Marcos Andres Glauser Ortiz
Being raised in an intercultural Paraguayan-swiss family, with parents highly involved with grassroots movements of campesino and indigenous communities made Marcos very sensitive to complex and interrelated environmental challenges. Motivated by a strong sense of purpose he studied anthropology to be able to better understand human environmental relations. As a guarani-speaking ethnographer he got involved in a series of one-year-long fieldwork periods in local communities (amongst the Pai Tavytera Guarani in 2010, amongst the Mbya Guarani in 2012, amongst the Angaite in 2015.) Writing fieldwork notes, research diaries, reports, journal papers and books, he developed the ability to tell stories and translate very local dynamics and problems across sectors. With a strong inclination to interdisciplinarity, he ended up mostly involved with development and research projects that aimed to improve life conditions by facing the cultural, economic and environmental challenges of these communities.
For his Ph.D dissertation, he focused on the responses of the Angaite people to environmental changes during the last 20 years (2005-2015). The magnitude of the environmental changes considered in his dissertation is reflected in official reports, academic research and media articles. The Gran Chaco, in general, and the Paraguayan Chaco, in particular, experienced incredibly high deforestation rates over the past two decades. In fact, deforestation of the Chaco woodlands of Paraguay, Argentina and Bolivia represent one of the highest rates of tropical forest loss worldwide. The soy boom experienced in the Eastern region of Paraguay in the last decades indirectly impacted the Chaco area because the cattle ranches from the first relocated to the latter. The expansion of old cattle ranches and the development of new ones are the main cause of the high deforestation rates experienced in the Paraguayan Chaco in the past years. After finishing his Ph.D Marcos decided to use his leadership, storytelling and ethnographic skills to create the Agroecological Network, get actively involved in the Academic Research Network (PRONII) and in three local NGO committed to support and strengthen local communities’ responses to social injustice and environmental challenges.