ESR Offers Contextual Education Trip to Colombia

ESR will be leading a contextual education trip to Colombia, partnering with the Christian Peacemakers team, during the May 2015 Intensive. 

Participants will learn about Colombia’s history of violence, conflict, and economic exploitation from presenters in Bogotá. They will travel to Barrancabermeja, an oil-producing town with a history of activism and violent oppression, to meet with a number of community organizations. Following several days there, the delegation will travel by motorized canoe to several small communities resisting the various forces who have tried to violently seize their land. After meeting more organizations in Barrancabermeja, they will return to Bogota and attempt to share the stories they have heard with the U.S. consulate. 

Academically, the course will introduce contextual theology; inquire into the challenges and opportunities of Christian peacemaking from different social locations; explore means of international and cross-cultural solidarity and resistance; and practice collecting and retelling individual stories as a means of Christian witness and solidarity. 

The course will require some reading and written assignments before departure, as well as a final portfolio of written pieces that may include advocacy writing, narratives solicited from individual Colombian partners, and personal essays. The trip will also involve uncomfortable travel, including walking in tropical heat. For more information, contact Ben Brazil at brazibe@earlham.edu.