By Stacey Pistritto - 03/05/07 07:44 PM EST
Guzman, 20, who moved back to El Salvador at the age of 6, is now a sophomore at Georgetown University and has been interning in Rep. John Mica’s (R-Fla.) office since October 2006.
The differences between American and Salvadoran politics were what first made Guzman interested in working on the Hill. Though El Salvador technically is a democracy, its status as such is tenuous. Fifteen years after the war’s end, there is still tension between the right- and left-wing parties that dominate the political landscape. “There’s a huge divide in politics and society,” she said. “It can be very dangerous.”
What surprised Guzman most about her work on the Hill is “how much attention goes into everything the office does,” she said. Particularly shocking to her was the amount of time spent attending to constituent matters. “They receive so many letters,” she said. She’s in a position to know, since one of her main responsibilities is organizing those mailings.
“I didn’t really have any expectations at the beginning because I didn’t know what I was getting into, but I’m really enjoying it,” she said of her time in Mica’s office.
At Georgetown, Guzman is double-majoring in marketing and finance and minoring in French. She wants to work for an advertising or public-relations firm in the U.S. after she graduates, and eventually sees herself attending law school or another type of graduate school.
Guzman hopes to return to El Salvador when she’s older, but recognizes, “I can only go back and help if I make something out of myself first” here in America.