“The Grasshopper Women: A Peruvian Tale of Globalization” is a fascinating and personal look at a group of Peruvian women who were pioneers in an ambitious nationalistic experiment to create an elite corps of computer professionals in a poor, developing Latin American country.
It is a paradoxical tale of globalization that shows how a nationalistic program to train professionals for Peruvian development gave the “grasshoppers” IBM training that allowed them to launch lives and careers far from Peru — in Venezuela, Brazil, France, Canada, and the United States.
The women faced special challenges in a male-dominated society and profession both in Peru and the larger world with one woman even detailing how she faced more sexism in her professional life in the United States than she ever experienced in Latin America.
“The Grasshopper Women” is also about the complex decision to stay in Peru or leave for opportunities in the developed world. Should they feel that they somehow betrayed their native country by taking their training abroad? How do those who left to live outside Peru cope with their sense of dual identity for themselves and their children?
The documentary is feature length (58 minutes long) and is highlighted by interesting and often humorous stories of the women’s personal and professional lives as told through edited interviews and scenes in a variety of Peruvian locations, including Lima, Sicuani, and Machu Picchu.
About the Director
Jeff Seward is an experienced, award-winning filmmaker who has worked in public television at KAID-TV in Boise, Idaho and KCTS-TV in Seattle, Washington. His documentary on black youth unemployment in Seattle, “In the Best of Times,” won national Emmy recognition in the category “Community Service Awards” and was distributed nationally in the “U.S. Chronicles” series hosted by Jim Lehrer. After his public television career, Jeff earned a Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University and did field research work in Latin America on a Fulbright grant. He is currently a professor and Latin American specialist in the Department of Politics and Government at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. Contact: email@example.com
About the Editor
Kat Green is a 2012 graduate of Pacific University’s Film and Video Production program in the Media Arts Department. She currently works as an assistant manager at a local hotel/restaurant in Oregon and is eagerly seeking work in television, film, writing, or video production. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The “Grasshopper Women”
Maria (Marucha) Agϋero is a graduate of the Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria in Lima, Peru and has a master’s degree from a Venezuela-based Andean Pact business administration program. She has worked as a systems analyst and IT manager in a variety of organizations in Peru, Venezuela and the United States. She now lives in the Washington, D.C., area with her husband, Wuilder Agϋero, and works as a manager for applications development for Lockheed Martin Corporation.
Maria Cano Seward is a graduate of the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Lima, Peru, and has a master’s degree in computer science from the Universidad Federal do Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. She has worked as a systems programmer for a wide variety of organizations in Peru, Brazil, and the United States in three different languages—Spanish, Portuguese, and English. She now lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, Jeff Seward (the director of “The Grasshopper Women”) and works as a systems analyst for Kaiser Permanente, a large health maintenance organization.
Maria Yenque de Dios is a graduate of the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Lima, Peru. She worked for over two decades as a systems analyst and mid-level manager for the Office of Informatics in the Peruvian Ministry of Finance. She now works for IBM-Peru providing technical administrative support for IBM installations all over Latin America and travels frequently to Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina to provide these services.
Lorenza (Lory) Rodriguez Zubiate passed away in 2004 after a year-long battle with breast cancer. She was a graduate of the Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria in Lima, Peru. Like Maria Yenque, she worked for over two decades as a systems analyst and mid-level manager for the Office of Informatics in the Peruvian Ministry of Finance and then went on to a career with IBM-Peru providing technical support for IBM installations all over Latin America.