A Personal Narrative About Learning About Latin America in Class

When I think about what this class has taught me over the semester, I have to go back to where I started when I first walked in. Even though I was far from knowing most everything about Latin America, I still held on to a broad knowledge about its history and the current standing of its countries. With so much of my present day knowledge being gained from what news stations show and publish, not being able to learn about Latin America through experience kept me from seeing the whole picture.

Instead, present day affairs and troubles kept me from learning about the true culture of Latin America, By hearing about the fall of habitats, struggles with drugs, and political instabilities, it becomes easy to think that countries in Latin America are helpless We are lead to believe that these countries need our help, and we are kept from learning everything these countries and their powerful populations have to offer, However, it is because of this class and its structure that I have been able to gain a more complete picture of present day Latin America, and all that these countries and there people have to offer our world.

By living in a county that has prided itself on independence, it is very hard for me to imagine what it would be like if foreign countries interfered with our nation. I could never imagine what it would be like if another country played a majority role in electing our leader, nor could I imagine living in a country where foreign companies can take and destroy our habitats.

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Also, when people in America are exposed to these liberties, I feel we become ignorant to the reality of how lucky we are. Due to our exposure to our ways of life, we write off and judge countries in Latin America when we hear about their struggles Instead of taking time to look more deeply into the issue, we allow short reports and articles to influence the way we view these countries In our efforts to fix what we feel is the problem, more stable countries feel compelled to interfere and offer solutions, It is because of this and my experience from class that I feel the world will never experience the true beauty and influence of Latin America until these countries are allowed to evolve on their own.

I began to fully understand the extent of foreign countries interfering in Latin American affairs when our class topic shifted towards El Salvadorr Between class lectures, and the perspective give in Mark Danner’s book The Massacre at El Mozole, it became clear that the struggles of El Salvador were not just with its people. While it may be easy to attribute a civil war to a revolutionary or rebellious population, we forget that there needs to be something that inspires these people, During the civil war in El Salvador, the US government decided to give military aid to the anti-communist movement, instead of calling for peace. As a result training was given to soldiers and guns were put in their hands, and America was to thank As talked about in class, their support and aid helped lead to one of the greatest atrocities in the history of El Salvador. Danner’s original efforts to honestly report this massacre to the American public was not met with open arms, and instead the US government wanted to quite his voice, “Wall streetjournals ‘The Medias War’ noted that the public‘s perceptions on the War in El Salvador were being badly confused by the US press”(Danner 10)

As stated in his article and book, as well as in our lecture, I’ve learned that this massacre was as much an atrocity as it was a cover up that the US, government did not want reaching its public, “In a remote corner of El Salvador, investigators uncovered the remains of a horrible crime a crime that Washington had long denied villagers of El Mozote who found themselves in the path of the Salvadoran Army’s anti- Communist crusade.” (Danner) Although present day El Salvador does not have to worry about their troops committing acts like this, they do have to worry about foreign countries draining their resources In a classroom handout, an Article by Gabriel Labrador illustrates the current struggle El Salvadorians face to protect their water. “El Salvador is the most water stressed country in the region. As a result the government stopped granting mining licenses in 2008 in an attempt to preserve the countries limited clean water” (Labrador). Although this may seem like the most normal and justifiable reaction, this class has taught me not to assume things like this too quickly.

Instead, El Salvador being threatened with a lawsuit for protecting their water and denying mineral rights serves as another example of how foreign countries are perpetuating the decline of Latin America. Because how can a country get on its feet and retain its voice when its people need to fight for something as simple and necessary as water. Much like the recent struggles of El Salvador, many of the battles fought in the Amazon revolve around the destruction of the land As mentioned in lecture and in presentations, much of the destruction is due to companies absorbing the land for industrial use. Yet another reason for the decline of this natural wonder is the increased amount of cattle in the region. In order to supplement profits, I learned that companies have turned to this land to enable the growth and grazing of hundreds of thousands of cattle. In the book Fate of the Forrest, authors Suzanna l-Iecht and Alexander Cockburn feel as though there is an alliance between International, National, and State corporations which enables businesses to risk the conditions of these lands in order to make profits, “Brazilian capitalists are a major culprit of forest clearing for pasturing, a motivator of regional deforestation” (Hecht-Cockburn).

Although the Amazon serves as a natural habitat and home to families, animals and plant life, entrepreneurs see this forest as a source of capital. Through lectures and discussions about the travels of Anna Roosevelt, I’ve learned just how important this forest is, Besides the fact that it is the most infamous forest, it may also be the most infamous ecosystem. Learning about its thousands of rivers, exotic plant and animal life, and even of hidden cities, my perspective of this natural wonder has completely changed. Yet, with so much of it unexplored, part of me really hopes that things remain that way. Because out of the areas we have explored, there have been far too many that we have altered One of the greatest representations of a flourishing ecosystem has now been exposed to outside threats. Although this is scary, learning about the amazon has taught me that nothing in Latin America, no matter how strong, is immune from being exposed by foreigners looking for profits, Even something as small as a soy bean has the opportunity to decimate something as important as the amazon, and all because not enough of its understand just what this piece of nature means to the life around it.

Yet the final piece of this this semester was put together with the introduction of Chile, and their fierce leader Salvador Allendei Of all the countries in Latin America that we have discussed, I feel as though Chile was not only the strongest country, but the country I learned most from. With such a fierce and motivated population, as well as extremely educated activists, Chile best represented the spirit of Latin America The people of Chile embodied the values and voices of the rest of Latin America in their quests to better the quality of life. And I feel that a great amount this movements credit is due to Salvador Allende, a man so driven and beloved that he put fear into the heart of America’s government. Due to Allende being a Marxist activist, it was pretty clear through lectures ad research that his socialist policies caused discomfort for those wanting to continue to expose impose their politics in Chile. No one was more threatened by his beliefs and popularity than the United States government.

So after finally being elected as president in 1970, Allende drew the attention of the Nixon administration and their national security advisor Henry Kissinger, “As the Americans saw it, should he win the 1970 election“. it would prove to the world that democracy Pentagon, this scenario made Allende a serious threat” (Scott-Fox). Yet instead of allowing his beliefs to better his country and improve the lives of his people, the US. felt the need to intervene, So when the US. allowed for the CIA to intervene and give aid to Augusto Pinochet, When the coup decided to overthrow Allende in 1973, it not only lead the death of Allende, but a halt in the progression of the country, Although so much of what has been taught deals with the struggles or downfalls of Latin America, I have taken so much more out of the class. Watching, reading, and discussing the courageous nature of Latin Americans shows me just how resilient they are.

What Latin Americans may lack in money and resources, they make up for in the most amazing ways. Their connection to nature and simplistic lifestyles is something that I feel should inspire capitalist and materialistic countries like the U5. Instead of trying to change their ways, we should learn how people of these countries are able to live off the land, and what they are given. No matter how much of the class has spent lecturing about overthrows and assassinations, 1 will always feel that this class really teaches us just how much we have to learn from the Countries in Latin America, and their people, and socialism were not polar opposites, To the Nixon administration, the corporations.

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A Personal Narrative About Learning About Latin America in Class. (2022, Jul 25). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/a-personal-narrative-about-learning-about-latin-america-in-class/

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