Romina recently joined the LCM team, volunteering weekly at the Casa Familiar site in San Ysidro, which is where she too, grew up. It is to her, “a place where immigrant/ trans-fronteriso families, like my own, settle with hopes of more opportunities.
“I liked the idea of an afterschool program designed to help kids prepare for the 21st century, an era that requires everyone to know how to use electronics; cell phones, ipods, laptops, you name it.” But, Romina later reflected on the cell phone interaction, “Back when I was her age, a mobile phone was an item of luxury that only doctors, lawyers and upper middle class possessed. If they had a cell phone and a pager, they were ballin’.” Now, undergraduates and LCM participants are finding connections through technology on a whole new level.
Olga Vasquez recently pointed out that, “We are at a whole new phase of learning for LCM. We are no longer going into these communities trying to give resources to people we believe don’t have anything. Instead we are learning from them, and we are finding and providing students ways to use their untapped resources.” LCM participants are ahead in their understanding of technology because they are being surrounded by it. Volunteers and other Undergrad participants like Romina, will be finding new ways to connect to the children, and to inspire or “tap” into the creativity and innovative resources they already possess.
Returning to her childhood neighborhood, Romina is amazed at how childhood is changing. “Either way,” she says, “it’s something we have in common and hopefully it serves as a way for them to get comfortable.”
-Romina Beltran studies Anthropology at UCSD