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Humans of Duke Sanford

I am a first-generation student, so neither my parents nor my grandparents went to university.

Sometimes people from lower-income countries, think we won't make it in the U.S. The education is so demanding or so difficult. But there’s a lot of potential in Bolivia, South America, Africa or Asia.

That’s why I chose to come here in the first place, to learn as much as I can, to get the skills I need. Maybe make contacts through networking and then use that in Bolivia. 

It is a bit heartbreaking to leave my family behind, my friends behind, but it's also exciting to make new friends, to adapt to this new lifestyle. 

In Bolivia, it’s common for every family to have one or two or more family members who have migrated. And many come undocumented. I'm the first one in my family to come here with documents and have the U.S. sponsoring my education. 

That motivates me to go back to Bolivia and try to make things better there. Make things better so people don't have to migrate out. 

A problem in Bolivia is that there are not enough job opportunities. Even if you have an education, you're a lawyer or accountant, there are no jobs. So, a lot of my friends, they are professionals. But they had to go to other countries to work as service sector employees. Not because they want that, but because they have to. And that's the history of a lot of my family as well. 

I want the world to know that Bolivians are full of potential and talent. I can’t wait to go back to Bolivia and work to create more opportunities for everyone to thrive. – Gary Alvarez MPP ’25 #HumansofDukeSanford #MPP #bolivia

I am a first-generation student, so neither my parents nor my grandparents went to university.

Sometimes people from lower-income countries, think we won’t make it in the U.S. The education is so demanding or so difficult. But there’s a lot of potential in Bolivia, South America, Africa or Asia.

That’s why I chose to come here in the first place, to learn as much as I can, to get the skills I need. Maybe make contacts through networking and then use that in Bolivia.

It is a bit heartbreaking to leave my family behind, my friends behind, but it’s also exciting to make new friends, to adapt to this new lifestyle.

In Bolivia, it’s common for every family to have one or two or more family members who have migrated. And many come undocumented. I’m the first one in my family to come here with documents and have the U.S. sponsoring my education.

That motivates me to go back to Bolivia and try to make things better there. Make things better so people don’t have to migrate out.

A problem in Bolivia is that there are not enough job opportunities. Even if you have an education, you’re a lawyer or accountant, there are no jobs. So, a lot of my friends, they are professionals. But they had to go to other countries to work as service sector employees. Not because they want that, but because they have to. And that’s the history of a lot of my family as well.

I want the world to know that Bolivians are full of potential and talent. I can’t wait to go back to Bolivia and work to create more opportunities for everyone to thrive. – Gary Alvarez MPP ’25 #HumansofDukeSanford #MPP #bolivia