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The Carletonian

Carleton’s annual Latin American Forum looks at “Costa Rica at the Crossroads”

<rleton College will host a series of special events Friday and Saturday, April 25 and 26, as part of its annual Foro Latinoamericano (Latin American Forum). The Foro is an opportunity for students, faculty, alumni, and Northfield citizens to study a specific aspect of Latin America from a number of different angles. This year the Foro centers on the Central American nation of Costa Rica, the longest-consolidated democracy in Latin America. Foro guests will speak on the challenges the nation faces as a new member of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). Guests include experts in biology, economics, and literature. The Foro events will take place in the Athenaeum of the Gould Library; all are free and open to the public.

Friday, April 25

4:00pm – The Foro begins with opening remarks by Associate Dean of the College Beverley Nagle.

4:30pm – Janet Seiz will deliver a presentation entitled, “Hearts and Minds: The CAFTA referendum in Costa Rica.” Seiz is an economics professor at Grinnell College who specializes in economic development and income distribution,and who has studied the health of the Costa Rican democracy and the narrow victory of the recent CAFTA referendum. A reception follows the presentation by Seiz.

8:00pm – Valeria Grinberg Pla will give a presentation about the Costa Rican novelist Anacristina Rossi entitled “At the Crossroads of Activism and Literature.” Pla is a professor of Spanish American literature and culture at Bowling Green State University. She is also a member of the International Research Program: Towards a History of Central American Literature based in Costa Rica. A dessert reception follows Pla’s presentation.

Saturday, April 26

10:30am – The Foro concludes with “The Long Road Back: Challenges and Opportunities in Conservation,” a presentation by Christopher Vaughan. Vaughan is the co-founder and former director of Latin America’s first graduate program in wildlife management and conservation, based out of the National University of Costa Rica. He currently coordinates the Chocolate Biodiversity and Productivity Project in Costa Rica and teaches at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

This year’s Foro Latinoamericana is sponsored by the Dean of the College, the Latin American Studies Program, the Department of Biology the Environmental and Technology Studies Program, the Department of Spanish, and the Distinguished Women’s Visitors Fund. For more information please contact the Spanish department at (507) 222-4252.

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