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NTC student and recent grad representing Mexico at UN General Assembly

October 14, 2019 8:15 AM

Getting first hand experience in a the field of your choice is the goal of every college student. For recent grad Mariana Deluera Canchola (NTC ’18) and senior Alejandra González Vargas, the goal is being realized this week as they become two of the six youth delegates serving the Mexican delegation at the UN General Assembly in New York City.

Alejandra González Vargas (NTC '20)

Alejandra wanted to pursue more than one discipline in college but couldn’t find a university in Mexico that offered the interdisciplinary degree she was seeking. It was this pursuit that brought her to study internationally at Tulane. Newcomb-Tulane College provides her with the ability to study both a liberal arts discipline, anthropology, and one in business, management. Mariana is from Mexico City, Mexico, where it isn’t common to pursue bachelor’s degrees abroad. Her mom got a job in New Orleans and although she started her studies at Loyola, she transferred because she like the International Relations curriculum here at Tulane (she also majored in Political Science and minored in Economics) and the Newcomb Institute’s leadership programs. She was also looking for opportunities to do undergraduate research – something else she found at NTC.

Mariana Deluera Canchola (NTC ’18)

Despite being close during their shared time at Tulane, both women considered and applied to the UN youth delegate program separately without knowing. “I didn’t even see the results” says Alejandra “she’s the one that told me we got interviews!” Being able to see how a multilateral organization works on this scale is a huge draw for Mariana as she narrows down her career path. “Getting practical experience with what these organizations do, I learned about them in class, and being able to see how it works takes the classroom experience to another level” she explains. Alejandra is also looking forward to her future after graduation and knows that this experience will help to not only shape her thoughts about a future career option but also open the door to those possibilities by providing her with important skills and credentials.

These types of experiences also provide students with the chance to make a difference. Mariana describes representing Mexico as “an honor” and her ability to talk about migration issues on such a huge stage as “a dream come true”. Alejandra talks about the importance of immigrant integration as a two-way process. “My thesis research is about this - the concept of integration and protection of cultural identity is important. I believe that we need to reaffirm teaching societies the value of understanding, accepting and valuing differences and that the contributions people from all over the world can give the community are important. I’m scared of cultural homogenization there’s a value to diversity in the world.”

When asked about what they are most excited about, their smiles grow and you can see the determination in their eyes. Alejandra sees the opportunity to meet the secretary general as a special one and this experience as a time to reaffirm her identity as a Mexican woman. Mariana considers how it’s going to feel when she’s there, “Being in the room where so many decisions and important, salient international issues are talked about – gives me goosebumps.” They have reason to be proud. Mexico sends six youth delegates and opens the opportunity to people from specific groups to ensure diverse viewpoints. The delegation choses two young people living in Mexico, two indigenous people and two living abroad. Alejandra and Mariana are the two delegates living abroad – both from Tulane! The skills they’ve learned here have prepared them well to represent Mexico and Tulane on a global scale.

Alejandra and Mariana meeting UN Secretary Genearl António Guterres