Sandra Juan Delgado

Sandra Juan Delgado, Sustainable Development MSc graduate and Geoffrey Oldham scholar, reflects on studying for a Sustainable Development MSc at SPRU.

Sandra Juan Delgado


Sandra Juan Delgado (far right of photo)Sustainable Development MSc, 2020-21

Why I chose this course

I decided to study the Sustainable Development MSc at SPRU because of the ethnic diversity that the University enjoys and the strong focus on decolonization in the course modules. Decolonization is a particularly important topic for me since my family comes from an indigenous Mexican background. My ancestry has inspired me to focus my work mainly on indigenous communities that are vulnerable to insecurity and inequality.

I am also a member of an environmental non-profit group of young activists that seeks to mitigate the damage to the environment by generating self-managed communities that can enjoy their human rights to water, a healthy environment, development and other related rights. I co-founded an ecofeminist organization whose main goal is to empower women and raise awareness about the impacts that climate crisis has on our daily lives.

My parents were raised in poor rural areas and struggled to be the first people in their families to go to college. While inequality is still a big issue in Mexico, especially for women, I am fortunate to be able to study and create a future for myself. The things I have achieved in my life so far were possible only thanks to my family and the people that have supported me on the way.

After I finish my Masters, I want to continue working on social development projects that respond to the real needs of Latin American indigenous communities. I want to focus my contributions especially towards indigenous women so we can end gender inequality and violence.

Academic life

I am finding interesting new topics every day. The teaching methods of SPRU professors and the discussions with my colleagues have opened my eyes to other ways of experiencing and perceiving the world. We are already creating a network of people interested in making change. My dissertation topic relates directly to the work I was doing in my career, but it involves a deeper understanding of the theories and case studies that I have learnt about during the Masters.

Campus life

Living on campus with flatmates from different countries is helping me to learn new languages and diversify my cooking skills. The fact that there are so many green areas surrounding the campus has been one of the most enjoyable aspects of campus life so far. I love taking photos of nature. 

I enrolled in some extracurricular activities during the holidays, such as French classes, the Sussex Language Café where I am practicing my Italian, and the Latin American Society. I also enjoyed the opportunities to enjoy the vast green areas surrounding the Sussex campus, which is a relief coming from a big and crowded city such as Mexico City.

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