UNITED NATIONS ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOR LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARRIBEAN

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Dear Delegates,

Welcome to Harvard Model Congress Latin America 2016! My name is Jocelyn Hernandez, and I am a rising sophomore at Harvard concentrating in Government and Romance Languages and Literatures. I’m super thrilled to be chairing with Andrew as we share a deep passion for all-things Latin America! I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but lived in Guadalajara, Mexico for five years, so I’m really interested in the cultural convergence and divergence of Latino culture in the United States. Outside of HMC (which is by far my favorite group at Harvard), I am involved with the Institute of Politics, Massachusetts Small Claims Advisory Service, Women in Business, and Latinas Unidas.

And my name is Andrew O’Donohue, and I’m so excited to have be your Co-Chair with Jocelyn! I was born and raised in New York (so let me know if any of you love Broadway as much as I do!), and I’m a rising junior at Harvard concentrating in Social Studies. I absolutely love travel--I’ve worked in Mexico and Argentina, and I’ll be working for the State Department in Istanbul this summer before HMCLA! Model Congress has been a highlight of my experience at Harvard, and I can’t wait to work with you all in committee!

As part of this committee, you will have the opportunity to interact with, debate, and help solve crucial issues that are confronting politicians across Latin America. Over the past year, the prices of commodities like oil, copper, and gold have fallen dramatically, and countries from Brazil to Perú have seen their economies shrivel as a result. What is the path back to prosperity for this hobbled economies?

In addition to the issue of commodity prices, our committee will dive into pressing debates about migration and its economic consequences. An increase in migration patterns has also brought remittances to LAC, becoming extremely important in the regional context. The influx of remittances can generate a myriad of positive impacts to the region, namely reducing poverty and inequality while increasing investment and growth. Nonetheless, these changes can be relatively slow as the influx of remittances are not always targeted to the lower income brackets in LAC, which minimizes the potential for poverty reduction. Thus, they are not a substitute for well-formulated development policies. Additionally, migration inherently leads to a decrease of workers in the labor market and a contraction of household income. Therefore, policy makers should take action to maximize the development impact of remittances by increasing the reservation wage, real change in rate appreciation, and foreign and domestic investment.

As your chairs, we are excited to be a part of your HMC experience. We run a respectful, efficient, intellectually stimulating and fun committee! See y’all in August!

Sincerely,

Jocelyn Hernandez & Andrew O’Donohue

Co-Directors of UNECLAC

Harvard Model Congress Latin America