Photo of Samantha  Haskins

Samantha Haskins

M.A. (2020-22), Working in Bolivia

Degrees:M.A. with Specialization in LACS

  • Why did you decide to pursue your Masters research on a project that focused on Latin American and Caribbean Studies?

Samantha: After working and volunteering in the non-profit sector in Ottawa for a few years, I had the opportunity to go to Bolivia as a Gender Advisor in 2019. This experience combined with learning more about the prevalence and scale of Canadian head-quartered mining operations in the region sparked my interest in researching extractivisms and the interconnected colonial, capitalist, and patriarchal power relations that perpetuate it. There is increasing international recognition of BIPOC led movements across the globe that have long been aware of and advocating for environmental issues and their intersections. I am particularly interested in the ways in which activists in Bolivia opposing extraction articulate the links between environmental and gender justice and how this can be connected to other social and environmental movements transnationally.

  • You’ve been working in Bolivia for the last several months.  Tell us a bit about what you’ve been doing and your experiences in Bolivia?

Samantha: This is my second time working as a Gender Advisor in La Paz. It has been 8 months already and it has been, lovely, challenging, and full of learning. I have been supporting a feminist organization with a few different initiatives around women’s leadership and political participation as well as a youth-led anti-violence campaign.

Outside of work, I recently joined a women’s cycling collective in La Paz. It has been a fun and welcoming space for urban cycling advocates, those who learned how to bike during the pandemic, and everyone in between.

  • If you had one piece of academic advice you could give your younger self, what would it be?

Samantha: Seek out mentors sooner and ask them about grad school! Your research interests will change and shift as you learn and grow, and it is okay that you don’t have it all figured out. The people that inspire you and encourage your academic development will be one of the best parts about grad school.

[View of La Paz from Mirador Killi Killi. Bolivia, 2021]

[View of Illimani. La Paz, Bolivia, 2021]

[Mujeres en Bici, La Paz. September 2021]

[Mural in La Paz, “No al desmonte de los bosques” / “No to clearing the forests”. Artist Unknown, Bolivia, 2021]