Dr. Carmen Kordick, Roosevelt University | Newberry

Dr. Carmen Kordick, Roosevelt University

Friday, September 11, 2015

3 to 5 pm

Room 101

Center for American History and Culture Programs
Labor History Seminar

“Costa Rica’s Inter-American Highway: Building an Inter-American Dream, 1941-44” Dr. Carmen Kordick, Roosevelt University


Before 1944, countless Costa Rican travellers perished on the narrow rocky trail that traversed the 3,491 meter Cerro de la Muerte. Undaunted, between 1941 and 1944 U.S. engineers and Costa Rican workers built a 49-mile segment of the Inter-American Highway that ‘conquered’ the Cerro. This modern roadway and the relatively well-paid employment it provided fostered an image of the Costa Rican state as a benevolent patriarch and as a purveyor of progress. Yet, unequal pay between Costa Rican and U.S. workers showcased the inequities within the Western Hemisphere that undergirded this project.


Respondents: Chris Boyer, University of Illinois at Chicago and Elizabeth Shermer, Loyola University Chicago

Cost and Registration Information 

Scholl Center Seminar papers are pre-circulated electronically. For a copy of the paper, email the Scholl Center at scholl@newberry.org. Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.