AAPLAC 2012 Program

Conference Activities and Sessions

The 23rd Annual Conference—The Study Abroad Experience in Latin America: An Opportunity to Create Social Awareness—was held February 15-18, 2012, at the Universidad Autónoma de Chiapas (UNACH) in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico.
Wednesday, February 15
9:00 - 11:30 AMSession I: Pre-Conference Workshop
Coordinated by: The Forum on Education Abroad
($125 registration fee for this workshop, not included in conference registration)

Using the Standards of Good Practice to Develop and Manage High Quality Programs: A Workshop for Resident Directors and On-Site Staff

The Forum on Education AbroadThis workshop provides training in the use of the Forum's Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad (4th Edition), the Code of Ethics for Education Abroad (2nd Edition), and the Standards of Good Practice for Short-Term Education Abroad Programs. The workshop is designed specifically for on-site resident directors, program and host institution staff and faculty. Workshop activities include analyses of case studies that teach participants how to use the Forum's Standards and related resources to develop and manage high quality education abroad programs.

Brian Whalen, President and CEO
The Forum on Education Abroad

To participate in this workshop, register with The Forum on Education Abroad and pay the $125 registration fee directly to The Forum.

Participants should meet in the lobby of the Hotel Posada Real on Wednesday at 8:30 AM to walk to the workshop site.
Lunch on your own
all daySession II: Pre-Conference Visits
Meet in the hotel lobby at 8:45 AM. We will take a bus/van to the different villages and walk during the city tour.
($40 registration fee for each pre-conference village visit and city tour; not included in conference registration)
9:00 AM - 1:00 PMOption A: Amatenango del Valle and Aguacatenango
Situated in a beautiful valley (37 kilometers southeast of San Cristóbal de Las Casas) is Amatenango del Valle, a Tzeltal village renowned for its pottery.

For over 1000 years, its women have been dedicated to making earthenware pots and ornaments. The women are also skillful weavers, and this can be seen in their stunning red and orange hipiles (traditional blouses) worn by the older members of the community.

We visit first a family of potters, who will demonstrate this ancient art form. Their pottery is modeled by hand and the pieces are fired using the traditional pre-Hispanic method of building a wood fire around them, rather than placing them in a kiln. The art of pottery-making has been passed down through the generations and it is humbling to watch the village women at work, modeling small clay animals with astonishing skill.

We will also visit Amatenango's early-eighteenth century church, in which villagers harmoniously blend ancient Maya beliefs and Catholic doctrine, before heading off to Aguacatenango for the second half of our day.

A beautiful drive through fields of horses will take us to the Tzeltal community of Aguacatenango (16km south of Amatenango del Valle). The view is stunning; from a nearby lake you will get a view of the village's ancient church off in the distance.

Aguacantengo is well-known for its floral-patterned, white on white embroidery on blouses, shirts and tablecloths. We will meet the embroiderers in their homes to learn more about their art-form and you'll have a chance to buy their beautiful work. We will also visit the village's fascinating Dominican church (built in the late sixteenth-century) with its white facade, thick adobe stone walls, and bell tower.

We will then head back to San Cristobal for you to have lunch on your own.
3:00 - 7:00 PMOption B: Guided City Tour
Meet in the main plaza at 2:45 PM. We will walk during the city tour.

This walking tour will be conducted by Dr. Jose Luis Escalona, researcher from CIESAS, who will take us around San Cristóbal explaining its geography, the main historical sites, social structure, modes of production, stratification, demographics and zoning. This will provide a wonderful context of contemporary life in San Cristóbal today.
Dinner on your own
AAPLAC will make arrangements for informal gathering at a local restaurant for participants who would like to have dinner together.
7:45 PMBoard Meeting
8:00 PMOptional Cultural Activity
Readings of poetry, stories, singing at Bar El Cocodrilo, Main Square, Hotel Santa Clara
Thursday, February 16
9:00 - 11:30 AMWelcome to AAPLAC's 23rd Annual Conference
E. Lupita Plum-Güçlü, AAPLAC President
Auditorio, Facultad de Derecho

Welcome to San Cristóbal de las Casas
Diana Arízaga, AAPLAC Vice President

Message from UNACH President
Dr. Jaime Valls Esponda

Defining Social Awareness
Luis Menéndez Medina, Human Rights Activist
11:30 - 11:45 AMCoffee Break hosted by Central College
11:45 AM - 1:00 PMSession IV: Spotlight on UNACH
Moderator: Antonio Paniagua, Director of Doctoral Program in Human Rights, UNACH
Aula Magna, Facultad de Derecho

Human Rights in Chiapas
María de Lourdes Morales; Pablo Álvarez, Guillermina Vela, Concepción Regalado; Miguel Angel de los Santos; Fabián Hubert del Carmen Martínez; Lorenzo López; Mariano de Jesús Villatoro, Human Rights Doctoral Candidates, UNACH
1:00 - 3:00 PMLunch on your own
3:00 - 4:15 PMSession V: Social Awareness
Moderator: Valerie Grimsley, Director of Study Abroad, Central College in Mexico
Aula Magna, Facultad de Derecho

Reflecting on Social Awareness: Global Communities in Study Abroad
Callie K. DeBellis, Spanish Instructor / Program Director, Language and Culture in Costa Rica, Meredith College

Studying in Latin America as a Transformative Experience: What Our Students Say Has Stuck
Barbara Domcekova, Associate Professor of Spanish; Vincent T. Gawronski, Associate Professor of Political Science; Anne Ledvina, Associate Director of International Programs, Birmingham-Southern College

América Latina y las prácticas profesionales como mecanismo de concientización (in Spanish)
Carlos M. Coria-Sánchez, Associate Professor, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
4:15 - 5:30 PMSession VI: Diversity and Safety
Moderator: Kathleen McInerney, Saint Xavier University
Aula Magna, Facultad de Derecho

Educating for Transformation: A Case Study
Jean Silk, Program Manager, Council on Latin American and Iberian Studies, Yale University

Promoting Safety Abroad with a Harm Reduction Model: Basic Strategies and the Case of the Frosty Mug(-ging)
Arlen Carey, Associate Professor of Social Work, Winona State University; Amy Carey, Clinical Social Worker, ABC Child/Family Therapy

Ambush: May 5, 1996
George Ann Huck, Professor Emerita, Central College
6:30 - 10:00 PMWelcome Reception
Casa No Bolom
Friday, February 17
9:00 - 10:15 AMSession VII: Preparing Students
Moderator: Steven Gardner, Illinois College
Aula Magna, Facultad de Derecho

Homestay as Key to Reciprocal Enhancement of Global Social Awareness and Cultural Appreciation
Tiago de Azevedo Mafra Jones, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Foreign Language, Campbell University

Connecting Career Skills and Study Abroad through Ex-Patriot Networks
Valerie Grimsley, Resident Director, Central College in Mérida

Schooling the World: Education in the Contact Zone
Kathleen McInerney, Associate Professor, Saint Xavier University
10:15 AMCoffee Break hosted by IFSA-Butler University
10:30 - 11:45 AMSession VIII: Using Technology in the Study Abroad Experience
Moderator: Mark Odenwelder, CEDEI
Aula Magna, Facultad de Derecho

Using Chats and Other Electronic Exchanges to Help Students / Engage with the "Other" and Prepare Them to Study Abroad
Steven Gardner, Associate Professor of Spanish, Illinois College

New Technologies: At Home Away from Home in Mérida
Francisco Fernández-Repetto, Professor of Anthropology, UADY; Erika Ryser-García, Director of Programs in Latin America, IFSA-Butler University

Using Technology to Help Create Social Awareness during Study Abroad Experiences
Mikki Meadows-Oliver and Patricia Ryan-Krause, Assistant Professors, Yale University School of Nursing
11:45 AM - 1:00 PMSession IX: The Student Experience
Moderator: Diana Arízaga, Study Abroad Director, IFSA-Butler in Mexico
Aula Magna, Facultad de Derecho

My Program is Better than Yours: Developing Social Awareness through Different Learning Strategies: The Student Experience
Diana Arízaga, Study Abroad Director, IFSA-Butler in Mexico; Carrie Elmore, Jonathan Ogden, Joseph Pearson, AY Participants in the IFSA-Butler in Mexico Study Abroad Program
1:00 - 3:00 PMLunch and Business Meeting
Instituto de Lenguas Jovel, Calle Francisco I Madero 45
Sponsored by Instituto de Lenguas Jovel
3:00 - 4:15 PMSession X: Perspectives on Community-Based Learning
Moderator: George Ann Huck, Professora Emerita, College Central
Aula Magna, Facultad de Derecho

Co-Volunteering: Partnering Mexican University Students with International Volunteers
Helga Loebell, Director, Instituto de Lenguas Jovel; Anita Smart, Executive Director, International Humanitarian Foundation

Community-based Learning Abroad: Case Studies from Latin America
Max Savishinsky, Director, Latin America and Caribbean, CIEE; Eduardo Rodriguez, Assistant Resident Director, CIEE Mexico

Reciprocity and Community-based Learning: Opportunities to Foster Social Awareness and Share Tools for Effective Activism
Jonathan Treat, Professor-Journalist-Activist, Oaxaca Solidarity Network
4:15 - 5:30 PMSession XI: Relevance of Education
Moderator: David Burton, Ohio University
Aula Magna, Facultad de Derecho

Reflections on Developing Culturally Sensitive Study Away/Community Based Programs with Indigenous Communities: Two Case Studies of Chiapas, Mexico and Universidad Intercultural Amwatay Wasi, Ecuador
Peggy James, Professor, Political Science and Law, University of Wisconsin-Parkside; Skye Stephenson, Director, Global Education Office, Keene State College

Experiencia académica en Colombia: Una realidad a la que te debes acercar (in Spanish)
Diana Paola Caro Fonseca, Finanzas y Relaciones Internacionales, Universidad de La Salle
5:30 PMReflections and Conference Closing
eveningDinner on your own
Optional Cultural Activity
Readings of poetry, stories, singing at Bar El Cocodrilo, Main Square, Hotel Santa Clara
Saturday, February 18
9:00 AM - 2:00 PMSession XII: Post-Conference Visit
Meet in the hotel lobby at 9:00 AM. We will take a bus to the different villages.
($40 registration fee for this visit; not included in conference registration)

San Juan Chamula and Zinacantán
The fascinating Tzotzil Maya village of San Juan Chamula (10 km northwest of San Cristóbal de Las Casas) is famous for its unique religious practices that blend Catholic and Maya beliefs. It has some of the most vibrant festivals in the highlands, and its colorful Sunday market is not to be missed.

We also visit with a mayordomo (a religious authority) to see the colorful altar of the saint that he's responsible for looking after, before heading off to Zinacantan.

San Lorenzo Zinacantán (7 km west of Chamula) is another Tzotzil-speaking community. Today, the flower trade is the main economic support for the village; hence the hillsides are dotted with greenhouses. It is one of the most colorful communities in the highlands, which is reflected in their brilliant red, blue and purple clothing flower embroideries.

In Zinacantán, we will visit the main church of the community and spend some time with local friends. Sitting talking with Maria and her family, you will have a chance to learn more about daily Mayan life. They will prepare hand-made tortillas alongside a demonstration of back strap weaving (a tradition that has been practiced since ancient times). There will be opportunity to purchase some of their beautiful work.