WWU Global Learning Program
Mexico's Food Cultures, Histories, Activism -
Study and Travel in San Miguel de Allende
Geographies of Hope:
Mexico's food cultures, histories, activism --
Study travel and practice in San Miguel de Allende
Pre-Reqs: ENVS 110 Ecogastronomy and ENVS 410 Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture - OR PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR; no language requirements (Spanish, preferable).
Program Dates: April 1 (preliminary meetings in spring quarter) - September 12, 2019
Travel Dates: August 29 - September 12, 2019
Mexico has one of the world’s most accomplished food heritages: corn, tomato, avocado, squash, pinto beans, cacao, and more. In San Miguel de Allende, we study how the state’s rapidly growing economy and affluent expatriate community are shaping a food revolution that rivals that of the Pacific Coast. We’ll experience firsthand how consumer demand is guiding the transformation of one of Mexico’s important breadbaskets into a supplier of locally-sourced food based on Mexico’s diverse culinary histories. The highlight of the experience is service learning in northern Guanajuato state, at Pozo Ademado Community Center. The objective of the service learning component is to understand challenges of neoliberal policy and programs, and participate in meaningful change through action research. Students will experience exposure to social and historical context of projects, critique and reflection of development and service work, and participation in community-led installations of low-tech water solutions. Readings focus on Mexican History (from colonialism to neoliberal reforms, land reform, revolution, capitalism, and narco-corruption), Export Agriculture and Groundwater Extraction, Migration, and Organizing & Empowerment: Community-led Solutions and Models.
Guanajuato gold and silver mine (tentative), Guanajuato dam and park, introductory meetings at Cafetal, Via Organica Ranch with overnight stay, Cooking classes, morning Spanish classes, Guanajuato pyramids, Charco del Ingenio (Botanical gardens), production of traditional and ceremonial tortillas with the women of el llanito, field water quality monitoring; round table on regional water issues with local actors, tour of spirulina viva’s production farm (spriluna blue algae production), atotonilco chapel: a 500-year old unesco world heritage site and cornerstone of the Mexican independence revolution, service learning in northern Guanajuato state.
Expectations of Participants:
Activities include visits to museums and cultural sites, as well as participating in water catchment preparation in a village. With or without reasonable accommodations, must be able to: walk for several hours at a time in warm weather, climb stairs and stand for prolonged periods.
Estimated Walking 1-2 hours/day
Estimated Sitting 1-2 hours/day
Refrigeration is available except for during times of travel in a bus.
Gigi Berardi (instructor)
View the Program Budget Sheet
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