Honduran Professional Fellow Alumna, Isabel Alejandra Cruz Rivera, Successfully Defends Thesis on Root Causes of Irregular Migration
Isabel Alejandra Cruz Rivera, a recent alumna of the Professional Fellows program implemented by the Institute for Training and Development (ITD) in Amherst, Massachusetts, has successfully defended her Master’s thesis at the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH). The focus of her research, the root causes of irregular migration, is a topic that resonates with the Professional Fellows Program that ITD manages.
Cruz Rivera spent six weeks between May and June 2023 in the United States, dedicating three and a half of those weeks to work with asylum seekers through the Casa Alitas Program in Tucson, Arizona. The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs sponsored her fellowship, which emphasized economic empowerment.
Her thesis, “Proyecto Empoderamiento socioeconómico de la red de mujeres para reducir índices de migración internacional en Pueblo Nuevo, Cedros, Francisco Morazán” (Women’s network project for socioeconomic empowerment for reducing rates of international emigration from Pueblo Nuevo, Cedros, Francisco Morazán), builds on this focus.
During her thesis defense, Cruz Rivera cited the moving words of a child named Mary: “Me dejaste sola en una carretera en Arizona (You left me by the roadside in Arizona).” This quote, taken from the shrine pictured above, frames the irregular migration issue, which is central both to the ITD Professional Fellows Program and to Cruz Rivera’s ongoing projects in Honduras.
We at ITD extend our congratulations to Isabel Alejandra Cruz Rivera on her academic achievement and wish her the best in her continuing efforts to empower women and improve economic and social conditions in home communities.
All opinions expressed by the program participants are their own and do not represent nor reflect official views from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, or of the Institute for Training and Development, Inc.