Last week I blogged about Global Xchange’s first-ever multi-lateral volunteer project, including five U.S. volunteers. Starting today, and continuing through the end of winter, Andres Rivera — one of the L.A.-based U.S. volunteers taking part in the Global Xchange project — will be writing about his experiences in Durban, South Africa, and later on in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
My name is Andres Rivera. I was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, California.
With the National Conference for Community and Justice, at the age of 16 years old I began my journey into the working world of social justice. I dedicated myself to social activism and youth development so that generations after me could live with less oppression.
I am a poet and recording/performing artist under the nom de plume of RHIPS (restin’ humbly in poetry and song, a story for another time). Something inside me, like a new born, cried out to be acknowledged, and loved by the world. I started writing as a way to get to know myself better, and the world around me. I began performing as a way to give voice to my words, my upbringing, and my stories of trials and tribulations and triumph.