Inti Raymi: Reciprocity and Anti-Colonial Symbolism

Posted by Dusty Christensen – MA Candidate at CLACS / Global Journalism at NYU

Christensen – Ecuador – IntiRaymi

Inti Raymi festivities in the village of San Roque (Photo by Dustin Christensen)

For many indigenous residents of the Andes, the Inti Raymi festival is one of the most important celebrations of the year. Celebrating the summer solstice, this festival has its origins firmly rooted in pre-Colombian times. In Cotacachi, Ecuador, where I conducted my summer research, this was the most important festival of the year. Members of the 40 something indigenous communities surrounding Cotacachi dance house-to-house in the nights preceding the festival. Then, for several days, they gather and dance down to the town’s central plaza, where they dance, sing, play music, drink, and occasionally engage in violent confrontations with other communities.

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CLACS Language Offerings to be Showcased at Orientation

Haitian Tea

On Tuesday, August 25th the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at NYU (CLACS) kicked off the fall 2015 semester with a series of events to welcome a new class of students, and showcase to all NYU students its unique language offerings in Quechua and Haitian Kreyól. As a Title VI National Resource Center designated by the Department of Education, CLACS is part of the Indigenous Language Consortium (with the Institute of Latin American Studies at Columbia University (ILAS), and The Jaime Lucero Mexican Studies Institute at Lehman College) which promotes the education of less commonly taught languages and NYU students can benefit from this unique resource.

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Interacting with Native Quechua Speakers in the North of Potosí, Bolivia

Posted by: Gladys Camacho Rios – MA Candidate at CLACS / Latin American and Caribbean Studies at NYU

The second part of my fieldwork took place in Toro Toro north of the city of Potosí, Bolivia. After finishing the first part of my fieldwork in Tarabuco, northwest of Sucre, I went back to Cochabamba in order to take a bus to the mountainous town of Toro Toro. It has several tourist attractions like: dinosaur footprints, cave paintings, natural waterfalls, the biggest explored caves in Bolivia, and a big canyon. Most people who live in the town speak Quechua.

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¿Cuál es tu nivel?: Studying Consumer Segmentation in Mexico

Posted by Marcel Rosa-Salas – doctoral student in Sociocultural Anthropology  at NYU

Salas-Mexico-Book

The guidebook marketers use for segmenting Mexican consumers

Mexico City is one of Latin America’s thriving hubs for the marketing industry, home to both small boutique agencies and satellite offices of global holdings. For the past two weeks, I have been in the city doing research on consumer segmentation in its advertising and consumer research industries. Thus far, it has been a rich field site for examining this topic.

Through conducting interviews with advertising executives and consumer researchers, I want to understand how knowledge about Mexican consumers is produced in the professional discourse of these industries. I’m also looking to gain insight into the historical, social and cultural context within which marketing professionals produce this knowledge, and the ways in which they put it into practice in consumer research literature and advertising strategy.

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Palestinians in Honduras: From a Thriving Socio-Economic Trajectory to a Potential Rejection

Posted by Gina Kawas, MA Candidate at CLACS – Latin American and Caribbean Studies at NYU

In June I carried out an ethnographic investigation in Honduras aimed at studying the social and economic effects Palestinian migration has had in the country. Landing in Tegucigalpa is always an interesting experience: having one of the most dangerous airports in the world, the passengers’ excitement after safely landing is manifested through clapping and wooing. But this arrival was different to others I have experienced. The environment was charged with disenchantment and anger towards the corrupt political and business elite that currently rules the country.

Situated in the midst of corruption scandals that have recently erupted across the region, discussions of a Central American Spring have flooded both local and international media. But for the first time in Honduras after the 2009 coup d’état, all sectors of society have united towards fighting against this never-ending problem. Corruption has been one of the main causes for the high levels of inequality, poverty and slow growth that Latin American nations have experienced since independence.

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(Re)Defining Mestizaje in Mexico City

Gaspar Yanga - First Liberator of the Americas - section of mural located in the Palacio Muncipal of Xalapa, Veracruz

Gaspar Yanga – First Liberator of the Americas – section of mural located in the Palacio Municipal of Xalapa, Veracruz

Written by Patrick Moreno-Covington CLACS MA Candidate 

Stepping out of customs and into one of the many cabs queued up outside of Mexico City’s Benito Juárez airport, I became immediately consumed by all things Chilango. Street performers and vendors at traffic lights, insane amounts of traffic, delicious spits of marinated pork known as al Pastor slowly rotating on the sidewalk and so. many. people. The sights, smells and sounds of the megalopolis almost subsumed my attentive capabilities so that I barely caught the taxi driver asking me where I was coming from. My Spanish accent (or the fact that I was leaving an airport) must have given me away.

‘The United States, Texas’, ‘Ahh the United States, there are a lot of racist problems over there, right?’ ‘And that politician, he said a lot of bad things about Mexicans’. While trying to avoid an elongated discussion on why Donald Trump lowers the political standards of the country with his shameful and inflammatory rhetoric, I did want to engage my driver’s interpretation of America’s race problems.

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What You Grow Is What You Are

Post by Camila Osorio- MA Candidate at CLACS/Global Journalism at NYU

Osorio_Colombia_land

For the past month and a half I have been conducting research in Colombia on land displacement. Colombia is considered the country with the highest number of internal refugees after Syria: around six million people. Many of these are peasants, indigenous or afrocolombians in rural communities who now live in poverty in the outskirts of small or big cities around the country. And many are claiming their land back after the Colombian Government approved a law to restitute land to all of those who were forcibly displaced since 1991. The Government also agreed to an agrarian reform in La Habana if a peace treaty is signed with the FARC guerrillas.

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