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Guanajuato spotlight: Tae Brown

APPLES Global Course Guanajuato (GLBL 382) is three credit spring course combines ethnographic methods, oral history, and service-learning to examine Latin American migrant perspectives. Students research and work with migrants in North Carolina and spend spring break in migrants’ home communities in Guanajuato, Mexico.

Through leadership development, experiential learning, and engaged service, Guanajuato alumni have had an incredible impact through our programs. We were pleased to sit down with the 2017 Global Course Guanajuato TA and 2016 Guanajuato alum Tae Brown.

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Tae Brown, Guanajuato class of 2016

Q: Thank you for joining us! Tell us a little more about yourself.

A: From the mountains of western NC, I’m from a relatively small town called Hendersonville. From the time I could remember, I was also a community oriented individual. I was also interested in exposing myself different than what I knew. Never did I know that skill would allow me a place in the Mexican community in my hometown. With that connection made at an early age, I now reflect on several experiences that have contributed in shaping how I view the world. I was baptized, confirmed, and had my first communion in Misa Español at Immaculada Concepción. I’ve participated in several quinceañeras and traveled to México a variety of times. All of these experiences still contribute toward my direction in life as I now attend UNC Chapel Hill with a double major in Spanish Literature & Culture and Global Studies degree focused on Latin America and Social and Political Movements. I’m currently conducting research on Afro-Mexicanos, extending previous research I conducted on Afro-Latinos.
Q: We look forward to reading the results of your research! Tell us what influenced you to participate in the UNC APPLES Global Guanajuato course and alternative spring break. How did the experience impact you? 

A: Several of my hometown friends who also participated in the UNC Apples Guanajuato Course influenced my decision to participate in the course. The experience in short was life-changing in a variety of ways! After returning from the trip and with much reflection, my appreciation for my family grew exponentially. I knew that maneuvering my life’s direction wouldn’t be possible without family, but after interacting in the communities that I did in México, my appreciation for family grew. Before the trip, I found myself caught up in the hustle and bustle of being a UNC student; however, after returning from México, I began to see that there are such a variety of ways to feel fulfilled outside the traditional ways we seek as students. Lastly, the passion and work I conduct around Latino communities grew as I began to ask more questions and investigate more areas with Latin individuals. The exposure of traveling to México under the guidance of the course was truly incredible.

tae

“…Every interaction with the kids brought a smile to my face.”

Q: That’s so wonderful to hear. What do you tell your friends when they ask you about your experiences in Guanajuato? What is your favorite memory? 

A: My most transparent memory of my trip to México are over an array of days, however they circumvent around the time we spent with the youth. Whether it be the kids making fun of my armpit hair or during an intense game of fútbol, every interaction with the kids brought a smile to my face.

Q: HA! That brings a smile to our face, too. What does Guanajuato mean to you, and why should others get involved?

You should take part in the Guanajuato trip to either gain a new perspective, continue work you’re truly passionate about, or just to learn! It’s a course designed for all individuals who are open to listening, learning, and serving!

Thank you for taking the time to speak with us, Tae! We look forward to hearing more about the class and trip this spring!