While conducting her dissertation research on volunteer tourism and development as part of her IAF Grassroots Development Fellowship, University of Connecticut PhD Candidate Rebecca Jacobs visited the village of San Martín Sacatepéquez to deliver reading glasses to weavers from the local weaving cooperative. Rebecca’s gift made a substantial impact on the weavers. Some of the women had not been able to see their weaving clearly in years, and the glasses allowed them to continue earning a living through their craft.
The Inter-American Foundation (IAF) was created in 1969 by the United States Congress to fund the self-help initiatives of the organized poor in Latin America and the Caribbean and the groups that directly support them. In 2011, the IAF awarded 15 Grassroots Development Fellowships to Ph.D. students who have advanced to candidacy in U.S. universities, to fund dissertation research throughout the hemisphere. Fellows examine the efforts of the rural and urban poor to improve their lives, their methods of organization and production, and the policies and programs designed to alleviate their poverty. The IAF disseminates research findings of its Fellows to a broad audience concerned with development.
Rebecca is currently finishing her PhD in Anthropology at the University of Connecticut and is focusing her research on volunteer tourism and development in Guatemalan weaving cooperatives.
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