I’ve only been in Panama for roughly a week, but compared to previous trips, I can feel a shift in the way I’m experiencing the country. Regarding Covid-19, Panama has several measures, rules, and restrictions in place that we never had in the U.S.. But besides that, it feels different. This year, visiting Panama has been a reality check on the ease at which I can travel between two countries and experience “the best of both worlds.” It feels weird, because I don’t come from a wealthy family in either country, yet I now find myself in a position where I have job and health security. I’ve gotten the vaccine. I don’t need to worry about the day-to-day socioeconomic challenges of the pandemic.
The experiences in my life have allowed me to grasp various perspectives: Black in a White community, Afro Latino in a White community, Afro Latino in a non-Afro Latino community. I once again find myself in the minority, but like I said, this time it feels different. I’m experiencing a different world view. It truly does seem like the sky is the limit. I think that’s what feels weird. For the past 5 years I’ve been grinding to put myself in a good position upon graduating from UT Austin and now I’m here. It’s a blessing and I WILL leverage the position I’m in to continue working for people-centered engineering as well as entrepreneurs in Latin America, Sub Saharan Africa, and throughout the diaspora.
I’ll update ya’ll if my perspective changes after my time in Panama.