Being a first generation Colombian-American and living for a large period in my life in the city of Elizabeth—which has a large Colombian population—I questioned what it means to be Colombian. Even more generally I am interested in understanding what it means to be Latin American.
So I am interested in Latin American identity (both from the perspective of Latinos who are from Latin America and from Latinos in the United States). I plan on studying a scope of primary sources of a whole range of Latin American thinkers from the nineteenth century (since that is when most Latin American nations began to form) till present. My research is an individual project being due to the fact that in a large sense it is a personal one; of course, I plan on sharing my findings with you all (my peers).
By studying the complexity of the various peoples that make up Latin Americans, for example, criollos (white people of Spanish decent), indigenas (Native Americans), and mestizos (mixed races between Spanish and indigenous peoples) , I can understand that Latin American identity is not monolithic. Latin American identity is a complicated and involves and analysis of all types of peoples. While my work is “academic,” in a sense, it is also autobiographical as I am trying to get a deeper awareness and understanding my own identity.