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Ariel Mishkin

M.A. (2020-2022)

Degrees:M.A. with Specialization in LACS

  • Why did you decide to specialize in Latin American and Caribbean Studies?

I specialized in Latin American and Caribbean Studies despite never residing in the region because of what I knew about various Indigenous and Feminist movements in South America. I had previously worked with civil society in Laos, a country in Asia where ethnic minority rights were limited, and gender equality advocacy was viewed as a monolith experience. While working in Asia, I was amazed with the differences in South America; especially as I read about feminists’ protesting for abortion rights in Argentina and Indigenous advocacy to protect the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil. I knew these movements were large, diverse, and powerful and decided that I wanted to support their development. Therefore, to gain credibility to work as an international development practitioner in South America, I chose to specialize in LACS to gain foundational knowledge and expertise.

  • Where have you travelled to in Latin America & the Caribbean?  Tell us a bit of what you did while you were there. How has it shaped your perspective?  

I moved to Ecuador this September. It is my first time in the region, and I love it! I am working here remotely for Global Affair Canada’s Head Quarters and outside of work hours I practice my Spanish and explore the diverse landscapes and cultures of Ecuador. I am hoping to dive off the coast of the Galapagos as well as trek through the Amazon in the next few months. I am also utilizing my time here to conduct field research for my master’s research paper. Feel free to contact me if you are curious about gendered implications of the War on Drugs in Ecuador!

  • If you had one piece of academic advice you could give your younger self, what would it be?

While working my way through my undergraduate degree, I did not realize what an incredibly rare and expectational opportunity it is to connect with members of the academic world that share my passions. Now that I am working through my master’s degree, I suppose my advice is to not just focus on the end goal of graduation, but to enjoy the journey by building repour with others that are also interested in the same complex issues and concepts. These faculty members and fellow students will be your support and will teach you the most as you work towards your academic and professional goals.