Bolivia

Identity and Development (4-Week)

A 4-Week Summer Abroad Program

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Duration
30 Days
Description

Immerse yourself in the Andes: perform a ritual ceremony for Pachamama, trek over snow-swept passes, and discuss the impacts of large-scale resource extraction with local communities.

Dates

Jun 28 - Jul 28, 2017


Suggested Ages

16-18

Number of Participants

12


Availability

closed

Begins In

4 Weeks

Land Cost

$6,850


Estimated Flight Cost

$1,080

Cordillera Apolobamba

Sorata

La Paz

Cordillera Real

Cochabamba

Program Overview

Bolivia is a land of extremes.


Known as a land of extremes, Bolivia is home to some of the most staggering cultural and ecological diversity on the planet. Hosting 36 distinct ethnic and language groups, vast mountain ranges, dense and remote Amazon jungle, and a shifting socio-political landscape, Bolivia provides an exciting panorama for exploring the links between past and present in the heart of the South American continent. This program offers the opportunity to integrate into a local community through an extended homestay, focused language study, exposure to pressing issues of development in the region, and trekking through one of the highest mountains ranges on earth.

Beginning in Cochabamba, located in the fertile valleys between the high mountains and tropical lowlands, we settle into an extended homestay in a Quechua farming neighborhood. Here students enjoy daily Spanish language instruction while learning about the vibrant history of grassroots mobilization and resistance in the Andes. Students connect…

Known as a land of extremes, Bolivia is home to some of the most staggering cultural and ecological diversity on the planet. Hosting 36 distinct ethnic and language groups, vast mountain ranges, dense and remote Amazon jungle, and a shifting socio-political landscape, Bolivia provides an exciting panorama for exploring the links between past and present in the heart of the South American continent. This program offers the opportunity to integrate into a local community through an extended homestay, focused language study, exposure to pressing issues of development in the region, and trekking through one of the highest mountains ranges on earth.

Beginning in Cochabamba, located in the fertile valleys between the high mountains and tropical lowlands, we settle into an extended homestay in a Quechua farming neighborhood. Here students enjoy daily Spanish language instruction while learning about the vibrant history of grassroots mobilization and resistance in the Andes. Students connect with scholars, activists, journalists, and local organizations in the city of Cochabamba, while engaging intimately with the farming community where our program is based. Opportunities for delving into Independent Study topics serve to deepen the experience, while getting a sense for the richness, diversity and complexity of modern Bolivia.

To broaden our perspective, our journey then takes us into the high Andes for a mountain trek. In remote villages, we come to know the realities of rural communities that comprise the majority of Bolivia’s population. From glittering snow-capped peaks in the Cordillera Real range, we will then descend along an Incan trail into dense cloud forest to the edge of the Amazon basin below. Observing striking ecological transitions, we will discuss issues in conservation and resource management in one of the most bio-diverse pockets of the planet. Our trek will end in the Yungas region, known for producing chocolate, coffee and coca, and home to Bolivia’s Afro-Bolivian population. We settle into a relaxing retreat for the final days of the course, to celebrate our journey and focus on the transference of lessons learned.

Dragons’ program in Bolivia dives into the heart of the land through intimate home-stays, language immersion, and workshops around leadership and global citizenship. Students gain skills and insights relating to the complicated dynamics of this country and of Latin America in general. This is a course for students interested in gaining language and leadership skills while learning about the web of relationships and influences at play in the region.

Read More Read Less Sample Itinerary

Program Components

1/5
Comparative Religion

Gain insight into Andean religious worldview and ceremony, traditional healing, and the spiritual syncretism between pre-colonial belief systems and Christianity.

5/5
Development Studies

Engage with issues in resource management, globalization, indigenous rights and representation, urbanization, environmental conservation, and sustainable development.

5/5
Focus Of Inquiry

Explore land use and relationships, indigenous identity and representation, social and political activism, the coca leaf, sustainable agriculture, and the arts.

3/5
Home Stay

Enjoy a 10-day homestay outside of Cochabamba, and possibly a shorter homestay in a rural mountain community.

5/5
Independent Study Project (ISP)

Develop an independent study project of your choice, with possibilities including indigenous politics, Andean music and folklore, agricultural practices, weaving, Bolivian cooking, and medicinal plants.

3/5
Language Study

Participate in 10 days of formal lessons, with opportunities for language immersion throughout. Quechua classes are also available.

2/5
Learning Service

Embrace opportunities for community-led service engagement, and workshops on ethical service practices. Approximately 10 hours of service credit earned.

3/5
Rugged Travel

Delve into homestays with few amenities, extensive walking in high altitude mountains, and lengthy travel by public transportation.

3/5
Trekking

Take on two moderately difficult treks in the high Andes.

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