Meet an IAS Residential Fellow: Florencia Pech-Cárdenas


Florencia Pech-Cárdenas
Natural Resource Science and Management
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Science
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellow at the IAS, 2020–2021

My research is exploring the intersections among tourism, handicraft production, gender, livelihoods and forest management in Maya communities of Yucatan, Mexico. My time as an IAS Fellow has allowed me to deepen my knowledge and understanding of Maya history, Maya autonomy, and Maya women. I have been immersing in the literature of Maya and non-Maya scholars that gives me different perspectives about the experiences and realities of Maya people from different disciplines. Regular discussions with my mentor, Dr. Bianet Castellanos, are allowing me to develop three pieces of writing that will inform my Chapter 3, in which I aim to understand how handicraft production is affecting the life of Maya women artisans and the achievement of their autonomy. Moreover, being an IAS fellow has also opened up opportunities for collaboration with local, national, and international colleagues. Finally, the interdisciplinary community of awesome fellows have given me a lot of feedback and ideas to improve my Chapter 3. There is always something new and interesting to learn and to share within this community and thus, coming together is an enjoyable time.  

Florencia Pech-Cardenas is a Maya Yucateca and PhD candidate in the Natural Resources and Science Management Program in the Forest Resources Department at the University of Minnesota. She is a Fulbright scholar and a CONACYT scholar. Her research has been awarded with the Julia F. Morton Award (2018) by the Society of Economic Botany, and the Indigenous Ethnobiologist Fellowship (2019) by the Society of Ethnobiology. She has presented her research in the MALCS (Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social/Active Women in Letters and Social Change) Summer Institute. She facilitates with Dr. Ray Newman the study abroad program Sustainable Akumal: Turtles, Tourists, Cenotes and Coral Reefs. 



This series features an IAS Residential Fellow—a Faculty Fellow, Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellow, or Community of Scholars Fellow. Each profile is written by the participant as a way to share their projects, goals, and experiences as part of their time at the IAS.



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