[Alumni Reflection] Carolina Basualdo: Panchos and Politics in DC and Colorado
I traveled to USA in 2014 six colleagues from Argentina, all invited by ACPYL and Fundacion Universitaria Rio de la Plata (FURP). We participated in a program that included visits to Washington, DC, Denver and Colorado Springs. It was a wonderful experience that allowed us to engage with the USA political system and hear the perspectives of both the Republican and Democratic parties about the policies of President Obama as well as state and local issues.
We had a busy and interesting agenda while in Washington. We toured the U.S. Capitol, met with ACYPL alum and then-Congressman Cory Gardner, and met with representatives from the State Department.
We were also received by Mr. Schuyler Baab, President and CEO of Pathfinders Government Relations. He shared his experience as a participant of an ACYPL exchange to Argentina and Uruguay in 1992. His wife joined us too, and shared we work at a NGO focused on trafficking, I was able to share information about the work that the government of Cordoba was doing on this subject since we were the first Argentinian state to make a law against trafficking. I also had the chance to present about another important law of our state related to alcohol limits and tests in our roads.
Then we traveled to Colorado where we met with the Mayor of Denver, Michael Hancock, who provided information about the projects he was working on, and also shared with us his personal opinions about the difficulties that President Obama’s agenda was going through at the Congress. He was a great host and at the end we exchanged some presents; we gave him an Argentinian “poncho” (a traditional item of clothing).
I was very impacted by the different conceptions about health care policy related to Obamacare. We had the chance to discuss about it with people that were implementing the program in different non-governmental organizations, and also with representatives of the Republican party. Hearing the different positions about the program was really enriching for all of us.
I am grateful for having the opportunity of participating of this trip, and I would be glad to receive ACYPL members in Córdoba.