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About Me

I’m a travel writer, trip director, communications specialist, and diversity trainer who is passionate about the intersection of social justice and technology.

My appreciation for gender empowerment stems from graduating from Wellesley College, where women’s aspirations and accomplishments were valued. I’ve studied in France and I’ve taught in public schools in Boston and San Antonio.

In 2016, I finished 27 months of service with the Peace Corps in Nicaragua, where I worked as an LGBT diversity trainer, social media manager, TEFL teacher trainer, and fundraised thousands of dollars for gender empowerment camps. Now, you might see me giving bike tours on the National Mall with DC Bike and Roll!

I’ve coordinated social media for  Wanderful, a women’s travel startup, and I’m currently a Visit.org storytelling ambassador, and I’ve written about travel, LGBTQ issues, mental health, and women’s empowerment for Go Abroad and Travel Latina. Here’s my writing portfolio. I’m also translating 11,000+ words of the Babyscripts mobile healthcare application to Spanish to reach a wider audience of Latina mothers.

I do translation work, editing, research, and social media consulting consistently and quickly. Whenever I work, I make sure everything I post goes the distance. I know the value of consistency, communication, and creativity. Everyone has a story to tell. Not only will I help you tell your story, I’ll make sure it is heard.

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Top 5 Cities (Besides Mexico City) to Study Abroad in Mexico

Top 5 Cities (Besides Mexico City) to Study Abroad in Mexico

Mexico City seems to have become the mecca of study abroad in México. While, yes, it is the birthplace of Frida Kahlo and is a microcosm of Mexico, let’s not leave the rest of the country out of the picture! There’s a lot more to fall in love with outside of the (former) D.F. Mexico in the world’s most populated Spanish speaking country; not to mention, each one of its citizens has a different story to tell about what makes the country special. Whether you study intensive Spanish in Cuernavaca or realize how little you knew about Mayan culture in the Yucatan Peninsula, studying abroad in Mexico will teach you that there is always more to learn.

My latest piece on Go Abroad is live. Check it out!

A Two-Year Old Letter and $20 Bill to Myself

I came to Nicaragua on August 13th, 2014, and after three months of Peace Corps training, we wrote letters to ourselves that we would not open until two years later.

Our boss recommended that we put a few dollars inside, and I’m glad I did. After having  $200 a month to spend on feeding and taking care of myself, $20 feels like a fortune! At our Close of Service Conference, during which we begin to wrap up our service, we just opened up our time capsules with letters to ourselves. It’s interesting to see what I was thinking two years ago. Here’s what my letter said.

“October 31st, 2014.

Dear Char,

Congratulations on making it through training. It may feel as if you didn’t make a difference in three months, but after having talked to your youth group, you did. Elena, on of your students, reminded you that it’s not the English you taught, but the self confidence you gave them. You made the idea of learning English less scary.

Also, you came here thinking you’d have to be closeted and you know that’s not true after having been in Matagalpa. There’s lots of work to be done, and you already have people there who are missing you.

During tough times, just think of how much you’ve grown after having lived here. In ten years, you’ll be so happy you decided to move here. It’s great feeling useful here, just for being able to speak English. You’ve also already given a workshop on Gender and Equitable Teaching to your teammates, and you rapped in Spanish for your ‘Ready to Serve’ presentation at the end of training.

You’ve hiked a volcano, hiked down to a volcanic crater and swam in its lagoon twice, you’ve swam in the Pacific Ocean after teaching three different classes for the first time in León, and you’ve cooked bacon twice. You’ve met up with Raquel Saenz, who inspires you to keep traveling, learning, and teaching.

Keep up your spirit of adventure and positive attitude. Keep blogging to let the world know what it’s really like. Keep working for the kids, teachers, queer people, and people of Nicaragua. It’s not all about you even if it feels that way.”

I didn’t think I’d keep blogging, and I also didn’t think I’d shift from having a career in teaching to pursuing a career in social media marketing within the travel industry. It’s been a wild ride for the past two years and I’ve grown so much. I’ll be ending my Peace Corps Nicaragua service sometime around October 25th, 2016.

 

The Importance of Practicing Self-Care While Studying Abroad

The Importance of Practicing Self-Care While Studying Abroad

There’s a very extroverted, go-getter narrative in travel and international education, and why shouldn’t there be? 

Studying abroad takes guts, and it requires you to jump into the unknown. With all of the travel apps, Facebook groups, and travel guides out there, it has become easier than ever to know what to expect from traveling before you even go abroad.

Taking care of your mental health while studying abroad is as important as knowing what to pack or how to speak the language, but it isn’t so easy to anticipate what low points will look and feel like. Find out how to practice self care in my latest Go Abroad piece.

I’m Wanderful’s Social Media Intern!

Last Monday, I came back from my three-week solo travel trip through Colombia, Panama, and Costa Rica to a Wanderful email account! Wanderful is an international membership community of independent, adventurous, globally minded women who travel. They have over 20 chapters around the world, and every year, they organize the Women in Travel Summit.

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I joined Wanderful as a blogging cohort member over a year ago and am now their social media intern. Initially, I debated applying to the internship because I didn’t think I was qualified. Then I thought of how bought in I am to Wanderful’s mission of empowering women travelers, and of how much I’ve promoted the site because I believe in it. “Would a man be so hesitant to apply?” I told myself. So, I applied and got the position.

Wanderful exists because we still need spaces for women to feel empowered enough to believe in themselves, whether it’s to apply for their dream job or to take on traveling to a new place.

My Travel Writing Pitch: A Branding Assignment

Hey y’all! I’m part of the Go Abroad writer’s academy, which means that I’m part of a group of travel writers who, for six months, publish two guides a month in exchange for feedback and online workshops about travel writing, pitches, SEO, etc. I love being a part of writing programs like this one because I learn so much from my assignments.

One of our assignments was to pretend that I’d just met the travel writing love of my life and that they’re interested in working with me. So, I came up with a 30-40 second pitch in order to  convince them to join me on my travel writing escapades!

Assignments like this one help us hone in on exactly what it is our brands are (and aren’t) in a quick elevator speech.

I was also a part of Wanderful’s nine-month-long blogging cohort, during which I learned so much about the importance of having a consistent social media presence. I wrote monthly articles and also received feedback on each post, making me a better writer.

If you’re interested in branding yourself as a better travel writer, definitely look into joining an online academy/cohort!

Are there any blogging programs you’ve worked with?