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Our Course Focus- Environmental Justice at Home and in Peru: Identity, Land, and Food

Hola queridxs dragones,

We hope you’re learning and daydreaming as much as you can about Peru as we rapidly approach our time there together! Anticipating a journey like ours, we’ve found that it’s super helpful to weave a common thread through the diverse learning experiences we will gain during program.  This post outlines this common thread, which we call our “Focus of Inquiry.” This theme of Environmental Justice will guide much of our curiosity, conversation, and investigation.

While in Peru, we will learn how people’s identities shape their connection to the Earth, while also reflecting on our own identities. Learning from local food growers and traveling over sacred passes, we will ask how identity, community, and culture impact the way people understand the environment.  While learning about topics surrounding Environmental Justice, we will focus on three primary sub-themes: Identity, Land, and Food.  


Our social identities (race, gender, income, sexual orientation, citizenship, etc.) are often sources of privilege or oppression. On this course, we will examine how identity affects the ways people relate to the environment. What role does a person’s identity play in their ability to access resources, or react to climate change? In what ways have our identities shaped how we view and interact with the earth?


What can the land we travel through in Peru tell us about culture, history, and people’s value of the environment. Does land use reflect equitable access to natural resources? What about the importance placed on community and/or corporate values?


What can food production and consumption tell us about the impacts of climate change, and values placed on both traditional and Western diets?  How have local communities overcome challenges to sustain their livelihoods?

…You are absolutely not expected to be experts on any of this (environmental justice may be a completely new idea for you!), but please reflect on the questions we propose as you get more excited to explore these concepts up close and personal together on the ground in Peru.

Additionally, the articles posted in our pre-course assignments (coming soon!) are also meant to get us thinking about environmental issues in Peru. The more we start brainstorming these connections now, the more mind-blowing our discoveries and discussions will be on program!  As always, reach out to us with any questions, and we can’t wait to hear YOUR voices on all of this so soon!

Un abrazo fuerte,

Tus instructores Paola, Ben, y Colleen