Reflections and Struggles

Now that I’m back from Spain and have cracked open a book on social movement theory, I have begun to process the data and the experiences that I had while abroad. I think that one of the most important things that I learned from the interviews was that the Pumarejo is not one thing. I had assumed before that it was a social movement, titled Lo Hacemos Nosotras, however, I discovered that that was merely a branch of a larger organization. Now, this could prove a challenge as I continue my research because organizational theory and social movement theory are very different. Moreover, the Pumarejo is both a house, called the Casa Grande del Pumarejo, but it is also an organization made up of a diverse network of collectives, like the Bibliopuma (the library), Mujeres Supervivientes, etc. It appears that the very reason that inspired me to do my research (the question: how are all of these diverse traits able to intersect with reasonable success?) can merely be answered with “Because that’s just the way it actually┬áis.” There appears to be no active effort to mesh all of these interests. So what do I do? I believe that by tilting my research away from this angle and focusing more on the symbolic meaning of house to the diverse members of the organization provides a more rich study of the collective identity of the Pumarejo. I was fortunate enough to interview a eclectic cross-section of individuals for this study. It has been an honor working with these inspiring people who fight so hard every day to preserve what they believe in. DSC02615I feel very blessed to have been given the opportunity by the Charles Center to return to the place that enchanted me so much and that I could see myself living and working someday. This has been an infinitely enriching experience and I hope to continue to grow because of it. Thank you!




  1. Morgan Sehdev says:

    Shannon – After following your project, I am really intrigued by your final conclusions. I think everyone gets caught up in the need for explanations, for order, for the ‘whys’ – and just like you said, sometimes things just ‘are’. Hopefully, we’ll hear more from you in the future regarding your work on the symbolism of the house. Thanks for sharing, and good luck in the future!