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Convening in Kuala Lumpur

News Story

Meeting former Presidents. Catching fish with her bare hands. Empowering youth. Pace student Diana Mendez ’15 gives her first-hand account of attending the Global Peace Convention in Kuala Lumpur in December.

Written by Pace student Diana Mendez ’15

I was personally invited to participate in the 5th Global Peace Convention held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from December 4-11. Doubtful of my attendance to this convention due the required payment and week before finals, I decided to reach out to Pace for help. I was graciously funded to attend the GPC by several Pace administrators, who have shown me great support in all of my endeavors.

The work/studying madness I had to make up before and after my trip and traveling to the other side of the world was worth every moment I spent in Malaysia. This convention was a global gathering of individuals from all over the world to learn from one another to create a road to peace. There were United Nation State representatives, company owners, former presidents and vice presidents, and other positions of government were a part of this gathering. I can’t believe I was able to chat with the former President of Guatemala, Vinicio Cerezo. The welcoming atmosphere and colorful setting made connecting with people natural. Sessions that were held were very moving; from the Youth Empowerment session to the Women’s Empowerment session to the Strengthening the Families session, it was a phenomena to have community leaders discuss such humane topics. You don’t get to experience such leaders talking about these topics now a days, let alone talking about these topics as a solution to peace.

The Malaysian culture is one I hold dear to my heart. Having the cultural exchange really put the cherry on top of the icing. It was the perfect example of a peaceful community. The warmth and humbleness of this culture made me feel like peace is achievable in all areas of the world. I was welcomed into Malaysian homes, had a beautiful foster family, and played Malaysian activities (like catching fish with my bare hands). This was the ultimate learning/amazing experience I have had thus far. I encourage everybody to travel, and get to love another culture, as I did.

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