Thursday, May 8, 2014

Whitworth student to work in Guatemala as an advocate for indigenous rights


Ingrid Sub Cuc, ’14
After graduating in May, Whitworth biology major Ingrid Sub Cuc, ’14, will return to her native country of Guatemala and work as an intern for Cultural Survival, in Quetzaltenango.

“Being indigenous Mayan myself, I’ve always been passionate about indigenous rights and economic justice within my community,” Sub Cuc says. “The really admirable thing about Cultural Survival is their continuous effort to educate and empower indigenous leaders to take the lead in defending their rights.”

Sub Cuc moved to the United States at age 12 and is fluent in English, Spanish and Kaqchikel, a Mayan dialect. Her proclivity for languages and her indigenous roots made her an ideal candidate for the bilingual communications internship at Cultural Survival’s Guatemalan Community Radio Project.

As the bilingual communications intern, Sub Cuc will translate oral and written information about the indigenous community radios; research and write articles for the publication Cultural Survival Quarterly; and visit community radio stations, performing interviews and attending workshops.

“Cultural Survival, in Guatemala specifically, works to empower indigenous communities to fight against the political and social limitation that threatens indigenous radio programming,” Sub Cuc says. “I am excited to be part of a team that advocates for indigenous rights.”

While at Whitworth as an Act Six Scholar, Sub Cuc promoted diversity and furthered her passion for public health as the International Club’s activities coordinator, the Ignite team’s community-health advocate, and Warren Residence Hall’s cultural-diversity advocate.

Founded in 1972, Cultural Survival partners with indigenous communities world-wide and advocates for a future in which all indigenous people can live out their inherent rights. The Guatemalan Community Radio Project is designed to share information and language revitalization in indigenous communities. It works to legalize community radio in Guatemala, specifically by pressing for reform of Guatemala’s telecommunications law through letter-writing campaigns, and advocates for the end of environmental destruction and abuse by working alongside the indigenous communities.

“During my year in Guatemala, I hope to learn more about the medical needs of my community alongside the political limitations,” Sub Cuc says. “I am still highly passionate about medicine and public health, so I hope to pursue that after my work with Cultural Survival.”

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.