For J-term 2016, we had 70 students travel to Chile, Rwanda, Peru, Nepal, and Spain.
Conner Anderson, who is on the Chile Practicum on human rights and Chile’s vulnerable populations, sent me the following photo of his cohort (to the left).
In their first three days in Chile, 23 Middlebury Institute student delegates have had the pleasure to meet with several Chilean champions of human rights, including politicians, professors, judges, community activists, everyday citizens, all working to make progress in this time of transition for Chile, but not at the expense of forgetting the injustices of the past.
Conner Anderson wrote the following about his journey so far, “We have been learning about the human rights violations under the dictatorship of Pinochet in Chile. But what has had such impact is that these aren’t just theories and stories, these are the emotions, the actions, and the lives of those that not only were impacted by the injustices, but are also those fighting to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.” Conner also wrote about one of the most impactful interactions the students have had so far was with Gabriella Zuñiga, a wife of a Disappeared, who told the student delegates, “To remember is to pass it again through your heart.”
Melissa Hewitt, who is currently attending the cultural immersion portion of Design, Partnering, Managing, and Innovation(DPMI) training at Partners in Health Rwanda, wrote, “Our trip to Rwanda has been inspirational and an incredible learning experience. We have been able to see and experience the transformation the country is currently undergoing. I feel that the lessons I am learning will stay with me and influence me for years to come.” Ayako Yamada, also participating in DPMI Rwanda, wrote, “Before coming to Rwanda, even with the pre-assigned readings, I was blown away with how little I knew about Rwanda. All I knew was about the genocide and I’ve learned that Rwanda has been a successful country in slowing down the spread of HIV and managing it. But I didn’t know as much about ICT and gender equality. It has shown me how little I was paying attention to Africa.”
Stay tuned for more comments from Nepal, Peru, and Spain!