How to Be a Mexican
by Alma Guillermoprieto, Latin American writer and journalist
UChannel (Princeton University) and Center for Latin American Studies (Vanderbilt University)
Guillermoprieto discusses concerns surrounding Mexican identity, heritage and culture, as she examines the impact of globalized culture on traditional Mexican ways of life. One in every 10 Mexicans now lives across the border, and issues surrounding U.S.-Mexican relations continue to be in the news.
Guillermoprieto grew up in Mexico City and New York City, where she danced professionally for several years. During the 1970s, she became a journalist for The Guardian and later The Washington Post. Guillermoprieto was one of two journalists to break the story of the massacre of some 900 villagers at El Mozote, El Salvador, in 1981 by the Salvadoran army. She later worked for Newsweek as a South America bureau chief and wrote several articles on Latin American culture and politics for publications including The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books.
Her experiences as a former professional dancer and her time in Latin America have provided the basis for her books, including Samba, Dancing with Cuba, Looking for History and The Heart that Bleeds. The latter two are collections of essays that Guillermoprieto published in The New Yorker about the “Lost Decade” of Latin America, the 1990s.
Guillermoprieto’s writings have gained her a popular following, as well as a MacArthur Fellowship, a fellowship from Harvard University’s Neiman Foundation for Journalism and a membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
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