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Demography of Ethnicity in Central America HONDURAS: Dario A. Euraque: “200 anos de Categorias Raciales y Ethnicas en Honduras” Juan Carlos Vargas: “Ethnodemografia.

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Presentation on theme: "Demography of Ethnicity in Central America HONDURAS: Dario A. Euraque: “200 anos de Categorias Raciales y Ethnicas en Honduras” Juan Carlos Vargas: “Ethnodemografia."— Presentation transcript:

1 Demography of Ethnicity in Central America HONDURAS: Dario A. Euraque: “200 anos de Categorias Raciales y Ethnicas en Honduras” Juan Carlos Vargas: “Ethnodemografia de la Ethnia Pech, Honduras” NICARAGUA: Edmund Gordon “Nicaraguan Creoles: Red, White, and Black?”

2 Demography of Ethnicity in Central America GUATEMALA: Carlos Rodriguez: “La Determinacion de los Grupos Ethnicos, el Indigenismo, la Situacion de la Pobreza y la Exclusion Social, segun los Censos del 2002.” PANAMA: Gumercindo Lorenzo and Arodys Robles “Comportamientos Socio-Demograficos de la Poblacion

3 Common Themes: Notions of “race” and “ethnicity” change over time according to various factors including, but not limited to: migration, political environment, self-reporting, economy, militarization, etc. Depending on these factors, the historical demography of a country can either be “homogenized” to subsume various portions of the population into fewer categories, or have a high degree of heterogeneity, taking into account many ethnic groups within the population. Issues of qualitative and quantitative research, homogeneity and heterogeneity.

4 Dario A. Euraque: “200 anos de Categorias Raciales y Ethnicas en Honduras” Important study that offers a panorama of the relationship between racial categories used in the census of Honduras and the process of “mestizaje.” 200 years of history divided into time periods according to the changes in the racial and ethnic categories officially registered in the census and used by the Honduran state. This study offers a thorough analysis of the transitions from one time period to another and explanations and criteria for these changes.

5 Interesting discussion of the words “race” “ethnicity” and “culture.” In the first three time periods there were great variations in the categories used to officially classify the Honduran population. However, there was also a marked tendency toward reducing the number of categories used, especially at the end of the 19 th Century. This represented a process of homogenization of the population under 2 categories: “ladino” and “indio.”

6 The census of the first half of the 20 th Century recuperated some of the variety in the categories. In the period between , 5 categories: “mestizo,” “indio,” “blanco,” “negro,” and “amarillo.” But by the 1945 census, the term “indio.” was to be used for the last time in an official census. In 1950, and as well in 1961, 1974, and in 1988, the census eliminated racial and ethnic categories completely.

7 Current demography must be placed in the context of local processes and in response to things such as military reform, as well as international processes such as the promotion of international tourism and the world indigenous movement. Questions: 1988 was the first census to ask questions about the use and knowledge of language. What has happened since then? Have census questions become more or less specific with respect to indigenous peoples? How has language played a role?

8 Juan Carlos Vargas: “Ethnodemografia de la Ethnia Pech, Honduras Study incorporates an interesting history of demography of Honduras from the time of conquest to present day, taking into account the various effects of colonialism on the indigenous population. Paper studies three time periods: the colonial period ( ), the modern period ( ) and present day to explain Honduras’ population dynamics. Study focuses on the pech, one of 6 ethnic minorities, who are located in Olancho, Colon and Gracias a Dios departments.

9 During the second half of the 20 th Century, pech lost their land to the railway, logging, mining and the introduction of foreign laborers who were given rights to land. Unique study in that it shows the benefit of incorporating both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, especially when working with small groups (2079) where it is not possible to use traditional demographic techniques.

10 Emphasizes the need for interdisciplinary studies (such as anthropological demography) and highlights the fact that census data alone often cannot give an accurate account of a country’s demography.

11 Questions: From the ethnographic survey that was undertaken, it was reported that 29% of pech households reported that some member of the household had migrated, of which 69% were the head of household.Where did they go? How long were they gone? How did this affect household dynamics? Were networks developed to facilitate further migrations? Did return migrants experience any change in how they perceived themselves (esp. those who learned Spanish)?

12 Carlos Rodriguez: “La Determinacion de los Grupos Ethnicos, el Indigenismo, la Situacion de la Pobreza y la Exclusion Social, segun los Censos del 2002.” Guatemalan National Survey/Census in 2002 was the first attempt to describe and explain the present poverty of the majority of the population, esp. the indigenous population (including their participation in the increasing international migration from the 1960s onward).

13 19 th to 20 th Century—Indigenous and Ladinos or non-indigenous (21 Mayan communities make up first categorization) census first time for self-reporting of ethnicity, and in 2002 first mention of Garifuna. Ethnic group identity based on language spoken. Characteristics of Mayan Population (2002 Census): High rates of illiteracy, predominantly rural, low rates of education, child labor to support household, majority involved in farming (mostly subsistence).

14 In the last 100 years annual population growth rate in Guatemala has averaged 1.8% whereas the indigenous population rate rose 1.3%--explained by higher mortality in Mayan populations due to lack of access to health services. 13 of the 21 Mayan ethnic groups are present in the department of Guatemala, evidence of widespread internal migration, esp. after the civil war and explains the concentration of Maya in the capital and surrounding municipalities.

15 Questions: Possible that urban Kaqchiquel women are more literate than their rural counterparts due to household locations and education services. What role does workforce involvement (formal or informal) have in mediating illiteracy rates in these women?

16 For those Mayan households that indicated having a family member working abroad, education is seen as an important use of remittances.Likewise, households that receive remittances have lower instances of children working outside the home. Is this true of all 21 groups or is there considerable variation amongst them? How does the proximity to larger villages or towns affect remittance use? How are remittances affecting migration within Guatemala? Does the argument that most poor Guatemalans do not migrate internationally also hold true for all Mayan groups and specifically returned Mayan refugees?

17 What role did the conflict in the 1980s have on self-reporting? Since some communities, and therefore some Maya groups, were targeted because they were seen as siding with the guerillas, how did these groups identify themselves upon return to Guatemala?


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