CHCI Summer Program – Washington DC

I’ve been fortunate enough to – for the third time this year – go to Washington D.C, our nation’s capital. This time it was with two non-profit organizations, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and the Close Up foundation.

These two organizations gathered 70 Hispanic high school students all sponsored by State Farm, Ford, Southwest Airlines, Macy’s and took them to D.C to learn about the legislative process and hear stories about successful Hispanics who literally started from the bottom.

This past week was nothing like i expected. I met and befriended people who I never thought i’d click with. My peers and I spoke the same language, Spanish, but somehow we still managed to confuse each other. I heard accents from here and there. I listened to the stories of the students who have been deported but found a way back, the stories of not being able to pay for college because Dreamers can’t obtain any form of financial aid.

I got the opportunity to see three of my state’s representatives – Carlos Curbelo, Mario Diaz-Balart, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen – and ask them questions about the well-being of my state. I got to travel through the underground tunnels of the office buildings around the capitol and attend a beautiful celebration for the CHCI interns whom worked under various representatives for the past two months.

I saw every major monument in DC from the Jefferson memorial to the Martin Luther King to the Lincoln to the Vietnam to the World War II memorial – each more beautiful and inspiring than the previous.

This week in DC is an experience i will not forget, definitely not what i expected and definitely keeping it in my heart forever.

The following are pictures of the familia we managed to form in just five days.

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Jefferson is always looking upon the government.
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This is Steven. We flew from Miami together along with another five students. Somehow, in the transition form plane to plane, city to city, we connected and he became my official buddy/partner to run around monuments with.
This is the view from the Air Force memorial which was just a block away from our hotel.
This is the view from the Air Force memorial which was just a block away from our hotel.
This was the view from the Microsoft office in Washington D.C where we learned a bit of coding, the new feature of Skype, and toured the area.
This was the view from the Microsoft office in Washington D.C where we learned a bit of coding, the new feature of Skype, and toured the area.
One of the room in the Microsoft building. Here there are computer
One of the room in the Microsoft building. Here there are computer “screens” shown in touch sensitive glass.

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This is Gaby Pacheco - known for walking from Miami to Washington DC to raise awareness and has become a well known activist for the Hispanic community.
This is Gaby Pacheco – known for walking from Miami to Washington DC to raise awareness and has become a well known activist for the Hispanic community.
This is representative Carlos Curbelo after we had a small meeting in his office.
This is representative Carlos Curbelo after we had a small meeting in his office.
This is representative Mario Diaz-Balart.
This is representative Mario Diaz-Balart.

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This is representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

These are some of the members of our new familia.

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