Category Archives: CLACS News

De la emergencia humanitaria compleja al COVID-19: la migración venezolana

Mikhael G. Iglesias L. – Candidato de Maestría, NYU CLACS

Más de 5 millones de venezolanos han dejado su país a medida que la crisis humanitaria se ha ido agravando, buscando mejores condiciones de vida en países vecinos. Las oleadas de emigrantes han estado presionando a los gobiernos de la región para que examinen qué políticas adoptar para atender la crisis que desborda la fronteras de Venezuela. Recientemente, bajo el contexto de la pandemia por COVID-19, el escenario migratorio se vuelve más complicado. Los venezolanos en otros países se encuentran en medio de la pandemia, afectados por el desempleo y la falta de acceso al sistema de salud pública por un lado. Por otro, sopesando las dificultades de retornar a un país que sigue en deterioro y que los discrimina señalándolos como “armas biológicas”. 

Noviembre 2018, paso fronterizo entre Venezuela y Colombia. Créditos: Ligia Bolívar

         La situación de los venezolanos que han salido de su país es complicada. El proyecto Migrantes y Refugiados Venezolanos del Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Universidad Católica Andrés Bello reporta que muchos han salido caminando hacia Colombia, siendo aproximadamente 1,800,000 venezolanos en el país vecino (Ver gráfica para más detalles). En el caso de Colombia,  nada mas el 43% se encuentra en una situación legal regular. Tan sólo unos 5 mil venezolanos han solicitado la condición de refugiado, de los cuales nada más se les ha otorgado a 140. Mas allá de la legalidad, el 90% se encuentra trabajando en el sector informal, lo que señala la condición crítica y vulnerable en la que se encuentran en medio de la fragilidad económica ante la pandemia. 

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Riesgos y necesidades de las comunidades indígenas ante COVID-19

Mikhael G. Iglesias L. – Candidato de Maestría, NYU CLACS  

A medida que los casos y muertes diarias aumentan en el mundo, donde Latinoamérica y el Caribe representa un 45% de las muertes, sectores históricamente abandonados por políticas públicas en la  región como las comunidades indígenas y afro-descendientes quienes se ven más vulnerables frente a la pandemia. El acceso limitado para estas comunidades a servicios básicos como agua, luz o servicios sanitarios, en el contexto de COVID-19 expone la precariedad y riesgo que enfrentan. Prácticas culturales, o incluso idiomas en algunos casos, están en riesgo de desaparecer. Igualmente significativo es el deterioro de la calidad de vida debido al no poder mantener sus actividades económicas ni poder acceder a un sistema de salud pública adecuado. 

Toro Toro, Norte de Potosí, Bolivia. Créditos: Gladys Camacho

Carla García, Coordinadora de Relaciones Internacionales de OFRANEH (Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña) y miembro de la comunidad garífuna de Honduras, describe cómo se preparan ante el COVID-19. “Nosotros estamos en constante comunicación con nuestros ancestros”, comentó Carla al explicar sobre un mensaje transmitido que resaltaba la importancia de tener el sistema inmune activo para reducir o prevenir complicaciones debido a COVID-19. Ella junto a sus hijos contrajeron el virus y con los tés adecuados que mencionaron los ancestros, pudieron lidiar con los síntomas y padecimientos que el virus presentó en sus casos.

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CLACS lanza serie informativa sobre COVID-19 en lenguas indígenas y diaspóricas

Conversemos COVID-19 es una iniciativa producida por el Centro de Estudios Latinoamericanos y Caribeños de NYU con el propósito de ofrecer información valiosa sobre la pandemia en las varias lenguas indígenas y diaspóricas más habladas en Nueva York. 

La información es provista en video-cápsulas de 90 segundos narradas en 8 lenguas habladas por comunidades migrantes de México, Ecuador, Haití, Honduras, Bolivia, Perú, que incluyen Quechua, Creól Haitiano, Náhuatl, Mixteco, Garífuna, y Kichwa. Puede accesar las video-cápsulas http://idlc.nyc/conversemos-covid-19/.

Estas video-cápsulas son escritas creadas e ilustradas como parte de un proceso colaborativo por La Colaborativa de Lenguas Indígenas y Diaspóricas en la que participan miembros del personal del Instituto de Estudios Mexicanos de Lehman College, Kichwa Hatari, y la Summer Linguistics School of Bolivia.

Este primer episodio, ofrece consejos de como mantener la buena salud mental durante estos tiempos difíciles, y está basado en las recomendaciones de la CDC y la Organización Panamericana de la Salud. En los próximos episodios se tratarán temas como el importancia de la utilización de máscaras o barbijos, la higiene y seguridad en el trabajo, entre otros. 

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CLACS Launches Indigenous and Diasporic Language COVID-19 PSA Series

The NYU Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies has launched “Conversemos COVID-19” (“Let’s Talk COVID-19”), an initiative aimed at offering information about the pandemic in various indigenous and diasporic languages widely spoken in New York.

The information is delivered in 90-second video capsules translated into eight languages, including Quechua, Haitian Kreyol, Nahuatl, Mixtec, Garifuna, and Kichwa, spoken by immigrant communities from Mexico, Ecuador, Haiti, Honduras, Peru, Bolivia, and others. The capsules may be viewed online at http://idlc.nyc/conversemos-covid-19/.

The capsules are written, created, and illustrated as part of a collaborative process headed by the Indigenous and Diasporic Language Collaborative, whose members include the Mexican Studies Institute at Lehman College, Kichwa Hatari, and the Summer Linguistics School of Bolivia.

The first episode is based on recommendations promoted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Panamerican Health Organization on maintaining good mental health during the pandemic. Future episodes will focus on mask-wearing and returning to work safely, among other topics.

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COVID-19: A Perspective from Latin America and the Caribbean

Mikhael G. Iglesias L.MA Candidate at NYU CLACS  

In the sixth month of the current health crisis caused by COVID-19, in which much of the world was caught off guard, Latin America and the Caribbean have become a focal point for infections. Historic inequality in access to healthcare services, high poverty rates and informal economies, marginalization of indigenous and afro-descendant communities, the new rise of populism, and lagging infrastructures are some of the biggest challenges for the region in facing the pandemic. In countries such as Haiti with precarious healthcare conditions or in Peru which is now the country in the region with the highest death toll per million inhabitants, this pandemic is critical. In Uruguay and Costa Rica responses seem to be having a positive effect. In this series of articles for the CLACS Blog, we will focus on the implications of COVID-19 in the region. 

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Photo extracted from: https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/how-covid-19-has-affected-the-caribbean-and-latin-america/2211725/

What is known?

COVID-19 continues to generate more questions than answers that challenge societies and their contingency strategies. So far, the scientific community has determined that COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. There have been other types of coronavirus before such as SARS in 2002 with the outbreak epicenter in China or MERS in 2012 with an outbreak epicenter in the Middle East. COVID-19 is thought to be transmitted mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Older adults have a major risk of developing more serious complications from COVID-19; as of July 18, around 80% of the deaths in the US due to Covid-19 have been 65 years or older. As the virus is spreading easily between people, measures such as social distancing and quarantines have been the main tools for preventing virus transmission while the world waits for a vaccine.

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The Unafraid – A Q&A Session About Dreamers

On Thursday, June 18th, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, giving thousands of young immigrants a relief from imminent deportation. This decision gives DACA recipients, or Dreamers as they are better known, and the activists who support them a temporary victory and a pathway to building the momentum needed towards permanent solutions such as giving a path to citizenship to undocumented immigrants. Education on these issues is critical in helping all who support immigrants and want to affect change on behalf of their families, neighbors, coworkers, students, who make an important part of the city and make the country whole.

Over the years, CLACS has created public programming and teacher training initiatives, as well as supported faculty and student research, on different aspects of migration in order to promote an understanding of the diversity of the Latin American experience in the US. Programming such as the decade-long collaborative film and conversation series Indocumentales, opened our space to community members, filmmakers, educators and activists in an effort to build networks of solidarity and resources while exposing audiences to the nuances of issues related to immigration.

Indocumentales- The Unafraid (2018)

On April 2019, Indocumentales featured a screening of The Unafraid, a film by Anayansi Prado and Heather Courtney that documents the lives of three dreamers -Alejandro, Silvia and Aldo- in Georgia and their journey towards college life in a state that denied them the opportunity to attend their higher education institutions.  Here is a video of the conversation following its screening featuring Andrew Lim of the Partnership for a New American Economy and Staff Attorney at the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project (IRP) Celso Perez.

 

More insightful Indocumentales Q&A sessions can be found on this playlist.

CLACS K-12 Educator Initiatives You Should Know About

 

We are starting off the Summer with two initiatives designed to give educators tool and resources to address timely issues of immigration, language learning, and teaching in times of COVID-19.

 

CLACS 2020 Teacher Fellowship Program:

Teaching About Language, Contemporary Culture and Immigration

2020 Teacher Fellows Deadline Extended

The Teacher Fellowship Program promotes the development of K-12 curriculum focused on the themes of language, contemporary culture, and immigration in Latin America and the Caribbean. The year-long program will include monthly workshops and mentoring by experts and CLACS faculty members, culminating in the presentation of a capstone curricular project that is both classroom applicable and that can be made available online to educators.  Apply by June 5, 2020

APPLICATION


 

2020 Virtual Summer Institute for K-12 Educators:

Teaching the Middle East and Latin America in the Time of Covid-19

2020_K12_SM_VSummerInstitute2020

 

The purpose of this summer institute, indeed “unprecedented” is an appropriate term, is to provide through a month-long virtual format some of the tools and content that will be useful for teachers in designing engaging curricula for students in the age of Covid-19.  How might historical incidences of plague in the Mediterranean and Middle East underscore the continued impact of global trade networks?  How have colonial legacies in Latin America impacted the infrastructural and governmental capabilities in dealing with disease?  What is the role of xenophobia towards and neglect of vulnerable populations, whether Middle Eastern refugee groups or indigenous communities in Latin America, in magnifying the intensity and probability of the spread of disease?  What can we learn from cultural or “traditional” health practices of these communities in preventing the spread of disease?

The institute’s sessions will address important theoretical approaches to terms such as “disease,” “pandemic,” “public health,” and “quarantine.”  Specialists will be presenting on their expertise drawn from a variety of fields, such as area studies, history, medical anthropology, political science, humanitarianism and human rights studies. Through a comparative approach that utilizes Latin America and the Middle East as two specific case studies, though with constant connections, influences, and impacts from/to the wider globe, we will explore both historical episodes of disease as well as the contemporary.

Please note that the institute is free, but registration is limited. To register, teachers must fill out a Google Form here and an Eventbrite here.

New episode of Rimasun Podcast: Coronavirus Runasimipi Mast’arisqa

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Kay rimaymi “coronavirusmanta” mast’arin imayna ama hap’ichikunapaq ima. Julián Roca Aguilar, Perú suyumanta runasimi rimaqmi. Paymi “activista digital” nisqa imaymana rikch’aq rimanapi rimamun runasimi kawsananpaq willakamun ima llapa runasimi rimaq runakunapaq.

Este audio explica qué es el coronavirus y qué podemos hacer para evitar la transmisión. Julián Roca Aguilar es quechua hablante de Perú. El trabaja como activista digital, usando una variedad de medios de comunicación para promover el uso del idioma quechua e informando a la comunidad en su idioma originario.

This podcast explains what coronavirus is and how we can avoid spreading it. Julián Roca Aguilar is a Quechua speaker from Peru. As a digital activist, he uses a variety of media to promote the use of Quechua and to inform broader communities in his native language.

Click here to view Julián’s YouTube channel.

 

The Runasimi Outreach Committee (ROC) and CLACS host 3rd Annual Quechua Student Alliance Meeting

On November 11, 2017, the Runasimi Outreach Committee (ROC) and Quechua at New York University hosted the 3rd Annual Quechua Student Alliance Meeting, an all-day gathering sponsored by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University, the Organizational Student Life Grant from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at New York University, the K-12 Outreach Program at the Institute of Latin American Studies at Columbia University, and The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies of the University of Illinois. The Meeting offered educators and future educators, students, advocates, program administrators, and other community members the opportunity to exchange their knowledge of Quechua language and culture with each other. Through various presentations and interactive discussions, the Meeting engaged its participants in Quechua language and cultural activities while raising awareness of the growing Quechua communities across New York and the U.S. as well as the increasing importance of Quechua language and cultural education.

The event began with paying respect to Quechua culture and language through a traditional ceremony called Q’oa, led by Julia Garcia, a language partner for Global Languages Network and a middle school teacher. This cultural ceremony grounded everyone in gratitude and in the values of Quechua peoples.

qoa

Following the ceremony, presentations and interactive discussions took place, including:
– a roundtable discussion on Quechua language learning in a University context, presented by Quechua professor Américo Mendoza-Mori, from University of Pennsylvania as well as Quechua instructor, Carlos Molina-Vital, from the University of Illinois, Champagne Urbana. Américo Mendoza-Mori recently published an article on this very topic titled “Quechua Language Programs in the United States: Cultural Hubs for Indigenous Cultures” in Chiricú Journal: Latina/o Literatures, Arts, and Cultures.
– a presentation on Quechua linguistics by PhD Student, Gladys Camacho, from the University of Texas, Austin
– a showcase on the community organization by the Quechua Collective of New York
– an interactive conversation on Quechua pedagogical strategies, involving games and activities, led by a New York University CLACS alum, Arleen Dawes
– a discussion and demonstration session of the New York-produced Quechua podcast, Rimasun, presented by Christine Mladic Janet, a PhD student from New York University
– a presentation on the digitization of Quechua, moderated by Diego Arellano, Undergraduate at the University of Ohio.

After supporting a local Ecuadorian restaurant Naño, who provided our lunch, all participants gathered to share “Ima Rayku?”(“For what reason?”), in which they discussed with each other why they are interested in, study, or teach Quechua. This activity shed light on a variety of reasons why Quechua education is of growing importance in the U.S. during this time of globalization and increased international migration. Beginning the afternoon session, ROC presented a community organization award recognizing the work of Kichwa Hatari, a Bronx-based radio program that aires in Kichwa/Quechua for the greater New York community.

kichwa

Later, New York University Quechua professor, Odi Gonzalez, discussed his book on oral Quechua history and memories, followed by Bruce Mannheim, a linguistic anthropologist from the University of Michigan, who gave the keynote address. The event culminated with a book fair which ranged from a trilingual (Quechua, Spanish, and English) Quechua children’s books to more scholarly publications, including a bilingual (Quechua, Spanish) oral history book and a monolingual (Quechua) linguistics book.

Ultimately, the Meeting successfully brought together Quechua language and culture advocates, students and educators, connecting New York with the Andes. In fact, the day after the event, Daniela Del Alamo Garcia, a teacher in Cusco, Peru at the Language Heritage Institute published an article on the Meeting in El Diario, Cusco.

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Participants of this Meeting hailed primarily from New York, as well as New Jersey, Massachusetts, Ontario, Philadelphia, Rhode Island, Illinois, New Mexico and Texas. Participants ranged from elementary-aged students to elders. In addition to members of New York’s Quechua community as well as local Kichwa/Quechua community organizations, participants also consisted of Quechua students and professors from NYU, Columbia, Fordham University, Hunter College, Lehman College, CUNY, Vassar College, Harvard University, University of New Mexico, Ohio State, and UT Austin. We very much look forward to see what next year’s meeting has instore!

meeting

Quechua language registation at NYU is currently open for Spring 2018. Contact clacs@nyu.edu for more information!
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Sincere thanks to the reporting provided by Marial Quezada, ROC member and MA student from Columbia University

Upcoming Events November 6-11, 2017

CLACS has yet another jam-packed week of events for you to attend, engange with, reflect on, and enjoy. If you are unable to attend the event in person, check out our facebook page, because there is a good chance that there will be a live-stream. This week, events range from critically analyzing the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria, celebrating Mexican music, and collaborating with Quechua speakers and students from across North America.

HURRICANE SEASON: SOVEREIGNTY & CATASTROPHE IN THE CARIBBEAN

A roundtable on the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria. How have environmental and colonial histories shaped recent events? What fragile infrastructures and uncertain sovereignties have been revealed?

Monday, November 6, 2017
6:00 – 9:00 pm
King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, Auditorium
53 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012

More information about this event can be found here.

MOTHER TONGUES UNITED: LANGUAGE EXPO CELEBRATION OF LESS-COMMONLY TAUGHT LANGUAGES

Every year, The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) at NYU hosts “#MotherTonguesUnited”, an event tied to a movement to unite speakers of historically undervalued languages in an effort to dispel myths and stereotypes surrounding those languages. Many languages have been included in this movement, including Papiamentu, Haitian Creole, and Garífuna.

This year, CLACS is excited to be hosting a Language Fair that focuses on less-commonly taught languages! This special edition of #MotherTonguesUnited aims to celebrate the work of various language departments and centers throughout NYU while creating a community space where students can learn about and engage in these languages.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017
4:00 – 8:30 pm
King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, Atrium
53 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012

More information about this event can be found here.

MEXICAN MUSIC IN THE GLOBAL MARKET: EXPLORING THE CULTURAL CHALLENGES & COMMERCIAL OPPORTUNITIES

Mexico is the 2nd largest latin market right after Brazil. Yet, it shows no signs of stopping. Join us to as we discuss the impact of Mexican, and Latin music, in the global market, as we unravel the stories of some Mexican professionals in the music industry and musicians, as well as music industry professionals who deal with Latin American content. We will explore the cultural challenges and commercial opportunities that Mexican music has in the American market, and we will also discuss the evolution of Mexico’s music industry.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
NYU Kimmel 405
60 Washington Sq S

More information about this event can be found here.

SOUND X COLOR: SOMOS MUCHO MAS CUBA

Yamay Mejias Hernandez, also known as “La Fina,” will discuss her career as an Afro-Cuban feminist rapper and Director of “Somos Mucho Mas.” Somos Mucho Mas is one of the only female-led hip-hop initiatives in Cuba and serves as an intersectional anti-racist and feminist platform for Afro-Cuban women. As a rapper and community organizer, in a country that claims to have solved issues with racism, La Fina presents a unique perspective as she uses hip-hop to fight for social change.

Friday, November 10, 2017
5:30 – 8:30 pm
Social and Cultural Analysis, Flex Space
20 Cooper Square, 4th Floor

More information about this event can be found here.

3RD QUECHUA STUDENT ALLIANCE MEETING

This annual event aims to promote an exchange of ideas between college students, professors, and the community at large who share an interest and passion for Quechua language and Andean culture. We are working towards creating a space for people of all ages and backgrounds to become dynamic leaders within their communities. Our goal is to foster networks of indigenous language advocates.

Saturday, November 11, 2017
10:00 am – 7:00 pm
King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, Atrium
53 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012

More information about this event can be found here.