I want to thank PLAS with all of my heart for the funding award they gave me in 2019 to participate in the Princeton in Argentina program. Not only did I make lifelong friends through my engagement with the program, but what I learned, as well as the country itself made a lasting impact on my life. Being able to live in Buenos Aires for two months in the summer of 2019 through this program was the highlight of my Princeton career. I was able to do a deep dive in the Spanish language, as well as the unique culture of Buenos Aires and Argentina as a whole. I experienced incredible art, architecture, food and dance throughout my time there. Every day was a brand new cultural experience, whether it had been taking classes at the Universidad di Tella or taking the Subte to the MALBA Art Museum. I even ended up basing my independent work (both my JP and my thesis) off of my time in Argentina, and archival work I had done during my time there. None of this would have been possible without the financial and general support of the PLAS program, who in this case, not only helped me to realize my dream of study abroad, but also positively impacted my whole academic career. Thank you!
Arianne Rowe ’21, AAM | Summer Study Abroad (Princeton in Argentina 2019)
The Latin American Studies Department at Princeton provided me with funding for my first independent research project at Princeton. With the help of the department I was able to carry out an ethnographic study of Afro-Colombian activism in Colombia. Thanks to the department's support, the skills that I learned during my summer in Colombia later aided me in my junior paper and senior thesis research.
Anglory Morel Espinal ’21, SOC | Undergraduate Independent Research (Colombia 2019)
This past semester, for my Senior Thesis, I had the privilege of working with Princeton University's Program in Latin American Studies (PLAS) in the completion of a survey measuring Panamanians attitudes towards the prospect of institutional reforms. My Thesis research focused on proposing a long-term decentralization of Panama's unitary institutional framework through a semi-federal political organization, particularly regarding the Executive branch, as a means of promoting the equitable and democratic socioeconomic development of the national territory. This work wouldn’t have been possible without the financial support of PLAS, whose contributions supported the completion of the “Federalism and the autonomy of local government in Panama” survey, conducted in the Republic of Panama throughout March 2021 with the help of the Princeton Survey Research Center and Cint. With this overarching goal in mind, PLAS's financial support allowed me to observe trends regional and other demographic trends that contributed to the evolution of my original hypothesis, eventually pointing to a correlational relationship between disproportionate access to public resources and a centralized nationalist political framework. The data collected regarding Panamanian’s attitudes towards government performance and the prospect of institutional reforms provided invaluable insight into the relationship between institutional centralization and stark levels of socioeconomic disparity, highlighting negative externalities stemming from the country's institutional framework beyond the periphery. More specifically, this data helped illustrate the role of peripheral socioeconomic underdevelopment in increased intra-national national rural-urban migration, leading to over-competition for centralized resources and high levels of national socioeconomic inequality. Recognizing the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic for independent research in the University I'm extremely grateful for PLAS's flexibility and commitment to helping me see this survey and research completed.
German Arrocha ’21, SPIA | Senior Thesis Research (Virtual /Panama 2021)
In spring 2020 I was lucky enough to participate in a PLAS supported program, studying abroad with a group of Princeton students at la Universidad de la Habana in Cuba, and also taking classes with Professor Ruben Gallo. Though our time there was cut short, it was an incredible experience. We learned so much by walking through the streets and talking to strangers and experts to learn about the Cuban experience at this unique point in history. Highlights include the ice creams, the dancing lessons, and watching the sunsets along the Malecon. Throughout my time at Princeton, PLAS has allowed me to learn more about my heritage, along with the broader history and culture of Latin America. This has included trips to New York City, fascinating lectures, and support for its students. It is clear to me that my time at Princeton would not have been complete without the Program in Latin American Studies.
Alonso Perez Putnam ’21, POL
SPA 385 /LAS 386 Havana: A Cultural History (Princeton in Cuba, Spring 2020)