My name is Kalyn Finnell and I will be posting different book selections for the blog! I am from Tulsa, Oklahoma and I received my BA in Spanish from the University of Oklahoma in 2013. During my undergraduate studies I primarily took classes relating to Latin America and Native American Studies. I studied abroad in Lima, Peru for my junior year at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, where I fell in love with Latin America. Here I was able to merge my interest in Native and Latin America through anthropology classes and trips to the Andes and the Amazon. During my senior year, I volunteer tutored English as a second language to elementary school children, discovering my love for teaching and working in a multicultural environment. Upon graduating, I moved to Spain for two years, where I taught English at public elementary and high schools in Murcia and Seville in southern Spain. In the classroom we would often share and compare our cultural traditions, play learning games and sing songs with the youngsters. Apart from teaching in the classroom, I gave private English lessons to children and adults. Spain is a country filled with varying cultures and identities, and I loved being a part of it. As I lived near northern Africa, it was the first time I was exposed to living in a borderland culture, which sparked my interest in immigration and borderland communities.
I am currently beginning a Master’s degree at the University of New Mexico’s Latin American and Iberian Institute. My concentrations are Indigenous Studies and Urbanism and Community Development. As I love teaching, particularly to children, I am excited to contribute to the K-12 community. I am thrilled to help support the teaching of Latin America in the classroom in order to promote diversity and surmount cultural borders!