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Anyel Miranda Caballero, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, 2022

by Monica Smith

Dec 16, 2022, 2:00 PM.

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A former member of the armed forces recounts how FIU has offered her a great opportunity to master regional topics and further her education.
Anyel Miranda Caballero
Anyel Miranda Caballero

Anyel Miranda Caballero immigrated to the U.S. from Cuba with her mother when she was 14. She had to leave her home, her friends, and her brother in search of freedom. From the moment she started her new life in the U.S., she was grateful and knew that someday she would pay the U.S. back for all the help she and her mother received. So, when she graduated from high school, she decided to enlist as a U.S. Marine in 2017. The very day she went to the airport to go to boot camp, her brother was arriving from Cuba.   

“My mother did a swap,” Miranda Caballero laughs. “She drove me to the airport, put me on a plane, and drove home with my brother—our flights were within hours of each other.” 

Miranda Caballero was glad her mom would not be alone while she was deployed to Japan for four years. When she left the armed forces, she decided it was time to go back to school—to reflect and make sense of her heritage and personal experience as a Cuban immigrant.  

“I want to become a professor one day. I love the Hispanic culture and have a particular interest in Incan culture. I have big aspirations—I want to experience and see the region with my own eyes, and I want to learn Quechua and immerse myself,” she explains. 

Miranda Caballero applied to FIU and admits that pursuing her degree, while part of her professional goal, is also part of her personal and professional journey. In the following, as she prepares to graduate, she recounts her experience as an undergraduate in the B.A. in Latin American and Caribbean Studies.  

Where do you work now? What do you do? 

I do not work. I am a full-time student. I used to be in the military forces; Marine Corps to be more specific. While I was still in service, I started my degree program. I recently separated from the Marines, I was honorably discharged and received medals for my service.  

What was your favorite class and why? 

My favorite class from the program was LAS 4294 Contemporary Latin American and Caribbean with Dr. Holbrook. I enjoyed this class extremely because we studied a different discipline every week such as politics, economics, sociology, anthropology and literature. These humanity fields provide the foundation for our existence. They act as centerpieces to provide an understanding that enriches our human journey and self-discovery that very few disciplines can offer.  

What immediately applicable skills did you learn? 

Improved communication and writing skills. 

How do you see your degree helping you in the future? 

I want to pursue my doctoral degree in Spanish here at FIU. My B.A. in Latin American and Caribbean Studies degree will certainly help me to keenly comprehend and analyze Hispanic American literature, culture, and history professionally from diverse lenses, for a comprehensive view.  

Why did you choose this program? 

I choose this program because I am fascinated with Latin American History and Hispanic American Literature. This program offered me courses related to my concentration, which allowed me to get two minors and a certificate along with the B.A.  

I am also seeking a career path within this region. My educational experience really is a self-finding type of journey. When I was younger, as an immigrant, I felt uprooted from the motherland. As an exotic species in this terrain, my ethnicity underwent a metamorphosis, but when I saw that FIU offered this program, I knew it was tailored for me. I love this field, and I am eager to start my doctoral degree next semester—I'm pursuing my master's on route to the doctorate advanced program. I want to teach someday.  

What is one thing you learned that you didn’t expect? 

The most surprising thing I learned that I didn't expect was the complicated debate and discourse over the Hispanic and Latino identity.  

Would you recommend this program to other students? 

I will certainly recommend this program to other students because they will have an outstanding opportunity to learn and grow from the knowledge, experiences and skills the department offers. The Latin American and Caribbean region has a beautiful, rich, and fascinating history, filled with many cultures and people. This program provides tremendous flexibility, so you can design your own educational pathway. Classes are well designed and will help you succeed.

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