When I embarked on my journey to Barcelona almost a month ago, I knew that one of my primary goals of studying abroad was to learn about Spanish politics and culture. In particular, by taking a course on cultural diversity in Spain, I wanted to examine how Barcelona’s institutions had been adopted to be inclusive of greater diversity. I wanted to bring these lessons back to my home community in Michigan, where I am involved in efforts surrounding racial equity.
In pursuit of this goal, I chose to write an academic paper on the experiences of Ecuadorian immigrants in Spain. The Ecuadorian community in Barcelona is one of the largest in the city. Many members of this community immigrated to Barcelona in pursuit of economic opportunity in the late 90s and early 2000s. Today, many Ecuadorians face a number of barriers to integration due to their position as Latin American immigrants. In particular, many immigrants face hostility from Spaniards due to their willingness to accept poor working conditions.
Through researching online and conducting interviews with members of this community, I made a point to find out what the government was doing to improve the social and economic conditions of Ecuadorian immigrants. This upcoming summer, I will be interning in Detroit’s District 6 which is home to many Latin American immigrants. I will surely take what I learned from my Barcelona experience and try to apply it to making immigrants’ lives better in Detroit.