Archive for the ‘ Latin America ’ Category

Why I am thankful I learned Spanish

Remember that article I wrote about Invisible Children of Latin America ( That article is just the tip of the iceberg. This semester I will be writing two 25 page papers – one for my International Human Rights class and one for a contest on “A Christian’s Response to Human Rights.” When I wrote my article last spring, I uncovered no new research. It was all dated 2007 or earlier. I knew that in order to be successful with my papers this semester I had to have something new.

In 2007, when I first discovered the issue of Invisible Children of Latin America, I contacted UNICEF and got some information not available on the internet. I went back in my files and tried contacting the same women I was in contact with 5 years ago. Both emails got returned. BUMMER.

Knowing the children of Latin America need an advocate to get the word out, and also because I like research, I did some digging on the UN’s website and found contact information of a few employees at Latin America’s regional UNICEF office. The page I had gotten their emails from was all in Spanish, so I was unsure what language use. I therefore decided to write in both English and Spanish, out of hopes of getting a more prompt and thoughtful response. I also included a link to my article. After the email was sent, I didn’t have much hope. Who would take the time to answer an email from a random student in the US?

Today I received a response. It was an extremely thoughtful and helpful email written in Spanish, making me so, so thankful that I had 1)thought of composing the email in Spanish and 2)taken Spanish classes beginning in 4th grade. I had always seen the use of being fluent in Spanish when I travel abroad, but never imagined it would be a key to my academic research in law school.

Ana, the woman who responded to my email, first thanked me for providing a link to my article (!!!!!), then gave me current information that I had not yet uncovered from this past November, and also let me know she forwarded my email to the man in charge of the birth registration movement. Once again, God has provided above and beyond my limiting expectations. (

I have already read through some of the information Ana provided, and I know God is going to continue to do amazing things through my papers this semester.

~Amber Joy