The Center for Social Well Being began offering university student training in ethnographic field methods in 2002.
For details, please refer to program overviews and student reports.

 

2014 Students' comments | more... | | Photos Gallery |

I feel that there is a common, important thread that forms the backbone of culture here which is the relationship people have with the environment. The close connection with Mother Earth is visible through profound knowledge of traditional farming techniques, abilities to read weather patterns, and the use of various herbs for an array of ailments... more...

 

2013 Students' comments | more... | | Photos Gallery |

We initiated the year with our fourth New Year’s course as an intersession seminar, where we worked closely with the  voluntary women’s associations of the Communities of Shilla and Shumay within the Province of Carhuaz to address issues of transparency in local government and identify capacity building needs for each organization, in conjunction with our ally civic association, Forum Solidaridad Peru (www.psf.org). We continued community support throughout the year on themes of agrobiodiversity in the face of Climate and Culture Change and the return to organic native grain propagation, focused on quinua, kiwicha and cañihua, particularly in the Quebrada Ulta, within the District of Shilla.  Our May through August courses emphasized both Field Methods and Quechua Language practice and skills development in context. Professionals, as well as undergraduate and graduate students, participated from the US, Puerto Rico and Canada, with a wide range of majors that included Global Health, Medicine, Biology, International Communications, Social Work, Spanish Language, Latin American History, as well as Anthropology and Archaeology.

2012 Students' comments | more... | | Photos Gallery |

We inaugurated the year with our third New Year's course as an intersession seminar where we worked with communities within the Province of Carhuaz of Shumay, Pariacaca and Shilla to address diverse issues such as corruption in government nutrition programs, first birth experiences, and the erosion and proposed recovery of native tree species at high altitudes and agrobiodiversity. Our June and July courses emphasized Field Methods, as well as Spanish and Quechua Language practice and skills development in context. Undergraduate and graduate students participated from Canada, Portugal, Colombia, Puerto Rico and the US, with a wide range of majors that included Environmental Studies, Sociology, Global Health, Biology, International Development, English, History, Music, and Anthropology.

"I have learned that Quechua, indigenous, local ways of viewing the world are still very present in the daily lives of Andean people, regardless of how modernization and cosmopolitan manifestations and lifestyles shape the interactions of new generations."  "Andean culture emphasizes an economy based on reciprocity. Each localized community has a way of making sure that no one goes hungry. The community network functions as a support system." ....

 

2011 Students' comments | more... | | Photos & Video |

We inaugurated the year with our second New Year’s course as an intersession seminar, where we worked closely with the organized women’s association of the Community of Shilla to address issues of medicinal herb knowledge and the return to organic native maize agricultural. Our May through August courses emphasized both Field Methods and Quechua Language practice and skills development in context. Undergraduate and graduate students participated from Peru, Canada, Germany and the US, with a wide range of majors that included Latin American Studies, Global Health, Medicine, Biology, International Development Studies, Music, Theatre, Social Justice, Spanish Language and Anthropology.

 

2010 Students' comments | more... | | Photo Gallery |

We inaugurated the year with our first ever New Year's session with an intersession seminar, that provided rich focus on herbal ecology and agricultural activities. Our May through August courses emphasized both Field Methods and Quechua Language practice and skills development in context. Undergraduate and graduate students participated from Mexico, Scotland, England, Canada and the US, with specialties in Linguistics, Social Work, Psychology, Latin American Studies, and Anthropology.

2010 Field School - Students' Reflections
Andean Culture and Society | more... | | Photo Gallery |

Valerie Mocker Valerie Mocker - Shaqshas | more... |

Michelle Pienknagura Michelle Pienknagura - Letter | more... |

 

2009 Students' comments | more... | | Photo Gallery |

Our 2009 Field Methods and Quechua Language courses were held from May through August. Undergraduate and graduate student participants came from the US, Canada, United Kingdom, Korea, Mexico and Germany, with academic emphases in Anthropology, Archaeology, Latin American Studies, Spanish, Political Science, International Studies, Biology, Environmental Science, Public Policy, Ethics and Political Science. Several students from each session stayed on to support our work with local communities and to carry out further independent field research.

2009 Field School - Students' Reflections
Andean Culture and Society | more... | | Photo Gallery |

 

 

2008 Students' comments | more... | | Photo Gallery |

Our programs for 2008 were exceptional, with regard to both student participation and community activities implemented. Three sessions were held, extending from the June Solstice through the September Equinox, encompassing important agricultural and social aspects of the Andean calendar. The multifaceted program themes included issues of agrobiodiversity, traditional healing practices, systems of rural health and education, community organization and fiestas. Both undergraduate and graduate students from Canada , Mexico , Chile , Austria and the US , majoring in anthropology, Latin American Studies, medicine, political science, international studies, environmental studies, agriculture, neurobiology, psychology, and education participated in the field course. Please refer to their reflections on their experiences in the 2008 program.
| more... | | Photo Gallery |

 

 

2007 Students' comments | more... | | Photo Gallery | | Video |

In 2007 we held two field school sessions focused on issues in Andean biodiversity, natural healing, community organization, rural health and education, as well as religion and fiesta practices. Both undergraduate and graduate students from Canada, United Kingdom, Finland, Sweden and the US, majoring in anthropology, public health, medicine, rural sociology, political science, international studies, chemistry, biology, psychology, art history, Spanish and Latin American studies participated in the field course. Please see their comments on their learnings and experiences in the 2007 program.

Andean Herding
By: Line Kampe,
Catherine Patrick

Cave dwelling extraordinaires
| more... | | Video |

 

2006 Studentsí comments | more... | | Photo Gallery |

Andean society and practices

Here in the Andean highlands there exist a complex social network among neighbors, families, land owners, health workers and shop owners, to name a few. People really depend upon each other and strive for balance within society that appears egalitarian. Land use for food, animal husbandry and general resources reflect a balance or fluidity, as well.

Going to market and watching people walk for very long distances to sell their goods opened my eyes to the differences in conceptions of time and energy. The notion of the “Peruvian hour” and the importance of stopping to interact with people you know along the way, struck me.

Learning about the different foods that are grown and produced in this region has been a very satisfying experience. Going to market to see the potato and corn varieties as well as sampling them here at the chacra allowed me a greater understanding of the people I saw tending their crops on a daily basis.

I enjoyed the variety of activities and thought the cuy healing was a highlight because I have never seen anything like it.

The coca leaf, tobacco and pisco are viewed as sacred, respected entities that aren’t necessarily abused or consumed in mass quantities. Consumption has been a theme in my mind since arriving here, and being aware of my own consumption is just one aspect of things I have become more aware of.

Student thesis

Jenny Morgan,
California State University - Fresno

My Three Weeks in Peru
During August, I spent three weeks in Peru enrolled in an ethnography field school offered by the Center for Social Wellbeing and Patricia Hammer. We focused on Action Research, an idea that insists on the researchers’ participation in the community in which they are learning about. My lessons began when I flew into Lima, a busy city by the bay......| more... |


Aline Lane,
Western Washington University

Reflection: The places we go, people we meet, things we do are all experiences that build our character and make us who we are in this very moment and for the future. Being twenty years old, confused about life, people, and where or what to do with my future, traveling to Peru for three weeks was probably the best thing I could do for myself.......| more... |

2005 Field School Overview | more... | | Photo Gallery |

In 2005 the Center for Social Well Being carried out our June program with courses in language, ethnography, and field methods. Students were housed at the center’s rural base, an adobe lodge on an ecological ranch in the Cordillera Blanca mountain range of the Callejón de Huaylas, 7 hours northeast of Lima. Coursework consisted of classes in Spanish, Quechua, Ethnography of Andean Knowledge, and Participatory Action Research theory and methods.

Reflections

Jessie Reiss | University of New Mexico

I found Open Veins of Latin America (Eduardo Galeano) to be an amazing insight to the history of Latin America; it was powerfully written from a perspective, which amply exemplified the raw exploitation of a country… | more... |

Paul Hood | University of Minnesota, Duluth
After a ridiculous amount of traveling, I finally returned to the US. The journey home started on an island in Lake Titikaka. From there it took me five days to get home. Traveling to other places in Peru was the perfect ... | more... |

Kate Hatchwell | University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
I too had an interesting experience travelling through Peru after the field school, and meeting up with Paul later on (as he may have mentioned). While travelling through different areas in the South we both agreed ... | more... |

Stephanie Molina | University of California, Santa Cruz
How are you doing? Hopefully great in Peru. As for myself, I am having a nice summer at home. My reason for e-mailing you is to Thank You once again for the opportunity you gave me of participating in this years ... | more... |

 

2004 Field School Overview | more... | | Photo Gallery |

In 2004 the Center for Social Well Being, carried out both Spring and Summer 3 week programs with courses in language, ethnography, and field methods.

Student thesis:
Eric Dangoy,
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 

 

2003 Field School Overview | more... | | Photo Gallery |

Name: Rebecca Corran 
Paper Title:
PAPAS PARA PROSPERAR (POTATOES TO THRIVE): Lessons on Andean Ethnography, the Study of Anthropology and Cross-Cultural Living

"Initially, I had very few expectations about my summer in the Peruvian highlands, only that I would be involved in research on community issues while engaging participatory methods; and experiencing a brief life as an anthropologist abroad. Little did I know the scope of what I would participate in and learn. From meeting a local woman working for change, to challenging misconceptions I had about traditional and western medicine, I gained invaluable experience that will affect my future life as an anthropologist and as an individual committed to making change in the world." | more... |

Name: Rebecca Corran 
Paper Title: Peru Reflections

"Fieldwork in Ancash, Peru, while often challenging, was one of the best experiences of my life. I witnessed successful participatory-action-research, and perpetrated anthropological blunders in my own studies. I learned the most critical assurance for success as a participatory anthropologist is listening to people (rather than talking at them) and if I do want to change the world, I know now I will have to first appreciate different realities (my own and others)." | more... |

Name: Jessica Dean
Paper Title: Ethnographic Field Methods Program, 2003

"The generosity of all the Andean people I came in contact with, while on the course was overwhelming: from the generous invitations to the fiesta de San Juan in Shilla and the re-enactment of the Inca ritual in Huaraz, to the kindness shown to us in the local school and the town's market place (and at many other times), everywhere we met with kindness and a welcome."
| more... |

Name: Leah Getchell
Paper Title: Andean Ethnography

"The first morning I walked out of our dark cool bedroom at La Casa de Pocha and was greeted by the warm Andean sun and the glistening of snow peaked mountains in the distance, I knew Ancash was a special place and unlike any other I had ever been." | more... |

Name: Leah Getchell
Paper Title: Participatory Action Research

"I had never heard of PAR until I read the course outline for the field school. I was completely surprised when I began to do the assigned readings to find the basis of PAR's ideology is based largely on the work of Paulo Freire. I had just finished learning about Freire's dialogic approach to liberation in an anthropological theory course. Freire's ideas about 'banking' education and liberation through dialogue really clicked with me, it seemed almost common sense." | more... |

 

2002 Field School Overview | more... |

Student thesis: Katherine Scaife, University of Chicago

 

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