Tourism Economies & Indigenous Struggles

Indigenous communities have become powerful attractions for tourists. While tourism may bring opportunities for Indigenous people, it does
not usually strengthen Indigenous autonomy
or economic security. Our panelists consider
the impacts of tourisms on Indigenous peoples. What are the impacts of tourism development on Indigenous communities? How does tourism impact Indigenous peoples' relation to place?

Speaker Name

Bianet Castellanos University of Minnesota & Christopher Loperena, CUNY




Speaker Bio

Professor Bianet Castellanos is associate professor and chair of American Studies and Distinguished University Teaching Professor at the University of Minnesota. She is also an affiliated faculty member in the departments of American Indian Studies and Chicano & Latino Studies. For the past three decades, she has collaborated with Maya communities in Mexico and their diasporas in the United States. Her research centers on developing indigeneity as an analytic to interrogate mobility across the Americas. She is the author of Indigenous Dispossession: Housing and Maya Indebtedness in Mexico, and A Return to Servitude: Maya Migration and the Tourist Trade in Cancún. She edited Comparative Indigeneities of the Américas: Toward a Hemispheric Approach (with Lourdes Gutiérrez Nájera and Arturo Aldama), Detours: Travel and the Ethics of Research in the Global South, and the forum “Settler Colonialism in Latin America” in American Quarterly. She is a member of the Critical Latinx Indigeneities Working Group. 


Professor Christopher Loperena’s research examines indigenous and black territorial struggles, land, ethicality and subject formation, and the socio-spatial politics of economic development in Honduras. His current book project is titled, A Fragmented Paradise: Blackness and the Limits of Progress in Honduras. In addition to his current book project, he recently co-edited two themed issues on the role of cultural evidence in the adjudication of indigenous and afro-descendant rights in Latin America. He has served as an expert witness at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and in support of asylum claimants from Honduras. Loperena’s work has been published in American AnthropologistAmerican QuarterlyCultural AnthropologyCurrent AnthropologyDesacatosGeoforum, the Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, and the Journal of Sustainable Tourism