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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Scott Kull: The new Director of Athletics
Abigail Taylor, Contributing Writer • April 16, 2024

A woman on a mission

Visiting+Mirador+de+Catarina+in+Nicaragua+with+her+host+brother.+In+her+free+time%2C+Perret+enjoys+spending+time+with+her+host+siblings.
Visiting Mirador de Catarina in Nicaragua with her host brother. In her free time, Perret enjoys spending time with her host siblings.

KEEPING UP WITH WOFFORD’S PRESIDENTIAL SCHOLAR—

When you imagine the things from home you might miss if you were to travel to Latin America, you probably wouldn’t say US-style Mexican food. Unless you were Lindsey Perret. Wofford’s 2014 Presidential International Scholar says that one of the things she misses the most while being away from the states is, weirdly enough, the queso dip you eat with tortilla chips at the local Taco Dog or Moe’s, which is apparently not an authentic Latin-American food.

Perret has been living in Latin America, primarily Nicaragua, for the entire semester studying women as agents of change. She is currently participating in SIT’s program that studies youth culture, media and literacy in Nicaragua, and then afterwards she will be doing her own independent traveling in Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

Her main goal during the semester is to collect stories from women in Latin America about how they achieve incredible things, despite living in a patriarchal society. “Two of my favorite things to learn about are feminist theories and Latin America, so it’s only fitting that I combine the two for my project. I want to share those stories so that other women can be inspired. Sharing ideas is key in the fight to achieve gender equality,” she says.

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What Perret is discovering, however, can be disheartening at times. In one of her blog posts, she discusses a recent study released by the World Economic Forum, which claims that Nicaragua is the sixth nation in the world for gender equality. The study is based on economic, political, education and health-based information. When Perret asked one Nicaraguan woman of her opinion of the study, the woman responded, “How can a country be equal if I am a woman and I do not feel safe?”

One prominent example of gender inequality that plagues South America is the sexual harassment of females.

Perret has experienced this first-hand. She describes one of the biggest challenges of her semester as dealing with incessant catcalls on the streets. “Since my Spanish has improved, I can actually understand some of the gross things the men say to me. I often wish I couldn’t.” Even policemen catcall her, which concerns her because they are supposed to be a source of protection.

But for all the challenges, there have been rewards. Perret’s most memorable moment thus far is a trip she took to Cuba. She found it interesting to learn about the country from its own perspective, instead of through the United State’s perspective. While her stay only lasted ten days, it was a whirl wind of information. “Every person I talked to was telling me new information, and everything I saw told a new story I had never heard before. I’m excited to tell people about my experience when I get back.”

As for the rest of her trip, Perret has no idea what to expect. “Since I’ve been in Nicaragua, I’ve met so many incredible people that I never ever could have imagined meeting. I am only halfway through with my journey, so I’m still not sure what to expect for Mexico and the Dominican Republic!”

To find out about Perret’s adventures as her semester continues, you can visit her blog on Wofford’s website. She updates it every few weeks, letting everyone know where she’s at and what she’s learning.

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