My two best friends, Emma Zafran and Aaron Pomerance, came to Tufts with a few ideas of what they were interested in studying. But, it was only once Emma…
Kathleen Frost is a rising junior at Tufts from Chicago, by way of Brazil and Switzerland. Kathleen’s international upbringing has always had her thinking with a global perspective and given her a passion for other cultures. At Tufts, Kathleen is a double major in Economics and Spanish and is exploring her these interests in a business and entrepreneurship internship at Human Connections in Bucerías, Mexico. Human Connections is a non-profit organization run by Tufts Alumnae Elly Rohrer. Elly graduated in 2011 and studied International Relations and Latin American Studies while at Tufts.
Kathleen is on the community outreach team, which means she gets to know the people behind local business that Human Connections is looking to take on as new clients. The goal is to expose tourists to the story behind local businesses and to help local businesses run more efficiently while keeping the values of the owners intact.
Another part of the job is organizing tours for visitors to the area. A typical tour that one might experience includes visiting three to four local artisans and business owners, usually in their home. They tell their story, how they came to Bucerías, learned their craft, what their daily lives are like. These are the stories that tourists don’t usually get to hear but deserve to be valued and listened to. Kathleen loves getting to know the local business and is blown away by the natural entrepreneurial spirit she sees.
On the first day, her supervisor said that the perspective with which they view these entrepreneurs is essential. The fishermen at the marina are not fishermen: they are captains of their boat. They know the water better than anyone else. Tourist or not, we have to respect their way of life and recognize its importance and validity in supporting the local economy.
Beyond the work itself, this has been an amazing experience for Kathleen to delve into what she loves about both her majors. Having conversations entirely in Spanish has improved her skills; she has even started to dream in Spanish! Additionally she is able to focus on the part of economics that really excites her, sustainable development, and get to know a group of people that shares her passions. More than anything, she expresses that she wants to embrace a spirit of openness, open eyes, ears and an open heart, to understand as much as she can about the lives of the people she is working with and bring all she learns back to her classes at Tufts in the fall.