Festival of Scholars

An annual celebration of research, scholarship, and creativity

Spanish Latin American Literature and Culture Presentations

Date: Thursday, May 1, 2014
Time: 12:25pm - 2:05pm
Location: Soiland Humanities Building 113
Description: The Latin American Cultures and Literatures session includes the presentations of the research completed by undergraduate students in Spanish 405, Latin American Culture and Civilization course. The presentations will be in Spanish. All are welcome!

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Student Abstracts at this Session

Student(s):
Marina Alvarez

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Eva Ramirez
The African Diaspora In Mexico

The African experience is evident in Latin American history. Some would argue the presence of the African past is more visible in some Latin American countries than others. However, Mexico seems to be one of the countries that has silenced this history, or denied it altogether. Even then, is the story linked, and limited to slavery, often suggesting this population has merely disappeared. Though, it is the encounter of Europeans, the already existing natives, and the African diaspora which has formulated the multifaceted and multi-ethnic identity of Mexico.




Student(s):
Jessica Aparicio

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Eva Ramirez
Justice is Served: Customs and Traditions in Indigenous Communities of Oaxaca and Chiapas

Oaxaca and Chiapas are two states with a large population of indigenous communities in Mexico. These indigenous communities have their own dialects, cultural traditions and their own functional law system which is well respected by the members of the communities. It is important to know about the indigenous customs and traditions because they serve as the base for the community life, and therefore the state governments have established laws that take into consideration how justice is served through the indigenous communities. The information for this research will be extracted from governmental documents, statistical data, scholarly published articles, and online newspaper articles. This research presents information on how traditions and customs function in these indigenous communities to protect or to threaten the indigenous citizens in both states.




Student(s):
Bridgette Carrillo

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Eva Ramirez
Powerful Women in Latin America

Throughout the history of Latin America, women have been denied equal opportunities as men, becoming nearly impossible for them to climb the social status ladder. But there have been some Latin American women who have taken their country towards success and broken free from the negative stigma(s) created. They have shown leadership but in some cases they have lacked recognition for their work. This research presentation will give examples of several women from Latin America who have not been recognized in history in order to give insight to their lives and their achievements.




Student(s):
Jennifer Chavez-Lanza

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Eva Ramirez
Drug Cartels in Telenovelas

La Reina del Sur, Pablo Escobar, and El Cartel de los Sapos, are some of the most popular Spanish-language soap operas that depict the lives of powerful drug traffickers such as Teresa Mendoza, Pablo Escobar, and Andrés Lopéz Lopéz. There is a focus on the historical events of the drug cartels in Mexico and Colombia as they are presented in these soap operas. The principle researcher performs a comparison between events in modern telenovelas and events found in news sources and historical data.




Student(s):
Flavio Guzman

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Eva Ramirez
You Aren’t Dangerous Famous Until You Have Your Narcocorrido

Narcocorridos are a now a staple of popular Mexican music. These ballads talk about the drug cartels and their leaders. It seems as if this is the new way for a cartel or cartel leader to prove that they are dangerous enough. These ballads however don’t seem to be scaring anyone. Yet it is clear that they serve a purpose as cartels and leaders have even paid for musicians to write a narcocorrio about them. What role exactly do these narcocorridos play and what would happen if they were banned?




Student(s):
Patricia Hernandez

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Eva Ramirez
History of Michoacan

This research focuses on the history of the state of Michoacán Mexico. It is particularly important to research the indigenous groups who inhabited the state, and who were the first Spaniards who went to settle there when the state was founded. This research focuses on the first Spanish settlements and why they chose to settle there. Researching the history of Michoacán and its inhabitants is important since a large number of Mexicans who live in the United States, particularly Southern California, come from Michoacán. Many of the CLU workers and many CLU students or their parents came from Michoacán, Mexico, and therefore it is important for the CLU community to find out about the history and cultural traditions of the people from Michoacán.




Student(s):
Michel Manning

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Eva Ramirez
The Currencies of Latin America

The currencies used in the countries of Latin America are widely diverse, and some a direct resultant of the ancient history that resides in each formerly indigenous place. The selection process, use of, and denominations of the currencies are an important part of the health of the economies and their business relations, as well as the prosperity thereof. Each currency is more than just a medium of exchange, but even more representative of the unique histories of how each country became its own. What is even more intriguing are the Latin American countries whom utilize the United States currency, instead of one unique to their location. This paper will explore these Spanish-speaking countries and the history of their currency selections which allow them to function on a daily basis.




Student(s):
Marina Martinez

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Eva Ramirez
Chagas Thriving in Poverty Stricken Areas

Chagas is a disease that is estimated to affect 7 to 8 million people mostly from Mexico, Central America and South America. Chagas disease is a parasitic disease caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma Cruzi and highly spread by insects known as Triatominae. These insects are known as vinchuca in Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay, and chinche in Central America. It results in about 12,500 deaths a year. Chagas causes serious health problems; actions need to be taken to raise awareness and find solutions to end the disease. This disease thrives in very poor regions of the area, and as of 2013, a vaccine has not been developed. The awareness of this disease has been known since its discovery in 1909, but it has been unable to subside as people from poverty stricken areas do not have the means to remove the parasite or receive treatment.




Student(s):
Laura Millet

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Eva Ramirez
Education of the Indigenous Population in Guatemala

This essay will examine the different types of education received by the indigenous populations in Guatemala. Statistics and demographics in various regions of the country will be used and analyzed to support this research. The overall goal of this project is to shed light on the types of education systems provided for these people and also to spread awareness of illiteracy rates in these parts of the country and look into possible ways of improving the situation for future generations.




Student(s):
Genessis Palacios

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Eva Ramirez
Prisiones Enérgicas Latinoamericanas

The US media generally emphasizes the prevalence of crime in Latin America but pays little attention to the different prison systems existing there. The purpose of this paper is to compare two maximum security prisons in Latin America: The “Cárcel de máxima seguridad de Combita” in Colombia and the “Penal del Altiplano” in Mexico, two Latin American facilities with maximum security. The research conducted results in a brief comparison of the variance in the development, size, security, and prisoner’s living conditions in both prisons. A limitation to the study is the poorly kept records in both facilities regarding the prisoners. Despite the facilities’ differences and loose corrections systems in Latin-American countries, the research supports the strong impact they have on their respective communities.




Student(s):
Genesis Rodriguez

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Eva Ramirez
Folkloric Latin American Dances

This study discusses and compares selected Latin American folkloric dances. Latin American folkloric dances vary in style, but a majority of them have African and French roots. The principal researcher analyzes the styles and influences in these folkloric dances and explores how their roots have developed to become what they are today. The principal researcher compares seven or more different countries’ dances and compares them on a spectrum. The influence of outside cultures on Latin American regional dances is reflected in the roots of these dances. The focus of this project is to understand why certain Latin American dances have continued to be in the mainstream and what certain background features have allowed them to be how they are seen today.




Student(s):
Lisa Rowan

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Eva Ramirez
Illiteracy in Latin America

The persistence of illiteracy in Latin America over the past thirty years has been an important challenge causing a continuation of poverty and slow economic growth in several countries. Many Latin American countries have developed their own plans to reach higher literacy rates in the 21st century. Some have been successful and others are falling behind, with high illiteracy rates putting their country at a great disadvantage. 'Illiteracy in Latin America' will focus on the state of illiteracy in Latin America today, how it has changed over the past several decades, and what Latin American countries are doing to raise their literacy rates. The presentation will also consider changes in illiteracy rates over time compared to the amount of gross domestic product dedicated to education in each Latin American country.




Student(s):
Joshua Solberg

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Eva Ramirez
Trends of UV Radiation in Ecuador in Comparison to Chile

The purpose of this essay is to determine the differences in UV radiation between Ecuador and Chile as well as comparing how it affects the country’s citizens. This will be analyzed through data gathered about the sun itself, the atmosphere, and the country locations. Using this information, it will be paired to statistics about each respective country’s history of skin cancer and melanomas. The purpose of this is to project reasons as to why the problems may exist. In finding the correlations to said problems, this will follow with feasible solutions that are not yet already within place. The end goal is to explain what the differences between the two countries are in terms of UV radiation and separate which solutions could be implemented that are not yet being used.




Student(s):
Alejandra Toledo

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Eva Ramirez
A Mixture of Cultures

Immigration has always played an important role in the history of Latin America, particularly Chinese immigration in Mexico and Peru. The research for this project conducted through scholarly articles, academic journals and governmental sources, investigates the impact the immigrant population has had in different aspects of society and how these host countries respond to these immigrants. It emphasizes the history, population growth and interactions among natives and immigrants. These are key to better understanding the changes immigration has brought to those countries.




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