Natalia Ruiz is assisting Professor Karen Graubart in her research on runaway slave communities -palenques. She is analyzing primary and secondary sources about these communities in the larger circum-Caribbean during the 16th and 17th centuries. Ruiz will base her research around questions regarding the organization of black communities and the gender-political relationships of the time. She is passionate about the recognition of human dignity, development, and justice and she committed to participate in this project for the need to provide these communities a voice. Ruiz is eager to gain an understanding about how these societies worked and are limited today due to that past.