Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality.

Accepted Paper:

Missionaries, basketball and beauty pageants. The social life of development and humanitarism throughout the history of Todos Santos, Guatemala.  
Andrea Freddi (Universidad de los Lagos, Chile)

Paper short abstract:

The paper reflects upon two historically different implementations of development through humanitarism in a Guatemalan indigenous town. The two experiences are appropriated to shape a temporal narrative of the community that re-signify ethnic identity and the relation with modernity and the State.

Paper long abstract:

In the Guatemalan indigenous municipality of Todos Santos, development and humanitarian interventions have a long historical trajectory. At the half of the XX century foreign Maryknoll fathers installed with a double goal: convert the syncretic Maya religion into a conventional form of Catholicism and promote development oriented form of social organization and political leaderships. The accomplishments of the padres' projects left such a significant legacy that their era is generally perceived as a temporal landmark in local history: the missionaries brought modernity to the community, with all the contradictory sentiments attached to it.

Another turning point in Todos Santos history is the end of the Civil War (1996) and the beginning of a governmental model marked by the State's multicultural neoliberalism and internationally funded development projects. These resources were distributed with a humanitarian logic benefitting those communities that were able to adhere to the victim profile shaped during the peace process. The dependency from NGOs and projects resources impacted deeply the way local power is established and performed.

The aim of this presentation is to reflect upon how these two experiences are appropriated by todosanteros to shape a temporal and moral narrative of the community that re-signifies ethnic identity and the relation with modernity and the State. This shows how the impact of development and humanitarism, through their entanglements with religion, sport, prestige and imaginaries of modernity and tradition, suffering and aiding, goes beyond the immediate effects of the projects, usually not fulfilling their original purposes.

Panel P117
Temporal Horizons in Development and Humanitarian Interventions: Traces, 'Afterlives', and Unintended Consequences
  Session 1 Friday 24 July, 2020, -