By Amparo Hoffman-Pinilla & Sonia Ospina, NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service
During the 2020 Spring semester three Colombian academics delivered presentations about their research through a Faculty Working Group Series that is part of the Colombia: Past, Present, and Futures initiative. This is a collaboration between scholars from NYU and Universidad del Rosario (URosario) in Colombia, which brings together NYU’s Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) and the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, in partnership with URosario’s Academic Vice-Provost Office, and the Peace, Conflict and Peace Research Center (Centro de Estudios en Conflictos y Paz).
The goal of this collaboration is to raise awareness, deepen understanding and foster discussion among professors, students and community members interested in current challenges and opportunities affecting the peace process, democratic governance and sustainable development in Colombia. The Initiative capitalized on the presence of a critical mass of professors from URosario in NYC during the Spring semester: Juan Vargas, Professor of Economics and Visiting Professor at NYU’s Political Science Department during the 2019-2020 academic year; Angela Santamaría, Professor of URosario’s Conflict and Peace Research Center (Centro de Estudios en Conflictos y Paz) and Visiting Scholar at NYU/Wagner during the Spring of 2020; and Bastien Bosa, Professor of Anthropology and a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University during the Spring of 2020.
The Right to an Emancipatory Education, at Risk in Latin America and the Caribbean
Discussion and photographic exposition of Warisata: the experience of the indigenous “escuela núcleo” in Bolivia.
September 19, 2017
The Ayllu School of Warisata in Bolivia, despite its short operative life (1931-1940), has been one of the most significant educational experiences in Latin America and the Caribbean. Transmitting the principles of freedom, solidarity, and reciprocity, it reevaluated the Bolivian cultural identity and sustainable communal production in harmony with mother earth.
The experience and exhibition of Warisata en Imágenes discussed the current Latin American and Caribbean context and the challenging task of creating an emancipatory education. Moreover, the conversation was geared towards the philosophical motivations—and the ends—of education as a tool for personal growth and social progress.
On July 12, 2017, CLACS hosted a timely event with two of Honduras best known indigenous leaders. The night’s conversation featured Bertha Zúniga Cáceres, daughter of the late Lenca community leader Berta Cáceres and General Coordinator of the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), and Miriam Miranda who is General Coordinator of the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (ONAFREH) and a well-known Garífuna community leader.
The night’s events began with a presentation of two short clips honoring the memory Berta Cáceres, which also served to contextualize the conversation to come. The first clip, was from the Berta Vive documentary, followed by a part of the acceptance speech by the Lenca leader from her acceptance of the Goldman Prize (2015). With this, the stage was set for the conversation with the featured speakers moderated by Grassroots International‘s Latin America Program Coordinator Jovanna Garcia Soto.
With a capacity room, the conversation featured insights on current affairs in the struggles of the indigenous communities in Honduras. Bertha Zúniga spoke about the legacy of her late mother, the importance of unity in resistance struggles, and denounced current anti-terrorism laws. Miriam Miranda, on her part, highlighted the importance of her people’s cultural traditions and spirituality in resisting the current crisis in favor of of life in Honduras.
Thanks to everyone who joined us last Friday for our event ‘A New-New Left in Latin America?: The Challenge of Progressive Politics in the Midst of a Conservative Turn.’ More than two hundred students, professors, activists, local media, Peruvian journalists and community members joined us at KJCC Auditorium to hear former Peruvian Presidential candidate Verónika Mendoza speak about the rise of a ‘New-New left’ in the region.
CLACS Assistant Director Omar Dauhajre presented the event and panelists. Speakers included essayist and poet Mariela Dreyfus who highlighted the feminist activism in Peru and Jose Luis Rénique, historian and principal professor at Lehman College, who discussed democracy, education, and the promise of the left. Panelist Paula Garcia shifted the conversation to the challenges of the Frente Amplio as an organization.
Verónika shared her perspectives about the challenges of the Left in the new Latin American scenario, her strong results in notoriously conservative Peru, and her vision of the future. One of her strongest messages was, “The absence of the left in national politics represents an opportunity to create something new.”
About 1000 Shipibos live in Cantagallo, a shanty-town in the Rimac district of Lima, Peru. The Shipibo-Conibo are an indigenous group that live near the Ucayali river in the Amazon region of Peru. They make up about 10-15% of Cantagallo, the rest being populations that migrated from other areas in Peru, particularly the Andean regions. Although Cantagallo began being populated in the 1970s, the Shipibos began arriving there in the year 2000.
I started my first week of living with a family in Cantagallo on June 14. I arrived close to 5:00 and tecnocumbia music was already blaring. A male voice announced father’s day celebrations on a loudspeaker that the whole community could hear. He spoke in Shipibo, with only a few words of Spanish seeping through.
Gladys Camacho, Felix Muruchi ima NYUta watukushanku. Iskaykuna kashanku Boliviamanta. Gladys watukushan Lingüística programata. Felix rimaran Evo Moralesmanta, politica Boliviamanta ima CLACSpi. Pay qelqaran huk librota hoq runakunawan, chay libroypa sutin Minero con poder de dinamita: La vida de un activista boliviano. Iskayninku watukunankumanta rimashanku NYU estudiante Charlie Uruchimawan.
Gladys Camacho y Felix Muruchi visitan NYU. Gladys visita el programa de Lingüística y Felix habló sobre Evo Morales y la política en Bolivia en el programa de CLACS. El es co-autor del libro: Minero con poder de dinamita: La vida de un activista boliviano. Gladys y Felix conversan con el estudiante de NYU Charlie Uruchima sobre sus experiencias vividas en la ciudad.
Gladys Camacho and Felix Muruchi are currently visiting NYU from Bolivia. Gladys is a visiting scholar in the Department of Linguistics, and Felix is giving a talk about Evo Morales and Bolivian politics in CLACS. He is also the co-author of the book: From the Mines to the Streets: a Bolivian Activist’s Life. In this podcast, Gladys and Felix speak with NYU student Charlie Uruchima about their experiences visiting New York.
Mirian Masaquiza, kichwa warmi Ecuadormamallaktamanda, llankan Secretaría del Foro Permanente para las Cuestiones Indígenas nishkabi Mamallaktakunapak Tandanakuy Wasibi (ONU). Mirian rimagun ONU wasi Foro Permanente uku rurashkada runakunada sinchiyachigu. Shinalladik, kichwa shimida rimananin runa yuyay, kawsay kunada sinchiyachingu.
Mirian Masaquiza, kichwa del Ecuador trabaja en la Secretaría del Foro Permanente para las Cuestiones Indígenas de las Naciones Unidas. Mirian nos platica sobre los avances en Naciones Unidas sobre los derechos de los pueblos indígenas, en particular el papel del Foro Permanente para las Cuestiones Indígenas. Asimismo, alienta ha que se hable el kichwa como una forma de mantener su identidad y cultura.
Mirian Masaquiza, kichwa from Ecuador is a staff member of the UN Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Mirian shares some of the advancements at the United Nations on indigenous peoples’ issues, in particular the role of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. She also encourages to speak Kichwa as a way to maintain her identity and culture.
Angel Tibán Guala Ecuador Mamallaktapi – Cotopaxi marcamanta Tv MICC canal 47 jayllita pushan. Kay rikuna willanaka “Movimiento Indígena y Campesino de Cotopaxi – MICC” tantanakuypakmi kan. Ñami kinsa yalli watakuna kari warmikunapak yuyaykunata kausaykunatapash ishkayshimipi rimashpa rikuchishpapash llankankuna.Cay rikuna jayllika chusku markakunapak wasikunamanmi yaykun.
Angel Tibán Guala dirige la televisora comunitaria Tv MICC canal 47. El Movimiento Indígena y Campesino de Cotopaxi – MICC es el propietario del medio de comunicación. El canal viene funcionando más de tres años, mostrando las voces y la identidad propia de los Pueblos y Nacionalidades Indígenas del Ecuador. El canal de televisión ingresa a los hogares de cuatro provincias de zona central del Ecuador.
Angel Tibán Guala is the Director of the community television channel MICC 47, which is owned by El Movimiento Indígena y Campesino de Cotopaxi (MICC). For more than three years, the channel has facilitated the Indigenous Nations and Peoples of Ecuador to transmit their own voices and identity into the homes of residents in four provinces in central Ecuador.
Christine Mladic interviewed Angel during his visit to the United Nations in NYC.
Everyone loves to travel. In 2008, 924 million people traveled abroad. That is a lot of people contributing an enormous amount of money to foreign economies. For obvious reasons many people think of tourism as having a positive impact to the economy of any area that utilizes it to create jobs, preserve natural resources, and increase the overall quality of life for the people living and working within the tourist economy. But does tourism always leave positive impacts? My research delves into the tourist economy of a specific area in Guatemala where the Tzutjujil Mayan people struggle to decide how tourism should be used to bolster their economy and maximize the benefits tourism can bring while minimizing its negative impacts.
The town of San Pedro La Laguna on the side of Lake Atitlan Guatemala has blossomed into a thriving community over the past twenty years. Much of the success the town has had in the tourism sector is due to Narco-tourism. The various illegal narcotics that can be purchased around the town has made San Pedro a popular stop for many backpackers while traveling through Central America. Marijuana, cocaine, psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, MDMA (pure ecstasy), and prescription drugs are all available to buy at discount prices given you can make contact with the right local. The local dealers are both Guatemalans and foreigners who call San Pedro home. The sale and availability of illegal drugs has had a significant impact on the lives of this Mayan community, especially the impressionable youth. But this is just one of the problems that tourism can bring if it is not regulated. Continue reading →
I have returned to Guatemala to do field research for the NYU CLACS masters program after having served in this country as a Peace Corps volunteer from 2008-2010. Even though I am now in a different location of the country from when I served as a volunteer, many elements of the towns San Pedro La Laguna and San Juan La Laguna are familiar and ubiquitously Guatemalan. The major difference about these communities in comparison to other parts of the country is their ability to use tourism as a development strategy and how this has changed the people’s everyday lives and culture.
My research interest lies with the cultural elements that are unique to these two towns because of their high connection with the outside world. The town’s geography gives them both their own feel and how they have used tourism differently has had significant impacts on everyday life. Situated alongside the beautiful Lake Atitlan surrounded by volcanoes at an altitude of over five thousand feet, both San Pedro and San Juan have something to offer the bold tourist who craves a unique cultural experience. Over the past twenty years these communities have developed with the aid of tourism, but poverty still grips the lives of the majority of the town’s inhabitants. Trying to understand this situation will take time and patience. After being here a week, I have identified many people who have unique perspectives that will benefit my research. Continue reading →