Indigenous men and women wearing masks at the wake of Cacique Messias Martins

Spotlight

Eyes on COVID-19

Our latest Spotlight holds a collection of COVID-related articles.

If you would be interested in contributing articles or photographs, please contact June Carolyn Erlick, jerlick@fas.harvard.edu.

Articles

March Articles

Past Months

Reflecting on the Work of Emi Takahashi

Reflecting on the Work of Emi Takahashi

Emi Takahashi’s work presents at this very troubled moment in our society are not the outcome of chance, but of a journey of great dedication and perseverance. Escaping the clichés of the contemporary world and the immediate and flat images of social media has proved…

El jardín pandémico

El jardín pandémico

English + Español
Imagine the tranquility of a garden. With the aroma of flowers mixed in with the buzzing of bees and the contrast of shady trees against the fierce Paraguayan sun. From the intimacy of a family garden in which daily ritual leads one to water the plants, gather up the dry leaves…

The Days and the Neighbors I Didn’t Know I Had

The Days and the Neighbors I Didn’t Know I Had

English + Español
Now there is time to sit and watch. Life becomes contemplation of the landscape of the windows, the waiting and the observation arereleased, because the time is presented in a strange way. Daily rituals that remained invisible and that are now part of our stories and…

The Pandemic in Venezuela

The Pandemic in Venezuela

Latin America is the world’s epicenter of Covid-19, with more than 10 million cases and 400,000 deaths as of November 1. The region’s countries have nine of the world’s 16 highest mortality rates per 100,000, with Peru claiming the dubious distinction of the highest rate after…

Image, Pandemic, Return: the Drama of Venezuelan Migrants

Image, Pandemic, Return: the Drama of Venezuelan Migrants

English + Español
Two girls look at each other intently, they are standing up and their raised hands move to a song to clap along that makes their afternoon happy. An expression of joy can be seen in both, though one has half her face covered by a face mask. The space they occupy, the moment…

Afrodescendants and Covid-19

Afrodescendants and Covid-19

English + Español
As an Afro-descendant Chilean who is also an activist in my community, I am constantly struck by our exclusion from the conversation about the impact of Covid-19. We know for a fact that the pandemic affects the most vulnerable members of the society. Afro-descendants are…

A Look at Mexico City

A Look at Mexico City

English + Español
I live in a city of twenty million people. A city usually filled with cars and people that one day became empty. Sidewalks, parks, and other spaces are now abandoned, without any figures, not even passing shadows. This was once unimaginable. But the city I was born …

Living in The Covid Years

Living in The Covid Years

In August 2020, thousands paraded in classic cars and lowriders in East Los Angeles, as Chicanas and Chicanos celebrated the 50th anniversary of the National Chicano Moratorium to remember when 30,000 marched in peaceful protest to question the overrepresentation…

Pandemic and Crisis

Pandemic and Crisis

English + Español
The Covid-19 pandemic is without a doubt a universal phenomenon, not only because of its geographic extension, but perhaps even more important, because of the way it permeates absolutely every aspect of our societies. It’s not enough to just understand the…

The Covid-19 Pandemic and a Deep Dive into My Emotional World

The Covid-19 Pandemic and a Deep Dive into My Emotional World

English + Español
The COVID-19 pandemic came in a year that I predicted would be emotive. Actually, the first two months were quite thrilling. In February I celebrated my wedding in a magical country house in the Colombian Coffee region, where we danced and celebrated with…

Reflecting on the Work of Rodrigo Abd

Reflecting on the Work of Rodrigo Abd

English + Español
Peru’s capital is a notoriously gray, solemn city. Limeños can go weeks without seeing the sun, catching just a pale glimpse of its radiance behind the clouds. As the coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc here, Lima’s overcast disposition seems to match the…

Teaching University Students in Chile’s Pandemic

Teaching University Students in Chile’s Pandemic

English + Español
As a law  professor, I’ve seen in the last few months how the capacity for innovation in the university system has not previously been appreciated.  I’ve also observed a positive impact in teaching that has forced us to evaluate practices and to have increasing concern…

My Time

My Time

English + Español
A few days before the mandatory quarantine was declared in Chile, I thought it was best to leave Santiago. We knew the situation was very serious, but we did not know how the pandemic would actually be experienced. I know how to live with an earthquake; as a historian, I…

The Pretension of Total Power in the Age of Covid-19

The Pretension of Total Power in the Age of Covid-19

English + Español
Next year, presidential elections are scheduled to be held in Nicaragua, and a new National Assembly would assume office. The good faith of the regime of Daniel Ortega, if such a thing existed, should already be demonstrating, in a race against the clock in this time of Covid-19…

Guatemala: Slow-Motion Collapse

Guatemala: Slow-Motion Collapse

English + Español
Guatemala is in the middle of the Pacific Ring of Fire; a country the size of Tennessee, it is threatened by four tectonic plates and has almost 300 volcanos. Here, we have all grown up with tremors, and some of us remember the last “great” earthquake: that of 1976, which…

Mourning in the Time of Covid

Mourning in the Time of Covid

Dery Dyer, the former owner, publisher and editor of The Tico Times, a newspaper in Costa Rica, known as a champion of free and independent press, died of lung cancer in her home in a suburb of that nation’s capital of San José Friday Sept.25, said her husband…

Horror of Horrors

Horror of Horrors

English + Español
The keychain he gave me was a bit odd with its two decorations: the dried tail of a rabbit or some other creature and a plastic heart that read, “I Love NY.” I took the keys, thanked him for his generosity (especially considering that he thought the imminent threat of the…

Postcards from Confinement

Postcards from Confinement

English + Español
A few months ago, when the state of California issued a mandatory lockdown, many of us began to wonder what would become of our jobs and our projects. As a member of the faculty at the University of San Diego, I was able, and fortunate, to transition to online teaching relatively smoothly…

Resilience in the Time of Covid-19 in Puerto Rico

Resilience in the Time of Covid-19 in Puerto Rico

English + Español
In the past ten years, we Puerto Ricans have experienced many situations that have made us recipients of stress, anxiety and hypervigilance. The theme of Covid-19 goes hand in hand with other social problems. It is because of this that people live in a state of…

Villahermosa in times of Covid-19

Villahermosa in times of Covid-19

English + Español
As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Harvard decided that for safety and health reasons, all students would have to take a 100% online curriculum at least for this semester. That meant that…

Pandemic Toll: Challenges for Journalists in Mexico and Beyond

Pandemic Toll: Challenges for Journalists in Mexico and Beyond

English + Español
It felt ridiculous. For almost two weeks, only one case of the novel coronavirus had been officially reported in my hometown of Torreón, in northern México. It was the first half of March and the pandemic was rapidly advancing, making it unbelievable to me as a journalist that in…

Pandemic in the Brazilian Prison System

Pandemic in the Brazilian Prison System

English + Português
I’m a prison guard. I witness firsthand the COVID-19 pandemic challenges in the Brazilian prison system. This experience sharpened my interest in studying the effect of Covid-19 in prisons, given the difficulty faced by scientists in accessing it in order to conduct research…

Pandemic Journalism

Pandemic Journalism

English + Español
For more than 30 years I have taught and practiced the art of telling true stories. “Get your shoes dirty, feel the wind and the rain and the sun.” In Latin America and beyond, that was always the way we teachers and editors taught our reporters and students to get out of their…

Living within the Collapsed Myth of Multiculturalism

Living within the Collapsed Myth of Multiculturalism

English + Español
On July 28th, Peruvian independence day, I had just finished listening to the two-hour presidential speech discussing the government response to the country’s multiple crises. I headed out to meet Rosita, as she prefers to be called, at noon while she delivered a lasagna to…

The COVID-19 Response in Mexico

The COVID-19 Response in Mexico

English + Español
For the past summer, I have been working remotely with the Global Health Institute at the Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico City, Mexico, an opportunity that has let me peel back the…

Covid-19 and Prisons in Latin America

Covid-19 and Prisons in Latin America

English + Español
In the process of doing fieldwork research, I’ve visited more than 30 prisons across the region and conducted surveys of more than 15,000 inmates. During the last 15 years, I have talked to hundreds of inmates who sleep on the floor of their prison cells. Some of them have not…

Letter from Mexico: Hopes and Shadows

Letter from Mexico: Hopes and Shadows

English + Español
In the last few years, I’ve immensely enjoyed walking around any city at all, from Shanghai to Cochabamba, without any fixed route. I walk for several hours to stumble on spaces of daily life, places that with a bit of luck one finds two or three blocks from a thoroughfare…

The Vaccine Revolt in Brazil

The Vaccine Revolt in Brazil

I have long been fascinated by history. As I sit quarantined in my apartment in Vancouver, Canada, far from my native Brazil, I cannot help but ponder the differences in how epidemics have affected my homeland. Epidemics tend to increase economic inequalities…

The Future of the State in Chile

The Future of the State in Chile

As I sit in my apartment in Santiago de Chile, and look at the sunset in the mountains that surround the city, I realize that the world of history and ideas has always been my home. Since March of this year, and until a few days ago (August 2020), I could only go out twice a week for three hours…

The Pandemic and Informal Settlements

The Pandemic and Informal Settlements

English + Español
Quarantining during the coronavirus pandemic is a new and unexpected experience in our lifes. I am writing to you at the middle of an academic year in which the world in which we operate is fundamentally different. The covid 19 epidemic has caused the loss of lives…