SPCS Spring 2023 Colloquium: Everyday Peacebuilding in Colombia, Student Report Back from Colombian Amazon Study Abroad - April 21
SPCS Spring 2023 Colloquium: Everyday Peacebuilding in Colombia, Student Report Back from Colombian Amazon Study Abroad
Friday, April 21 from 3:00 - 5:00 pm in 307 McGilvrey
Share the experience of Peacebuilding in modern-day Colombia with Kent State University students, through their travel photos and stories. Join us on Friday, April 21 from 3:00 - 5:00 pm in 307 McGilvrey to learn more about this exciting study abroad trip.
From January 3 to January 14, 2023, seven Kent State University students and three Universidad del Rosario students engaged in a lifechanging immersion experience exploring peace education in practice in Colombia.
After flight cancellations and a dynamic day of travel, the KSU group arrived to Bogota and were joined by UR students for an internal flight to San Jose del Guaviare. GeoTours ecotourism company led the group for the following seven days to discuss the experiences of local actors including campesinos displaced or otherwise impacted by the conflict, former FARC combatants, grassroots activists, former coca growers who have transitioned to new industries and crops, among others.
In each meeting, students heard narratives of resilience and a commitment to peace that impacted their experiences deeply. The rural setting gave a unique perspective to life during and after armed conflict. Further, the diversity of voices created a holistic learning space where students heard many perspectives, sometimes conflicting. The trip is an example of the power of a visceral, immersive, learning experience, which cultivates an environment of critical thinking.
In addition to community conversations and spaces of collective learning, students also engaged with nature – gaining a deep understanding of peace from an environmental perspective. The rural environment meant that narratives of survival and peacemaking also included reconciliation with the natural landscape – this was especially present with the farmers who faced exploitation from all sides of the conflict and experienced environmental degradation by way of glyphosate spraying required by the US government and paid for by US tax dollars.
The trip ended with several days in Bogota that included visits with LGBTQ organizations, learning fruitosophy in the central market, and a House of Peace established by former FARC combatants.
You can learn more about and from the Peacebuilding in Colombia Collaborative trip at the report back on Friday April 21st at 3 pm.