Author Archives: aw2564

Ethnography and Ecology in the Cordillera Blanca

Posted by Tony Wood, graduate student in Latin American History at NYU

Wood_Peru_Cordillera

View of the Cordillera Blanca from the Casa de Pocha, Carhuaz, Peru.

From 9th to 13th July I took part in an ethnographic field methods workshop in Carhuaz, a small town high in the Peruvian Andes, around 280 miles north of Lima. The town itself nestles between two mountain ranges – to the west the rugged Cordillera Negra, to the east the Cordillera Blanca, a chain of majestic, glacier-capped mountains that include some of the tallest in the Western Hemisphere.

The workshop was held under the auspices of the Center for Social Well-Being, which also runs Quechua language courses and retreats on its 5-hectare eco-farm a little outside the town (known as La Casa de Pocha). The Center was set up 15 years ago by the Peruvian ecologist Flor de María Barreto Tosi (the eponymous Pocha), and Patricia Hammer, an American anthropologist, aiming to put into practice the principles of sustainable living on the one hand, and of “participatory action research” on the other.

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Struggles for the Land in Latin America, Past and Present

Posted by Tony Wood, graduate student in Latin American History at NYU

Wood_Peru_Luchas

Poster for the “Luchas sociales por la tierra en América Latina” conference, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima

On 24 June 1969, Peru’s military government decreed a sweeping agrarian reform, and at the same time ordered that the day itself – previously designated the “day of the Indio”, a term which carried a racialized, discriminatory charge – be renamed the Día del Campesino. It was only fitting, then, that the Universidad Mayor Nacional de San Marcos in Lima should host its conference on “Luchas sociales por la tierra en América Latina” on 24-25 June this year.

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