INVST Students In Midst of Summer Learning Experiences

Two groups of INVST Community Leadership Program students are currently completing their summer experiences: International Summer Service Learning Experience and Sustainability Education in the US Southwest.

After a week-long Border Awareness Experience in El Paso, TX, the International Summer Learning Experience students have arrived in Nicaragua where they will spend over two weeks with Witness for Peace, our partner in Nicaragua.

A few highlights from the International group include:

  • Meeting with Community Leader Yamileth Perez
  • Visiting La Chureca, the Managua municipal dump
  • Meeting with Historian Dora Maria Tellez
  • Learning about social and economic dynamics
  • Historical sites tour and activities
  • Meeting with ex-banana workers and economists
  • Visiting Esperanza en Acción, a fair trade store that pays their artisans a living wage, offers them micro loans for their businesses, and gives trainings
  • Meeting with Fair Trade/Free Trade Cooperative, Zona Franca Masili, formed by women displaced by Hurricane Mitch in 1998. The cooperative sews organic cotton clothing for consumers in North America and Europe, and pays fair wages. It operates in a free trade zone.
  • Visiting with Servicio Jesuita para Migrantes, an organization that conducts research and engages in projects that assist Nicaraguans who migrate to other countries.
  • Meeting with the Center for the Prevention of Violence

The INVST students learning about sustainability in the US Southwest are in the midst of their month-long learning adventure. After a backpacking trip with our friends at the CU Outdoor Program and several days in Moab, Utah, they drove to Page, Arizona. They are staying near Lake Powell and will take a tour of the Glen Canyon Dam to learn about hydroelectric energy. They will also learn about the Navajo Generating Station that burns coal to make energy for the West. Our students will connect with the Johnson family in Tuba City, Arizona, our Dineh partners who we have been working with since 1998. The INVST students will stay on the Dineh reservation with Tim and Belinda Johnson for several days doing community service.

A few highlights from this group include:

  • A flight over Moab, Utah with a non-profit called Eco-Flight so they could look at the Greater Canyonlands National Monument area and see wilderness that is at risk of being opened up for drilling and energy development.
  • They spoke with US Oil Sands, a corporation that is planning to develop tar sands in Utah.
  • They met with long-time environmentalists, Ken & Jane Sleight, who inspired Edward Abbey's characters in the book the Monkeywrench Gang. The INVST students volunteered helping them with their goats.
  • They hiked in Moab's National Parks and met with a Moab local government official, gazed at stars and washed in the Colorado River.
  • They are hearing multiple perspectives and opinions on how we ought to treat the natural environment, while we meet our needs for energy and power.