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IMG_6085Catherine Baltazar, HOLA Class of 2012, is spending the summer in Dhaka, Bangladesh! She is working on a self-designed photojournalism/digital storytelling project that is focusing on documenting the various impacts of climate change and sea level rise adaptation methods from various communities in Bangladesh. She is traveling around the country, most recently taking photos in the coastal city of Barisal. She will soon be heading out on a 5-day long trip to the 3rd largest city in Bangladesh, Khulna, to work with Rupantar, an ngo that is doing work in the area. While there, Catherine will be exploring the different parts of the area most affected by climate change and sea level rise, including high salinity and water conservation, and its impacts on the surrounding residents.

Catherine is in Bangladesh on a grant she received from Wellesley and while there, The Asia Foundation is serving as her host organization. The Asia Foundation is headquartered in San Francisco and has offices in 17 Asian countries and Washington, D.C. It is a nonprofit, international development organization committed to improving the lives of many by working with public and private partners in each country. The Asia Foundation has many different programs, but the one that caught Catherine’s interest is their Environmental Program, a program that is helping communities in Bangladesh build resilience to climate-related stresses, including flooding, cyclones, and storm surges.

When Catherine returns, she will head back for her senior year at Wellesley. But, before the school year starts, she will be a participant in “Let Me Speak,” a feature of First-Year Orientation Week. The program features honest monologue performances and Catherine will be speaking out about diversity and her Wellesley experience, focusing on what it means to be a Latina, environmentalist and photographer. She hopes to include HOLA in her monologue, as “my HOLA Family helped shape some of the goals and aspirations that I still continue to hold dear.” Congratulations, Catherine! Your HOLA Family is so very proud of you.


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