Alumni Reunion: From Central Asia to Central America

My name is Nursuluu, and I am a Global UGRAD alumna from Kyrgyzstan. This year I graduated university in Kyrgyzstan, and I am currently working for a youth NGO called Novi Ritm as a Project Coordinator. I have also been volunteering with the MediAct project, which has youth workshops in three different countries, and one of those countries is El Salvador.

I went to El Salvador from Kyrgyzstan to participate in a ten-day workshop on peace building. When I go to a different country, I like to learn more about it. The first thing that came to mind was meeting up with a Salvadoran Global UGRAD alumni. Actually, I was not sure that there were Salvadoran alumni because I live in Central Asia  – I have information about neighboring countries, but not so much information about Central America. Since the distance between Central Asia and Central America is pretty far, I wrote to the  Global UGRAD alumni network. After some time, five or six alumni responded, and I was so happy to find that Global UGRAD alumni are in every corner of the world! After three days with layovers in Moscow, I arrived in the capital city of San Salvador and started my journey.

After some adventures I met with Leandro in San Salvador. He took me and my friend to El Tunco beach, and it was so beautiful. I could see the Pacific Ocean for a second time and try a coconut for the first time in my life. I was amazed by the hospitality of Salvadoran people and was so happy to see another Global UGRAD.

Written by Nursuluu Suleikeeva, 2017-18 Global UGRAD student at Lewis-Clark State College

Nursuluu (left) and Leandro (center) at El Tunco beach

On the other side of the world from Nursuluu is me, Leandro, a Global UGRAD alumnus from El Salvador. After finishing the exchange program, I returned to El Salvador to complete my undergraduate degree, and currently I’m a cost analyst. I also volunteer at El Oratorio, where every weekend we create events in the middle of the city of Santa Tecla for kids and young adults from different backgrounds.

Meeting with Nursuluu after a year and a half of completing the Global UGRAD Program has taught me that this scholarship transcends the once in a lifetime experience that we had in the USA. It was just the beginning of a journey with a new perspective, a new network, and new ways to create opportunities for others.

So, if you’re working on a new worldwide youth project or just planning your next vacation far from home, remember you have a big Global UGRAD family spread out all around the world who’s happy to hear from you one more time. Just remember… the world is big but so are we.

Written by Leandro Vallecillos, 2017-18 Global UGRAD student at the University of Missouri-Columbia