Destina is a first-generation college student. She completed her BA in 2019 in Global Justice & Identity — a customized major that she created that combines Political Science, Justice Studies, Gender Studies, and Sociology — from Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah. Destina is in second-year MA student in the Department of Latin American Studies. Her master's theses examines the relationship between migration and Indigeneity. Destina is specifically interested in Maya Kaqchikel communities in Guatemala and their perspectives of migration, Mexico, and the United States.
As an undergraduate student, Destina learned to conduct fieldwork while focusing on (im)migration within the region of Latin America, specifically observing Central American-Mexican and U.S. relations. As a Ronald E. McNair Scholar at Westminster, she had the privilege of traveling to Guatemala in the summer of 2018 and spoke with various Indigenous communities across the country. She connected the conversations she had with Indigenous leaders, scholars, and former guerillas to the concepts of the Maya cosmovision and Buen Vivir. She used these concepts to connect around issues of (im)migration from Central America to the United States. Destina presented this fieldwork at several conferences locally in Utah and across the United States. Over the summer, she was awarded the Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship to learn Maya Kaqchikel and also received the Tinker Research Grant to use towards the completion of her MA.
Destina was born and raised in Ogden, Utah, and replaced the mountains with cacti here in Tucson, Arizona last year. She works as a graduate teaching assistant in her department and currently serves as the Vice President of the Latin American Studies Student Organization (LASSO).