Bolivia

Spirit of the Andes (6-Week)

A 6-week Summer Abroad Program

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Duration
41 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 - Aug 8, 2018


Suggested Ages

17-19

Number of Participants

12


Availability

open

Begins In

32 Weeks

Land Cost

$7,860


Estimated Flight Cost

$1,080

Sorata

Cordillera Apolobamba

La Paz

Cordillera Real

Cochabamba

Program Overview

Immerse yourself in staggering cultural and ecological diversity.


Bolivia is a land of extremes. Tucked away in the heart of South America, this sparsely-populated, land-locked country contains some of the richest cultural and ecological diversity in the world. From soaring, glaciated peaks to lush Amazonian tropics, the 6-week summer abroad program in Bolivia offers students a transformative adventure through space and time.

With the largest per capita indigenous population in the South America, Bolivia contains a fascinating blend of vibrant cultures and dramatic landscapes placed in a modern context of animated socio-political transformation. This course explores the dynamic links between pre-Incan culture and the current re-affirmation of indigenous rights and representation in Bolivia through a rugged exploration of the country’s cultural and ecological diversity. We do this by trekking across high-mountain passes, traveling through lush tropical forests, delving into Spanish classes and a range of Independent Study themes, and exploring current…

Bolivia is a land of extremes. Tucked away in the heart of South America, this sparsely-populated, land-locked country contains some of the richest cultural and ecological diversity in the world. From soaring, glaciated peaks to lush Amazonian tropics, the 6-week summer abroad program in Bolivia offers students a transformative adventure through space and time.

With the largest per capita indigenous population in the South America, Bolivia contains a fascinating blend of vibrant cultures and dramatic landscapes placed in a modern context of animated socio-political transformation. This course explores the dynamic links between pre-Incan culture and the current re-affirmation of indigenous rights and representation in Bolivia through a rugged exploration of the country’s cultural and ecological diversity. We do this by trekking across high-mountain passes, traveling through lush tropical forests, delving into Spanish classes and a range of Independent Study themes, and exploring current debates surrounding globalization and conservation in a multi-cultural context.

The Bolivia summer abroad program begins in the lush Yungas, a mystical region that connects the high Andes to tropical lowland forests below. Nestled in the cloud forest we work on group dynamics, orient to safety and cultural norms, and acclimatize to the mountain environment. Heading into the high mountains, we then explore life in a rural indigenous community, staying with local families and learning about agricultural rhythms, spirituality, and worldview in the Andean countryside. Our journey takes us deeper afield, to the dramatic peaks and glittering glaciers of the Cordillera Real range. Our trek traverses Incan roadways and alpine lakes, allowing us to gain important leadership skills while taking in the majestic beauty of the Andes Mountains.

Upon completing our trek we travel to our base in Cochabamba, a politically vibrant city in the central valleys of Bolivia. Here we spend two weeks in homestays with agricultural families outside of the city, delving into Spanish classes and Independent Study Projects. Students integrate into the rhythm of a semi-rural family while taking regular forays into the city to examine issues in social and political mobilization. Our time in Cochabamba allows students to get a sense of the richness, diversity and complexity of modern Bolivia.

To gain a broader perspective on Bolivia, we travel east to the lowland department of Santa Cruz. Here, we participate in a trek through Parque Amboró, a lush tropical wonderland that descends from verdant cloud forests down into the Amazon basin. Along the way we explore issues in resource use and conservation and observe the astounding biodiversity of the rainforest.

On this Bolivia summer abroad program, students can expect to enhance their Spanish skills while discovering the links between vibrant indigenous peoples and the diverse and breathtaking landscapes they inhabit. Dragons students come away with an understanding of indigenous political trends, important challenges in conservation and development, and a first-hand understanding of day-to-day life in some of the earth’s most dramatic settings.

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Program Components

5/5
Rugged Travel

Delve into remote home-stays with little or no amenities, extensive walking in high altitude mountains and humid rainforests, and lengthy travel by public transportation.

5/5
Development Studies

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

3/5
Independent Study Project

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.

5/5
Focus Of Inquiry

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

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.

4/5
Home Stay

Enjoy a two-week home-stay outside of Cochabamba, and a shorter homestay in a rural mountain community.

2/5
Learning Service

Embrace opportunities for community-led service engagement. Past projects have focused on sustainable agriculture, collaboration with local NGO's and community initiatives, and arts-based activities with urban youth. Approximately 10 hours of service credit earned.

5/5
Trekking

Take on two multi-day treks in the high Andes, with additional wilderness exploration in Bolivia's lush rainforests.

4/5
Language Study

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

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