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KatZavala

About Me: 

I was born in Peru and have been raised by Peruvian parents who gave me the privilege to receive the comfort of homemade Peruvian cuisine as my traditional weekly dinner and dancing to Peruvian music was a must in my house. But I never actually lived in Peru, as I found myself moving country to country, starting with Japan, and did my first years of school in Toronto Canada, discovered myself in Mexico (which eventually became my home), but was surprised to spend my high school years in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Once high school was done, I went off on my own and thought my career would be in the hotel industry. I had a wonderful hands-on training in Switzerland where I spent two years living in different places (but always in the French part) and decided I loved German - so I payed myself a six-month course to learn German in Berlin (which of course I've lost a lot of it - SO SAD!) but my dream is still to be fluent in it. After finding out that I had no more money I went back to my parent's house, who were living in El Salvador and spent a year with them while I figured my next plan.

Next plan was to go to Miami, Florida and land for the first time to the United States. Three years in Miami was more than enough time to realize that the hotel industry wasn't my cup of tea and it was actually a human rights class that changed my life and raised my consciousness of doing something better with my life, especially having had the privilege to know so many countries and feel myself as literally a "citizen of the world" I couldn't go back to corporate world and while I figured out what my next move was, I enrolled into grad school and studied International Relations to give me some answers. Well, it wasn't so much the degree as the city I moved to (the lovely San Francisco) that ultimately responded to the never-ending question "what will I do with my life?"

I discovered the nonprofit sector and boy was I lucky to get my first job in the most incredible organization that I know - International Development Exchange (www.idex.org) where I have had incredible journeys being part of a global justice movement supporting amazing community-based organizations in six countries: Guatemala, Mexico, India, Nepal, South Africa and Zimbabwe. This year I met the African continent when I went to Senegal and South Africa in April 2009. What an eye-opening experience!

It seems traveling days are not over for me, but now I get to learn about how people on the ground in the Global South are creating their own innovative and sustainble initiatives to address their local challenges!

My Passions: 
Reading! Being an active participant in this world!
My Languages: 
Spanish, English, French

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