Juan Manuel Guzmán
United We Dream
Born and raised in Cochabamba, Bolivia, Juan Manuel Guzmán (CLAS ’16) struggled to cross the borders of Guatemala, Mexico, and the United States with his young nephew in late 2005. Since then, he has been part of a vibrant community in the Metropolitan Area of Washington D.C. where he lived and worked alongside other immigrants. The extreme xenophobic rhetoric during the presidential elections of 2016 propelled Juan Manuel to come out of the shadows and join the immigrant youth movement. He has been fighting anti-immigrant policies and practices both nationally and locally, serving as State Advocacy Director for United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led network in the country. At Georgetown University he earned an M.A. in Latin American Studies and a Certificate in Diplomatic Studies.
When Juan Manuel was asked about his time at CLAS he said: “I’ve always known that hardship and growth are two sides of the same coin as one does not exist without the other. I completed the M.A. Program during a difficult moment in my personal life which was later exacerbated by the rising xenophobia against immigrants in the U.S. Still, while the context of my time at Georgetown was challenging, I’m glad to say that I consider myself very fortunate for having had the opportunity to meet, learn and grow alongside so many brilliant individuals from all walks of life who are now having a positive impact in their own communities. Similarly, I’m grateful to the people, the backbone of CLAS and the School of Foreign Service, from the Dean to our Professors and CLAS Staff; I truly would not have been able to navigate life and succeed without their support. Today, I look to the future with optimism and despite the challenges we face as a global community, I know there is hope in the students who still dream to change the world.”
You can follow Juan Manuel on Twitter @___JMG___