Latin America: An Institutional and Cultural Survey

Asynchronous Blog Post on The Uprising of Dignity

Asynchronous Blog Post


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 11/11 before the class.


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?

26 thoughts on “Asynchronous Blog Post on The Uprising of Dignity”

  1. What interests me the most is agriculture one of its idea was that everyone has a piece of land as they eliminate the big landowners. They also gave up farming single land and instead focus on multiple farms. They also avoid pesticides. This is to prove that they are ecological and independent and don’t rely on chemical companies as well as poisoning the lands. Personally, I think this would help the communities as it would make them independent and not rely on the government. In theory, the community would essentially be self-sustaining as they grow their own food and any type of food themselves without the support of the government.

    1. To add on, I think it is great they gave up on single farming land and focus on multiple farms because it gives people the opportunity to make income. If single farming land continued, poverty would have increased more but, giving the opportunity for everyone to grow a farm will help the large percentage of poverty decrease rapidly. I think it is great that Mexico isn’t relying on the government to make money or produce foods. In factories, they can put GMOs in foods that can contain bacteria or any disease. Growing fresh out of the ground gives the body nutrients and minerals it needs. To continue, the government’s food production is overly priced and unhealthy. Being in control of your own food and moving at your own pace gives you better stability.

    2. I agree with that, but it was amazing that they could have a farm as a collective group because that creates jobs that multiple people can profit from. After all, when the land is owned by one person, it becomes significantly more challenging for people to make a living, increasing the level of poverty that people have to live in. That becomes increasingly difficult if everyone lives in poverty.

  2. Option 1: Healthcare

    Zapatistas used peaceful strategies to fight for life improvement. Zapatistas distributed over 10,000 hectares of land and created a lot of their own structures, without government assistance. The Council of Good Governance is formed and the final decisions are made by the people. Their healthcare interests me the most because it’s amazing that they are able to create an affordable treatment for everybody. Health promoters use medical plants, which reduces the cost of treatment by a hefty amount. Mexico and other places provided support to the Zapatistas by giving money, medicine, medical equipment, and medical training. Their health-care system also treats people loyal to the government, but at a small fee. Regular EZLN people do not need to pay anything. The model created by the Zapatistas could be used to help marginalized communities in the U.S. because communities would be able to help themselves, rather than to depend on government assistance. Additionally, government assistance will not always be the best, so it’s a good idea to have a stable community foundation.

    1. I agree completely with Can Fu Wu’s statement. The Zapatistas ability to self-sustain their health is something seen across the world in areas where going to a medical professional is not an option. Many children of immigrants may know that many parents do not rely on western medicine since they never had to rely on it. However, there are times where western medicine seems to be the only answer. Zapatistas have been able to have a working healthcare system that keeps their roots of using medicinal plants to keep things affordable, something many of our parents would approve of. Along with the medicinal plants they also have access to western tools, such as medical equipment and training. With the questionable medical care the United States currently has, we can learn from the Zapatistas. Just like Can Fu Wu said, we can become self-sufficient as well, that way families won’t have to fear paying thousands of dollars on an illness that could be cured at home if we just had the proper knowledge and tools.

  3. Option 1: Education
    A large population in the south of Mexico has been affected by poverty, racism, and repression. The Zapatistas, which are the people of southern Mexico, decide to make a change in their healthcare, land, education, democracy, freedom, and other major issues. They created an army named Zapatist Army of National Liberation (EZLN) in order to prevent outside forces from stopping their attempt for a transformation. The goal of EZLN is not to overtake their country but to improve the living conditions and sovereignty of the indigenous people in Chiapas. One way of doing this is by improving education. The Zapatists believe education is an especially important step to achieve their goal. This is because many adults, especially women, did not have the opportunity to attend school before 1994. Even today, not all children are able to attend school. With education, a country would be able to innovate and bring prosperity to its people. This interests me the most because I wonder how my own community would be like if there is no education for people our age and younger. The ideas from the Zapatistas should help the communities in the United States. There are way too many old people who depend on the government benefits through medicare, and parents who depend on the government benefits through the number of kids they have. Their actions are not improving our community. In fact, it just shows how lazy and dependent we are on our government.

  4. Option 1: Education
    The Zapatistas have peacefully stood up for land, health, education, and freedom. By creating the Zapatist Army of National Liberation, aka EZLN, the Zapatistas have organized programs to improve the living conditions of the indigenous people in Chiapas. They have received resources and support from people in Mexico and abroad to support indigenous communities. The Zapatistas approach to education stands out because my grandma is indigenous and speaks in her dialect. So, when she moved to Mexico City at age 7, she could not speak Spanish and struggled in school. And many people in her pueblo did not have access to proper education and cannot read or write. Further, in Mexico, being indigenous can be considered embarrassing, so they try to erase that part of their identity by adopting different values. Thus, EZLN’s efforts to improve the education system in indigenous communities while continuing to teach their culture are so important. The idea of teaching culture in the U.S could be helpful for marginalized communities as it can help them feel like they belong and that they do not have to neglect their culture to please the privileged.

  5. Option 1
    The Zapatistas have improved the living conditions and sovereignty of the indigenous people in Chiapas by creating alternative medical practices that provide an alternative to traditional healthcare and rely on natural remedies. These not only relieve the burden of importing foreign medical supplies, but also make for cheaper prices for products and services. I am most interested in their approach to healthcare, as they are able to provide medical care and treatment without the government’s help. Essentially every modern country’s government is at least partially involved in citizens’ healthcare, but this community insists on opposing government interference and is still able to maintain a form of pharmacy. I noticed how the Zapatistas keep mentioning that they have people outside the community visiting their shops because their products and services are cheaper than conventional stores, which also raises the benefits of diversifying the medicinal market. An important note is that these ideas and models are functional in the Chiapas but might not be efficient as a large-scale operation. That being said, these methods can be implemented in marginalized communities in the U.S by creating more independent, efficient citizen-run networks that act as alternatives to traditional government bodies. These networks operated with community-led efforts to improve issues such as healthcare access and information that can tend to the community’s main health concerns as well as remove the burden of going to a hospital emergency room or paying expensive prescription prices for traditional pharmaceuticals.

  6. Option 1
    The Zapatistas create alternative practices to improve the living conditions and sovereignty of the indigenous people in Chiapas. Healthcare is extremely important to them. Zapatistas have spent years developing their healthcare system. They work with groups to ensure that their equipment is updated and sanitary. They improve the community living conditions by first promoting healthy lifestyles. Zapatistas promote a good diet and healthy living in their community. The people of Chiapas are helped/cured through traditional western medicine but they’ve created alternative forms of treating their community as well. They use medicinal plants that have healing properties from different regions around them. They have accumulated knowledge of these plants for hundreds of years. This alternative method of medicine allows the community to be treated in a cost-effective manner. Their healthcare interested me the most since their approach in medicine is quite different from western medicine. Western medicine is heavily reliant on pharmaceuticals, but they’ve found a way to treat their community in a natural way. I think medicinal plants could definitely help marginalized communities in the U.S. Medicine in the US is not affordable to many people. Many people in the U.S cannot afford insurance, therefore they can’t afford medicine. Medicinal plants could be a great economic alternative to treat illnesses if those marginalized people could learn more about plants.

  7. Option 1: Healthcare
    The Zapatistas ensured that they fought for education, land, health, freedom, democracy, peace, and justice. All of this was because they wanted to make sure that the indigenous people could have better lives and vital aspects of life like education and health weren’t barred from them. Some instances of the Zapatistas improving the living conditions for the indigenous people of Chiapas was giving 10,000 hectares of land and also building various structures all while receiving no pay from the Mexican government. The approach I was the most interested in was healthcare, it astounds me they’re seemingly able to have their own healthcare system without the government interfering. I also thought the fact that so many people were dying from curable diseases or wouldn’t be able to pay for treatment was really upsetting and the fact that the Zapatistas created their own healthcare system that much better. It was also really interesting to me that they didn’t just use standard treatments but also used medical plants and were overall more affordable. I definitely think a system like this being implemented in the U.S would bring massive benefits to marginalized communities. While it might be hard to get off the ground especially with the no government interference in the long run it would be super helpful just by being more affordable so people could actually get treatment and not have to worry on how they’re going to pay for it.

  8. Healthcare
    The idea of healthcare was really important to the Zapatistas which is why they spent years developing their own healthcare system. According to local standards the Oventic Clinic was well equipped. The poor healthcare system was one of the main reasons for the uprising because people with curable diseases were dying. Before the uprising although many people were dying no one promoted healthcare. Medical assistance was unattainable and people were unable to afford it. Now they are continuing to work on their healthcare system with the help of the indigenous peoples and health promoters. Due to these efforts fewer people are dying. They go into different cities and explain to people how to best improve their health and diet. The health promoters do not only provide medical assistance but are also a vital importance to medical plants. They learn and advance based on experiences and try to teach other healthcare workers about the things they have learned. The Zapatistas receive support in money, medicine, medical equipment and training. Despite all the work and efforts the healthcare system still is not what it should be. The healthcare system also treats those who are not a part of the movement for a small fee and Zapatistas are free of charge.

  9. Agriculture
    Before 1994, Zapatistas didn’t have a lot of land, and the little land they had was on steep hills which is harder to work with. They were also so far from other locations, their only work option was to work on land owned by farmers. One of the main themes from this uprise was Agriculture as they were working under bad conditions and i believe slavery wage. After the uprise, they were given farmers land and they divided them amongst the thousands of families within their communities. This was one step closer at better living conditions since they were now able to grow their own food, on their own land. I found it really interesting that they don’t accept anything from the government because usually organizations or protesters want to be heard from the government and want them (the government) to make the changes. Their government offers them money, seeds, cattle, alcohol, etc. but they know this is just to try divide them after everything they worked for. i think its great they they work and help each other out within the communities since they arent getting the proper help nor respect from the government. if the government isnt going to make a proper change, its best to just do it yourself, at least some change will be made. this could help out marginalized groups in the US if they follow the same ideas of not folding in once one simple things is handed to you.

  10. option 1;community self-rule structure /collective work
    The zapatistas had a positive impacts on the development of the indigenous recognition in Mexico. they were able to come together and use their indigenous solidarity to try and put an end to the oppression they were faced with.
    With the help and hard work of their community were able to make a place for their peoples where they can feel safe and have what they need. before the uprise healthcare wasn’t accessible or promoted within the community which would result in many deaths, after the uprising they created their own medicine alone with the help of health promoters. mexico eventually helped by providing some medical supplies and assistance, but with the use of natural medicines they were able to save on the extra costs. In the education of the zapatistas they still teach the indigenous value and morals, whilst also teaching about the world changing around them, keeping their indigenous roots is important in the education system they created. Within their community they were able to build their own space without much help of the government.

    1. I agree with what you stated about how self rule structure was the best thing that could of happened to them because of the healthcare they were able to obtain and putting an end to the oppression they were facing. However i don’t believe this will last for long term because as you know with human nature everyone is greedy and self governance will end up with people making up there own rules that will affect everyone and then it will just collapse on itself. What they should do is make a democracy within the self rule structured group as then it has some structure that will help them form a well lasting society for the long run.

  11. Option 1: Healthcare

    Zapatistas have been fighting for things like agriculture, education, etc to help improve their way of life. One of the things they have fought for that interests me was their healthcare system. “An important goal of the organization is medical care for the people. It is for this reason that the Zapatistas have spent years developing and promoting their own health-care system” Zapatistas, through all the odds, developed a health-care system because “prior to 1994 many people died from curable diseases”. They wanted to change that and because of their work many people are being saved. These health clinics not only use conventional medicine but also medical plants because they cost less. By using medicinal plants they are regaining lost knowledge of these plants properties. The Zapatistas don’t limit only helping those in the organization but others loyal to the government as well (for a small fee). It amazes me how through troubling times the Zapatistas have created health-care and are providing it to all while receiving help from Mexico and abroad. It also amazes me how long their way of life has been going on and seems like something other countries can definitely try to implement. I don’t know if it’ll happen because many people are pro-government and rely on them for their way of life. If an organization like the Zapatistas comes along to show an alternative way of life, people will follow for how cheap and people oriented it is. This is something marginalized communities need because many don’t have access to healthcare and something like this could change their life.

    1. I agree with Nelly’s take on the health care system because Zapatistas distributed land and created a lot of their own structures, without government assistance. Their healthcare system is able to create an treatment affordable for everybody. Their health care system also treats people loyal to the government, but at a small fee. Regular “EZLN” people do not need to pay anything. Just in general, even by today’s standards, health care is expensive. This is definitely the case in the United States. Most people just forgo certain treats its for the simple fact that it is it just is not possible. Without any type of help from the government we can’t expect a working class individual afford health care.

  12. option one- healthcare

    In Chiapas, the Zapatistas improved living conditions and overall wellbeing of the indigenous people by creating the movement EZLN, many native people have volunteered themselves into this movement that took place in the southern part of Mexico. After a decade of preparation the EZLN finally began to improve living conditions that have been terrible for many years due to poor health and economical status caused by the government that made indigenous people in Chiapas not be able to live in reasonable conditions. The Zapatistas have continued to peacefully protest and make deals with the Mexican government in order to gain attention and make a change, their signature black ski masks and bandanas have also brought them the attention that they deserve. Healthcare, was a very important issue that was hyper focused on by the representatives of the movement as well. Representatives of the Zapatistas worked together to talk to officials one on one, in order to make even more of a change. In each autonomous region, the grassroot group has continued to strive for a positive change in the healthcare system that is provided for many indigenous people in Mexico. The movement has been developing their own health care system that has saved thousands of people’s lives, in the 1990’s alone many indigenous people in the extreme lower class have died from curable diseases such as the common cold, fever, and more.
    I find it interesting how in order to help people from these diseases, medicine and medicinal plants are provided to help many survive. These medicinal plants are less costly, and are more familiar to the natives that have been exposed to the rainforests and wildlife all their lives.
    techniques like using medicinal plants can be a good role model for the medical field in the United states, I personally do not believe that with certain things like the common cold formulated medicine is needed for healthcare.

  13. Option 1:

    Zapatistas improved the living conditions of the indigenous people in Chiapas by protesting, advocating, and negotiating for better treatment of the citizens living in Chiapas. However, since the government refused to implement the accords, they developed their own government, army, healthcare system, and education. The healthcare of the Zapatistas interested me the most because since many deaths occurred among young children, adults, and even elders, the Zapatistas organized and promoted health-care work themselves. Healthcare promoters don’t only use conventional methods to help, but medical plants as well since they are cheaper. Healthcare is also free for everyone that isn’t loyal to the government, but even then, the people loyal pay a drastically lower fee than they normally would compared to at a conventional medical consultation. I think that these ideas could help marginalized communities in the U.S. because if people were aware and willing to find the solutions to problems in their society, then they would be able to seek the help that they need and have much better living conditions.

  14. Option 1:
    Topic: Healthcare

    Zapatistas improve the living conditions and sovereignty of the indigenous people in Chiapas through peaceful means to obtain their education, health, freedom, and land. Their health care system is most interesting to me because their health care system gives more people opportunities to access treatment. One of the ways Zapatistas has helped improve Chiapa’s living conditions is by improving their health care system. Zapatistas have developed their health care system, this helps improve their medical level and health. They improved the medical equipment, making it more advanced and cleaner. They also used medicinal plants for healing. Medicinal plants are a cheaper treatment option than drugs. It makes health care more affordable and more people can get treatment when they need it. I think these ideas and models could help marginalized communities in the U.S. because this could help more Americans gain access to treatment. Medical expenses and medicine costs are very expensive in the United States. Many people who don’t have health insurance can’t afford it so they choose to forgo treatment. And without government intervention, you can lower the cost of health care, and then people don’t have to worry about not being able to afford health care.

  15. The Zapatistas have improved the living conditions of the indigenous people by using natural remedies for their medical issues. This results in cheaper costs for medicine and keeps foreign trade out of this location. These people seemed to treat themselves without any help from the outside. Even people from the outside world visit their stores because of how cheap the medicine is. These practices do not operate the same way as a United States hospital would or how a pharmacy would. They use nature and natural remedies instead of pain killers or anything over the counter.

  16. Option 1: Education
    Zapatistas are the people of southern Mexico. Most of the population here is in poverty, so they defend their freedom, land; education, and health. Later, they established an army called Zapatist Army of National Liberation : EZLN. EZLN organized to improve the living conditions of the indigenous people in the state of Chas. One of the plans is to improve people’s education. They think education is very important. Many people want to go to school but don’t have the opportunity to go to school. The improvement of education can make the country’s development potential better and better.

  17. Option 1: Education
    The Zapatistas; the dominant group that can be found within the southern most state of Mexico, the Chiapas. Within Chiapas resides the EZLN, also known as the Zapatists Army of National Liberation; a group that focused on the improvement of the lives of the indigenous via non-violent and peaceful methods. Having backed up by many ethnic groups and gaining the support of essentially all of Chiapas, the EZLN quickly rose as a predominant figure for reformation and improvement within Mexico. One particular improvement amongst many that the EZLN was able to reform sought personal interest, that being education. Education to the indigenous was extremely scarce prior to the impact of the Zapatistas as the majority of the indigenous were uneducated incapable of knowing how to read or write. This could’ve led to the false impression of the indigenous as being incapable or unreliable to society. Seeking this change, the EZLN made reformations to the education that allowed many to participate within school to gain their educational prowess, which as a result not only educated the next generations but also improved the community allowing for long term improvements in the near future. Now as compared to the U.S., one would say that the U.S. education system is dominant. However, I would beg to differ as quantity does not mean quality as I personally believe that the education system allowed for by the EZLN is more dominant in terms of their actual educational quality. Particularly, the education of culture. One could sufficiently say that the education of culture lacks within the U.S. and because of this, minority groups that reside within the U.S. would A) feel as their own cultural beliefs are insignificant, and B) eventually have their cultural beliefs be “washed out” in the coming generations. By taking influence from the education system formed by the EZLN, perhaps the value of culture and beliefs would be finally recognized by the majority of education systems in the U.S. and allow for the teachings and values of many more cultures.

  18. The Zapatistas helped improve their communities by providing affordable and necessary healthcare. Lack of healthcare was one of the many reasons that caused the uprising in 1994, people were dying from curable diseases, and because healthcare was not widely accessible, it led communities to see a decline in health. The Zapatistas are changing this by implementing their donated health care centers and having medical professionals and trainers to cause fewer people to die from these curable diseases. The health center’s medicine and medical supplies were given to them so the fee for patients could be affordable. I think that affordable or free health care in countries has always shown a positive difference rather than expensive healthcare, and more countries should implement affordable healthcare.

  19. Option 1

    Zapatistas is the movement of indigenous people from the south region of Mexico called Chiapas. Zapatistas fight for their opportunities, freedom, and equality. Zapatistas strive to be autonomous from Mexico, therefore they create their own alternative practices, one example of such practice is a health care system. Before the Zapatistas Revolution in 1994, many people from the region died because of common diseases like diarrhea and many others due to lack of medical assistance, high expenses, and inaccessibility. To deal with all of these problems the health care system started to be supplied better. The service is also free for the residents of the communities which support Zapatistas and for a really low price for those who live in the local area but are loyal to the Mexican government. In addition to the regular medicines Zapatistas medical centers use herbal and traditional medicine to cure illnesses, because it’s inexpensive, accessible, and pays tribute to indigenous culture.

  20. Option 1
    During the Zapatista movement, Zapatistas rose up in Chiapas, Mexico to fight for land, health, education, freedom, democracy, and justice. They protested in large numbers, wore ski masks to symbolize their movement and strived to be heard by the government. The Council of Good Governance formed and made decisions according to the people’s wishes and doubts. Those that reside in Chiapas didn’t have access to the same resources as those with higher authority and money. One of the approaches that helped improve the living conditions for the indigenous people in Chiapas was healthcare. Chiapas’s healthcare standards were miserable because many people died from curable diseases due to inaccessible supplies and resources or aid. No one promoted healthcare despite the numerous deaths that could’ve easily been preventable had there been enough resources and money. With the contributions of the indigenous people, the community is able to promote healthy diet and prevent curable illnesses. The health promotors treat illnesses with conventional methods that are less costly for the community. Because of the movement, the Zapatistas are able to receive support in the form of money, medicine, and medical equipment with training. This idea could help marginalize communities in the US because it’s statistically proven that minorities tend to be more subjectable to illnesses and death because they lack the same resources and services. With this model, the US government may be able to make healthcare more affordable for minorities especially if they live in poverty.

  21. Poverty, racism, and repression have harmed a vast population in Mexico’s south. The Zapatistas, a group of people from southern Mexico, decide to reform their healthcare, land, education, democracy, and freedom policies, among other things. They formed the Zapatist Army of National Liberation in order to keep foreign forces from thwarting their reform efforts. Their purpose is to better the living circumstances and sovereignty of the indigenous people of Chiapas, not to take over the country. Improving education is one approach to do this. The Zapatists think that education is a critical component in achieving their aim. This is due to the fact that many individuals, particularly women, did not have access to education before to 1994. Even now, not every youngster is able to go to school. A country’s ability to innovate and produce wealth would be enhanced through education.

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