The Indian Awakening in Latin America


This book describes difficulties of the Indians who inhabit the
following countries: Bolivia, Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, Panama, and
Brazil. This book is a compilation of the various struggles of indians living in
these countries of Latin America. For over four centuries, these people have
been taken advantage of by the Europeans who invaded their lands. Many of the
customs and traditions of the Indians in Latin America have struggled for
survival throughout the centuries from the problems that the whites have caused.
Latin American Indians have struggled through hardships created by the whites
that include a loss of lands, slavery, discrimination, a complete rearrangement
of their beliefs and cultures, ethnocide, and genocide.
The Latin American Indians have struggled for centuries since the
invasions of their lands to reclaim their lands, and way of life. The lands for
them is not simply dirt for them to cultivate. The various Indian cultures have
lived with their lands in harmony for thousands of years. The land to them is
their sense of identity in which they respectfully care for and live with in
harmony. The land which they once owned was meticulously cared for and the
lessons which they learned of respect for nature was passed down to their
children for generations. Much of the land they once owned was stolen from them
when the Europeans invaded.
Another aspect which was described in this book was religion and the
effects it had on the natives of Latin America. The Catholic church was forced
upon many of the Indians when the European, mainly Spanish, ideologies were
forced upon the Indians. The church claimed to want to help them to enrich thier
lives and help their communities. The new church soon forced the natives to work
for many days without any pay. The impression of the church was forcfully
imposed on them in many ways. The Europeans believed that the Indians were not
equall to them. The believed the Indians did not know any better, and the
religion they followed wasn\'t the true one. If the Indians didn\'t want to
worship the Catholic religion, harm was given to them oftentimes. Religion has
always been an important life to the Indians of Latin America. It has been an
integral part of their life for thousands of years. Although disputs about
religion has been going on since the beginning of time, the pressure which the
Spanish settlers imposed on them was one which was integrated with dominance.
The dominance which was imposed on the Indians of Latin Americans when the
Spanish settlers arrived, stripped the Indians rights to have the freedom to
choose their own religion.
The new schools and the ideologies were also forced upon the Indians
when the Spanish invadeed their lands. These new schools did not teach the
continued traditions that are important to the cultures and the values important
to the Indians. The new schools do not teach them how to continue to live in
harmony with the lands that they have lived with for centuries. The history that
is taught in the classrooms is of Euro-centered origin. The history that is
important to the Indians is not taught in the new schools. The history that is
the true history of Latin America is either ignored or changed and devalued by
only being taught as a small part of history. This Euro-centered attitude of
education has degraded the quality of the Indians way of life in many ways. As
time passed the values and history of the native people have been slowly fading
over time as the history of their people is not adequately taught or is not
represented correctly. The details of the rich history of these indians are not
taught to them. The information has caused many Indians to loose touch with
there true culture. Furthermore, this has aided to help devide the Indians, even
within their own country. This has been another major struggle the people of
Latin America face. Of the people that are trying to ban together to stop the
discrimination, and total dominance over them, people from different tribes are
trying to combine their efforts in all areas such as government. This is a
difficult task to accomplish. Their struggle is not as strong as it could be if
the Indian people of Latin America continue to be devided.
What is important to the native Latin American people has been pushed
aside by the European settlers. This motivation has been driven by greed. Many
of the Indians are very skeptical now when the white man