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Students

David Albán Hidalgo

Originally from Quito, Ecuador, David Albán Hidalgo has also found homes in Caracas, Venezuela; Seattle, Washington, and more recently, in different communities within La Comunidad de Estánfor and in exploring Andean cultures/languages in Cusco, Perú. Last spring (2017), he graduated with a B.A. H. in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicty and a B.S. in Symbolic Systems, focusing on different perspectives on human learning and social issues. David is excited to come back one last year for a Master's in Latin American Studies and is looking forward to exploring issues of bilingualism, identity social justice and creative expression in Andean Latin America and its diaspora. In the future, David hopes to engage in meaningful work, as a scholar and an educator, working alongside communities that he cares about to imagine and work to create more just worlds.

Anakaren Cervantes

Anakaren was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, but grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles. She graduated from Stanford in 2017 with degrees in history and in public policy. As an undergrad, she had the opportunity to study abroad in Florence, work as a research assistant for professors in the Political Science department, and complete a legal internship in São Paulo, Brazil. In the latter half of her studies at Stanford, much of her coursework increasingly focused on economic and political history in Latin America, compelling her to pursue the Latin American Studies M.A. in order to better understand these historical processes. She looks forward to deepening her knowledge of Latin American history, politics, and culture, as well as American foreign policy in Latin America. Ultimately, Anakaren plans to pursue a law degree. In her free time, Anakaren enjoys reading, walking, spending time with friends, and catching up on her favorite TV shows.

Sara Clemente

Born in Connecticut but raised in Ecuador, Sara Clemente spent the majority of her early childhood admiring the rich Andean Indigenous cultures that made her native city of Cuenca so unique. Her experiences taught her to value the indigenous groups present in contemporary societies and the roles that they have in enabling diversity and interconnectivity to flourish in South American nations. She attended New York City’s Macaulay Honors College and chose to pursue her interests in indigenous peoples’ language and land rights by majoring in Linguistics, Translation, and Human Rights. During school breaks, she volunteered in Peru, studied translation in Spain, and learned about Aboriginal Rights in Australia. She also interned at VIVAT International as both a translator and researcher in a variety of land grabbing projects. Her interests in language, Human Rights, and indigenous peoples led her to pursue a master’s in Latin American Studies so as to equip herself with the tools necessary to properly and effectively become an advocate for indigenous peoples in the Andes region. To further focus her efforts she will use her FLAS fellowship to learn Quechua and gain a deeper understanding of the indigenous people who speak it. In order to find balance in her life, Sara loves to backpack and practice Vinyasa and Aerial Yoga and has her 200-hr Yoga Teacher Training.

Ryan Kertis

Ryan graduated from Washington State University in 2007 where he received a bachelor of science degree in Kinesiology and earned his commission in the Army. After school, Ryan worked throughout the Middle East and Central Asia and completed his M.A. in Diplomacy with Norwich University. Prior to joining CLAS, Ryan lived in Santiago, Chile, where he conducted various security cooperation projects with the Chilean Army. During this time, he traveled throughout Central and South America to develop an understanding of U.S. policies in the region and learn about the nature of various political-military relationships with partner nations. While at Stanford, Ryan hopes to further develop his Spanish language skills and focus on the history and politics of Latin America. He looks forward to networking with his cohort and learning from their diverse experiences throughout Latin America. Ryan’s research interests include transregional security and non-state actors, transnational organized crime, and U.S. foreign policy. After completing his M.A., Ryan hopes to return to the region and continue working with partner nations to improve security conditions in the region.

Yongjian Si

Yongjian Si was born and raised in Jinan, Shandong, China, and immigrated to San Diego, California, when he was nine years old. He also spent his first school year in Maebashi, Japan. Growing up in three different countries helped cultivate his appreciation for different cultures and respect for cultural diversity. He graduated from Stanford in 2017 with a B.S. in symbolic systems. His love for Latin America started in high school through the mentorship of his Spanish language teacher from Colombia. At Stanford, he actively participated in the cultural programming of El Centro Chicano y Latino and was a member of Latinos Unidos, an organization that celebrates Latin America’s cultural diversity. In addition, he served as a trip leader for an Alternative Spring Break trip that explored immigration issues in Southern California. In his free time, he volunteered language skills as a community interpreter at Community Legal Services of East Palo Alto (CLSEPA). He also has a show on KZSU 90.1 FM that features guests from different cultures on all topics related to culture, music, food, languages, etc.

His research interests include language revitalization, the teaching of indigenous languages in Latin America, and investigating how to overcome social stigma surrounding indigenous languages. He hopes to combine his technical, linguistic, and humanities knowledge to develop tools that improve access to language education for indigenous and less commonly taught languages. His dream job is to start an immersive language school where young children from all socio-economic backgrounds can learn to be proud of their languages and cultures.

Yongjian loves traveling to new places, learning new languages, and getting to know people from different cultures and backgrounds. He has traveled solo through Latin America, Central Asia, the Caucasus, and the Balkans. When he’s not traveling and going on adventures, he enjoys cooking new dishes, spending time with family and friends, and going on bike rides.