For a second time, the Department of Modern Languages invites students to travel to Colombia.
The trip will offer students of Spanish full immersion in the language during group exploration days and homestays with local families The itinerary will begin in the large city of Bogota where students will trace the economic and religious legacy of colonization at the Gold Museum and the Cathedral at Monserrate. Next, before meeting their host families, students will meet researchers at the Paleontological Research Center of Villa de Leyva, where they will learn methods of fossil study. In the Paramo of Iguaque nearby, students will trade walking shoes for hiking boots and undertake a challenging hike in one of the most complex ecosystems in the country. After visiting the more rural regions of Sogamoso and Tota, students will understand even more about modern Colombian political economics and its effects on urban and rural communities. The onion cultivation in this area, in contrast with the priorities of city, offers lessons in the tensions between conservation and development and industrial-sized and local production. Finally, students will spend time with students in Aquitania from whom they will learn a lot about the lived life of the rural community there. This is a special opportunity for our students to ask freshly informed questions and listen to the experiences of others so that they leave Colombia with a deepened understanding of the needs rural communities deal with daily.