Independent Study to South America
Organized by: Tyler Barron
For the Fall 2014 semester, Tore Ruvolo and I decided we would reimagine our typical UMass schedules. Driven by our desire to see the world and learn from hands-on experience, and facilitated by our professor's willingness to give us credit for this work, we came up with self-designed trip to the countries of Costa Rica, Ecuador and Peru. In Costa Rica and Ecuador, we will be working at three different eco-villages -Rancho Mastatal, Ecological Garden Vrindavan and Sarasvati Ahimsa Van- where we will partake in permaculture projects, community outreach, reforestation, ecological construction and rainforest conservation. While in Peru, we will be WWOOFing on a farm outside of Ocobamba. Throughout our journey, we will be documenting our thoughts and experiences as part of our academic obligations.
As Wendell Berry writes in his novel, A Place on Earth, “nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone.” By taking this time to discover the world, Tore and I hope to not only challenge and redefine our current perceptions, but also to experience and learn from this common ground and common bond.
More information on where we will be staying: