The Struggle In Latin American History

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Latin American history is dramatic and panoramic, making easy access for film makers to capture the contradictions and confrontations of history since the Conquest. Latin American history is the story of the struggle of the common people to acquire and maintain the necessities of life. As defined by the Constitution of the United States these inalienable rights include life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, freedom of speech and religion. International human rights law includes freedom from oppression and access to physical necessities, food, shelter, water. The Latin American struggle has been for the land needed to create these necessities. As I write this curriculum, the people of Chiapas, Mexico, are fighting to regain lands they had…show more content…
Like the latter, Aguirre was a Spaniard who came to the New World to further his career. He was an officer in Francisco Pizarro�s conquest of the mighty Inca, lords of the Andes. However while Cabeza de Vaca was forthright and noble, and Cort�s was educated, Pizarro, and his brothers including Hernando and uncle Gonzalo, and his officers were cut of rougher cloth. Pizarro was an illegitimate child, illiterate, raised as a peasant in Extremadura, the dry ranch land of western Spain so like the dry southwestern USA. He was brave, pitiless, and single minded. He had been with Balboa when the Pacific was discovered. Soon afterwards, stories of gold began to flow north to Panama. Pizarro rode south, racing Diego de Amagro to Cuzco. It took as little time for Pizarro to decimate the Inca as it had taken Cort�s to conquer the Aztec Empire. Still hungry for gold, he ordered an expedition to cross the Andes and go down the Amazon in search of the mythical El Dorado, a city of gold now understood to be an invention by the Indians to divert the Spaniards. The leader of this expedition was Gonzalo Pizarro, uncle of Francisco, with orders to hunt for El Dorado east of the Andes. Factual information about this excursion is difficult to acquire. Innes1 reports the excursion in 1540 led by Francisco de Orellana down the Napa tributary, with Orellana as author of the journal from which this film is derived. Herzog claims the monk, Gaspar de…show more content…
In talking about the qualities of the heroes of these movies, we will have little access to their humanity except in the case of Joel, my friend. His reality makes him no less a hero. We will have defined heroic qualities as courage in the face of danger, integrity despite pressure to abandon value, fighting for the benefit to others despite personal cost. In this post Kennedy era of American politics, heroes are exposed for their lesser qualities at the cost of their effectiveness. I want my students to know that heroes are not perfect humans, but people like us who accept the burden of truth. In a sense that makes this movie as useful as the

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