Global Issues in South America: Environment and Indigenous Peoples - A Semester Program in Ecuador and Peru
Global College will offer a fall semester option traveling through South America. This option is scheduled to begin the fall of 2012
This semester program will travel throughout Ecuador and Peru, focusing on the global issues that impact cultural and ecological diversity from the Andean highlands to the Amazon lowlands. During this semester, students will integrate environmental sustainability, indigenous traditions, and the arts while working, living, and studying in local communities. Through their contact with indigenous peoples, artists, guides, and teachers; students will evaluate local strategies that address global issues, while developing skills in Spanish language, qualitative research methods, and critical thinking.
Seminars and courses
The program will combine four three-credit seminars with a two-credit independent study, and a Spanish course. Every seminar will be grounded in experiential learning, combining field experience with the careful study of pertinent theoretical perspectives. Participants will focus on global issues of regional importance, and will engage in intensive learning about environmental issues and indigenous peoples. Internet sources, invited speakers, indigenous practitioners, local university professors, as well as field visits to relevant sites, will also be instrumental to accomplish the expected learning goals. Students will be involved in designing field work exercises in order to expand their knowledge and expertise on research methods, and attain their own goals through independent study. Participants will document their learning in an electronic portfolio, and will be encouraged to cooperate in group assignments and discussions.
Proposed Travel Itinerary
The program will travel to Quito, Otavalo, Misahualli, and Tena in Ecuador, and Cuzco and Lima in Peru. Activities will include:
Homestays Students will participate in the day to day life of indigenous peoples, sharing in work, cooking, cleaning, celebration, and ritual life, and joining in discussion and action as these peoples engage the local, regional, and global challenges that affect their lives.
Independent study Students will focus on a particular question or theme as they pursue training in research methods, establishing research relationships, recording field observations, interviewing subjects, writing reflective analyses, and synthesizing knowledge.
Site visits Regular excursions will expose students to the richness, poverty, and diversity of the region: the abundance of natural resources and the realities of deforestation and pollution, the preservation of tradition and its creative adaptation, sacred sites, artists’ workshops, festivals, and hikes.
Classroom instruction Local experts and teachers will provide students with a) the historical, cultural, social, and economic context that will help them to understand their diverse experiences as a unity, b) the skills to express their learning in writing and in speech, c) the guidance to apply their understanding in concrete actions and future possibilities.
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