Introduction: Week One

Hi everyone!

My name is Katherine Poole. I was born and raised in Guatemala and I am very interested in learning about the different approaches the class will have towards the idea of Latin America. I am an International Relations major with a minor in Political Science. I am very interested in learning about how other students will interpret Latin America and I hope I can bring something to the discussion being from Guatemala.

Reaction to videos:

I watched some of the previous videos on the course website and I found some very useful and helpful for studying important concepts and events. They were very clear with what the video intended to do and then addressed the subject matter in detail.

The videos are helpful in understanding more about the different topics being discussed in class. More importantly, I found them interesting because they display the students’ conceptions of what Latin America is, either through pictures, music or videos. Which adds another layer to the videos because they do not only help explain certain aspects and the history of Latin America but also how these events are being analyzed by the students making the videos.

Independence in Latin America

This video gives a good context of the reasons behind the independence of Latin America. The video skimmed over the libertadores and their ideas behind the independence movements. Although I would have liked the video to be more consistent. If there was going to be a map of the Mexican independence there could have been one explaining the other independence movements. The video was also good in regards to asking the students questions and perspectives on the ideas discussed in the video.

The War on Drugs

I found interesting how they mention in the video that whoever controls the drug trade controls the country. This is very true to some countries in Latin America that have high levels of corruption and are closely related to the drug trade. I appreciated the context given and the history of drug trafficking. I enjoyed the student interview which brings about a different perspective about the topic. It also gives some perspectives on how some countries have dealt with drug users. Yet I think the video lacks information on why the drug trafficking violence has moved towards Mexico. It does mention corruption, but I think drug trafficking and corruption are paramount problems that go hand in hand and are more important than they appear. Especially because Central America has also become part of the drug trafficking campaign.


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