Argentina: Social Movements and Human Rights

"SIT's program instilled in me a deep curiosity about Argentine issues and a cultural awareness that transcends my various academic  interests. I am continuing the work I did on my ISP for a senior capstone project and have no doubt that those four months will continue to shape the rest of my life."

-- Courtney Weintraub, Lehigh University

Study Argentina’s diverse social movements and the country’s history of struggle to guarantee its diverse populations’ human rights.

Argentina is a country renowned for heroic efforts against impunity, economic disenfranchisement, and social exclusion. Central to its history are the immigrant movements of the late 1800s, Peron’s populist surge in the mid-twentieth century, and the military regime of the late twentieth century that resulted in tens of thousands of disappearances. Argentina’s economic crisis in 2001 sparked action by new social movements working for economic advancement and social justice.

Located in the vibrant capital city of Buenos Aires, this program examines Argentina’s prolific and highly dynamic social movements. The program’s office is in one of the most renowned research institutions in Buenos Aires, the Centro de Estudios de Estado y Sociedad (CEDES). Students have the chance to interact with CEDES scholars and use the institution’s library and other resources.

The program explores how social movements and historical events affect and influence how human rights are understood and defined in a particular place and time. Students meet with social activists, local scholars, indigenous leaders, rural organizers, environmental advocates, female activists, community muralists, and others who share their struggles, hopes, and dreams for their community, nation, and world.

The program’s lecturers include experts from institutions such as the University of Buenos Aires and the National University of Salta, as well as human rights organizations such as EPADHES. Learning incorporates in-class lectures, site visits, discussions during program excursions, and intensive instruction in Spanish. The program’s partner institution is the University of Buenos Aires, and the program’s language instructors are specialized in teaching Spanish as a second language. Read more about the program’s coursework and review syllabi.

Students are immersed in Argentine daily life by living with host families in Buenos Aires for six weeks and with a Mapuche (indigenous) community in the Patagonia region for two days.

Students also volunteer in social organizations and social movements in Buenos Aires and may engage in community work during excursions. Community work could include helping in a soup kitchen in Salta or working with Mapuche women to build an indigenous community center in Patagonia.

Through experiential learning, students examine how human rights and social movements are understood in this region.

Alum awarded Thomas J. Watson Fellowship
Wheaton College senior Kelly Maby has been intrigued with trash since she was a child growing up in New York, when she and her brother collected cans and bottles to support their low-income family. That childhood fascination with the value of discarded objects and an intellectual curiosity about the waste scavengers she encountered during her study abroad has earned her a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship.
Ellen Song

Program alum Ellen Song (Williams College) has been awarded funding through the Davis Projects for Peace to return to Argentina to set up a literacy project for young women in two slums of Buenos Aires. Ellen studied on the Argentina: Social Movements and Human Rights program in the fall of 2009. Learn how Ellen aims to use the experience and networks she acquired studying with SIT to successfully complete her project.

Browse this program's Independent Study Projects/Undergraduate Research

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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