Modern Languages (Spanish)
This project investigates gender constructs and the complex assigned gender roles in settings of female indigenous leadership in Latin America. It examines two distinct indigenous communities, including the BriBri society in Yorkín, Costa Rica and the Maya peoples in Santa Anita, Guatemala that demonstrate the circumstantial spectrum in which women can obtain leadership roles and what actors directly influence this process. Each case study explores the fluidity of gender identities in which concepts of masculinity and femininity often guide female empowerment and liberation. Costa Rica and Guatemala offer contrasting experiences in terms of governmental stability, as Costa Rica abolished its military in 1948 and has enjoyed political stability since that time, whereas Guatemala experienced a 36-year civil war (1960-1996) and a major genocide targeted at Maya peoples during the war-torn period. This research looks at the democratic success story of Costa Rica and questions what circumstances have fostered female leadership within the Yorkín community in contrast with the instable and stagnant democracy that surrounds rural Guatemalan communities like Santa Anita. Moreover, my project discusses the root causes of the cases’ historical differences and analyzes how the social constructions of gender impacts opportunities for women in both countries. This investigation is based on onsite interviews conducted in both communities and scholarly examination of historical, cultural, and sociopolitical factors that have promoted or inhibited female empowerment and female dominated management in community development projects.
Hartford, Roseangela G., "Los Matices Varios del Feminismo en las Comunidades Indígenas de América Latina: Yorkín, Costa Rica y Santa Anita, Guatemala" (2018). Spanish Honors Papers. 2.