Martina Muñoz Chalan, a Finance and International Business major at Barry, has used her education to benefit underserved communities at home and abroad. She has played a major role as a Barry Service Corps Fellow, supporting a partnership with a women’s artisan cooperative in Haiti, and as a leader in Barry’s Student Managed Investment Fund, providing financial literacy to high school students in Miami. Since 2018, Martina has supported the Atelye Thevenet Artisan Cooperative, through which impoverished women learn vital skills so they can put food on the table, send their children to school, and even build modest homes for their families. Her sales promotion and personal selling have generated over $2,000, which has been reinvested in the co-op. This amount is significant in a region of the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country, where the average monthly wage is less than $100. Furthermore, Martina has facilitated the involvement of her peers in projects supporting farmworkers and has pressed for human rights reforms in industrial agriculture. Additionally, in 2019, Martina testified at Miami’s City Hall about the importance of a proposed museum at Virginia Key Beach Park to preserve the history of what was Miami’s only “colored beach” during the segregation era.
I was born and raised in La Paz, Bolivia, a country that is considered the poorest in South America. Growing up, I realized the difference between the privileges I had compared to the experiences of 39% of Bolivians who were living in poverty. Being exposed to that type of inequality has influenced my perspective about the powerful role money plays in the world. This is why I believe that ethical business models are important in global economies. Therefore, I chose to study Finance and International Business and have dedicated a significant part of my undergraduate studies to help develop and sustain ethical business projects. Since August 2018, I have been a Barry Service Corps Fellow. In that civic leadership position, I play a critical role in managing the business and accounting processes for the sale of artisan goods made by a women’s cooperative in rural Haiti. We have raised more than $2,000 for the cooperative. In addition, I have provided financial literacy instruction to hundreds of students at a high school in Miami through Barry University’s Student Managed Investment Fund.