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Randy Wood at American University Feb 06

On 27 February 2006 I spoke to a group from American University's Alternative Spring Break program. They were bound for a one week trip to Nicaragua in early March 2006 to visit Managua, Leon, and Chacaraseca. We discussed CAFTA, America's media portrayal of Nicaragua since the revolutionary years, and some itineraries for exploration.

The Alternative Spring Break idea is a good one in general when care is taken so the programs don't become watered down infotainment tours. Students get a chance to experience something new, get some exciting stories to tell, and learn about the world. The American University program ("Alt-Break") writes the following:

Alternative Breaks are student-initiated and organized trips to domestic and international locations with a variety of social justice themes. Trips intend to critically reflect on our role in the global community through service, activism, academic inquiry and leadership - while having fun at the same time . . . Alternative Breaks are experiences that emphasize self-awareness through a critical debriefing and analytical process before, during, and after the trips. Trips are inherently political in that they address structural systems of inequality, injustice, oppression, and marginalization

And that's something I can live with.

The presentation I gave is available from this website (in mini-format, and absent the, ahem, insightful commentary). Click on the image below to download it in Apple Quicktime format. Send me an email if you would like it in a much higher bandwidth PDF format (I'm looking at you, Linux users).


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