Hello, my name is Andy and I would like to be considered for the passport project. The reason I come to this group is to find help in securing the funds to acquire a passport so that I may explore more of the world I live in, learn more about my roots as a mixed black/Argentinian man, and learn more about the people I’ve come to know and love through their ancestral backgrounds. I want to be able to expand upon my experiences and learn more about the life I have and what the world can offer it.
When I was first told about the Little Black Village passport project, I didn’t really know what to think. I always fantasized the idea of going to a new place and wandering around aimlessly just to see what other parts of the world have developed for myself. I constantly think about various spots on earth because the internet always has something to share every now and then, but never enough to visualize that particular part of the world in depth. I feel to truly be able to have an idea of what a culture or society is like you would have to ingrain yourself into the community first hand. Due to this I find it hard to connect to my cultural background as I have never once set foot in Argentina, let alone South America.
As I said previously, I am of mixed descent, my mother being of African American and Native American roots and my father of a various mix of Hispanic, Argentinian, and even French descent. While I’ve been able to experience some moments of cultural identity, I find it particularly hard to say I know who I am as far as my ancestral background goes. I’m of a family where no matter where I stand my ethnic validity is always questioned. Whether I’m with my mother’s family being the “Latino” or my father’s being the “black” descendant. Because I lack an in-depth understanding of my heritage, I find myself dismissing my racial profile more often than not. When asked I find it hard to say I agree or disagree on various topics as both sides of my genetic disposition tend to have very combative ideologies. It’s here that I find it necessary to travel to where my father was conceived and learn from the world, he grew up in. I want to be able to have the experience and knowledge one might have when being told they are a part of a community or culture. I want to be able to own my name and not just have it, I need to learn about who I am and this is a huge part in learning not just my history but my family’s.
As I’ve moved through my life, I’ve found some of my most treasured connections to be with those whose homes lay outside the borders of this nation. With most of my closest friends hailing from north and south India, Australia, Sweden, Venezuela, and my best friend from the Netherlands I find it hard to visualize the rest of my life trapped within a single nation. I want to experience the lives of those I keep closest and see how they became the amazing individuals they are. I want to be able to share more stories and closer connections with my friends. I want to show them how much I value their lives as a whole; not just the person they are, but the places they come from as well.
My hope is to gain a passport through the Little Black Village and have access to the rest of the world. I want to be able to expand my social circles and my understanding of the world we all inhabit and share. I think learning about one another is one of the most beneficial ways to communicate and understand others. I find traveling to be a very exciting and fun way to do so, and I hope I gain the ability to do more in the future.
Note: You can apply to a Youth Passport Project grant by clicking on the link. If you are interested in supporting the project please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject title “support Youth Passport Project.”