Pamela Loaiza

1)    Please explain what you do for living.

I am currently pursuing a master’s in Security and Intelligence Studies at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA). I'm a Fellow for the Center of Latin American Studies and I'm pursuing a Latin American Certificate in Social and Public Policy. I am interested in the intersection of development, gender, and security in the region. I have previously worked as a researcher and intelligence analyst, both in the private and public sector, in my home country of Peru.

2)    How important in your identity is being Latino?

It is a 100% important. I was born, raised, and socialized in Peru. The first time I got awareness of being Latina was when I did an exchange program at Sciences-Po in Paris. At the school, I hanged out mostly with other Spanish-speakers and made friends from Mexico. Besides the language, we could share a similar sense of humor, had similar cultural references, and similar struggles. After that experience, I came back to Peru, finished my career, and started to work. But I had already become aware of my Latina identity. When I arrived at the U.S. for my master’s, the first thing I did was look for fellow Latinos in my program. Of course, I made very good non-Latino friends, however, it was much easier at first to make friends with my Latinx-peers.

3)    Is there something that you particularly value of your nationality or being Latino?

I consider diversity to be one of the strongest values of being Latino. There is no single way, shape, or manner to be Latino and it is an identity that is constantly changing. Despite the rich diversity, we can still embrace our unique Latino identity.

4)    Have you been treated differently because of being Latino (in the workplace, in public settings…etc.)? If so, can you describe a situation?

Luckily, I have not experienced any negative attitudes or incidences for being Latina. However, I acknowledge how privileged I have been so far, and I am very grateful for all the opportunities and chances I've had to grow professionally. I wish that every Latino can experience these equal opportunities as well.