I’ve actually had two Fulbrights, once in Guatemala (2000) and then in Colombia (2005-06), both teaching and research fellowships that gave me respite from my hectic life at Harvard, where I edit a magazine and teach. Both fellowships resulted in books, the first, a book on a courageous Guatemalan journalist who was disappeared in 1980 […]

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June-smallI’ve actually had two Fulbrights, once in Guatemala (2000) and then in Colombia (2005-06), both teaching and research fellowships that gave me respite from my hectic life at Harvard, where I edit a magazine and teach. Both fellowships resulted in books, the first, a book on a courageous Guatemalan journalist who was disappeared in 1980 (Disappeared, A Journalist Silenced) and the second Una Gringa in Bogotá, a look at Bogotá during two very distinct periods. Both books have been translated. The first book—with the initiative of the Inter American Press Association—resulted in the Guatemalan government taking responsibility for the disappearance, opening the case, paying reparations to the family and sundry memorial acts.

The second book, which was written at the peak of Bogotá’s civic engagement and civic reform, has attracted an unexpected audience of Colombian-Americans, Americans who are living in Colombia, and parents of Colombian-adopted children. Even though it was intended at the time as a personal chronicle of urban change, it touched a deeper chord.

Both Fulbrights have left me with friends and colleagues in both countries forever and ever. Fulbright was an unforgettable experience for me and it has sown seeds that continue to flourish.

June Carolyn Erlick
from United States to Colombia
Scholar at Universidad Nacional (2005)