Drivers of Conflict Study in Guatemala and El Salvador
Data, Data, and More Data - Creating Datasets
By Juan Manuel Pintor, Intern at the Center on Conflict and Development
Hello, my name is Juan Manuel Pintor. I am from Mexico and I am in the second year of the Master’s in International Affairs Program at Texas A&M University. I just completed a summer internship at the Center on Conflict and Development at Texas A&M (ConDev). During my internship, I had the opportunity of meeting Johanna Roman, the Regional Lead for Latin American Programs and learned about the projects that ConDev is conducting in Central America, in collaboration with the Conflict and Development Foundation (CDF).
Being Latin American myself I was excited with the prospect of helping in my own region, so I volunteered to help with the Drivers of Conflict surveys that are part of a three-country study. Johanna quickly accepted my help and I was tasked with helping code the surveys that ConDev was receiving from Guatemala and El Salvador. Three interns in those countries were helping conduct surveys in the field while also working on other activities related to their internship programs in rural and impoverished communities.
I helped organize and created datasets for the 563 surveys we received to better analyze the information. Coding the surveys can somewhat be a tedious and repetitious task. However, I realized that each survey is a set of details on how a person is living under certain conditions. Many reported worrying about food and going to bed hungry. They also indicated feeling threatened by acts of violence and feeling insecure to walk at night in their neighborhoods. I related to some of the problems that many persons were facing, and I really hope that the work I do can translate into improving their lives somehow.
I was happy to be part of the Drivers of Conflict project at ConDev/CDF, and I will continue looking for ways to help Latin America as I continue with my career.