Argentina: Regional Integration, Development, and Social Change
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Rural stay in Argentina
Students spend five days in the pampas region of Argentina where they experience the problems faced by rural producers in an increasingly globalized market. While living in a small rural town with a local family, students discover the differences in daily life in Argentina's provinces from life in Buenos Aires. Lectures during this period focus on issues of sustainable agriculture, food self-sufficiency, the environmental impacts of different crops, and rural cultures.
Porto Alegre, Brazil
The program spends six days in Porto Alegre, the capital of Rio Grande do Sul, a state in southern Brazil. During this period, students learn about Brazilian history, politics, regional integration, and the construction of Brazilian identity. The excursion provides the opportunity to:
- Visit a Landless Workers Movement (MST) camp and settlement. The MST is a national movement of individuals struggling to obtain land for small rural family producers. The MST stresses cooperative and organic food production.
- Meet with a group of local university students at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) who have successfully struggled for admissions quotas for Afro-Brazilian students at UFRGS, overcoming widespread opposition and indifference.
- Visit small organic producers living on the outskirts of the city who sell their produce at farmer's markets throughout Porto Alegre.
- Receive instruction in basic Portuguese.
On the way from Porto Alegre to Paraguay or Uruguay, the program visits the outstanding natural sight of Iguazú Falls.
Uruguay has one of the highest levels of development in Latin America. Its capital city is home to the headquarters of the regional trade organization MERCOSUR. To learn about Uruguayan history and the country's role within MERCOSUR, it is essential to understand the process of regional integration.
In Montevideo, students attend lectures at the Universidad Nacional de la República, where they learn about Uruguayan history, economics, and politics. They also visit the MERCOSUR headquarters to learn more about the organization's structure and challenges.
Students also visit Uruguay’s largest federation of housing cooperatives to learn about a widespread movement that has found a creative solution to the country’s housing shortage. Other highlights of the week in Montevideo include visiting a social movement advocating for the rights of Afro-Uruguayans, and a cultural group called murga, which performs musical theater particularly during the Carnival season.
In the capital city of Asunción, students receive lectures on Paraguay’s history, economy, politics, and role in MERCOSUR. Students can take advantage of SIT’s local partnership with Centro de Documentación y Estudio (CDE), one of Paraguay’s most important research institutions.
Paraguay has two official languages: Spanish and Guaraní. It is the only country in Latin America where the principle indigenous language is spoken by most of the population, including those with no indigenous background. Students visit a Guaraní community and analyze Guaraní culture in relation to Paraguayan identity. The program also visits a women’s cooperative that produces a typical Paraguayan craft (ñandutí) and is sold through a global fair trade network.
Duration: 15 weeks
Program Base: Buenos Aires
Language Study: Spanish
Prerequisites: 4 semesters Spanish and relevant coursework Read more...
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