crreees is the way my grandma says my name.

i am christabel lorenzo uzurriaga mcclendon. i am american. i am peruvian. i am puerto rican.

i was born and raised in northern new jersey. i also call philadelphia, pa, são paulo, brazil, and talsint, morocco homes because home is where you grow.

the grandma who calls me crreees lost everything in peru. her parents, her love, her money, her son’s loyalty. so she left. on planes. on trains. in taxis. on foot. through sewers. with prayer. to america.

my mom follows suit. has me at 20, sacrifices everything for me. ma, gma, and dad elliott went all in with me. not in vain.

im a proud first generation college graduate from the university of pennsylvania. then i decide to take a few steps back to the start, in honor of my grandma who calls me crreees.

i currently live in morocco as a peace corps volunteer, a youth asset builder. the goal is to share the privilege i could take advantage of because of my grandma's boldness, my mom's sacrifice, my dad's tough love, and my determination. i hope to support moroccans in becoming productive citizens of their societies so they don't have to escape to succeed.

so click around for my perspective. in doing so, i hope you learn something about yourself relative to me.


the contents of this site are personal and do not reflect the views of the peace corps or the us government.