Gretchen Hernandez is a PhD Candidate in Geography and Researcher with the Centre for Sustainable Community Development at Simon Fraser University. Her areas of research interest include indigenous entrepreneurship, community development, and new social/economic models in Latin America. She is the coordinator of the Bolivian Specialization in CED project. Gretchen holds a Bachelor degree in International Relations from Concordia University and a Masters degree in Community and Regional Planning from UBC. She worked previously as an instructor in the Latin American Management Program (LAMP) at Capilano University, and as a cooperant for economic development projects in Bolivia.
Research in Bolivia:
Gretchen spent five months doing field research for her PhD in the La Paz and Sucre regions of Bolivia in 2011. Her research explores conceptual and structural transformations occurring in Bolivia that support the emergence of indigenous-led initiatives to improve economic, social and environmental well-being at the local level, within a framework of increasing territorial autonomy and self-governance. The research is situated at the intersection of several areas of theory, including participatory development; decolonization; and social and solidarity economy.