This 4-week program introduces students to the ethical issues emerging out of the experiences of marginalized communities in Córdoba, Argentina. These communities have faced negative environmental impacts from pesticides and pollution, and in some cases, engaged in community organizing to successfully challenge such practices (for instance, members of a Córdoba community blocked a major agrochemical corporation from constructing what was to be one of the company’s largest operations in South America). Students will have a chance to meet community members, encounter and immerse themselves in the ethical issues, and engage in a highly integrated learning experience where class and fieldwork are inextricably intertwined. In addition, students will have the chance to immerse themselves in the rich cultural reality of Argentina, in a city steeped in Jesuit history. The program is oriented towards simple living, intentional community, and a chance to engage in reflection and service, fostering spiritual and professional growth.
Students take 6-units of upper-division coursework taught by faculty at the Universidad Católica de Córdoba. Courses are taught in English and fulfill the LMU integrations core requirement in Ethics and Justice, along with flags in writing and engaged learning. Classes and most of the fieldwork are held three days a week, with most weekends free for travel and exploration. Several excursions, including a multi-day trip to the northern part of Argentina, are covered as part of the program costs.
Córdoba, Argentina is a charming city located at the geographic center of Argentina, surrounded by mountains, rivers, and hillside towns. Córdoba is the second largest city in the country, referred to as La Docta because it is also one of the oldest sites of higher education in South America. The Jesuits first arrived in Córdoba in 1599 and the original buildings, located in Córdoba’s pedestrian-only section of its downtown, as well as the five neighboring estancias that were built to support the Jesuit manzana are considered UNESCO world heritage sites. Throughout the four-week program, classes are held at the downtown campus, a small set of multi-story buildings located within walking distance of shopping centers, plazas, restaurants, the Jesuit manzana and the Cathedral.
The following courses are offered (6 units total):
Topics in Applied Ethics: Science, Environment, and Ethics in Argentina (4 units)
Ethics and Justice core course fulfilled, with writing flag
Taught by Diego Fonti, Ph.D., and Juan Carlos Stauber, Ph.D.
Culture and Community Engagement Seminar (2 units)
Flag - Engaged Learning
Taught by Martin Maldonado, Ph.D.*
*also directs the summer program
HOUSING AND MEALS
Participants live in two adjoining houses in a residential neighborhood, with an in-residence Community Coordinator who facilitates student community discussions and spaces for reflection. Each student shares a bedroom and bathroom with no more than two others. Kitchen and laundry facilities (a washing machine) are also provided. Provision for breakfasts are provided during weekdays and home-cooked dinners are provided for the community three nights a week. Students may participate in cooking a shared meal on Friday evenings. During the trip to Salta and Jujuy, students are housed in a simple hotel and dinners are provided in simple local restaurants.
The program begins with a guided tour of Córdoba, as well as an orientation to the neighborhood, so students feel comfortable traveling on their own. Additional site visits are scheduled over the four weeks as part of the academic curriculum. The program includes a multi-day trip to Salta and Jujuy which features extensive salt flats, ancient geological sites (it has been called an “outdoor geological museum”) including the seven-colored mountain, and ancient Incan ruins. Other shorter excursions to neighboring hillside towns include a trip to Alta Gracia, the location of one of the five UNESCO Jesuit estancias, Carlos Paz, and Malvinas, where residents blocked a multinational company from constructing a huge factory. Students will also experience a traditional Argentine asado at the beginning of their stay.
TENTATIVE ITINERARY TBD