February 20, 2023
CLAS Postdoctoral Fellow Briana Nichols publishes a piece called "Indigenous Education and COVID-19 in Guatemala" for Columbia University's Center for Mexico and Central America (CeMeCa)'s Regional Expert Series.
The Regional Expert Papers Series aims to publish selected reports, papers, and data from research centers in Central America and Mexico that would otherwise not be available to an English language audience. They also invite researchers and academics based in the United States who specialize in this region to contribute selected works to the series. The Regional Expert Papers Series is curated by Dr. Amelia Frank-Vitale and Dr. Lauren Heidbrink, under the direction of CeMeCA director Dr. Nara Milanich, and reviewed by a collective of specialists.
Abstract: The majority of youths migrating from Guatemala to the United States are Indigenous. This is significant. Indigenous identity influences the types of social and structural barriers youth confront in their home communities, as well as their experiences on the migrant trail and in the United States. The ways indigeneity impacts youth migrants and their premigration experiences is particularly relevant when considering their educational pathways in Guatemala. This paper aims to clarify the educational conditions for Indigenous children and youth in Guatemala. In this article, the author outlines the enduring history of Indigenous disenfranchisement in the public education system and presents the logics and rationales of non-attendance for Indigenous families. To conclude with an update on how the COVID-19 pandemic has had lasting and injurious effects on Indigenous youth and their educational opportunities.