1- Introduction and Student Video Reviews

Hello everybody and welcome to my blog! My name is Ximena Diaz Lopez and I am a first year student. I wanted to take this course because I am very interested in Latin America. I was born in Mexico but I moved to Vancouver when I was very young. I have always wanted to have a deeper understanding of the history and issues in Latin America.

The Meeting of Two Worlds III (by Angela Pope, Ishan Gill, Deone Young, and Francisco Botero)

This video focuses on Christopher Columbus’ voyages to the Americas. I enjoyed how the video used animations with the explanations. I found them to be engaging and unique in comparison to the historical paintings and pictures that are shown in other videos. I thought the video was quite informative as it provided some interesting facts that I had never heard of. For example, I did not know that the indigenous people had killed some of Columbus’ men. I also liked how the video talked about Columbus’ views and observations on the indigenous people. A minor detail that I did not like was that they repeated some of the information.

Towards an Uncertain Future (by Hanna Dandarell and Cody Alba)

This video was very informative but I did not find it to be very coherent. The video went from economic crisis and an earthquake in Mexico, to protests in Peru and Venezuela, to environmental issues in Ecuador. As the video presented many ideas, it became increasingly harder to follow. I think the video should have narrowed their focus. This would have also enabled them to provide more background information on each issue, which would have made the video more interesting and easy to follow. From my knowledge, I believe the issues around each country are quite different. This made me feel as though the video tried to group issues that were unrelated. Maybe I simply do not have enough information to understand the general idea of the video.

Modernity in Latin America (by Thamer Farjo, Nicole Gross, Nicola Cox, Austin Chang and Allysia Lam)

This video was clear and easy to follow but I found it to be quite dull. I did not enjoy watching each student speak as they did not seem comfortable in front of the camera. I wish the video would have had more engaging imagery. They could have provided more photos, paintings, videos or even highlighted key words. I find that with this type of video it is hard to retain the information.

War on Drugs (by Diane Keyes and Michelle Nzioki)

This was my favourite video from the ones that I watched. I enjoyed this one the most because all of the ideas connected well and the video maintained a good narrative. I thought all the issues were well explained and I think they could be understood by somebody with little to no knowledge on the drug war. The makers of the video were creative as they added an interview. I found this very interesting. My only critique would be that I wish they had not kept some of the images for so long. Other than that, I found this video enjoyable and informative.