Programs : Brochure
Urban Design and Planning Oaxaca: Community Development Across Borders - Bringing People and Knowledge Together (Outgoing Program)
- Locations: Oaxaca, Mexico
- Program Terms: Summer B-Term
- Budget Sheets: Summer B-Term
|Academic Term||Summer B-Term|
|July 19- August 15, 2018|
|Estimated Program Fee||$4,650|
|Credits||12 UW credits|
|Program Directors||Branden Born | email@example.com
Yolanda Valencia | firstname.lastname@example.org
|Program Manager||Carrie Moore | email@example.com|
|Priority Application Deadline||January 31, 2018|
|Extended Application Deadline||March 15, 2018|
|Information Sessions||Please contact Program Director for more information|
|General||Learn about community development, public participation in governance, and drivers of social change in Oaxacan context. Help facilitate and participate in 1st International Assembly for Community Development Across Borders. Two credit spring preparatory class also required.|
Oaxaca, Mexico is home to sixteen indigenous groups and an active area of civil discourse and resistance to state and economic oppression. The communities of the region often have models of organization and public discourse that date back hundreds of years. One of the three poorest states in Mexico, Oaxaca suffers from enormous rates of migration to northern Mexico and the US as people search for work and better lives for their families. One common theme is the lack of economic opportunity and the connection to subsistence agriculture: Oaxaca is on the leading edge of the struggle over the future of the global food system. A beautiful and complex physical and social landscape, it is a perfect site to explore issues of how foreign policy (agriculture, trade, immigration, drug) impacts the Global South, and how communities organize themselves and their respective forms of knowledge in response to their context.We will be exploring the themes of forms of knowledge, food and community, land rights and natural resources, resistance, art, and youth engagement as they relate to community development in the region. The class culminates with participation in an international assembly of community organizations and universities.
We will be working with a small local partner school, Centro Ollin Tlahtoalli, to examine on-the-ground the issues in Oaxaca surrounding food and land, democracy and social justice, and migration. We will see how the paths of migrants are changing and how they affect Oaxaca and the people there. We will learn how the debate around appropriate technology and genetically modified organisms takes shape in communities with thousands of years of subsistence agricultural history. Students will see firsthand, and discuss with locals and as a group, the complicated web of interconnected issues that make up contemporary food studies, particularly as they relate to Mexico and the United States. Throughout the experience students will have the opportunity to reflect on issues of identity, culture, power, oppression, politics, and the economy.
The class will be staying in a large family home in the center of Oaxaca. We will visit non-governmental organizations in small towns around the Oaxaca region, then spend approximately one week in the beautiful Sierra Norte mountains in Cuajimoloyas for the Assembly. We finish the trip in Oaxaca City and the fishing village Puerto Escondido (and its beautiful beaches) for debriefing, discussion, and report writing. Ollin Tlahtoalli, our partner school, has years of experience in cultural preservation and education, and we will be able to visit the Zapotec villages in which their youth programs operate, as well as the Mixtec villages of our program partners in the Sierra Mixteca.
Oaxaca, San Antonio Cuajimoloyas, Puerto Escondido
While in Oaxaca, we stay with one large homestay family arranged through our partner school. This particular location was selected because the family regularly houses students in the local language schools, and has the ability to house larger groups. The homestay family provides breakfast and some lunches. Students will mostly share double rooms. Our local partner has a long working relationship with the family, and the location is within a ten-minute walk to our partner’s school location in the center of Oaxaca, where most of our activities are located within walking distance.
In Cuajimoloyas, we will be staying in commercial guest cabins that the local villages have developed as part of their ecotourism program. These rooms are bunkhouse style, with four beds per cabin.
In Puerto Escondido we will stay in a commercial hotel, two students to a room.
None, though undergraduates would have to have a demonstrated interest in planning, policy, community engagement strategies, food systems, (im)migration, Chicano Studies, Caribbean and Latin American Studies, or similar. Some Spanish is desirable but not required--this is a planning/community development class in English, with Spanish language taught and predominant in the cultural context.
While there are no specific physical requirements, we do a lot of walking in the city on rough and uneven sidewalks and in rural areas. We will make necessary accommodations for students of all abilities.
12 UW Credits
This class will spend Summer B term in Oaxaca, Mexico examining local governing and decision making techniques of local communities and organizations. We will be working with a small local partner school, Centro Ollin Tlahtoalli, to examine on the ground the issues in Oaxaca surrounding community engagement, food, democracy and social justice, and immigration. We use mainly structuralist and post-structuralist theory to query both Western and non-Western epistemologies and cosmovisions. We will be exposed to limited language and extensive cultural education (historical and contemporary) in applied fashion: mostly out in the region, visiting villages and organizations engaged in various forms of community development and cultural preservation. Students will visit villages with innovative community based economic development programs relating to natural resources, sustainable agriculture, and tourism, and will have the chance to speak with representatives about how these are affecting these communities. The course culminates with participation in an international Assembly that will bring together people from community groups in Mexico, the US, and Central America and multiple US and Mexican universities to discuss themes of western and indigenous knowledge, geopolitics and identity, food and community, land rights and natural resources, art and resistance, and community development. Theories of public participation will be applied in practice. The class will prepare a final report that collects the experiences of the class and Assembly and suggests next steps in planning for a collective future.
Learning goals include:
In this class, students will:
-Explore the issues of community development in the Oaxacan context
-Be exposed to alternative perspectives on planning, policy, socio and political economics, and governing structures
-Have the opportunity to reflect on the complexity of international issues and the basic necessities of societal living (decision making, providing for oneself, eating)
-Design and discuss community engagement strategies and specific exercises for use in community meetings and Assembly
Assessment is done through faculty and student self-assessment in relation to the learning goals and the goals that students set for themselves at the outset of the program. Students complete personal journals, specific journal assignments in the form of reflective letters, and contribute to a class blog. They will also participate in an international Assembly and a class project to summarize and report on that event.
This class will spend Summer B term in Oaxaca, Mexico examining the interconnected issues of food systems, political economy, and migration. One of the three poorest states in Mexico, Oaxaca also suffers from enormous rates of migration to northern Mexico and the US as people search for work and better lives for their families. Oaxaca is home to sixteen indigenous groups, and is an active area of civil discourse and resistance to state oppression, while simultaneously being part of the migration system in several ways. It is an origin location for Oaxacan migrants, a receiving location for those who have resettled or been deported, and a throughfare for Central American migrants. A beautiful and complex physical and social landscape, it is an excellent site to explore issues of how American foreign policy (agriculture, trade, immigration, drug) impacts the Global South.
We will be working with a small local partner school, Centro Ollin Tlahtoalli, to examine on the ground the issues in Oaxaca surrounding particularly food, democracy and social justice, and immigration. We use mainly structuralist and post-structuralist theory to query both Western and non-Western epistemologies and cosmovisions. We will be exposed to limited language and extensive cultural education (historical and contemporary) in applied fashion: mostly out in the region, visiting villages, markets, and the countryside as well as local non-profit organizations. We will see how the paths of immigrants are changing and how they affect Oaxaca. Students will see firsthand, and discuss with locals and as a group the complicated web of interconnected issues that create the context for forced migration. We will be introduced to governance models that predate colonialism and explore how they relate to and within contemporary national and state forms of government.
Students will visit villages with high rates of migration, and also NGOs working on migration issues, to hear about the causes of migration and challenges that migrants face, as well as how governments contribute to the migration problem. Students will also learn of innovative community based economic development programs relating to natural resources, sustainable agriculture, and tourism.
Learning goals include:
In this class students will:
- Explore their own understanding of their food and economic systems, their governing structures, and associated reasons that force migration
- Be exposed to alternative perspectives on socio and political economics, food systems, and migration, from on-site and course materials
- Have the opportunity to reflect on the complexity of international issues and the basic necessities of societal living (eating, decision making, providing for oneself)
- Learn a modest amount of Mexican culture and history.
Assessment is done through both faculty and student self-assessment in relation to the learning goals and goals students set for themselves at the outset of the program. Students complete personal journals, specific journal assignments in the form of reflective letters, and contribute to a class blog. They also contribute to a class writing project and use a group self-evaluation to assess their performance in that activity.
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