As an anthropologist, my research depends on the goodwill and openness of the community members I work with. Without their generosity and willingness to share their time and energy, I would have nothing to study. For that reason, I believe it is important to give something back in the form of my own time and energy. Furthermore, studying anthropology is a great way to develop skills in observation, analysis, foreign language, and writing that can be applied in a variety of settings. Engaging these skills beyond my academic duties has made me a more flexible and creative thinker, enriched my research, and helped to develop my teaching abilities.
• Photography Workshop — Santa Cruz del Quiché, Guatemala
• Election Observer — Guatemala
• Spanish – English Interpretation — Guatemala
• Spanish to English Translation — Guatemala
• Collaborative Photography Project — San Mateo Ixtatán, Guatemala
I taught a month-long workshop offered in cooperation with the Comunidad Lingüística K’iche’ – Academia de Lenguas Mayas de Guatemala, Santa Cruz del Quiché. Students learned camera operation, explored different ways of analyzing their own and others’ images, and discussed ethical considerations relating to visual media. April 2012.
I observed 10 community-organized referendums on mining throughout the Guatemalan highlands. My duties included official documentation of proceedings and reporting to election organizers at the end of the events. 2010- 2012.
Spanish – English Interpretation
I provided as-needed for visiting volunteers working on a community radio project in San Miguel Ixtahuacán. January 2011.
Spanish to English Translation
I translated the “Second Annual Report on Water Quality Monitoring and Analysis,” including quantitative and descriptive data regarding the concentration of metals in surface waters surrounding Marlin Mine in Sipakapa and San Miguel, department of San Marcos, Guatemala. July 2009.
Collaborative Photography Project
I taught a three and a half month- long workshop for Chuj-Maya high school students. Students learned camera operation and discussed aspects of visual literacy such as composition, lighting, and subject selection. Students then worked independently to document their lives and their town, taking self-portraits and journalistic portraits of community members. Students supplemented their photographs with written ethnographic and journalistic narratives. The project resulted in hundreds of photographs which were displayed for participants’ classmates at the school and on the school’s website. This project resulted in an invited essay in the journal Collaborative Anthropologies. January- April 2007.