CLALS | Past Tinker Field Research Grant Recipients


  • Latin American/Latino Studies
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    Stinchcomb, Dennis A
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2012 Recipients

Justine Strom, El Salvador

Justine Strom

MA candidate, CAS/LFS

In March 2012 the two prominent gangs in El Salvador, the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and the Mara Dieciocho (18th Street Gang), announced a truce. In light of this, I wanted to learn more about how this pact has, or has not, affected the general population. With the support of a Tinker Field Research Grant, I traveled to El Salvador in August 2012 to research community member´s attitudes regarding violence. I lived in three different marginalized communities with host families and participated in all of their daily activities. I conducted formal interviews with family and community members, met with non-profit organizations, attended local celebrations and visited several educational institutions.

I hope that my field study will help to outline difficulties involved in changing attitudes about violence in El Salvador. While many agents have been working to decrease violence, it will be difficult to erase the threat of violence, which has cultivated for years in the lives of the local population. I noted that factors such as opportunities for youth, economic initiatives and confidence in local police must also be addressed as underlying issues that often contribute to violence.

Jennifer Yelle, Oaxaca, Mexico

Jennifer Yelle

Doctoral candidate, Government/SPA

The grant afforded to me by the Tinker Foundation contributed to a pilot study for my dissertation, “Violence and Justice in Mexico.” This research was the first leg of my dissertation field research contributing to a PhD in political science at American University‘s School of Public Affairs. During my pilot project, I interviewed members of the judiciary and members of civil society. I gathered local sources of information (such as locally published books and manuscripts). I also visited various parts of Oaxaca, such as Salinas Cruz, where anti-judiciary protests had recently occurred. This experience served as a template and guide for the remaining three case studies involved in my dissertation. I learned many lessons on how to conduct field research in an efficient and systematic manner.

2011 Recipients

Aaron Bell, El Salvador

Aaron Bell

Doctoral candidate, History/CAS

Thanks to the Tinker Foundation Field Research Grant, I conducted two months of preliminary research in El Salvador during the fall of 2011. My research explores the relationship between transnational conservative political groups and non-state actors, and the effects of their joint endeavors during the Salvadoran Civil War of the 1980s. While in El Salvador I conducted research in the national archives, the national library, the top private university in the country, and the library of an influential economic think tank. In addition, I was able to talk with Salvadoran scholars about future research and interviews for a follow-up visit, which I am currently on. Thanks to the Tinker Field Research Grant, I have been able to make the most of this second trip by knowing ahead of time the availability and usefulness of research sources and sites, and by utilizing previously established contacts to assist me in my efforts.

Tom Long, Panama

Tom Long

Doctoral Candidate, SIS

The first, and longest, portion of my research trip was in Panama City, where I researched the primary foreign policy objective of Panamanian dictator Omar Torrijos’s government: the negotiation of treaties for the abolition of the canal zone and the return of the Panama Canal. I conducted intensive secondary-source research before leaving, and set the time frame of my case from the 1973 United Nations Security Council meeting in Panama until the ratification of the treaties in 1978. I identified major players in the negotiations, some of whom are still living in Panama, and to a lesser extent was able to assess available sources.

My trip to Buenos Aires lasted two weeks. My case examines Latin American efforts to influence U.S. economic policy in the Eisenhower administration and involves Colombia, Brazil, and Argentina. I had already completed work on the Colombian portion. In Argentina, I focused on the Frondizi administration, particularly its cooperation with Brazil. I planned to work in two archives: the presidential archive of Arturo Frondizi in the National Library and the Foreign Ministry archive.