A.A. Santa Ana College
B.A. University of California Irvine
M.A. California State University – Los Angeles
"Building a New World: Reimagining Catholicism in Late 20th Century Oaxaca"
BiographyMy name is Alejandro Guardado and I am the son of two Mexican immigrants. I grew up in Southern California where I attended and graduated from Santa Ana Community College, University of California, Irvine, and California State University, Los Angeles.
I research Catholic solidarity action with Indigenous and peasant communities in the Mexican southwest state of Oaxaca during the late 20th century (1962-1995). In Oaxaca, which is a predominantly Indigenous state, liberation theologians centered peasant and Indigenous identities to nuance the notion of “the poor” and mobilized for their social and economic justice. My research explores how bishops, priests, deacons, nuns, laypeople, and Indigenous activists worked together to construct frameworks for an alternative world that promoted justice for Indigenous peoples. My historical actor's efforts for justice and community building include the development of worker cooperatives in peasant communities, linguistic and medicinal (alternative healing) preservation programs, human and Indigenous rights organizations, and the creation of networks that continue to resist large scale development projects. I look forward to continuing my archival and oral history research and I encourage anyone to reach out if they are interested in learning more about my project or applying to Emory to study Latin American history.