Chile: A city for the ocean, the arts, and organizing

Valparaíso is a coastal city of Chile vibrant with arts, political strife, and families. In 1973, the country was invaded by US military backed troops to overthrow the democratically elected communist president Salvador Allende. The decades that followed are marked by dictatorship, missing persons, and new everlasting constitution. Today the constitution written by dictator Augusto Pinochet still stands as the acting law document. 

Richter Research Fellowship

My research in Chile focused on the causes of the residential segregation and the various community groups organizing for change. The goal of the project was to examine tactics of community organizations as they organize to combat the effects of residential segregation and test the effectiveness of those tactics by analyzing their accomplishments. This investigation analyzed successes, challenges, and strategic ideologies of two NGOs, Juntas de Vecinos (neighbors meetings), and the Chilean student movement. The information gathered can now be used and applied to many scenarios as proven effective strategies for all community organizations.  

I examined a Chilean directed NGO, a United States directed NGO, the Juntas de Vecinos, and the Chilean Student movement as they organized in a neo-liberalist society. The communities all shared common struggles against the adverse effects such as poor sanitation, strong isolation, broken infrastructure, and weak education.  Each group addressed their problems with actions both autonomous and directly assisted from the state.  Case studies were performed on each group as a means to display their success and challenges of community organizing as well as effective community organizing strategies.