Contributed to the ISE Newsletter by Ali Garcia; abstract in English by ISE Student Representative, Olivia Sylvester

Written by Bribri scholar Alí García, this note in Spanish provides a background on the history and the current situation of the Bribri and Cabécar peoples in Talamanca, Costa Rica. He explains how the cultural identity of Indigenous peoples is linked to their autonomy and how the Bribri and Cabécar peoples face multiple challenges when attempting to achieve this autonomy; one example is the failure of state institutions to recognize Indigeous peoples’ rights and perspectives. In addition, Alí García summarizes

  1. Bribri and Cabécar traditional medicine,
  2. Indigenous land-use,
  3. obstacles to achieving recognition for traditional doctors, and
  4. problems accessing state-provided medical services.

Read the full article in Spanish.


Sarah-Lan Mathez-Stiefel was the first ISE representative for Central and South Americas and the Caribbean (2010-2012), a position created at the 2010 ISE General Assembly in Tofino that divided the Americas Regional Representative position primarily along linguistic lines. Currently, Sarah-Lan serves as the ISE Secretary (2012-2014).