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Alcira Forero-Peña

School of Anthropology

Fulbright Visiting Scholar Denver, CO 2008-2009

Guatemala 2006-2007


Anthropological Research about the “Maya Movement” in Guatemala

As a Fulbright Visiting Scholar, Alcira Forero-Peña, Department of Anthropology, conducted anthropological research about the “Maya Movement” in Guatemala. Her research analyzed how indigenous women of Guatemala were articulated into the movement in terms of their history, cultural and gender identities. She assessed the extent to which contemporary Guatemalan society actually had opened spaces for them to live a life with dignity in respect to their particularities as women, as indigenous citizens of the Guatemalan State.

Forero-Peña taught two undergraduate courses at the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala on Social Change and Anthropology of Education. She also conducted workshops on multiculturalism and gender at one of the University’s branches, the UVG Altiplano to students of indigenous descent.

Forero-Peña continues to use her Guatemalan Fulbright experience in all of her courses. As a Visiting Professor to CU Denver, she gave a presenation based on her research at the American Anthropological Association in San Francisco, November 2008. She also delivered talks about Guatemalan indigenous women in Denver and in Evergreen. Very importantly, "thanks to the Fulbright",  she belongs to a community that is vibrant and enriching. She became a member of the Colorado Fulbright Chapter where she continues to exchange valuable information with friends and scholars back in Guatemala and many other countries. These activities provide her with opportunities to follow up on the latest developments in Guatemala - hopes to revisit yet another time in the near future.​​​

“Talking and getting to know the people, the indigenous Maya wom​en, there was indeed a great thing happening in my academic life. Talking with anthropologists and other academics, with activists, artists, and “common people” was a precious experience. Observing and participating in activities that Maya women undertake on a daily basis taught me many lessons that go beyond the intellectual domain. All this was exactly what the Fulbright scholar grant allowed me to do.”

- Alcira Forero-Peña
School of Anthropology


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