Chile: Cultural Identity, Social Justice, and Community Development

Educational Excursions

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

Cerro Alegre, Valparaíso

Students participate in an indigenous people excursion during the semester.
The excursion focuses on one of Chile's largest indigenous groups and is approximately two weeks long. Students have seminars, site visits, interactive workshops and group discussions organized by university faculty, development practitioners, government officials, and local community groups. Students consider key cultural, political, and social issues that affect these indigenous peoples.

Temuco: Mapuche region
The Mapuches are not only the largest indigenous people in Chile, they also have a very complex relationship with the Chilean state and the construction of the country´s national identity. The excursion to the southern region of Chile, near the city of Temuco, is a fascinating journey to the origins of Mapuche culture and society. Although the Mapuche successfully resisted foreign conquest for over three centuries, they continue to struggle with the Chilean state for the recovery of their land and their right to self-determination.

During this excursion, students consider the challenges facing the Mapuche population. They spend three days living with a Mapuche family in the rural Makewe community, giving students the chance to understand current development issues from the Mapuche perspective. Students also travel within the region, from the Pacific coast to the Andean mountains, learning about local cultural and economic survival initiatives such as the Llaguepulli Lafkenche community’s projects and the Intercultural Guacolda School in Chon Chol.

Topics of study during the excursion include Mapuche cosmovisión, education, alternative development, gender roles, cultural identity, and social movements.

Costs Dates

Credits: 16

Duration: 15 weeks

Program Base: Valparaiso

Language Study: Spanish

Prerequisites: 3 semesters Spanish


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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