Dear Delegates, Faculty Advisors, and Friends of Harvard National Model United Nations Latin America,
My name is Sofía Corzo, and it is my distinct honor to serve as the Secretary-General of the Tenth Session of Harvard National Model United Nations Latin America.
Founded in 1955, our parent conference, Harvard National Model United Nations, has provided decades of experience, dialogue, and educational opportunities to young students all over the world. In 2011, the Harvard International Relations Council decided to bring the substantive excellence and prestige of HNMUN to Latin America. Collaborating with a local Host Team made up of dedicated Latin American students, HNMUN-LA brings a distinctly regional experience to our delegates, with opportunities for expanded cultural programming, committees and academic materials offered in Spanish, and nightly social events that forge friendships for a lifetime.
Our conference was founded on the belief that Model UN is more than a club, a hobby, or even more than a community – it represents the optimism that effective and human leadership can make a real positive change. HNMUN-LA provides a platform for cross-cultural dialogue and high-quality competition, matched by the unrelenting, passionate, and incredibly dedicated delegates that we serve. Whether it is through their rigorous selection processes, months of fundraising, or bright matching team uniforms, our delegates honor our efforts by treating this conference not as a four-day event, but as a lifelong experience.
Our Staff is also highly committed to principles of accessibility and diversity through our financial aid opportunities, Spanish-language programming, local public-school recruitment, and Next Generation, a one-day bilingual workshop led by Harvard undergraduates to help young students develop their public speaking and negotiation skills. Through collaboration with local sponsors and government partners, we also aim to contribute to our host country’s local community and bring a unique experience to our delegates every year. We are extremely proud to host our Tenth Session in Panama City, Panama.
I was born and raised in Guatemala, a country often categorized as poor, ‘undeveloped’, violent, and corrupt. Many of my compatriots have unfortunately suffered through hunger, lived through war, and endured countless injustices, ranging from environmental deterioration to a forced rejection of their cultural identity. We invite our international audience to look at countries like Guatemala not through their problems, but through their potential. We see Latin America as a land of innovation and promise, carrying an indelible current of human compassion that invites us to always strive for a better future and to regard optimism not as naïveté, but as a strength. Especially at a time when a worldwide crisis has transformed many of our lives, the principles of international cooperation stand as relevant as ever.
From wherever you come from and wherever you may go, HNMUN Latin America has a place for you. We invite you to join us in approaching these issues with humility and passion. None of us have all the answers, but together we can form some of the solutions.
This conference is made by young people for young people, and we will work tirelessly to make sure you have the most enjoyable and fulfilling experience yet.
I am eager to see you all next June.