Bolivia 2017 Hartwick College J Term
In January 2017, it was a pleasure to launch an experience in Bolivia for the Hartwick College J Term program.
One of the especially great things about the Bolivia 2017 course was that the co-director, Mansir Petrie is a previous Hartwick College director of J Term experiences, and he’s living in Bolivia! He is an amazing logistical resource for coordinating those unique on-the-ground experiences, and the program would not be possible without him. Mansir helped us with homestays and language immersion, and there is simply nothing like having someone in-country to set things up in advance. All photo credits here are Mansir Petrie!
Bolivia: Culture, Colonialism & Modernity
Hartwick College J Term
Professor: Jason Antrosio
Co-Director: Mansir Petrie
Bolivia is one of South America’s most vibrant and paradoxical countries. Its silver and tin mines were crucial to establish and fuel a global economy, while at the same time leaving a colonial legacy of extreme disparity and impoverishment. Vibrant cultural traditions and the reclaiming of ethnic identities contribute to an emergent Bolivian version of modernity. This course examines Bolivian paradoxes in-site and offers intensive language training.
The course was primarily based in Sucre where students had a 3-week immersion period in a place which enjoys a year-round spring-like climate thanks to its setting at an altitude of 2790m. Its moderate altitude and climate is above the mosquito line, so it is free of mosquito-borne tropical diseases. During their time in Sucre, all students took intensive language courses. If taken as SPAN 105, this course alone fulfilled the Hartwick College language requirement; no other course is required.
There were outings and lectures at museums, architectural sites, and marketplaces, with experiences in cooking, dancing, and sports integrated into language learning. Weekends feature sdhort trips in the surrounding region, such as the mining city of Potosí, and the Uyuni Salt Flats.
The final week brought students to the major city of La Paz.
- SPAN 105 is designed to help students develop basic communicative skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing while introducing students to the culture of Bolivia. Prerequisite: placement test, unless student has had absolutely no prior Spanish. This course alone will fulfill the language requirement; no other course is required.
- SPAN 205 helps students learn to communicate creatively through oral and written communication and to handle a wide variety of topics in social, cultural, and historical contexts. Prerequisite: placement test.
This course built on my previous field experience in Latin America and the on campus J Term course Peoples and Cultures of Latin America & the Caribbean.