Éi! My name is Rachel but you can also call me Xinxane (sheen-shaw-nay). This blog was originally created to document my research and travels in Vaqueiro Territory in 2020, while I was an undergraduate student. However, as COVID-19 broke out while I was living in Spain, my research project was cancelled though I am still happy to share the travels I was able to do before COVID and my continued thoughts on Vaqueiro issues.
In 2021 I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Studies from the University of Minnesota and wrote my thesis on environmental inequality in Vaqueiro Territory. I currently trying to publish it. Right now I am getting a GIS certificate at the University of North Texas. I am a member of the Indigenous Mapping Collective.
My mother's family descends from Vaqueiros of the brañas of Navelgas. I am from Dallas and live there currently, but I also have lived in Minneapolis, Toledo, and Singapore.
Xinxane is the name of a Vaqueiro braña in Valdés. Its Castilian name is Sinjanía and I just very much liked the name. I speak Spanish as well as some Ladino and Asturian.
My goal is to bring international awareness to the Vaqueiros and work to improve their living conditions and work to conserve our traditional way of life and culture. I intend to use my opportunities as a young Vaqueira in the diaspora to work with technology and younger generations to preserve Vaqueiro culture and to work in solidarity with other nomadic and indigenous peoples worldwide.
My research interests include the Vaqueiros de Alzada, nomadic pastoralist cultures and peoples, geographic information systems, Sephardic culture, mapping indigenous and nomadic land, and preserving culture and history through mapping! I'm always interested in any research opportunities!