Possible Wikipedia Topic

After engaging in a conversation with my friend Gerald, I decided to look more into ‘Las Escualas Flotantes’ or ‘The Floating Schools.’ These school’s are designed and built in order to continue teaching children due to flooding or natural disasters that occur in their environment. This floating schools can be found in Argentina, Columbia, Bangladesh, and Nigeria. These structures are typically boat-like structures designed into a school space for children whose school’s have been shut down or destroyed due to a disaster. I believe it is important to share and shed light on this topic because it highlights the importance of education and how much we take it for granted. Unfortunately, I could not find any Wikipedia articles on this topic. I did find videos, volunteer programs, and other websites with a plethora of information. There was one page on Wikipedia connected to floating schools. The article is called “Mokoko Floating School” and describes the floating school located in Nigeria. It’s a very short wiki article with only two paragraphs (history and design). The references are books/newspapers which are all relatively modern and reliable and the links appear to work as well. The talk page did not have any discussions on it.

links used:

First Latin American Floating School Inaugurated


Floating Schools: A Solution to Flooding Across the Globe



The Ways and Means of Activist Art, from Latin America to LA


Alfadir Luna, “El Señor del Maíz” (2012), Chromogenic print, from the exhibition Talking to Action: Art Pedagogy, and Activism in the Americas at Otis College of Art and Design, Ben Maltz Gallery (photo by Anayatzin Ortiz. Colección Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey)


The article: The Ways and Means of Activist Art, from Latin America to LA examines the different ways in which art has been used by the people of Latin America in activism. While the writer does not explicitly describe the various ways, rather, adopting a sweeping, summarizing view of activism through art, his use of pictures and links to other websites and articles showing the same information serves to emphasize the relevance and presence of this activism through art.

 His description of universities’ and educational institutions’ involvement in activism serves to qualify this as a genuine, notable, even scholarly phenomenon. His initial description of Latin American heritage as being marked by “periods of colonialism followed by independence, utopian idealism, and in many cases, oppression, corruption, and inequality.” serves to tell the story of how Latin America came to be what it is today. Saying this, he continues to describe how at every stage, oppression and corruption has been met by resistance and protest by the people of Latin America. In saying this, the writer references the courage, justice, and sense of responsibility in the people of Latin America and their dynamic identities.
The writer references many different countries with specific examples of the nature of activism expressed through art there:

SEFT-1 in Mexico

– a quirky, futuristic vehicle that travels along Mexico’s system of dilapidated railways, exploring the nation and its ideas about progress along the way;

Frente 3 de Fevereiro in Sao Paolo


-collective that investigates the military oppression of Afro communities in Medellín, Rio de Janeiro, and Haiti

In promoting educational institutions’ conversations around Latin American issues and identity, the author helps to encourage dialogue around Latin America and conversations about it around the world.



Noticias Discussion Week 2 (Maya, Cesar, & Bryce)

Read the summaries of Joseph, Kyrsten, and Maggie and the corresponding articles. 



The articles that Kyrsten and Joseph chose both discuss violence in Mexico: femicide and murder. Mexico appears to be a violent country.

  • How does the portrayal of Mexico and other Latin American countries in the media shape your views of these countries and its people?
  • Is there any apparent bias in the articles that lead you to believe that Mexico is more violent than it seems?

According to the the article Maggie chose and from what you have seen in everyday life, Latinos are not as represented in Hollywood and in other occupations.

  • How do you think we can improve the representation of Latinos in the workforce?
  • What will the effects be on Latin American identity in the United States if the representation of this part of the world is improved?

Noticias 2: Pacificação nas Favelas de Rio

Link to article: http://riotimesonline.com/brazil-news/rio-politics/military-police-enter-rios-rocinha-community-after-gangs-clash/


In this Rio Times article, the author, Lise Alves addresses a recent altercation between Brazilian police/military, and gangs that occupy the favelas of Rio, specifically the Favela known as Rocinha (ho-see-nya). The news article states that police and military special forces entered the favela named Rocinha to find and arrest rival gang leaders. Firefights and battles over territory between rival gangs within the favela forced police to take action and encouraged non-violent residents to stay inside to avoid confrontation with gang members’ crossfire. The article goes on to state that the nearby metro stations of São Conrado were closed when gunfire was heard coming from Rocinha. On the northern end of the city, skirmishes between rival gangs took place the favela of Juramento.


This article gives readers a stereotypical view of Brazil that embodies the violent slums, and heavy influence of drug trafficking within them. What this article fails to mention is the results of raids by authorities. For years, Rio’s police have been battling gangs as a part of their initiative to pacify the favelas, making them safe for their people as well as visitors. This pacification movement, which was commenced in 2008, has for the most part been a total failure. Other than the success in Rio de Janeiro’s smallest favela, Santa Marta (pop. ~5,000), police have made little to no impact on Rio’s larger favelas like Rocinha (pop. ~70,000). One reason the outcomes of the police raids may have been left out is to avoid projecting a negative image towards the Brazilian Government, assuming police were unsuccessful. In addition, total pacification of Rio’s favela of Rocinha would be nearly impossible, noting the density of both innocent civilians as well as gang members. Furthermore, previous occupation of the favela in 2008 proved widely unsuccessful as police faced danger in trying to eliminate gangs while protecting themselves and the favela’s inhabitants.


This article displays both class themes, predominantly the theme of encounters. This article by The Rio Times is a common example of English news stories from Brazil, which Brazilian government fails to address. For example, in preparation for the 2016 summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the Brazilian Government took many provisions to improve outsider’s views of Brazil, by simply hiding the problems rather than fixing them or providing a call to action by tourists attracted by the Olympics. For example, main roads were improved, and tunnels were added through various mountains in the city to block the view of favelas that were previously visible from the road. From my personal accounts, the views of the Brazilian people and residents of Rio seemed to be a general feeling of disappointment and despair in regards to the consistent secrecy and corruption the Brazilian Government displays.



Noticias: Odebrecht Scandal

Odebrect Scandal


worker in hard hat with Odebrecht logo on back of uniform For Noticias this week, I found an article entitled “Politicians Worldwide Suspected as Bribery Scandal Unfolds”. The article was published on September 14 of this year. Right off the bat, I found this topic interesting because I have studied the faults in Latin American politics so I think this article was a good place to start.

     The article was about a Brazilian construction company called Odebrecht. This construction company has been under investigation since 2016 for allegedly bribing political officials for construction jobs in return. Odebrecht is a company that was responsible for the construction of the Olympics stadium, the infrastructure of the 2014 World Cup, as well as the metro systems, dams, airport terminals etc.

     Odebrecht’s influence impacted the majority of South America, a large part of Central America and parts of even African and Europe. Since the beginning of the investigation, Odebrecht has admitted to bribing politicians to help them gain construction jobs. The company admitted to paying $349 million in bribes to Brazil alone, on top of the bribes paid to at least 12 other countries.

Table of countries where Odebrecht has admitted paying bribes (Brazil, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Panama, Angola, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, Guatemala, Colombia, Mexico, Mozambique) and where it is alleged to have paid bribes (Antigua, El Salvador) and is under investigation (Chile, Portugal)     The article breaks down each country’s involvement with the Odebrecht scandal. The responses from these countries ranged from politicians having no idea that their election campaigns were being paid off by the Odebrecht company as stated by the current president of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos to countries such as Peru and Ecuador who have prohibited their elected officials from leaving the country due to the investigation.

     The article briefly explains the consequences of the construction company’s actions and how those contractors will be spending their lives. The CEO of the company, Marcelo Odebrecht, is serving a 19-year jail term which began last year after being found guilty of bribing Brazilian officials in exchange for contracts for construction.

Noticias: Murder in Mexico


A location scout by the name of Carlos Muñoz Portal has been found dead in Mexico. He was scouting for locations to shoot scenes for the popular Netflix show ‘Narcos’. The 37 year old’s body was found riddled with bullets in his car just outside Mexico City. The article goes on to describe the main premise of Narcos, which, according to the article, is about “the gritty wars of the 1980s between drug kingpins and law enforcement agencies”. Furthermore, the article describes the context of the murder of Muñoz, which essentially is only one of thousands of murders that have occurred throughout Mexico this year.

The cultural and social implications of this article are much greater than they may seem at first glance. Regardless of how the author wishes to depict Mexico, one cannot tell this news story with a positive connotation for Mexico. In other words, this story makes Mexico look bad, no matter how you put it. This is particularly interesting when one considers the implications within the United States. For one thing, many people are upset at Trump and his supporters for the way they treat and talk about Mexican immigrants, but this kind of story gives allows those who are racist and bigoted to say “look at how violent Mexico is, we don’t want those people coming into our country”. The fact that Mexico has had over 2,200 recorded murders nationwide in the month of June alone makes it even worse. It is difficult to convince those who are prejudiced against Mexicans that they are not all gangsters or criminals when over 2,200 people have been murdered in Mexico in one month. Not only that, but I find the article itself to be incredibly ironic. A location scout for a show about gang violence in the 80s was murdered in Mexico just last week, proving that violence in Latin America is still a large problem.

In terms of identities, it is sad to see that Mexico seems unable to rid itself of its identity as a country full of violent gangs and poverty. This makes Mexico and Mexicans (and consequently all Latin Americans) look bad on the world stage, and the murder rate in Mexico right now can only worsen Mexican-American relations. It is important for the Mexican government to find a way to deal with the rampant violence plaguing Mexico, because as stated previously, articles such as this one will only serve to give more fuel to the fires of those who are prejudiced against Mexicans.

Noticas 2

In this article the Brazilian President Michel Temer talks about the rise of nationalism in many countries around the world. Also about how protectionism is not the solution to many of today’s problems. Protectionism is the practice of restricting or limiting trade between certain countries through tariffs or other methods.

President Temer states that limiting trade will only hurt other countries such as Brazil which is coming out of a major recession. Also that the planet is in desperate need of our help with the rise of global warming and the only way to help the planet is by working together. This goal wont be accomplished if all we are doing is imposing tariffs on one another. Corporations have been responsible for the destruction of our ecosystem and only the leaders of our world have the power to stop them. Working together should be are main goal to make the world a better place for everyone.

Working together can be seen with Venezuela and how countries are supporting its transition to a democratic state. By supporting each other we can help others achieve the happiness they deserve.



2nd Noticias

Freddy Bernal, Venezuela’s minister for urban agriculture, visiting a rabbit farm.

Strange, Hannah. ‘They put bows on them’: Venezuelan plan to encourage rabbit-eating amid food shortages goes awry as people adopt them as pets. Telegraph. 14 Sept 2017

Within this Telegraph article by Hannah Strange, she talks about the Venezuelan food crisis and how they plan to deal with it by encouraging the people to breed rabbits for meat. The Venezuelan president called this attempt to help his people from the crisis, Plan Rabbit, and Strange writes that he thought that this would be a great idea to implement a new alternative food source to the people that is less expensive than other mainstream meats like beef and chicken that has become extremely expensive. It started out as a trial held by Venezuela’s minister for urban agriculture, Freddy Bernal. He have 15 communities baby rabbits to grow and breed and then collected the rabbits again to count them. What came back to him was very surprising to him because many rabbits came back with names and bows on their heads and were treated as pets instead of potential food.

After seeing that the rabbits were being treated as pets, Bernal decided to try to adjust the way that people viewed the rabbits, from pets to food. He also insisted on switching to goats to take the place of cows within the crisis. This food crisis is causing an economic collapse within the country and has caused record levels of malnutrition in children states Strange. She also states that the average Venezuelan has dropped 19 pounds due to the food and economic crisis. As a result of this, many people are leaving Venezuela in search of a new life and the president of Venezuela blames this crisis on the opposition that is against the government while analysts blame it on the inflammation of the currency within Venezuela as it is now inflated up to 700%, and the drop in imports that the country basically live off of.

This article shows that the people in Venezuela, although in a economic and food crisis’, seem to be unaffected mentally throughout this time of crisis as they don’t really take the opportunity to provide food for themselves but instead keep their sanity through making a pet out of what should have been a stable’ish food supply given to them by the government. The article has some pictures that show how the officials are reacting to how the people are treating these animals as pets but they seem to be humored by the citizens reaction to the rabbits instead of mad or some other justifiable emotion that would come from a plan not working the way that it was planned to.


Noticias 2

Garcia, Patricia. We Need to Talk About the Emmys’ Latinx Problem. Vogue. 18 Sept 2017.

In this Vogue magazine article, the writer Patricia Garcia mentions that there were no Latinx winners or even nominees at the Emmys on Sunday. Garcia points out that Hollywood is very proud of themselves for this being the most diverse Emmys ever, but how can this be true if there aren’t even Latinx nominees? A Latina has not won an Emmy in a decade and a Latino has not won an Emmy since the 90s. Garcia points out that part of the problem for there not being any Latinx nominees is because Latinxs are cast in the same roles repeatedly. Latinos are typically casted in shows about the drug trade, while Latinas are “house maids or feisty maneaters,” (Garcia Vogue). Garcia also mentions that Latinx participation in Hollywood is lower than it was 70 years ago.

This article points out that there aren’t many Latinx actors in Hollywood. One of the most well-known Latina actress in today’s age is Sofia Vergara and she is a trophy wife whose beauty is often mentioned in the TV show. Another issue the Vogue article argues is that not only are there few Latinx actors, but also few Latinxs in Hollywood period. This includes directors, screenwriters, and other behind the scenes people. Garcia also mentions that the Latinx population is the largest growing minority in the U.S., but they are unrepresented.

This article connects to the class’ them of identity. With there being so few Latinxs in Hollywood it can make it hard for children to feel that they can be in Hollywood. When a child only sees Caucasian actors and actresses, it might make them feel ugly and wish they could have blonde hair and blue eyes. These children could experience low self-esteem later in life and feel as if they are not valued in the States because Hollywood does not mention them. Hollywood and the media are important because it is what is seen all day and it seen as the epitome of beauty. Hollywood and the media is constantly shoved down throats, so how is it supposed to make children feel when they do not see someone who looks like them on magazine covers and in their favorite movies or TV shows? Latinxs will never feel accepted as part of America if they do not see themselves a part of American culture.




Noticias Week 5

McCormick, Myles. ‘They lied’: Bolivia’s untouchable Amazon lands at risk once more The Guardian. 11 Sept. 2017.

In 2011 Bolivia’s Tipnis national park was declared “untouchable” which protected the land from further development. This huge victory for the indigenous people living in the area came after months of protests in Bolivia’s capital La Paz during which protesters clashed with riot police and were subjected to tear gas, rubber bullets, and other riot control techniques. These protests were sparked by an attempt to build a road through the national park, luckily the plans to build the road were abandoned after the “untouchable” declaration.1


On August 13th, the Bolivian president signed a bill that revoked Tipnis’s untouchable status. This could mean that the road will be built through the park after all. Roughly 14,000 people live in the Tipnis national park, most of whom are indigenous. The park is also home to a diverse animal population and some studies estimate that the construction of this new road could cause up to 64% deforestation in this national park over the next 18 years. Much of this deforestation would not come from the new road on its own but would come from the people and the development that the new road would bring with it. While the native population is concerned about the new development, the government of Bolivia argues that the construction of this road is necessary to bring support services like education and medical services to the people who live in this area. To enforce their claim the government references a 2012 study that supposedly shows that the people of the area support the construction of this road however studies by an independent third party has showed that the government study was rigged. Many people in the area are not opposed to a road however they are opposed to a road that runs through the proposed area because it would be culturally and environmentally disastrous.1


This article actually does a good job of portraying the voice of the indigenous population of the area discussed. They include arguments from the native tribes but they also conducted interviews and used direct quotes from affected peoples. My one complaint about the portrayal of the native people in the article is that they seemed to group all of the tribes together despite the fact that they seem to have different opinions about the issue.

The article I picked relates to the the course topic of identity in Latin America because this is a common clash in Latin American countries that can challenge the identity of people, especially indigenous people. When the government tries to interfere with the Indigenous way of life, even if they are trying to help, it can erode indigenous culture and identity which can in turn erase an entire way of life.


1) https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/11/they-lied-bolivia-untouchable-amazon-lands-tipnis-at-risk-once-more

2) https://boliviadiary.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/octava-marcha-llegada-la-paz.jpg

3) https://nacla.org/sites/default/files/imagecache/large_image/wysiwyg_imageupload/5981/TIPNIS-MapCtees,PropRoad%20LaR%202.5.12.jpg