2011 Research Projects

Each year CLLAS provides grants for faculty, students, and community organizations to conduct research. Grant guidelines can be found at: http://cllas.uoregon.edu/grant-opportunities/

Graduate Student Projects

“Development with Identity, Tourism and Mapuche Struggles in Chile: Unpacking Ethno-tourism Discourse and Practice”—Ignacio Krell Rivera, Environmental Studies, M.A. student

Powerful development institutions working throughout Latin America have adopted notions such as “development with identity” and “collaborative environmental governance” nominally to address questions of ethnic and indigenous rights in the context of development policy. This project focuses on the effects of contemporary development interventions on Mapuche communities of southern Chile. The research examines tourism practices and narratives produced at the intersection of such policies and local communities’ agency.

“Organizing Agriculture: Milpa Production and the Reasons behind a Non-Profitable Activity”—Iván Sandoval-Cervantes, Department of Anthropology, master’s student

This project explores how immigration affects land conflicts in Santa Ana Zegache, located in the central valleys of Oaxaca, México. Santa Ana Zegache, like many other communities in the Mexican countryside, is a divided community. Its divisions are reflected in two main realms: political parties and land issues. At this stage of the project I am focusing on the latter, although it should be noted both of these realms are deeply intertwined.

Land conflict is not a new phenomenon in Santa Ana Zegache. In fact, archival material shows that the conflict between “agraristas” (or the people who defend the “communal” land-holding system also known as “ejido”) and “propietarios” (those who support a version of private property) has been present in the community at least since the 1940s. This conflict has taken many different forms, however, and in the last two decades the divide between the “ejidatarios” and the ”propietarios” became almost symmetrical with the division between Santañeros who support either the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) and those who support the Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD). This division has split families and friendships, and, because of that, it has created new networks that have been transplanted to Santa Ana’s immigrant community in Oregon.

My project will highlight how land conflicts have been transformed by immigration and how Santa Ana’s immigrant community in Oregon has also been transformed by the increased intensity of local land conflicts. Studying land conflict in transborder communities can help us to understand how immigration modifies people’s political attitudes, and it can also shed some light on how immigrant communities retain connections with their communities of origin by emphasizing a particular relation to land and agriculture in a familial and communal setting.

“The Impact of Microfinance on Women’s Empowerment in Bolivia”—Alejandra García Díaz Villamil, Department of Planning, Public Policy and Management (PPPM), M.A. student

This project aims to answer questions of how group loans have empowered impoverished Quechuas, Aymaras, and mestizo women in Bolivia. The project will analyze the changes in roles, decision making, and community participation in relation to empowerment of women entrepreneurs who receive group loans within the Bolivian context.

Faculty / Community Collaborators

“The Small Farmers Project: From Field Workers to Small Business Owners”—Stephen Wooten (Associate Professor, UO Departments of International Studies and Anthropology); Sarah Cantril (Founder and Executive Director, Huerto de la Familia); Cherie Fortis (Producer/Director); Chris Roddy (New Media/Communications specialist and an Environmental Studies graduate student, UO); Elizabeth Miskell (graduate student, UO Department of International Studies).

Support from the Center will facilitate research on and the dissemination of the stories of families involved in the Small Farmers Project (SFP), an initiative designed to support income generation opportunities for local immigrant Latino families. The SFP is a program of Huerto de la Familia, a nonprofit organization based in Eugene, Oregon, that has been offering services to the area’s Latino community since 1999. Huerto’s overall mission is to cultivate community integration and economic self-sufficiency for immigrants by offering opportunities and training in organic gardening and farming, and the development of food-based microenterprises.

“Pilot Project: Racism, Stress and Health among Latino Immigrants in the Eugene/Springfield Area”—Ken Neubeck (Executive Director, Amigos Multicultural Services Center); Heather McClure (Research Associate, UO Department of Anthropology; Oregon Social Learning Center, Latino Research Team); Lynn Stephen (Professor, UO Department of Anthropology); Josh Snodgrass (Associate Professor, UO Department of Anthropology); Patricia Córtez, Amigos Multicultural Services, Juventud FACETA.

This pilot study proposes to begin laying the groundwork for a future multi-year study of racism, stress and health among Latino immigrants in Oregon that will integrate in-depth ethnography with quantitative research methods, stress biomarkers, and other health measures to investigate how race-based discrimination “gets under the skin” to affect health among women and men. The project will train youth from Juventud FACETA as participating researchers and will train them in interviewing and the collection of bio-measures and health data.