Ernesto Benitez

Ernesto Benitez

Ernesto is a doctoral candidate in the GSS program. His research interests are related to issues of race, gender and sexuality. Specifically, his dissertation research is concerned with the impact that participation in ecotourism, and particularly increasing opportunities for intimate encounters with foreign women, is having on how young Kichwa tour guides in the Ecuadorian Amazon present themselves as indigenous individuals and as men. The research will illuminate notions that drive (mostly white) female tourists' desires for short-term sexual intimacy; the ways in which indigenous men – particularly tour guides – have responded to these new economic and intimate opportunities; and the ways these encounters are shifting understandings of indigenous masculinity and sexuality among the broader population.

Ernesto received a B.A in Anthropology/Sociology from FIU in 2015. During his graduate studies, he has been awarded several Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships to study the Kichwa language in the Ecuadorian Amazon.