Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies

Eric Espinoza LACS-EricEspinoza
Class: 2010
F09-S10 D-plan:  R-R-R

Favorite and least favorite things about your department:

My favorite thing about LALACS is how interdisciplinary it is. The luxury of being able to take Anthropology, Government, Geography, Sociology, Art & Theater, and Literature courses under one major cannot be overstated. The professors in the department are truly unforgettable – I have made what I hope are life long relationships with some of them. My least favorite thing has to be that so many of the professors who I was able to form close bonds with and rely on for support have since left Dartmouth College. I wish the college did more to retain some of these incredible professors

Important info for potential majors:

If you have an interest in Latin American Studies but are not sure you want to double major make sure you examine the ORC carefully because many of the classes in LALACS are cross-listed with other subjects. If you have an interest in Anthropology or Government you should especially look into at least Minoring or Modifying your major.

Talk to me if:

Talk to me if you’re most interested in Latino political movements or social justice issues in the U.S. or Latin America.

Most valuable academic info learned:

What I consider to be my most valuable academic lesson is that there are very few political, economic, and social models or truths that remain constant across national, cultural, and racial boundaries. Many people throughout history have claimed that they possess such a model and have often died as revolutionaries attempting to implement it or risen to power and marginalized certain sectors of society that were left out of their model.

Favorite class and professor:

My favorite class was LATS 043 ‘El Caribe Virtual’ with Lorgia Garcia-Peña. She was an unbelievable professor who befriended her students and created a home away from home outside of classroom. The readings were always fascinating and were only bested by her insights. Lorgia truly inspired me to put extra effort into my work for her class and I am so glad to have had that experience.

Major classes taken:

LACS 030; LATS 031; LATS 043; LATS 045; LACS 045; LATS 051; LACS 053; LATS 054

I also took three courses in Chile that were approved for transfer credit: LACS 000 Culture, Development, and Social Justice, LACS 000 Field Study Seminar, and LACS 089

Major journey:

When I first got to Dartmouth I took my classes purely based on interest. I started to realize a pattern in the classes I was selecting and that there were still a number of classes in the department that I wanted to take. Deciding to be a LALACS Major was a pretty logical step for me at that point.

Thesis status:

I was planning to expand upon my Independent Study that I did in Chile which dealt with the families of the “desaparecidos” or disappeared in Chile during the Pinochet Era. The work takes a specific look at what factors facilitated family members to actively look for their disappeared loved ones while others simply did not inquire.

Other activities:

MEChA Secretary & VP, QUAD Secretary, I-CC Representative for the Latino Community, Member of La Alianza Latina, Intramural Soccer, Club Soccer

Off-campus program:

Study Abroad through SIT in Chile Fall’08

Internship experience:

1) Interboro Institute, Mentorship Program in Washington Heights, Summer ’07, NYC

2) New York Civil Liberties Union, Communications and Research Department, Summer ’07, NYC

3) The DREAM Project, Student Mentor, Summer ’09, Dominican Republic