Hannah Shin ’26
Religion and Environmental Justice in Panama and the Peruvian Amazon
Certificate(s): Computer Science
I explored the landscape of indigenous environmental justice in Latin America and how religion interacts with environmental commitments. My team’s approach was non-extractive and rooted in decolonization as we collaborated and communicated across diverse knowledge systems. I visited two islands in Guna Yala, Panama, and met evangelical Christian Guna, who maintain their indigenous worldviews. I learned how they navigate their seemingly incongruous identities and beliefs. I wrote a report about environmental issues on the islands, the relationship between Guna Yala and the Panamanian government, and the climate change-driven migration to Panama’s mainland. The Guna hope to relocate but have no plan, insufficient funds and empty promises of support from the Panamanian government. In Perú, I visited Indigenous communities and interviewed religious members and government ministers about deforestation, conflicting interests and corruption. I contributed to a pronouncement about illegal gold mining in the Cenepa River region, which will be circulated to demand that the Peruvian government protect and support Indigenous communities. I observed the ethics of the environmental defenders and examined what moves them to do what they do despite dangers and death threats. I observed that while there is vulnerability in these communities, there is also great resistance.
Environment and Society and Urban Sustainability
High Meadows Environmental Institute, Princeton University; Memoria Indigena Pamana; Paz y Esperanza Perú - Princeton, New Jersey; Guna Yala, Panama; San Martín, Perú
Rob Nixon, Thomas A. and Currie C. Barron Family Professor in Humanities and the Environment, Professor of English and the High Meadows Environmental Institute; Ryan Juskus, Postdoctoral Research Associate, High Meadows Environmental Institute