Rebuilding Social Contracts
Colombia’s rapid return to stability provides an optimal context to explore the realities of conflict resolution, as systemic inequalities within the nation threaten to disturb the newfound peace. Students confront the history of conflicts within Colombia, and then learn how that history has shaped the lives of individuals around the country.
We examine the potential for healing in Colombia, visiting social entrepreneurs working in different sectors around the country. We go ‘behind-the-scenes’ to learn and participate in their everyday operations, delving into the various public and private arenas by which people from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds are working together to build (and rebuild) their national identity and social contract.
Goals and Objectives
Envoys’ relationships in Colombia provide students with the chance to meet directly with leaders from various sectors of economy and society. Students bring their big questions to the table by meeting some of Bogotá’s most influential leaders in the spaces of education, politics, and economy.
Service with a whole new frame of reference. Through structured written, verbal and creative refection, students find ways to take their new understanding of service and action back to their own community.
Students explore the tensions between environmental policy, cultural heritage and economic development, particularly through the lens of the tourism industry. They meet with environmental activists, community leaders and tourism industry representatives and understand that from tension comes community action.
Evaluate the potential for different models of social enterprises working to create peace in Colombia
We engage with local teachers and students to learn how the past history of violence has impacted families and individuals. Program participants learn to retell the stories that they have heard, building a deeper empathic connection.
Colombia has multiple non-profit organizations that do work like advising, accompanies and gives support to allow early stage social entrepreneurs to reach self-sustainability. We partner with them to learn about the growth of social enterprises in the Colombian context.
Traveling around the Sabana provides a unique opportunity to understand the magic behind the traditions within the rural communities, as well as the lasting effects of war on these localities.
We meet with the Ministry of Education to learn about how schools have responded to the mandated curriculum surrounding peace education.
The business accelerator Endeavor works with Colombian entrepreneurs with potential to catalyze long-term economic growth in a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, advertising, and entertainment. We meet with Endeavor’s leaders to learn about how they select and mentor different entrepreneurs.
Considered by many as the most beautiful city of Colombia, Cartagena also contains the largest inequality of the region. Within the city limits lie areas of high touristic affuence, historical landmarks and beautiful landscapes along with vast neighborhoods that live under the extreme poverty line.