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The Socioecologies & Economies of Migration Collective emerged from informal conversations about our shared interests in the experiences of Latin American migrants in Canada. Our own positionalities as Latin American migrants and our commitments to community-based research moved us to create a new space to ask and solve questions about processes of migration and settlement. We believe in incorporating the important contributions of activists, artists, and students to the design and development of intentional, collaborative participatory research and social critique. 

Columba Gonzalez Duarte

Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology & Anthropology of Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax NS. 

Columba holds a Ph.D. in sociocultural anthropology at the University of Toronto with a joint degree at the School of Environment.  Her research interests are related to monarch butterfly tri-national conservation dynamics exploring the connections between NAFTA’s agri-food industry, labour migration, and monarch decline. She has also worked with scientific and Indigenous communities that co-habit with this butterfly across Canada, the United States and Mexico, documenting their knowledge and forms of relating with the migratory insect. Columba is currently working on her research project, “Convergent Migrations,”

Columba brings her decade of expertise working in the three North American countries researching themes of convergent migrations with an emphasis on environment. 


Gloria C. Pérez-Rivera holds a Ph.D. in Sociocultural Anthropology at Vanderbilt University in the United States. She trained as a doctor in Colombia and practiced for ten years before immigrating. Upon moving to Canada, she earned a B.A. in sociocultural anthropology and an M.A. in medical anthropology from the University of Toronto. She is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology & Anthropology at Mount Royal University.

Learn more about her work at


Gloria’s current research focuses on relations of credit and debt in the lives of people
internally displaced during the Colombian conflict from rural regions to cities. This research examines credit and debt relations through histories of para-militarism, left-wing guerrilla insurgencies, state violence, drug trafficking and money laundering in Colombia to show how conflict-driven class reconfigurations and systematic land dispossession create the conditions for capital accumulation through credit to poor populations. Gloria’s next project focuses on the innovative informal financial schemes Latin American migrants use and develop to support their migration to and subsistence in Canada. It follows transnational and local debt to examine the entanglements of migrants in illicit and licit global flows of capital, and formal and informal
labour relations.


Through social art, Melanie Schambach invites the public to challenge the narratives of identity, belonging, and social change through participatory painting. As an Artivist Melanie  acts against injustice and oppression by raising social and environmental awareness through creative expression. Pushing new edges of our imagination, the art of Melanie mirrors what transformation is possible. 

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Melanie brings creativity and social justice commitment to this project.

Melanie uses visual art, theatre and singing in a playful manner, to engage participants in a path of self-discovery, research design, community building, and activism. She curates images where storytelling, learning and celebration take place.

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