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Poverty In Latin America Essay

1071 words - 5 pages

Inequality: The Most Pressing Problem in Latin America
Throughout the years, Latin America has experienced dramatic political, social, and economic changes amongst it’s numerous countries. As time went on, various leaders brought grand ideas to the table in hopes of bettering the region. However, in most cases, the outcome was far from grand, failing to address social conflicts that derived from deep inequality and high levels of poverty. Without successfully conquering the underlying causes of conflict within the region, change in a positive direction for Latin America does not exist. This paper will define inequality as the most pressing problem that Latin American countries continue to ...view middle of the document...

Inequality in Latin America is a serious, unaddressed problem that must be brought to light in order for positive change to occur. By attacking the underlying problem, issues stemming from inequality, such as discrimination, poverty, and crime violence will also be addressed and improved upon.
Inequality, the drastic difference between the lives of the rich and those of poor, can be easily understood through those living in poverty. A microscopic look into the lives of Latin America’s indigenous people will help to understand just how serious this issue of inequality is within the societies south of the United States. Gillette Hall and Harry Anthony Patrinos explain that, “indigenous people still consistently account for the highest and “stickiest” poverty rates in the region” (1). An indigenous person can be described as one who “share[s] certain characteristics, such as distinct language, culture, and the attachment to land – all stemming from the fact that [his/her] ancestry can be traced o the original, pre-Colombian inhabitants of the region” (Hall, Patrinos 1). As Hall and Patrinos explain, indigenous people of Latin America experience discrimination in the labor market, education, and health services as a result of inequality. As a result of defining yourself as an indigenous person, a lifetime of discrimination, poverty, poor education, and lack of job opportunities is expected. Hall and Patrinos explain that, “[e]ducation is one of the main factors that propel people out of poverty, yet indigenous peoples continue to have fewer years of education than non-indigenous people” (2). With a poor education, it is very unlikely that a good paying job will be obtained. In addition to a poor education, discrimination within the labor market is evident. Hall and Patrinos state that, “while about half of the earning differential can be influenced by improvements in human capital, another half may result from discriminatory labor market practices or other factors over which the indigenous people have little control” (2).
Federico Breve, Michelle Garcia, and Sonja Wolf agree that Central America’s crime problem is related to poverty, underdevelopment, lack of social services, underemployment, declining moral values, and so forth; elements that help to compose the economic and social make-up of the country. Logically, all of the previously stated elements fall under a broader category known as inequality. Lack of social services,...

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