Title: Chaney course syllabi and related materials
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00089474/00056
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Title: Chaney course syllabi and related materials
Series Title: Chaney course syllabi and related materials
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Language: English
Creator: Chaney, Elsa M.
Publisher: Estate of Elsa M. Chaney
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Bibliographic ID: UF00089474
Volume ID: VID00056
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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Full Text


Time: the Present, Events to be revealed


Village of Valle, in the country of Alegria

1. CAMPESINO: You are Pedro Gonzalez, 42, Indian
campesino, ten children, peon on the farm of
Geraldo Mejia of Valle, as was your father and
your father's father. You consider don Geraldo
a "good" patron, i.e., he pays you the legal
minimum wage (about 40c a day) and exacts only
3 days labor from you on the hacienda; he made
a fiesta for the baptism of your first son,
for whom he stood godfather, and once. he paid
for the doctor to come from Provenir when your
wife was ill. You live ten miles from the
provincial city of Provenir (pop. 27,000) where
your two eldest sons work as occasional laborers,
returning to the farm to visit when they can and
hoping in the next few years to find steady jobs
so they can save enough to buy a small piece of
land -- otherwise, they plan to migrate to the
capital, Ciudad Esperanza. You don't want them
to go, yet there is no way for them to stay on
the farm.

2. PROGRESSIVE PRIEST: You are Padre Venancio, 27,
four years ordained, from the provincial city
of Povenir and assigned since ordination to
both Forvenir and Valle where the small parish
church and an elementary school (built almost
singlehandedly by don Geraldo) serves the four
neighboring baciendas and the small town itself.
You are part of the "Iglesia Joven," the young
church, full of desire to use your influence to
help the hacienda workers emerge from their
traditional state. At Valle you have recruited
a small group of young men, mainly from the neighboring
haciendas, whom you are trying to form into a group;
you are training them iii the principles of trade
union organization so they can help you organize
the hacienda workers into sindicatos or unions.
The project began three years ago as an adult
literacy program, but you have always had the
larger aim in view, and you now are at the
point of beginning. You know that your bishop
gotten wind of your "crazy ideas" and may move
you away from Forvenir on advice of the hacendados,
so time is running out for you if you hope to leave
a solid organization behind you.


3. YOUNG %RERO (campesino orgin): You are Paco
Gonzalez, 17, second son of Pedro, recently
recruited as a secret member of the Juventud
Ftarxista (Tarxist youth) of Porvenir, but also
working with Padre Venancio. You had three
years schooling in the primary school at Valle,
but were a functional illiterate until you learned
to reread in the adult literacy program; hence
you are relatively better instructed than the
average Valle youth and more religious, and
Padre Venancio depends on you. Your elder
brother has been out of Valle for three years doing
his army service and has returned to fill your
head full of ideas about going to Esperanza with
him and working to establish a beachead for your
younger brothers and sisters and for your mother
-- your brother has given up on the idea of buying
land because he thinks the two of you never will be
able to get steady work in Porvenir, much less
save the down payment. (You both know that 'edro,
your father will never leave his compare, the
patron, but you also expect that your mother in
the usual pattern will outlive Pedro by many years.)
You are torn between going after all the shiny
things Geraldo, your brother, constantly tells
you about, or helping your people. You also are
torn between the two approaches: the "peaceful"
way advocated by Padre Venancio, and the revolutionary
plans of the Marxist group. The events to come may
force you to define your position.

4. MNRXIST ORGANIZER: You are Carlos Pestana, 24, recent
law graduate of the University of Alegria in Esperanza,
sent out secretly this year to Porvenir by the Partido
Socialista Alegriana, to organize small cells of
town workers and peasants. The Communist party, as
such, is presently outlawed in Alegria, but everyone
knows that the Communist element is the major force
in the PSA. You are an idealist, fully convinced
that only violent revolution can break up the rigid
structures of ilegrian society, and fully certain that
Alegria can find its own model of larxism and will not
become dependent either upon the Soviet Union or any
other foreign socialist model. You are middle class
in origin, received your job as legal clerk in the
Municipalidad de Porvenir through your father, a
high level bureaucrat in Esperanza, when you convinced
him that it would be better to try to establish your
law practice in the provinces than in the city with
all the competition. You also are interested
in the possibl'ility of running for office, but the
congressional deputation from the region has always



been controlled by the hacendado at Lota, and he is
suspicious of you. Although your iarxist affiliation
is not known, still some of your outspoken ideas at
municipal meetings where most of the hacendoados
sit as regidores councilmann) have not given them
any reason to believe they could control you or
trust you. Party leaders in Alegria have warned you
to go easy and not talk out too much for fear of
spoiling your ultimate mission, but you are inclined
to be impatient. The events to come may try your
patience to the utmost

5. YOUi.G OBERO (city origin): You are Jaime iartinez, 1',
sone of the zapatero (shoemaker) of forvenir; you work with
with your father but spend all your spare time as the
right hand of Carlos Pestana (who is supposed to be
preparing you for your univerisy entrance exams, but
for whom you also do a great deal of errand running
and odd jobs in connection with the cell work). You
managed to finish highschool, one of the few workers'
sons to have done so in Porvenir where the Dominicanos
run a private boarding school for the sons of hacendedos
of the whole region. Padre Venancio talked the
Diminicans into accepting you as a becado (scholarship
student); your skihooling actually was funded by don
Geraldo of Valle, but you do not know this. Pestana
has assured you of help through the party in finding
a job in Esperanza to support yourself while you
study at the university. Your father suspects Pestana
and distrusts him to some extent, but goes along because
he very much wants you to go to the univerisyt; your
only alternative is to take over the sapateria -- but
there are two other brothers, and scarcely enough
work for one small artisan to make a bare living.
Neither of your other borthers had highschool, so
you are the only possible candidate for the university,
and your father has put all his hopes in you.

6. ARIY OFFICER: You are Capitan Felix Ocampo, 29, in
charge of the local unit of the Alegrian Army and charged
by the central government with maintaining order in the
region -- and you are very interested in doing so
becuase your career depends upon how well you carry out
this first major assignment. Fortunato alo (see below),
the biggest hacendado of the region, often is the one
who transmits your orders to you and advises you; in
a certain sense, you are his right hand because it is
upon him that the final responsibility for life is
Porvenir depends. So your future career hangs on


6. ARNY OFFICER: don Fortunato's assessment of you, and
you are anxious to stay in his good graces; he is
the only local person in such constant touch with
the "powers" in the capital. For the present, don
Fortunate's main order to you has been to "keep a
sharp eye out on Carlos kestana because he is a
born"troublemaker." You have been able to get nothein
on him as yet, and the fact that his father's position
in the capital is an influential one makes it unwise
to move against him (on the charge of illegal political
activity for example) until you have some sort of
positive proof. You are nervous, because you woulo
like very much to uncover something major, not only
to impress don Fortunato, but perhaps army officials
in Esperanza as well. You are of lower middle class
origin and intend to go far in the army. You
narrowly escaped a most undersirable career as a
primary schoolteacher by being chosen from the ranks
to attend the military college, and you intend
to show the army that it was not mistaken in its
assessment of you.

7. "GOOD" PATRON: You are Geraldo Majia, the "good patron"
of Valle, a deeply religious man, known throughout the
area for his kindness and for his care for his indian
laborers. You are convinced that the Indians are
children upon whom education largely is wasted,
although you have provided a primary school -- the law
says every hacendado must do this, but the is not
much observed. Your main mission toward the indian,
as you see it, is to look after him and protect him
-- just as 'our father and your father's father did.
You are a cultured man, widely read, an accomplished
violinist, convinced that the Alegrian way of life
must be based upon a benevolent but rigidly maintained
class system. To this end you cooperate with the othre
hacendados, even though you don't like them personally.
It simply is your duty to do so, whatever your own
feelings towards them might be.

8. "BAD" PATROi: You are Fortunato Malo, 50, owner of the
biggest hacienda of the region, Lota, and the political
cacique of Porvenir. Your two brothers operate and
own the local department store in the town (the only
one); one of them once served two terms as diputado
in the national congress at Esperanza. iow the diputado
is a local lawyer, chosen by you to fill the office for
the next two terms; after this you will tap some othe
person you want to reward for his services, or perhaps
give your son the opportunity to be the diputado and
sow his wild oats in the capital before settling down
to his responsibilities as lord of Lota and cacique
of Porvenir. As the responsible in the absence of a
strong local government in this remote region, you
are determined to preserve at all costs the peace


8. "BAD" PATROi : and tranquillity of Porvenir (and your
continued influence and reputation in the capital,
relatively modest though it is, depends upon your
doing so). Your word has been law (even as your
father and your father's father) sever since you took
over Lota 25 years ago. You have a big family, but
the only one to enter upon the curious scenes to be
enacted in the events to come is Jovito, your eldest.

You are a stern and hard taskmaster with your Indian
laborers, which you consider only your duty. Lnly
la mano dura, a firm hand, you are convinced, can keep the
Indians in check. You will do your duty and remain the
respected leader -- a man to be reckoned with by Indian,
townsman and fellow hacendado alike.

9. HACEi;DADO'S SOiN: You are Pepe iojia, 13, a student in
agriculture at the Universidad de Alegria in Esperanza,
home this year because of illness. Before you left
POvenir, you had a "religious phase" and worked two
years with Padre Venancio's adult literacy program while
you were with the Dominicanos at their highschool. You
have had many talks with Jaime Martinez and Paco Gonzales
(you were in school with one, taught the latter to
read), both of whom you regard as friends. Ybu consider
yourself advanced in your social thinking and during
this year at home you have been working mainly with
Pestana -- although yOu still go to Padre Venancio's
once in awhile so as to have an excuse to go into
Porvenir. You have not, however, reached the point of
actually joining the party; you hold back out of love
for your father whom such a move probably would kill and
out of love for Vallo, the hacionda you are preparing
yourself to take over -- and to run in a much more
modern and enlightened way than your father, of course.
You console yourself that this would make up for not
actually becoming a revolutionary -- if you decide not
to become one, that is. Don Geraldo has approved your
teaching and even your friendships with Jaime and Iaco --
unusual tolerance in a hacendado; you know your father
has been much criticized by the other hacendados for
the freedoms he has allowed you and thus even though
you believe your father does not understand the times,
you are torn because you would not like to betray his
trust. Events to come may force you to make your decision
on what you will do with your future.

10. HACE1DADO'S SOL 2: You are Jovito ilalo, 20, soLe of
don Fortunato, a student for two years at the agrarian
faculty in Esperanza, but called home this year by
your father to begin taking over the hacienda. Your
father is convinced that two years agricultural training
is more than enough; if you decide on a political career,
however, he will send you back to law school. At the


10. HACEliDADO'S SON 2: you of course know Pepe iMajia
but you despise him for his link with the church and have
have no idea of his Harxist leanings. You do not let
him see this dislike, however, because you have decided
you will marry his sister, lovely Marisa. You are not
unmindful that she will inherit Valle with Pepe.

You are of the same mold as your father and already
inclined, as the futrue cocique, to throw your weight
around. Your horizon is limited to Lota, preserving
order in the region as your father has done, perhaps
if your father's health holds up studying law and having
a fling in the congress, but content if this does not
come about to become the local overlord.

11. HACELDADOS DAUGHTER: You are iarisa Majia, 17, just
home at Valle for finishing at the Santa Ursula academy
in Esperanza and secretly in love with Jaime
kartinez whom you got to know through your brother.
Jaime has written you faithfully during your school
years, and in the vacations you always have managed to
meet. But lately, he has confided to you (he trusts
you completely) his opportunity to go to the university
and asks that you wait for him -- finally he will have
the opportunity to ask your father for you openly;
instead of running off with the zapatero's son, you will
be the wife of a lawyer. You understand Jaite's desire
(and need) to study, yet fear for him because he has
told you he will depend upon Pestana and the party to
help him in Esperanza. You also fear that the party may
finally collect its debt with Jaime and that he himself
will feel honor bound to become a party organizer and
revolutionary. He admires Carlos Pestana's dedication
and knows very well why Carlos is investing so much
time in him. To marry Jaime at all is going to be
an unheard of event for a ibejia; to marry a revolutionary
would be the most terrible hurt you could inflict upon
your beloved father. You have participated at times in
the discussions among Pepe, Jaime and Paco and so have
many more ideas about social change and reform than
most girls of your class, yet you are torn. The events
to come may make you fefine your position to a much
greater degree.

12. INDIAN CACICUE: You are Juan Yupanqui, 2?, 13 living
children of 19 borno to you by your wife, Aurora. You
are Indian mayor of the region roughly conceding with
the environs of Porvenir, including the five haciendas
near valle. Your office is largely ceremonial, linked
to the ancient religious festivals of your people, the
Sandas, who make up approximately 40% of the population
of Alegria, but about 35% of the population of Porvenir
province. But your office has one practical aspect --
when indian day laborers are needed, either on the
haciendas or on public works (for which the Indians
now are paid a small daily wage), it is to you that


12. INDIAII CACIQUE: the authorities or the hacendados (or
their mayordomos) come. By ancient indult of the Grown,
your ancestor was appointed to sit with voice but not
vote to represent the Sandas of the area on the Cabildo;
never revoked, this pirvilege has passed on to you,
and you sit on the To'7n Council. Hore you have
learned through the years how deeply the majority of
hacendados despise your people. For two years you
worked with Fr. Venanclo and learned to read in the
afult literacy program. But don Fortunato, upon whose
hacienda you had your own pareclo (small plot) kicked
you off the platation when he heard of this as a potential
troublemaker (although he knew nothing of any training
for sindicato organizing). You live now with your
brother on a neighboring hacienda, but are looking
for another patron; you are desperate because your
brother's small plot simply cannot support all the extra
people. Perhaps you will apply to don C'erald of Valle,
through his son don Fepe who taught you to read in
in Padre Venancio's program. You have been recruited
recently to a PSA cell by Carlos Postana whom you do not,
however, entirely trust since you and your people so
of:en have been decived by the blancos.

13. TOWhSWONAi:: You are Jimena Garcia, 32, wife of the
town baker, and an outspoken woman who knows everyone
among the lower classes through the bakeshop (which
made you "respectable,") and the upper classes through
another trade you use to ply when you were younger and
prettier -- although you are still quite a woman.
Indeed, to the amusement of everyone, you have been
elected to the Town Council (there is an ancient
tradition that an artisan always is a member, voting as
the hacendados tell him to do), where you are proving
that you have a lot of common sense and where you are
not afraid to speak out -- up to a point -- having
something "on" nearly every one of the local oligarchy,
they dare not oppose you too openly. In the events
to come, you will have to balance your cherished life
as the wife of Romulo with the chance of losing every-
thing becuase the "powers" are going to be challenged
in a more serious way than ever before. You are
grateful to Romulo who took you in and gave you a home
when you were sick and down and out, and eventually
did you the honor or marrying you -- you love him and
know that the powers could crush him.

14. MAYOR: You are Desiderio ;.oreno, mayor of Porvenir,
provincial lawyer and completely dependent for staying
in office on the five major hacendados who coo erate
in controlling every aspect of life in the region.
You will do whatever you have to do to please them
because you deeply desire to be rewarded with the
customary two terms in the national congress at
Esperanza, to be followed by a fine job in the
bureaucracy and a happy retirement in the capital


14. IiAYOR: after your years of devoted public service are
over. Your main duty is to preside over the Town
Council meetings; the council is made up mainly of local
hacendados who regard it as a convenient, central
place t get together to decide the questions they
would have to decide anyway -- doing it at the
municipalidad has the added advantage, not to be
disparaged in these days of unrest, of making
whatever they decree "legal." You are lower class,
and your only alternative is a miserable existence
as a provincial lawyer who will be given cases only
by people of the same low class origin -- or Indians.

I-OTE: The material in this "Cast of Characters" is
part of a larger teaching unite entitled
How Are Things in Alegria? Being developed by
the author, please do not reproduce without

Prof. E. h. Chaney
Department of Political Science

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