Book captures oral histories of lives in Caribbean and Latin America

Changing times and Changing Lives in the Caribbean and Latin America: Ten Oral Histories, edited by York political science Professor Judith Adler Hellmlan, presents a collection of stories about the lives of 10 remarkable people in the region.

The very best oral histories produced over a span of five years in the capstone course in Latin America Changing Times bookand Caribbean studies at York University have been collected in this book.

Changing times and Changing Lives in the Caribbean and Latin America will launch Monday, Oct. 28, from 3 to 6pm, in Founders Senior Common Room, 305 Founders College, Keele campus. The authors will be on hand to discuss the process and the challenges of collecting and writing the oral histories. Everyone is welcome to attend. Caribbean and Latin American refreshments will be served.

From Trinidad, Grenada, St. Lucia and the Dominican Republic to Columbia, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Mexico, readers will come to know individuals whose lives reflect the history and immense changes underway in these countries.

The impact of war and peace, independence struggles, natural disaster, economic upheavals and other forces of change are presented to readers through deeply affecting narratives of a broad range of Latin American and Caribbean people.

The people who recount their lives in this collection have lived at pivotal moments in the political, economic and social his­tory of their countries.

“The astonishing thing, however, is that they are not ‘research subjects’ whose stories were selected from a broader study of change in the Caribbean and Latin America. These accounts are not the fruit of the work of either a scholar or a journalist who laboured for years to collect the most gripping oral histories that would reveal the fullest range of experiences that characterize life today in the region,” writes Hellman.

“Rather, they are the personal friends and family members of students who enrolled in the capstone course in the Latin American & Caribbean Studies Program at York. These students were required by their professor to hunt up and interview someone Caribbean or Latin American in origin.”

The event is sponsored by Centre for Research on Latin America & the Caribbean (CERLAC), Founders College, Latin American and Caribbean studies and International Development studies.

For more information, contact CERLAC at