on with the rest of my life, I ventured south for an extensive 10-day trip to Peru. Though the primary purpose of the excursion was leisure, I managed to jot a few thoughts down about the cultural divide between residents of Lima and Cusco — a city without a soul that has effectively prostituted its people’s once proud culture for disinterested tourists en route to Machu Picchu.

I am always open and willing to consider international work opportunities, particularly those in Latin America.