Jun 22, 2024  
2022-2023 Academic Catalog 
2022-2023 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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JAN 171 - Crops, Cash, and Crossing Borders: Food Justice in Nicaragua

Upper Division

We all need food to survive, but in a world dependent on an increasingly globalized food system, most of us are alienated from the food we consume. This course will examine the impact of our global food system by exploring the struggle for food justice and sovereignty in Nicaragua. As the second-poorest country in the Western hemisphere, Nicaragua has endured many difficulties and upheavals, including foreign intervention, revolution, and devastating natural disasters. We will explore the history of Nicaragua, looking in particular at its relationship with the United States, as well as the role of this relationship on food issues in Nicaragua. From there, we will examine current food justice principles and practices in Nicaragua, especially in relation to the local-global tension between self-sufficient food production and the production of “cash crops” like coffee and cocoa. In order to gain a more thorough understanding of these issues, students will spend several days living with rural farmers and their families as we help in the coffee harvest, and we’ll get a crash course in organic farming on the bird-friendly Gaia Estate. We will also learn how chocolate is made, hear from survivors of pesticide poisoning in the banana trade, and tour socially responsible sugar and dried fruit factories. Our adventure will even include visiting a famous volcano and time on a gorgeous beach relaxing and reflecting on our experiences. Embodying the Jan Term theme of “crossing borders” in numerous ways, this course will change the way you see the world!

Additional Notes
Designated as a social justice and a service-learning course

Course credits: 1

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