Jenica Rosen

Photo Jenica RosenWhen I made the decision to earn my Bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies at CSU, Chico, it was 2008. I had just returned from a semester abroad in Costa Rica and I was excited to continue my education on Latin America with the new-found passion I had discovered there. While some friends and family members at times probed about what I would do with such a degree, I can confidently say now that choosing this program put me on the awesome trajectory that has brought me to where I am today. It brought me to the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where I earned my Master’s degree in Latin American Studies. It helped me qualify for fellowships during that time that afforded me opportunities to live in Cusco, Peru and Chiapas, Mexico. And it led me to discover the integral role that fighting for sustainable agriculture and social justice now plays in my life. Today, I am working with Equal Exchange, a worker-owned cooperative that builds partnerships with small farmer cooperatives around the world, many of which are in Latin America. We help these farmers gain access to US markets for their organic and fair trade coffee, tea, chocolate, nuts, and dried fruits. My background in Latin American Studies helps me every day to understand and communicate effectively about the contemporary and historical economic and geopolitical conditions that affect our farmer partners.