Debates in Latin American Social Theory

Asynchronous Assignment on The Uprising of Dignity

Asynchronous Assignment


1. Watch the documentary The Uprising of Dignity

2. Pick ONE of the following options and respond in the comment section down below. The deadline is 3/30 before the class. (200-word minimum)


Pick ONE of the topics down below and discuss:

How do the Zapatistas create alternative practices to improve the living conditions and sovereignty of the indigenous people in Chiapas? Which of the approaches and ideas interested you the most and why? Do you think these ideas and models could help marginalized communities in the U.S.?


.respect for the land and ecological consciousness

.community self-rule structure




.collective work

.women’s rights

.global solidarity network


Respectfully interact with ONE of your classmates’ responses. Do you agree with their arguments and interpretations? Do you disagree? What other observations about The Uprising of Dignity do you want to bring into the discussion?

7 thoughts on “Asynchronous Assignment on The Uprising of Dignity”

  1. Zapatistas was a name given to indigenous people in Chiapas after the revolutionary Emilio Zapata who actively fought against racism, corruption, and repression addressed to indigenous. Zapatistas developed a revolution against neoliberalism throughout Mexico; however, not much happened during the revolution. They used their uprising as their platform to grab attention and protest against inequality in Chiapas.
    The purpose of the Zapatistas was to demand human conditions and treatment for them. They demanded to obtain work by joining regular workplaces in order for them to obtain an income for their population or family in general. They have demanded land by occupating areas owned by large landowners and dividing these areas between thousands of families to build their homes. Demanding food was also part of their alternative to improve their living conditions based on collectivism. Collection and cooperation between Zapatistas were practices made to obtain food. There were no owners or supervisors of the production properties. Education, independence, liberty, democracy, peace, and justice were demanded and obtained thanks to their hard work.
    One of the approaches that surprised me the most was the act of organizing a rebellion against authorities or reforms most known as an uprising. It takes time, resources, constancy, people’s lives, and more to create a solid uprising that can actually be successful. Currently, an uprising wouldn’t be beneficial to any country because it only hardens the world and can create an ending barrier between them.

  2. The documentary looked at the Zapatistas community through different topics that impacted the indigenous people. For example, with women’s rights, it was mentioned how women weren’t given much of rights and the expectation for them was to stay in the house and take care of the men. Eventually, women were granted the right to participate in advocating for community rights, but still with some limits. Moreover, the community wasn’t given much access to healthcare and the documentary really highlighted that with the people constantly getting sick and dying because of diseases. I think it is interesting how constantly the Indigenous people are neglected and are constantly pushed out.

    1. After what we learned today I would add it is done as a means of keeping the exploitative status quo. It’s difficult for any human being to engage in their own narratives when they are excluded from ways of life that only sustains the wealthy few. It’s refreshing to acknowledge an influence that rejects neoliberalism and capitalism by reengaging the dialogue.

  3. The Zapatistas have little to no access to health care. They are developing their own system of health care since the government was not helping them. Health care was one of the reasons for the uprising of 1994. Many were dying from diseases that could’ve been treated. However, they weren’t able to access proper medical assistance or unable to afford assistance. Today, the Zapatistas are trying to improve these circumstances amongst themselves. One of the Zapatistas said that they discuss prioritizing health and diet. He also refers to the fact that the lack of health care has affected the children of the communities because they are dying and not being helped. The Zapatistas also refer to medical plants as a way to cure some diseases which is a more natural route and rare to see. Treatment for diseases is also free for Zapatistas but those who are loyal to the government must pay a small fee, however this fee is way less than receiving medical attention from a regular medical consultation.

  4. The Zaptistas have created various practices to improve the living conditions of the people in Chiapas. I think their focus on improving their community and creating a structure that allows for everyone to equally participate and self rule is extremely interesting. The Zapatistas do not accept support from the government and depend on the resources they have within their community to thrive and survive. This allows for them to show the government and those around them that they are truly able to depend on themselves and support their community on their own. They allow everyone to participate in the creation of “rules” and take part in supporting their community through their work. I also thought the fact that they have their own education system was interesting, as this allows for them to teach younger generations about their true history and the things their community values. They are a prime example of resisting the structures that are in place and embracing their culture and traditions. I think these ideas and models could greatly help marginalized communities within the United States. Our communities have always been able to support themselves and forge their own path, but the structures in place currently hold us back in many ways. Having a system that ensures we are supporting one another and embracing our own cultures and traditions would allow for us to thrive and become closer to being “free”.

    1. I like how you bring up that the community depends on each other rather than the government, and have their own rules. In my opinion, it is better to have each other back as a community rather than depend on the government because they make so many rules that sometimes it is unnecessary, which can ruin a happy community.

    2. The Zapatistas didn’t give into the government to help them with any of the work they are doing as of now. Being in Mexico you can expect the government to not help as they do recognize indigenous groups but only when they want to. The corrupt government already lacks in all the aspects so the Zapatistas decided to make a move for themselves and have their own healthcare which is pretty amazing. The natural way of curing is pretty much with the leaves and resources provided by the land. I love how they have decided to put their health and safety first by taking care of themselves.

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