Bonderman Travel Fellowship

Havana McElvaine

Photo of Havana McElvaine

Sociology with College Honors


2017 Fellows

Hometown: Denver, CO

Travel Locations: Chile, Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa, India, Thailand

Havana’s experience as a student athlete has shown her the overwhelming strength of collaboration and that, regardless of past experience, it is possible to achieve something meaningful within a diverse group. As she transitions away from athletics, she hopes to further explore these principles of unity in new ways, challenging herself to find community and teamwork in different contexts. Her solo journey will trace places impacted by the African Diaspora and transatlantic slave trade, with the goal of seeking deeper understanding of her own identity, blackness, history, and privilege. Her travels will include visits to Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, Chile, Brazil, Liberia, Nigeria, India and Sri Lanka.

Alumni Reflections

How did the Bonderman impact your life?

“Bonderman has made a forever transient out of me. I am still daily gleaning insights from my travels coming up on the 6th anniversary of my departure. Talking to other other Bonderman’s about the experience is super impactful and something I always look forward to. One way I think it has impacted me the most is my perspective of the US government in other places, and my own responsibility to decenter myself and a US politic when navigating other places in the world. This ‘decentering’ is going to be a lifelong process, and one I wouldn’t have any scope for if it weren’t for the foundation of solo travel through Bonderman.”

What are you doing now?

“Lots of things! But coming off about two years of remote working/ transient living/ volunteering in the UK, US and Mexico. Very much informed by my Bonderman.”