Argentina: Social Movements and Human Rights

Educational Excursions

Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.

The Argentina: Social Movements and Human Rights study abroad program includes exceptional, field-based learning opportunities for a broader and deeper understanding of course content. Students have the opportunity to visit and live in two different settings of Argentina: Northwest and Patagonia. In each location, intensive seminar sessions are organized by university faculty, development practitioners, government officials, and local community and labor groups.

Markets in Villazón , Bolivia

Northwestern Argentina and the Bolivian Border (two weeks)
The northwestern region of Argentina is the poorest area in the country. Largely deprived of economic development resources, the region's communities are struggling both to survive and to maintain their distinct cultural traditions. During this excursion, students examine peasant and gender movements and social economy amidst one of the most beautiful, and least developed, regions of Argentina. They also analyze opposition to mining projects due to the projects’ environmental impacts.

  • Students are based in the provincial capital of Salta, a beautiful city with a strong colonial flavor. Based at the foothills of the Andes Mountains, Salta is also well-known as one of Argentina's most traditional and conservative areas, and arguably because of this is a central location in the struggle for women's rights and the fight against gender-based violence.  In Salta, students undertake lecturers and discussion at the National University of Salta, which serves as the host institution, examining either gender or social economy. Students visit a gender organization focused on women's rights and a community soup kitchen to examine collective coping strategies of the city's indigent residents. 
  • While in Salta, students participate in a three-day trip to the cities of Mosconi and Tartagal. These cities are characterized by having developed thanks to the construction of the Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales (Treasury Petroleum Fields), and their inhabitants originally were oil workers. Deregulation and privatization changed the lives of these workers and it is in these cities where many of the main social protests of the nineties began. Today these cities are symbols of the piquetero movement.
  • Students visit the magnificent Quebrada de Humahuaca Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site recently declared "Historic Patrimony of Humanity". Students consider the impact that tourism has on preserving cultural and economic stability in this community. Read more about this designation
  • Students visit the Bolivian border to examine migration and border identity issues.
  • Students visit a mining project to see how the neighboring communities affected by the mines have organized themselves in protest.


Patagonia (one week)
The focus of the Patagonia excursion is on the use of human rights and legal resources to support different social movements.  Over the years, the region's abundance of natural resources has invited extensive human intervention: mining, tourism, and other human involvement pose challenges for the health of the region's natural environment. Students examine these challenges and the movements working to address them as well as the struggle being waged by impoverished and indigenous communities for land in both urban and rural settings. The excursion also focuses on the conflicts surrounding land access and occupations from a human rights perspective. 

  • In Bariloche students focus on the social and environmental impacts of tourism and experience the struggle impoverished communities are waging for land. While Bariloche is a beautiful city boasting abundant natural resources and stunning landscapes, students focus on the "other Bariloche" and the reality of discrimination and poverty endured by many of the city's poor. Students also consider the role of environmental movements in preventing the deprivation of natural resources. They visit a recycling cooperative created to provide more opportunities within the community.
  • In Mapuche communities students observe the struggle indigenous groups are waging for increased rights and recognition by the Argentine government. Students learn about traditional weaving and its role in preserving Mapuche culture and providing a source of income. 
  • With a visit to the picturesque national park Nahuel Huapi, students reflect upon a broader definition of sustainable management and development as a cultural as well as environmental issue.

Costs Dates

Credits: 16

Duration: 15 weeks

Program Base: Buenos Aires

Language Study: Spanish

Prerequisites: 3 semesters Spanish and relevant coursework.


View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Fall 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Spring 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Fall 2012 Evaluations (PDF)

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