Class of 2024
Advisors: Alberto Díaz-Cayeros and Beatriz Magaloni
Lola Amaya was born in Arlington, Virginia and raised in Falls Church, Virginia. Lola graduated with honors and distinction from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2022 with a B.A. in International Affairs, and Spanish Language and Literature. As the daughter of a refugee from El Salvador, Lola’s undergraduate thesis titled “Informal Intersections: Gangs and Economic Opportunity in El Salvador” is influenced by personal and familial interests and experiences regarding the country’s history of violence. This research posits that despite the deeply personal travesties that gangs incur on others, their overall economic impact is relatively balanced; in fact, gangs provide services to many that the state has neglected to provide. While completing her Master’s in Latin American Studies at Stanford, Lola is interested in the links between historical violence against individuals and the environment within Latin American states. As a FLAS fellow, studying Nahuatl, Lola hopes to focus particularly on indigenous knowledge and history regarding violence and the environment. She hopes to transcend ideas of community-centric knowledge to include lasting impacts of colonial violence alongside the peace of culture and ecology to navigate more sustainable practices in relationships within violent environments. Lola spends her free time on hikes and in nature, or at the pottery wheel in her local ceramics studio.