Peru: Indigenous Peoples and Globalization

Examine traditional and contemporary societies in Peru, home to one of the largest indigenous populations in the Americas.

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This program explores the ways in which Peru has been shaped by complex historical legacies, a multiethnic population, and profound social and economic disparities between its different ethnic groups.  

Topics for study include:

  • Rights, advocacy, and policy
  • Community development
  • The arts, including pre-Columbian artistic expression
  • Identity-recognition
  • Impact of international corporations

Acquire a deeper understanding of the lives, cultures, and challenges of indigenous peoples. By examining the Quechua, native Amazon, and mestizos experiences in the Peruvian context, students learn about the issues facing indigenous peoples in relation to identity politics and globalization.

Students meet with local leaders, indigenous oralists, artisans, laborers, farmers, historians, linguists, policymakers, scholars, and educators.

Study Spanish and Quechua in the historic city of Cusco.
The program is based in Cusco, the former capital of the Inca Empire. In Cusco, students improve their Spanish and also begin learning basic Quechua, an indigenous language of the Andean region. Once the official language of the Inca Empire, Quechua today is spoken in Peru by nearly one million people and provides a key transnational link to the region's indigenous communities.

Experience the loss, resilience, and revitalization of the historical memory and legacy of Peru's indigenous people. Students discuss the factors directly impacting the opportunities and challenges facing indigenous communities in Peru today.

Homestays and Excursions

Learn how recent mobilization efforts by indigenous Amazonian communities are shifting Peruvian national politics as reported by SIT program alum Anne Strother (Oberlin College) in PBS’ Online NewsHour. Peru Land Dispute Mobilizes Indigenous Efforts

Browse this program's Independent Study Projects/Undergraduate Research

Costs Dates

Credits: 17

Duration: 15 weeks

Program Base: Cuzco

Language Study: Quechua,  Spanish

Prerequisites: 4 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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