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Guatemala and Costa Rica Peacemaking Travel Study

August 7–18, 2017

Peacemaking, Climate Justice and Faith in Central America

Introduction to the Seminar

Central America countries have a fascinating relationship with peacemaking and climate concerns. From highly conflicted communities to historically peaceful places, from environmentally degraded areas to ones of great ecologic beauty, people of faith in Guatemala and Costa Rica have been responding to issues of peace and environmental justice issues for generations.

Our Time in Guatemala
In the first portion of the seminar, participants will visit Guatemala to understand current political developments, conflict, and migration related to environmental and climate change concerns. We will study resource extraction and its social, economic and environmental implications for the country, as well as church activism in response to it. As we cover these complex issues, we will also look at the criminalization of environmental activists, indigenous communities and land rights, and climate change’s impact on agriculture. We will take a site visit with CEDEPCA to see community efforts and environmental sites.

Our Time in Costa Rica
After sharing worship in Guatemala, the seminar will travel to Costa Rica for the final four program days. In Costa Rica, participants will explore current indigenous communities’ struggles in Costa Rica such as land rights and renewable energy production as well as examine the country’s vocation for peace. In addition we will hear from various perspectives about climate change, ecotourism, sustainable agriculture, and rainforest ecology. A special connection in this portion of the trip will be theological and biblical reflection with UBL faculty.