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MA International Affairs, Canada, Bolivian

“The word needs dreamers and the world need doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.” Sarah Ban Breathnach.

 I am a 24 year old Bolivian woman and live in Ottawa. Coming as I do from a developing nation, I realize, perhaps more than most people, the importance of equal opportunities. I hope, one day, to be involved in designing policies that will enhance opportunities for Bolivians who are disadvantaged, especially the most excluded and vulnerable among them and thus assist the general development of my country.

 I am considered to be a hard-working and creative person. I have had some very original research ideas and I feel that I can provide a useful contribution to the academic community in this way. The preparation of my law degree Bachelor Thesis, "Indigenous Peoples as New Subjects of International Law" involved a great deal of research which I believe is relevant to the program for which I am applying and for which I received an ‘Honorable Mention’.

 I have assisted at various conferences, courses and seminars.  One of the most important of these was a students’ encounter entitled ‘Worldwide Indigenous Peoples and The Diplomatic Academy’, this event was hosted by the Bolivian Diplomatic Academy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I acted as a volunteer co-ordinator for the event during which recognized international indigenous peoples experts, such as (Bartolome Clavero, Nina Pacari and Rodolfo Stavenhagen) participated. I was particularly interested in a simulated UN debate in which indigenous people provided input regarding those matters that they wanted to be addressed by the international community.

 This event was the one that really fired my interest in the subject of International Affairs especially in its potential to beneficially influence the development of Indigenous Peoples. It helped me to understand the link between development, culture and identity for Indigenous Peoples; true development being that which takes full account of the cultural, economic and spiritual choices of the peoples affected and is not solely economic in its effects.

 I am especially interested in undertaking research in this area of the linking of development, culture and identity and in ways of maximizing the engagement of members of the indigenous peoples in all decisions that affect their lives. I strongly believe that the traditional concept of development has been one of the the principal causes of the global crisis, because it is almost exclusively focused on economic growth. It is necessary therefore to formulate a new concept of development which takes account of ecological, cultural, social and spiritual criteria and will thus provide more meaningful measures nationally and globally.

 I consider that, if the linkage between development, culture and identity is acknowledged and applied in formulating policies, it will be beneficial not only in empowering indigenous peoples and in preserving their cultures but also in enriching society in general and will have a positive impact on the wider society, in preventing and resolving conflict, enhancing democratic governance and sustainable management of the environment as well as offering real economic improvements.

 I am sure that the prestigious MA program in International Affairs at XXXX University is the best ‘next step’ that I could take in achieving my long term goals and hope that I might be offered the opportunity to participate in it.

 Thank you for considering my application.

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