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Pedro Ferbel-Azcarate


Pedro is a full time, core faculty member at Portland State University and teaches 1/3 time in Black Studies and 2/3 time in University Studies, teaching Senior Capstones on topics of social sustainability and civic engagement.

Pedro earned his Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Archaeological Studies from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis in 1995; a Masters in Anthropology/ Archaeology from the University of South Carolina, Columbia in 1991; and a BA in Psychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1988.

Pedro is an interdisciplinary archaeologist, an independent scholar affiliated with the Archivo Historico de Santiago, Dominican Republic, and works on archaeological and anthropological studies of the Caribbean region, with a focus on the Dominican Republic and Cuba. Pedro's research uncovers the politics of the nation state in controlling the identity of colonized and globalized people, and the struggle of communities against dominant paradigms including colonialism, racism, classism, sexism and globalization.  

A dynamic speaker, Pedro has presented talks and workshops in the USA and abroad, related to his study of indigenous and transculturated (Afro-Mestizo Creole) medicine, architecture, foodways, spiritual practices, folklore, agriculture, casabe making, and tobacco use in rural and urban Dominican Republic, especially the Cibao region, and in Eastern Cuba. He is known for his support of, and as a collaborator with, contemporary Taino communities asserting their cultural and biological survival. As an archaeologist, he has experience with pre-Columbian and Contact period sites with petroglyphs, plazas, and social/spatial organization. As an academic and community activist in Portland, Oregon, Pedro has coordinated and led workshops on themes of race and identity, environmental racism, poverty and food access, and health and nutrition in communities of color. Pedro has also pioneered urban permaculture projects in Portland, Oregon and has led workshops on building with earth masonry (cob), community design, and urban agriculture (see

For four years, Pedro was the Director and Principal Investigator of Cultural Projects at the Public Archives of the City of Santiago, Dominican Republic. In this role, he began a monthly research series, published in the newspaper La Informacion, on topics of history and culture. He organized a widely successful "Teach the Teachers" series for public schools in the Cibao region, and published extensively in journals including Acta Americana and the Boletin del Museo del Hombre Dominicano.   Pedro is co-author (with John Weeks) of The Ancient Caribbean and is currently an editor with the Caribbean Amerindian Centrelink ( and Kacike: The Journal of Caribbean Amerindian History and Anthropology ( He is an advisor on the upcoming documentary The Lost Taino Tribe and has contributed photographs and articles to several major museum exhibits in the United States, the Dominican Republic, and Germany.