Summer Centered: Daniel Mayo ’19 Fights for Change in Chile
With support from the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship, the psychology major and health studies minor is fighting for civil rights and liberties for the LGBT community in Chile.
Change-making is never easy, but for Daniel Mayo ’19, who is working in the international nonprofit sector this summer, it is worth facing adversity to achieve equality for all.
The psychology major and health studies minor is working for Movimiento de Integración y Liberación Homosexual [the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation] (Movilh) in Santiago, Chile. Movilh is a Chilean human rights organization focused on achieving civil rights and liberties for LGBT citizens.
"My internship relates to my course of study in an indirect way,” Mayo said. “The health studies minor is interdisciplinary, pulling from natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities; as a result, I have learned to look at health outside of conventional settings. When I was thinking about what I wanted to do for a summer internship, I knew that I wanted to look at health from the perspective of how 'invisible' factors, such as social, economic, and cultural factors, may influence the well-being of an individual.”
As Chile’s first major LGBT political organization, Movilh is uniquely positioned to influence the conversation around human rights for the LGBT community in Chile through numerous initiatives. Mayo helped coordinate Movilh’s presence at last month’s Pride March and he is also working on programming for its upcoming Week of Lesbian and Bisexual Visibility.
"This internship allows me to understand how organizing events such as Pride March, film festivals, concerts, and conferences can be methods of raising awareness and increasing solidarity leading to improved health and well-being of the LGBT population,” he said.
Health programming, as well as the organization’s lobbying campaign, is the focus of Mayo’s internship, which is sponsored by the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship. As part of his duties, he provides information about safer sex practices, HIV, and STIs to those who drop in at the center or reach out via email.
"For the lobbying campaign, I assist with going to Congress on Mondays and Wednesdays to talk with representatives, listen to legislative debates, and push for more inclusive civil rights,” he said. “The two laws that are currently being debated regard gender identity and same-sex adoption.”
The lessons that Mayo is learning from his internship are universally applicable to activist work in numerous spheres, and he looks forward to applying them to future opportunities to create social change.
"Through working at Movilh I hope to develop a better understanding the framework and methodology of international NGOs,” he said. “I am not only learning about the present-day influences the organization has, but also the history behind how the organization has developed and evolved. I also hope to learn more about the development of social movements through direct involvement with the LGBT movement here.”
After graduating from Haverford, Mayo plans to work in an international setting at a nonprofit focused on health and human rights.
"From the time I have spent with Movilh, I can say that the organization has reinforced my interest in working with nonprofits,” he said. “While the work is demanding, it is rewarding to know that it is leading to great change in society.”