Brian Hawkins, BARA Internship Program Alumnus

Brian graduated from the University of Arizona anthropology department in 2005, with a major in cultural anthropology and a minor in Spanish. He began working for BARA in 2004, participating in the Ambos Nogales Revegetation Project (ARAN). He was assigned to the CETis #128 high school in Nogales, Sonora, where he worked with the school ecology club to build a flagship greenhouse as a demonstration to other ARAN members, and to produce seedlings for reinseminating the colonias of Nogales with native vegetation. He also worked extensively in the Alternative Stoves project, to alleviate air pollution through sustainable stove construction technologies that colonia residents could afford and implement individually.  

The BARA experience was pivotal to Brian's development after graduation, as he moved to Guadalajara, Mexico to teach English for a year, and from there to Fortaleza, Brazil. The lessons learned and challenges overcome through the BARA experience enabled him to tackle the difficulties of moving to Latin America, where he perfected his Spanish and picked up Brazilian Portuguese. From Brazil, he was accepted into the University of California, San Diego immigration studies program, where he graduated with a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies in 2010. He currently lives in northern Italy, and is applying the lessons gained from BARA, Mexico, Brazil, and UCSD to build the foundations of a European future in both the private language and academic fields.  

To this day, a single quote lies at the bedrock of his BARA experience, and all those that followed internationally. It remains enshrined in Dr. Diane Austin's office, on a customized plaque, given to her as a symbol of gratitude and appreciation for her guidance and mentorship: "Roll with the punches."